If you have already started your herb garden, it is most likely stocked with the old standbys: basil, oregano, mint, rosemary, dill, etc. These herbs are all great for cooking and are also known to have medicinal properties.
However, if you’re looking for something a little different, you should take a look at this uncommon herbs guide. Rare herbs can be both beautiful and useful, especially medicinally, if you take the time to get to know them.
1. Stevia Plant
One uncommon but useful herb is the stevia plant. Stevia is an all-natural sugar substitute that tastes a little bit like Equal but without the chemical aftertaste. Your body can’t metabolize the glucose that stevia produces, so it becomes a no-calorie sweetener. Stevia should be grown indoors as it thrives in a hot and humid climate.
Lavender is a plant that you find in every herbs guide even if most people wouldn’t classify it as an herb because we think of lavenders as delicate purple flowers. However, lavender is used in a lot of different dishes including salad dressing, coffee, and chocolate. Lavender oil is considered good for stings and burns and is also used in many spa treatments. Lavender will survive in a northern climate.
3. Garlic Chives
Combining two common herbs can make an uncommon delight. This is the case with garlic chives. They are chives with just a hint of garlic flavor. The onion taste of the chives still comes through as well. This herb is a great substitute for true garlic, especially raw in a salad. As an added bonus, garlic chives produce a smell that will deter garden pests.
An herbs guide would have to include the wonderful Valerian which is considered a great companion plant as it attracts earthworms and stimulates phosphorus in the vicinity of vegetables and herbs. Valerian tea used as a monthly foliar spray helps to promote healthy, disease-resistant plants.
Read also: How To Start An Herbal Tea Garden
You may have eaten lovage in a salad at a fancy restaurant and not even known it. Lovage is a tall herb, reaching up to almost six feet in height. It is a perennial, so it will survive the winter and grow back next year. Lovage leaves look a little like lettuce but taste like sweet celery.
6. St. John’s Wort
St. John’s Wort is an herb grown for the medicine cabinet, not the table. It is a very hardy plant suited to cold climates and will come back every year. You will see that it so readily thrives in your garden that it starts encroaching on your other plants. The leaves of St. John’s Wort can be dried and made into a tea that is good for soothing your nerves.
Comfrey is a remarkable herb to have in the garden. It is rich in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphate and so makes a good fertilizer if you soak a few leaves in water for a month and then strain and use it as you would any liquid fertilizer.
Gobo is a kind of Japanese root and for that reason, not every herbs guide mentions gobo as a herb although both the root and the leaves of this plant are edible. The leaves act a little like spinach and have a similar taste. The young root can be eaten raw, but longer, older roots should be cooked. It is thought that gobo is a good choice for eating if you have too many toxins building up in your body and causing you to get sick. It is said to removes toxins from the body.
9. Leopard’s Bane
Leopard’s Bane is an herb found wild in many parts of Europe. However, it is a protected species so you shouldn’t pluck it wild. Leopard’s Bane is a strictly medicinal herb with known anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. Some common uses include a topical application to areas afflicted with arthritis, burns, or acne.
No matter what herbs you decide to grow from this uncommon herbs guide, know that you will find an unexpected medicinal or culinary treasure that will grow and delight you for years to come.
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