There’s nothing quite like adding fresh herbs to your food at any time of the year. Fresh herbs add taste and health benefits to any dish, from soups and salads to fish and poultry dishes and even savory baked items. One of the biggest benefits of adding herbs to your diet is that they add flavor and health without adding any unwanted calories. Win-win!
Fortunately, there are quite a few herbs you can grow in winter so you do not have to make do with the dried variety. If herb gardening is on your mind this winter, consider growing these 12 herbs.
A quick note before getting down to discussing the best herbs to grow in winter – the best way to get started with your winter herb garden is with a starter kit. You can find a large range of indoor herb garden starter kits on Amazon.com. Below are a few of the most highly rated ones that you may want to look at.
Some time ago a friend commented that she would love to start her own little herb garden but she couldn’t see how she could possibly do that in her studio apartment. So I looked around and I found the perfect solution – Vertical Stackable Gardens. This Stackable Planter Set seems to be very popular with herb enthusiasts who don’t have the luxury of space. Read my review about the Mr. Stacky Self Watering 3-Tier Stackable Garden or buy it directly from Amazon by clicking on the link below.
Tarragon is one of the best herbs to grow indoors in winter as long as you follow a few simple rules.
Tarragon is known for having a longer period of growth and maturing during the colder months. The plant looks like a scraggly mess of mostly roots and stalks during the fall but springs to life during the winter months.
If you want to give your tarragon plants an extra boost, simply place them in the coldest spot in your home. Do this for around 3 – 4 days, then take the plant and place it in a spot that gets an abundance of natural light. A sunroom, patio, and a window that gets a lot of sunlight are ideal spots.
Avoid using any type of chemical fertilizer for your tarragon plant. This herb thrives with natural and organic fertilizer. Try using liquid fertilizer for good coverage and great results.
Thyme is true winter plant. It thrives during winter when the temperatures are really lower. The cold is, in fact, an integral part of the natural life cycle of the thyme. The plant is far less likely to reach full maturity if it is planted in the warmer months.
Thyme normally grows into a shrub and has been closely associated with medicine for hundreds of years. It has been for a wide range of treatments, from aiding digestion, and cardiologic function, to treating issues with the nervous system.
When was the last time you had rosemary? This long-living perennial thrives all year round, which makes it an amazing herb that can be enjoyed through all the four seasons.
It takes very little to grow rosemary. The plant does not require a lot of maintenance and it doesn’t need a whole lot of water either. It is hardy enough to withstand intense weather changes so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank even if you’re looking to experiment and grow a large rosemary bush.
This herb is fantastic for boosting digestion, managing stress headaches, and for maintaining general everyday health.
It’s nearly impossible to talk about herbs without talking about basil. Basil is one of the most widely used and popular spices in the world, and because it exists in so many varieties, nearly every culture has its own basil identity.
Basil is high in potassium, calcium, and vitamins K and A. It is also packed with antioxidants, which makes it so effective at keeping you looking younger longer and protecting you from radiation.
In recent years, it’s been discovered that basil has powerful antibacterial properties and is a great addition to any skin salve or cream for daily use.
Mint is a super strong herb, much in the same way that sage or thyme are strong-flavored and pungent. The scent of mature mint plants can travel quite a few feet.
Plants like mint can be harvested in small amounts without killing the plant as long as you leave enough of the plant to grow new branches and leave in the future.
Studies have shown that ingesting and smelling freshly cut mint can help curb depression and other emotional turbulence. It is rich in iron and vitamin C and has powerful immune-boosting properties. It also helps fight fungal infections that threaten the body.
This plant is more than a popular garnish. This herb plays an important role in the digestive process, as it contains substances that act as the first line of defense against stomach issues, acid reflux, and other digestive conditions.
Parsley can grow in a wide range of climatic conditions and can withstand even harsh winters. It will re-grow even if only the roots and a small amount of the plant are left behind in the soil.
When it’s time to harvest parsley, be sure not to let the parsley dry out, because most of what makes it good for you is at its highest concentration while the herb still has some life to it.
