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Herb Garden, Curators Maureen Holder and Margo Seagrave

The Herb Garden features a wide array of God's special plants that have healing qualities. I attempted to divide the plants into sections separating medicinal and culinary but quickly discovered that all the herbs have medicinal value. In fact, the definition of an herb is anything that has value!   Some of nature's "wild weeds" are actually pharmaceutical: 
  • The lowly dandelion was brought to the new world by the Pilgrims. It is a potassium sparing diuretic, thus it lowers blood pressure, detoxifies the liver, helps digestion, as well as kidney and skin ailments. All parts are edible and have NO side effects or adverse reactions.
  • Lavender calms jittery nerves, relieves headaches, soothes colic and stimulates appetite.
  • Marsh mallow soothes the throat.
  • Mullen helps a wide variety of ailments. The flowers kill bacteria, and smoking the leaves relieves asthma, coughs and bronchitis. The root is an especially effective sedative.
  • Raspberry relieves diarrhea and also has qualities very beneficial to women. A tea made from the leaves of second years' growth, and drunk during pregnancy, helps prevent miscarriages.
  • We have all heard of the beneficial use of St. Johns Wort treating depression.
How about herbs used primarily in cooking ?
  • Thyme increases the efficiency of the immune system, a tea is antimicrobial, anti fungal and mildly styptic, thus helpful for cuts but also eases cramps, calms nerves. This herb should not be used in large quantities during the first trimester of pregnancy, as it may bring on menses.
  • Garlic reduces cholesterol and lowers blood pressure, If that is not enough to convince you to incorporate the "stinking rose" into your diet, it also helps reduce blood sugar levels, is useful in all ailments of the lungs, kills parasites, calms spasms and relieves inflammation.
In addition to these common herbs, I have attempted to grow some unfamiliar ones. Arnica reduces swelling. Some Drs. are now recommending it to be used as a cream before surgery as well as after. Ashwaganda is an adaptagen, meaning it has homeostatic properties to balance a body's needs. Astragalus has immune enhancing properties, tonifies the spleen, lowers blood pressure and blood sugar and improves circulation.

The garden is in a constant state of change. Some things thrive while others disappoint. It is meant to be merely an introduction to herbs and encourage people to look around them at the drug store in our back yards.
Maureen Katee Holder