Food – Indoor Herb Gardening

One of the most rewarding ways to continue to enjoy the fresh taste of summer is by growing herbs indoors where cooks have at their fingertips a source of fresh savory seasoning just a few steps away. No kitchen is too small to accommodate a pot or two of fresh herbs. In addition to adding to your culinary creations, herbs provide many necessary vitamins, nutrients, and healing qualities as well as antioxidants.

Following are four herbs that thrive inside in a sunny, south-facing window which gets at least 6 hours of bright light a day:

Chives: If you grow one herb, chives are one of the easiest herb to grow. Chives, a member of the onion family, are high in sulfur, a natural antibiotic and also have anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. Further, chives are found to have antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and antioxidant activities. Dried or fresh chives complement summer salads, dressings, soups, potatoes, sauces, and vegetable dishes. Use immature, unopened flower buds to add a light onion flavor.

Basil: One of the most popular and favorite kitchen herbs around the world, basil is best used for Italian cooking in pesto, tomato sauces, soups, salads and dressings, but also enjoyed in Thai and some middle eastern dishes. Basil is a rich source of vitamin K, beta carotene and iron. It also harnesses antioxidant properties, reducing inflammation, promoting healthy arteries, improving circulation, detoxifying the blood, and increasing immune function. A basil infusion is helpful to soothe a cough or treat cramping. Simply pour boiling water over a handful of fresh basil leaves and steep for at least five minutes before straining and drinking.

Parsley: More than a garnish, parsley adds a light, fresh flavor and color to many dishes including soups, vegetables, pesto, salads such as tabbouleh, dressings, nut cheeses and juices. A natural anti-bacterial remedy, it is also a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory which aids in digestion and detoxification as well as bolstering the immune system. Parsley has a high vitamin K content, promoting bone strength, is high in iron, and useful as a digestive aid. Chew to neutralize offensive breath.

Rosemary: Also a powerful natural remedy for soothing digestion and neutralizing bad breath, rosemary is as well helpful in relieving pain. It is one of the most recognized herbs for its health benefiting phyto-nutrients, antioxidants, and essential acids. Rosemary herb carries good amounts of vitamin A which is essential for good vision and for maintaining healthy mucosa and skin. It is an excellent source of iron which determines the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Infused into an oil it can be used externally for skin irritations and joint pain. Rosemary has a warm, pungent and more astringent taste that gives wonderful flavor to soups, sauces, stews, squash, red potatoes, dips, tomato and garlic sauces, breads, dressings and more.

Parsley Juice for Detoxification
5 carrots 2 stalks celery
1 small beet Handful of parsley
Wash vegetables and cut to size. Process all ingredients through juicer; drink and experience the health healing, energy-restoring benefits.