Sage is one of the more difficult herbs to grow in winter. This is because it needs slightly more attention as compared to most other winter herbs. Also, it adapts in very specific ways through the year.
Sage needs a fair amount of direct natural light to thrive. During the cold winter months, the growth of sage slows down a bit, most likely to preserve energy for the harsh weather conditions. A carefully balanced watering schedule is of paramount importance because too much or too little water will kill a sage plant.
Sage gives dishes a fragrant scent and robust flavor. Sager is also great when it’s steeped to make tea, and you can even use it to make a cough suppressant. All you need to do is place some fresh cuts of sage in boiling water for 15 – 20 minutes and strain out the leaves. Let it cool down and use it to gargle. If you want to get extra medicinal, you can add some ginger to double up on some powerful anti-inflammatory power along with antibacterial goodness.
For some people, cilantro is just a bunch of little green leaves that they don’t want on their burrito, but for those who know and love this flavorful little plant, cilantro is a miracle herb that has massive benefits and is used for cooking and medicine in quite few differena t cultures.
One of the best things about cilantro, is that it’s a particularly strong agent that you can use to cleanse the body of many heavy metal deposits that travel through to the digestive tract. This is because cilantro attracts heavy metals on a molecular level.
Cilantro grows with very little maintenance, and should be harvested in the late fall. The freshest cuts of this herb will always be the most effective. You can also use it to flavor an entire batch of sauce to add extra protective properties.
Hyssop grows fairly easily when it’s been placed in a pot, so it can do well indoors and can deal with some relatively cold temperatures. That makes it the perfect herb for winter aside from its amazing properties as an expectorant and a way to reduce mucus thickness.
The blue flowers of the hyssop plant can be used to make infusions for relief from minor illnesses, or you can add it to tea for some throat care. Ingesting more concentrated forms of hyssop can help combat issues with breathing, as it helps with inflammation and the dilation of parts of the lungs. Hyssop also helps lower the blood pressure.
Bay leaves contain massive concentrations of some of the most important minerals in the body like magnesium and manganese. They are full of nutrients that can affect many systems in the body, particularly that of the circulatory system because of its extreme anti-inflammatory effects. Recent studies have proven that it can kill certain types of cancer and can even help to manage conditions like diabetes.
In the past, bay leaves were a primary source of relief for all types of respiratory issues. Adding bay leaves to your tea can pass on many of these benefits including bay leaves ability to protect heart health by give you nutrients that strengthen the cellular walls of major veins and arteries. Bay is easily added to most any meal that contains a small amount of liquid by simply dropping the leaves in the fluid for the duration of the cook time. Try that for a month, and see how much your health has improved.
If you’ve never heard of Chervil, there’s a chance that you’ve seen some mixed with chives in an omelet. This herb is another of the really powerful herbs on this list with a massive reputation for being both versatile and effective for a range of illnesses. In the past, Chervil was used to treat gout, and it’s extremely effective at reducing blood pressure. It’s very rich in the trace minerals that are important for healing like selenium, magnesium, and manganese, so finding other ways to incorporate some chervil into your diet can help improve your health over time.
Chervil also has some pretty amazing benefits for the skin. It’s great for sunburns and can act as a natural disinfectant. You can simply take some fresh chervil, and smash it into a paste that you can either apply in a poultice, to directly to scrapes, burns, and minor cuts. The natural state of chervil makes it good to use in large amounts, and because it doesn’t cause unpleasant burning sensations, it’s a good route to use when one of your children has a minor accident at play time.
This one should be pretty familiar. Lavender is one of the most popular herbs for use in teas and for fragrance. It is widely known and associated with relaxation, and anxiety relief. This plant doesn’t need very frequent watering, but the soil needs to be able to drain well enough to prevent molds and other issues. Lavender flowers around the spring and remains in bloom until summer, so it should be planted in the fall. You can also grow some smaller plants that you can keep indoors part of the day for their air clean properties.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to serve as medical advice. Please consult your doctor before using any natural medication or if you experience any unusual symptoms. See Full Disclaimer here.