Essential oils give plants their unique flavors and aromas, which is a large part of what attracts us to them. Growing plants for their essential oils is a fun way to explore the world of plant medicine, and to receive their aromatherapy.
5 Best Essential Oils for Gardening
All plants have essential oils, but they are not all easy to access if you don’t have your own still.
Below I’ve listed my top 5 plants for growing in a home garden.
I chose these plants because they can easily be used in everyday life, they are relatively easy to grow, their essential oils are plentiful in the part of the plant that’s also edible, and they are wonderful in culinary dishes, teas, and added to baths.
Melissa grows low to the ground, like mint, and makes a lovely ground cover within a garden space.
In aromatherapy, melissa is well regarded as one of the world’s most potent medicines. It’s commonly used as a remedy for shock and trauma, insomnia, migraines, dementia, and for viruses, especially when the symptom is cold sores.
The essential oil of melissa is contained in the leaves which can be used to make a light, sweet lemony tea. It’s known to be very soothing and perfect before bedtime with a little honey.
The leaves can be crushed gently between the fingers for essential oil inhalation. They can be eaten directly from the plant, but it may not be the most pleasant taste to some people.
The leaves can also be chopped up and tossed into a salad, or cooked into savory or sweet dishes. Some people like to stuff chicken with Melissa for its lemony flavor.
The tasty and aromatic spikes on the rosemary plant are full of essential oils. Sometimes I go over to my rosemary plant and give it a hug while enjoying its calming yet energizing aroma.
Rosemary is a wonderful plant to have around just for the fact that you can walk up and smell the sprigs without the need to crush them. You also can pop a spike in your mouth and chew it up for a lovely flavor with benefits.
Use rosemary as a tea or chopped up and sprinkled on any number of sweet or savory dishes. The essential oils is known to help with digestion, skin conditions, and cognitive function.
Tarragon is favored amongst chefs for its spicy and unique sweetness. Known as “little dragon” and “king of herbs”, tarragon has been used as a medicinal herb for centuries and is thought to have mildly psychoactive properties.
Benefits of tarragon essential oils include hormone regulation, digestive relaxant, diuretic, and aphrodisiac. This herb stimulates the liver to produce bile.
Its leaves are edible with a lovely delicate flavor. They can easily be added to salads or any other cold or hot dishes. It can also be added to a bath or made into a tea.
A deliciously sweet lemony smelling (and tasing) plant, lemongrass is a star in Thai cuisine. It can also be made into tea.
The essential oils are contained in the leaves, which are long, narrow, and flexible. They have a fountain-like appearance that looks majestic in the garden. You can’t snack on this leaf, but you can add it to your culinary dishes and to baths.
Lemongrass essential oil is used to relieve respiratory issues, and for its uplifting and relaxing aroma.
Lemongrass is an insect repellent, except to bees. Beekeepers use our lemongrass essential oils to help them attract bees to their hives.
The leaves of peppermint make a lovely treat to taste while walking or working in the garden. Peppermint grows low to the ground, and it tends to spread out.
Its leaves can easily be chopped and made into a tea or added to your chocolate concoctions or other desserts. On a hot day, the leaves can be added to a cool bath to reduce stored heat from the body’s tissues.
Peppermint essential oil is used for bowel health, sleep issues, for calming, and to open the lungs.
This article was originally published on Porch.com
on a page full of advice from indoor gardening experts.