Herbs for good health

Robin Hanbury-Tenison, an 84 year old British explorer and Corona Virus survivor, recently told his extraordinary story about his belief in the healing powers of gardens in a video featured on Spotlight South West. Whether you believe in the healing powers of plants or not, or more specifically herbs, spending time around plants and growing gardens are certainly a fun and relaxing things to do.

One tends to forget that before modern healthcare and big pharmaceutical companies, people made use of natural remedies for various ailments.  Many cultures who still use plants and herbs for medicinal purposes. In addition, the affordability and pure convenience of being able to take advantage of nature’s gifts, like Robin Hanbudy-Tenison did, should be enough to motivate anyone to start a little garden or planter box.

As we age, our bodies and minds change and therefore, so do our nutritional needs. Naturally older adults are at a higher risk of developing health problems and it is vital that the right foods are included in our diets. It makes perfect sense then to take advantage of the many benefits of some of the herbs we often already have right now in our gardens.

Here are some ornamental garden herbs that can be grown and brewed as tea, to treat certain ailments very successfully:


Lavender is acclaimed for its soothing properties, and is commonly used as a sleep aid. Perhaps this is due to the positive effects it has on mental health in general. Brewing tea using Lavender before bedtime, can help reduce feelings of anxiety and stress, calming the mind.


Peppermint is a must have in most gardens if only for its wonderful smell! More importantly though, the methanol in Peppermint is an effective anti-spasmodic. It can be used to treat an upset stomach, whilst at the same time boosting the immune system.

Russian Sage

Russian Sage is a fantastic perennial plant that can help with breaking a fever. One can either brew it and make tea or simply inhale the aromatic steam from boiled leaves. It also assists in clearing blocked nasal passageways and any congestion caused by respiratory issues.


Thyme is known to be an effective antioxidant and is rich in vitamins A and C, which helps to strengthen the immune system. Similarly to Sage, Thyme can also be use in treating conditions related to the respiratory system.

Here is a basic Russian Sage Tea recipe to get started:

  1. Boil a pot of water.
  2. Add 2 sprigs of fresh sage.
  3. Pour into a cup and allow to stand for 5 minutes.
  4. Add some honey (or agave) or squeeze some juice from a wedge of lemon.

It is always best to consult with your doctor before experimenting with a new diet, and whether or not these herbs alleviate sleep disorders or ease breathing, with their eye catching flowers or wonderful scents to freshen up your garden, they are certainly worth including in your garden!