It is common knowledge that we need to eat right to stay healthy. There is widespread awareness of self-care and immunization in the recent past especially in times of crisis like the Corona Virus. Where almost a quarter of the world’s population is affected and the number of those coming in contact with the virus is increasing by the hour. So how can you build immunity during this pandemic? What are the best herbs that you can easily grow in your balcony garden?
What are the best herbs that can grow easily in balcony garden? Here are the top 10 best herbs that you can grow easily in your balcony garden:
- Holy Basil (Tulsi)
- Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
- Peppermint (Pudina)
- Fenugreek (Methi)
- Coriander (Dhania)
- Chaangeri or Indian Sorrel
- Curry leaves
Let’s find out
To build immunity and lead a healthier life, our grandparents would swear by Chavanprash or herbs like tulsi, ashwagandha, turmeric, Triphala, amla, tulsi (holy basil), and many others.
Herbs were available easily in their garden. Combining herbs with honey or homemade Ghee was supposed to build your immunities and keep you safe from most diseases.
These days we are so busy running after the next big opportunity, that we forget to look after ourselves. We manage to squeeze in a few minutes of exercise daily, or sometimes count running to catch a train or bus exercise enough. We claim to eat healthy, But is what we eat really healthy?
Little attention is paid to the consumption of herbs and plants that boost immunity. We are the quick fix generation that would pop a pill instead of waiting for a cup of turmeric milk to simmer.
IF you follow the news reported about the Corona virus that has struck the entire globe. We see that most cases involve people with low immunity. But immunization doesn’t happen overnight it takes time and is a slow process.
Let’s take this pandemic as a lesson and start building our immunities with simple herbs that you can grow in your balcony garden.
Most of them do not require any special weather or soil conditions to grow. But they have a positive and lasting impact on the health of you and your family alike.
10 Best Herbs for your Balcony Garden
So here they are… Herbs for Balcony Garden
1. Holy Basil (Tulsi)
Health Benefits: Tulsi or Holi Basil found in most Indian homes is a natural antibiotic. It is an excellent remedy for a sore throat, fever, and cold. Regular consumption of two to three leaves either with or without honey can boost your immunity. Tulsi is one of the best herbs that you can easily grow in your balcony garden.
Growing and maintaining: For Holi Basil to grow well be sure that the pot you choose contains proper drainage. Tulsi loves the sun and requires about six hours of sunlight to grow well. You could use compost to increase the nutritive value of the soil helping it grow better.
Tulsi is a moisture-loving plant so make sure that the soil is moist. In order to help the soil, retain moisture cover the surface with coconut choir, moss or mulch. This is especially helpful in summers and if the climate is dry.
Tip: While watering Holi basil or Tulsi plants make sure you water only the soil and not over the plant as it will make it droopy.
2. Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
Health Benefits: Ajwain is a common herb used to better a stomach ache and relieve indigestion, but there are more benefits of consuming these wonder seeds.
Carom seeds have powerful antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. They reduce cholesterol as well as blood pressure. They can be consumed daily right after waking up about an hour before breakfast.
Growing and maintaining: These plants are fairly simple to grow and maintain, as they do not require much sunlight or water. They can be grown directly from their cuttings or you could plant the seed.
Another important factor is that these plants can grow well in almost all types of soil and they do not require much compost or moisture to grow.
Tip: As Ajwain is a spicy herb, be careful while consuming it. You might be intolerant to spice.
3. Peppermint (Pudina)
Health Benefits: Peppermint is good for the digestive system. It cures disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, an upset stomach, and indigestion. It is also cooling and a good home remedy for sunstroke or to cool off on hot days.
Simply add a few leaves to lemon water or buttermilk and you can have a refreshing drink. You can also use it in the form of chutney in combination with coriander and lemon.
Growing and maintaining: Mint is a plant that grows and spreads quickly. Planting them is easy simply plant a few stalks and they will multiply. It is better if you allow them to have their planter as compared to letting them share planters with other plants.
They tend to spread fast and covering the entire planter, which will hamper the growth of other plants. These plants require a moderate amount of water and a partially shaded area to grow.
Tip: Putting these plants under direct sunlight for a while enhances the effectiveness of their natural oils.
Also, you may like, How to Preserve Fresh Herbs from Garden?
4. Fenugreek (Methi)
Health Benefits: Fenugreek (Methi) is known to boost your immune system as they are full of vitamins nutrients and fibres. Consuming methi seeds regularly has proved beneficial for a lot of people. It also helps aid digestion and combats stomach ailments.
To gain most out of the seeds you can either consume them by roasting and powdering methi seeds. This powder can be stored for about a month so you can prepare a batch for regular use. Or by soaking the seeds overnight and having the water as soon as you wake up.
You can also use the leaves either wet or dry (Kasuri methi) while cooking. Adding methi to dals and curries not only enhances its taste but also increases its nutritive value.
Growing and maintaining: Methi is easy to grow and takes about twenty days to mature. There are two ways to grow methi either you plant it in a planter like other plants and let it grow.
Water them regularly so that they can grow well. Or you could use a strainer with a little soil over a bucket of water. In about fifteen to twenty days you will see that the plants are fully grown and can be used.
