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|How to Design An Herbal Garden |
Posted On 2009-03-19 , 2:13 PM
Regardless of the many uses of herbs - keep in mind that they are food and can be used for healing, medicine, and natural remedies. Beside the health benefits, they make a pleasing garden all on their own.
The purpose of your herbal garden should influence the design of your garden. So the first step to consider is your purpose. Is your purpose for looks, culinary, cooking, herbal teas, medicinal or herbal nutrition?
Once you have established your purpose you need to consider their soil and watering requirements and put them in compatible groups in the garden bed. At this point you also need to take into consideration the location. Is it mostly sunny, shady or sheltered by a wall, fence or hedge?
Now choose the herbs accordingly to which ones grow in your particular conditions. I call this the process of elimination.
Herbs will grow in most well drained soils. It is best to have a south sloping garden site. The plants that require full sun can be placed near the top of the slope, and the plants that require shade and more moisture can be placed at the bottom. The slope helps with drainage. Make a diagram of your herbal garden on paper. Mark down where you want to plant each herb. Take into account the sun, shade, slope and drainage. Keeping in mind that the plants will spread out as they grow and will take up more space.
You can grow plants from seeds or buy young plants from a nursery. Place herbs in the locations you marked on your paper diagram.
Their are also a few herbs that do not respond well to being moved, such as chervil. Most other herbs can be safely transplanted to other areas should you change your mind about where you planted them.
You can also random plant in a regular garden. This will provide a "wild effect" appearance and works well for herbs that need to grow near rocks or be shadowed by taller plants. Others need full sun. Smaller herbs need smaller spaces.
Growing herbs in containers can be moved around to change the layout of a porch, patio or garden.
Do you have any herbal garden tips you would like to share?
|Bioflavonoids - Vitamins Or Medicine?|
Posted On 2009-03-11 , 6:30 AM
Bioflavonoids, also known as flavonoids, are not true vitamins and they are sometimes referred to as Vitamin P. The body can not produce bioflavonoids, nor can they be stored in the body, they must be supplied in the diet. At first they were considered vitamins, then medicine, then neither.
Vitamin P prevents the tiny holes in the capillary walls from becoming too large and letting viruses through as well as nutrition and allowing the red corpuscles to leak out in hemorrhages.
There is no evidence that bioflavonoids are essential for our health or that we develop any deficiency symptoms when we do not have them. However, they are known to enhance the absorption of vitamin C.
They are used extensively for athletic injuries because they relieve pain, bumps and bruises. In addition, they have an antibacterial effect and promote circulation, stimulate bile production, lower cholesterol levels and treat cataracts.
The potential health benefits of bioflavonoids is that they may help strengthen capillaries , improve immunity, fight cancer and reduce inflammation.
There are more than 800 known bioflavonoids, but the most common are hesperidin, rutin and quercetin. Medicinal properties include their potential role in cancer prevention and cardiovascular disease.
Hesperidin acts as an antioxidant, contributes to the integrity of the blood vessels, reduces cholesterol and blood pressure, decreases bone density loss, has anti-inflammatory effects, sedative effects and suppresses infections.
Rutin, found in buckwheat, acts as an antioxidant, strengthens capillaries (which may help prevent varicose veins and hemorrhoids) and lower the risk of heart disease.
Quercetin used as a nutritional supplement, has been promoted as being effective against a wide variety of diseases including cancer.
Bioflavonoids are tiny colored crystals that give many fruits and vegetables their color of red, blue and yellow. They are found in the skin and pulp of citrus fruits and lemon is the best source.
Several studies have suggested that the bioflavonoids catechin, hesperidin and quercetin may help fight the viruses that cause herpes, respiratory ailments and flu. Another study showed that the bioflavonoids nobiletin and tangeretin interfere with the growth of cancer cells in the lab. Other researchers have found that bioflavoniods improve immunity and help reduce inflammation.
Most experts agree that if you wish to consume more bioflavonoids, the best way is to eat more fruits and vegetables and drink more fruit juices.
Good food sources for bioflavonoids include fruit juices, citrus fruits, black currant, green peppers, cherries, berries, grapes, apricots, papaya, tomatoes and broccoli.
Herbal sources include hawthorn berries, horsetail and shepherd's purse.
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