Here, some of the reasons why people are buying herbs to get them through the coronavirus pandemic.
What is a herb? Definition: noun, a herb is any plant with leaves, seeds, or flowers used for flavouring, food, medicine, or perfume.
#1 Herbs are jam-packed full of health properties
Traditional Chinese medicine has evolved over thousands of years, and herbs have been celebrated for their medicinal benefits for as long in all corners of the globe.
These health benefits include immune system strengthening properties, and addressing medical conditions from stroke to heart disease, mental disorders, respiratory diseases including bronchitis and the common cold, and much more. As well as herbs, spices and vitamin-packed foods have been shown to have health benefits and immune strengthening properties.
Healthy herbs filling our window sills, garden ledges or backyards:
Not to be confused with Thai basil or the regular supermarket variety, holy basil originates from India. Studies show this basil variety helps boost immune cells, and can inhibit the growth of a range of bacteria, yeasts and moulds. Holy basil tastes bitter and spicy. It can be used in cooking or tea, or the leaves eaten raw.
Garlic is technically a vegetable, and a vegetable is technically any edible part of an herbaceous plant, such as the roots, leaves, stems, and bulbs. Garlic has been used for centuries for its medicinal benefits. Today, it’s widely used to boost the immune system, treat colds (adding more to your diet, along with vitamin C), and some studies show garlic can help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol. Additionally, garlic contains antioxidants that support the body's protective mechanisms against oxidative damage.
Coriander leaves are rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and protein. Best known as an ingredient in Thai dishes, coriander has made its way into the weekly grocery shop of many Australians to become a household staple. Coriander is a rich source of fibre, manganese, iron and magnesium. Studies show the health benefits of coriander leaves lower bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels, contain anti-inflammatory properties, and promote a healthy nervous system.
Known for the cooling sensation they impart, the mint varieties (peppermint, spearmint…) also have other health benefits, although research shows most are effective when taken as an oil, applied to the skin or inhaled via aromatherapy. Nevertheless, mint is nutrient rich, high in vitamin A and antioxidants, which work to protect our body against free radicals and disease.
Parsley comes in a wide variety including flat leaf, Italian and more. It is well known for being nutrient rich, containing vitamin K, potassium, magnesium, and calcium, all essential to bone health, as well as for its antibacterial qualities and antioxidant benefits.
#2 Herbs will last the distance
A little TLC, the right amount of sunlight and shade, nutrient rich soil and a watering can will go a long way to creating a flourishing, edible herb garden. It’s true that herbs in the garden will last a whole lot longer than a potted variety bought from the supermarket, but even potted varieties will last around four weeks if given the right amount of sunlight, water and drainage.
#3 Fresh herbs make tinned meals tastier
Fresh herbs will make any meal taste leaps and bounds better. If you are stuck indoors for 14 days and relying on tinned or freeze dried meal plans, fresh herbs will be your tastebuds best friend! You’ll be able to turn any tinned meal or frozen dinner into a flavour-packed dish with fresh herbs!
#4 A great excuse to start gardening and enjoy the fresh air
Gardening has many benefits, for both physical and mental wellbeing. Research shows it can boost mood, increasing self-esteem and reducing stress and the stress hormone, cortisol, which can impeded our immune system. Additionally, outdoor gardening helps you get your daily recommended vitamin D, and working on raised garden beds can help people with compromised joints stay physically active and mentally rewarded.
So if you find yourself in isolation, try it! Plant a few seeds in your garden, watch the fruits of your labour grow, enjoy the health and wellbeing benefits and eating fresh food sources rich in nutrients.
#5 As a project for children to keep them occupied, learn about nature
Like adults, children can grow and reap the health benefits of planting, tending and watching plants grow. It will also keep the kids active, their minds stimulated as they learn and give their lungs a fresh air burst.