Tip: Methi powder is a healthy way to start the day but the strong taste will take a little time to get used to.
You may like, Build and Grow a Salad Garden on Your Balcony.
5. Coriander (Dhania)
Health Benefits: Coriander is not only used as a garnish or to add flavour to Indian cuisine but is all beneficial to treat indigestion and gastric issues. It also had an impact on blood sugar levels. In turn, improving the overall health of the person.
It contains fiber, magnesium, and manganese and is rich in vitamin A, vitamin C. Hence aiding in building immunity.
Growth and maintaining: Coriander needs to be grown from the seed and doesn’t transplant. Take a few seeds right from your kitchen cabinet crush them and spread them in a planter over moist soil.
Make sure that the planter in a place that receives enough sunlight. In about a week you will see the seeds sprout. You can start using the leaves in twenty days to a month.
Tip: Don’t overwater the planter it will cause the coriander to go bad.
Health Benefits: Lemongrass is the most underrated herb in the kitchen. Apart from using it to flavor teas and curries its benefits haven’t been acknowledged or rather tapped on.
Lemongrass is supposed to contain substances that relieve pain and swelling. Hence it is beneficial to relieve menstrual pain, it also soothes the uterus and is beneficial for overall uterine health.
It also improves blood sugar and cholesterol levels if had regularly. Apart from these, it is proven to have antioxidant properties that aid in weight loss.
Growing and maintaining: Lemongrass requires a lot of sunlight and grows tall. Hence it is necessary to get a large pot at the beginning itself. Planting Lemongrass is easy as it grows from the stalk itself.
Simply buy a stalk and plant it. Be sure to start tying the blades of lemongrass as it grows or it will start to look unkempt and wild.
If the stalk is very small keep in a jar of water till it is about two inches tall. Change the water every day. After about two weeks you should be able to transfer it to a pot.
Tip: use gloves while working with lemongrass as the leaves scratch the skin easily leaving it itchy.
Health Benefits: Ginger is the best home remedy for a common cold or to better a cough. But other than this if consumed regularly it can better the overall health of the person.
Growing and maintaining: To grow ginger bury a few ginger pods in good quality potting mix and it will start to sprout in a few days. In about two to three months your ginger will be ready to harvest.
Tip: as ginger is a root be sure that the planters are deep enough. Make sure not to plant them too close to each other or else they won’t grow well.
8. Chaangeri or Indian Sorrel
Health Benefits: The entire Chaangeri plant is beneficial according to Ayurveda. It can be used to make a green chutney by blending the leaves and fruits with coriander, mint leaves and raw mango or lemon.
It is beneficial in regulating Vitamin C and treating Rheumatoid Arthritis, indigestion, and diarrhea. It also helps build immunity.
Growing and maintaining: Planting Chaangeri is simple you either buy the seeds from your local plant nursery or grow it from the clippings of an existing plant. This is an easy plant to look after as it does not require a lot of sunlight and water.
9. Curry leaves
Health Benefits: Curry leaves not only add flavor to your curries but also have a lot of health benefits. They are particularly good for those suffering from diabetes and also helps lose weight.
Growing and maintaining: A Curry leaves plant can be grown from the trimmings of another. It loves the sun and requires a good amount of sunlight to grow. Be sure to plant it alone as it requires a lot of water and can grow well if planted alone.
Health Benefits: The dried roots of the turmeric plant are used in cooking as well as used in Ayurvedic medicine. They have incredible health benefits, including being antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant.
It is said to have properties to prevent heart disease and Alzheimer’s. The leaves of the turmeric plant can be used for cooking.
Growing and maintaining: turmeric takes seven to ten months to grow. You will need a special king of turmeric to plant as the ones available in the market are coated with a chemical to prevent them from sprouting. Simply plant the roots in a deep planter and water it regularly. In a few days, it will sprout.
Caring for herbs in your balcony garden
The best part about growing your own herbs is that you are sure that they are organic without any pesticides and herbicides. It’s not very difficult to plant herbs in your balcony garden.
But at the same time, it is important to look after them. Most herbs love the sun so it is important to see that they are placed accordingly.
A few things to keep in mind
- See that the containers have drain holes and are large enough.
- Instead of getting a store-bought potting mix, you can make your own.
- Make your own compost with kitchen waste and use it to nourish your herbs.
- Rotate your pots regularly so that the herbs don’t bend towards the sunlight.
- Herbs are delicate as compared to other plants, avoid overwatering them.
- Clipping Herbs regularly will help them grow better, don’t hesitate to use them while cooking.
You may like the following gardening articles:
- How to grow citronella plant from cutting
- How to Get Rid of Pill Bugs in the Garden
- How to Keep Animals Out of the Garden without a Fence
Above all have fun gardening and eat healthy. Corona is not the only virus that you need to look out for. Take this as a wake-up sign to eat healthy and start building your and your family’s immune system today.
I am Elsa, love gardening. I spent lots of time with plants, flowers, it gives me lots of happiness.
I am sharing all the practical tips on how to grow various plants, flower plants, vegetables in the garden. Read more about me.