Growing up as a child in a household of inventors and healers, I always liked watching my father tend to herbs in our herb garden while he tinkered with the beginnings of his herbal remedy drink. You see, I’ve always loved nature and so planting typical indigenous herbs and harvesting them when the pods or fruits are ripe was something quite common for me to do.
Little did I know that I will be working with a lot of herbs in my later years as a medical doctor and naturopathist. All these herbs I’m going to mention here can be easily grown in your backyard, indoor garden or a pot of soil. I use most of them for medicinal and herbal purposes and the rest for cooking local Filipino dishes.
So here is my list of recommended herbs for you:
Ginger is one of the more common herbs that is known and easily available in Western nations, e.g., ginger ale for one. It tastes spicy and gives a warm and tangy taste to food. In certain Asian nations, ginger is used to take out that “fishy smell” from fish by spreading all over it. But basically, it is used for soups and all sorts of stir-fry dishes popularly common in Asian nations such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Philippines, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India, and Indonesia.
It is also commonly known to be a home remedy in Asia for a sore throat or a cold or flu. It is also used in the Philippines to make your voice beautiful to hear after a cup of ginger tea.
Ginger is sometimes considered a “superfood” because it contains the powerful antioxidants shogaol, zingerone and gingerol. These antioxidants act as anti-inflammatory agents. They also help in cardiovascular health, pain relief and fighting free radicals.
Scallions is another name for Green Onions. They’re everywhere in Asia – and not only in Asia! I read that they originated from Asia but different varieties can grow in countries with more temperate climates. They are easily grown. Just put on the ground in your backyard the ones with roots and in a few weeks, you can see them growing already with shoots.
Green onion is known as an immunity booster. It has lots of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. It is also great for eye health.
Lemongrass is traditionally used to ward off mosquitoes or bugs in your home or backyard. Pretty common in Asia as a flavoring agent for soups and for its pleasant smell when cooked with dishes. It is also used in certain Asian cultures as an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent. Lemongrass oil is popular in countries like Thailand or Cambodia. This is because it is a common oil used for a health massage. It is also believed to act as an anti-depressant.
A study in 2009 published in the Chemico-Biological Interactions Journal revealed that when injected in a concentrated essential oil form, lemongrass was able to positively affect 12 different human cancer lines, particularly in the arrest of tumor growth.
Black and white peppers were most valued 400-500 years ago when European colonizers and explorers came to Asia. To find the coveted Asian peppers. Aside from giving a zesty, spicy taste to your soups, casseroles and meat dishes, Asian peppers come with lots of Vitamin C. They are also good at combating a sore throat and a low fever.
The lowly pandan leaf is used in the Philippines to wrap our rice cakes and other foods. The aromatic leaf is wrapped around chicken bits and grilled in Thailand, a very mouth-watering dish. But do you know that pandan has anti-carcinogenic properties?
Pandan leaves have anti-inflammatory attributes that could help in alleviating arthritis and rheumatism conditions, as well as for pain relief.
Eating fresh garlic might not be your cup of tea but it has been known to keep diseases at bay. Garlic is very popular in a lot of countries. From Asia to South America and European countries like Italy and Spain. It gives zest to most foods but what it can do for our health is more than that.
Garlic is a great booster for cardiovascular health for managing our cholesterol levels including blood pressure. It also fights cell degeneration such as in Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
So do you have any other recommendations for herbs that should be grown in your backyard? Share your ideas in the comments below!