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Natural Stress Relief: Herbs for Anxiety, Headaches and More

By Anne McIntyre

[Snip] Gardening is one of the best kinds of preventative medicine, good for all manner of ills. If you love gardening, as I do, you’ve probably experienced that sense of joy derived from hours spent nurturing plants and seeing them develop in shape, form and color. For many people, the garden is their sanctuary, a place of peace and refreshment away from the stress of everyday life. Even if you don’t have space for a garden, you can still create form and beauty — not forgetting wonderful scents — from herbs grown in pots and containers, whether inside or out. When you grow herbs, you will have the reward of harvesting those herbs and using them to enhance your health and well-being.

Growing herbs is an excellent way to get to know plants that are not only beautiful and evocatively scented but are also remarkable medicines. Herbs are a very real part of everyday life: They enliven diet and cuisine, provide valuable ingredients for beauty products, cosmetics, toothpastes, body creams and lotions, and also play an important part in health care.

Many common herbs used by herbalists to help and cure everyday ailments can be found in your kitchen, on your patio or in the garden, in nearby parks, fields and hedgerows, and you can prepare them at home, simply and quickly. A sage gargle, for example, makes an effective cure for sore throats, hot mint and honey drinks ease colds, vinegar soothes wasp stings, and dock leaves rubbed onto nettle stings provide ready relief.

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