Winter can mean colds and flu, especially if you live or work in a public service environment or school. If you have kids you know first hand how they can drag home everything from school. It seems like in the deepest winter everything you touch needs to be soaked in Lysol and hands must be washed every few minutes. This year, keep up your healthy hygiene, it’s your first prevention, but head off feeling under the weather by using one or all of these easy food cures.

Not to mention, having a windowsill herb garden will add some tasty flavor to your dinner menu. Just think, as your making delicious chicken you’re keeping your family healthy with a few flavor food cures.

You can usually get seedlings from a local greenhouse, or, if your ambitious you can sprout your own from seeds. Make sure to follow the growing instructions and care for your seedlings carefully in order to help them help you.

1. Basil

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You can grow this annual in a windowsill, plucking the white flowers before they bloom to prevent it from going to seed. Use the crushed leaves in a foot bath or rubbed against the temples to relieve headaches. It also tastes great chopped and added to most dishes. This fragrant herb has anti-inflammatory benefits and anti-bacterial benefits. The perfect extra boost to any dinner, whether added directly or blended into a homemade pesto, Check out the recipe here..

2. Lemon Balm

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Make sure you pot this little plant or it’ll take over your garden. It’s leaves are great for keeping bugs away when rubbed on the skin. It’s also a natural way to heal and prevent cold sores. Lemon Balm also works great to calm the mind and help promote restful sleep. While it may help calm the mind, it also has the side effect of promoting a positive outlook and creating alertness.

Check out this Lemon Balm Lemonade and more great ideas from Healing From Home Remedies

LEMON BALM LEMONADE – This lemon balm recipe makes about 6 cups and has only about 36 calories per cup! Of course, you can add more honey if you like it a little sweeter but that will up the calories. You’ll need:

  • 3 cups loosely packed, fresh lemon balm leaves (or about 1 cup dried)
  • 6 cups hot water
  • Juice of 4 fresh lemons (around 1 cup)
  • 3 Tablespoons honey (I wonder how pure maple syrup would taste in this?)

Put the leaves in the bottom of a 2 quart pitcher. Lightly crush the leaves with a wooden spoon or plastic potato masher. Pour the hot water over the leaves and let it steep around 1 hour. After an hour, strain the leaves then add the lemon juice and honey.

Stir it well before serving. Add a small sprig of lemon balm as a garnish if your feeling fancy. This refreshing tea is wonderful either hot or cold!

3. Lavender

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The perfect little plant to keep for stress, the sweet smell alone can help calm you down if you’re likely an anxious or easily wound up person. In and of itself, lavender has great anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. Make sure this sun-loving plant has plenty of light gravely soil. One of the best uses is to crush a handful into a pot of boiling water or in a warm bath to help sooth you. Culinary quality lavender can be sprinkled on yogurt to help gut health.

Utilize the joys of lavender in anyone of the easy lavender detox baths recipes.

4. Sage

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You might think of safe brush filled prairies when you think about this plant, but this sweet smelling plant is the perfect addition to your office or home window garden. It’s a versatile little plant which, when gargled with it, can relieve a sore throat, it’s also known to strengthen the nervous system and improve memory. Sage also has anti-spasmodic effects on the smooth muscle and can sooth an asthma attack. Make sure you keep this little guy in full sun with a light sandy soil.

Add a little sage to your next meal with this yummy brown butter sage sauce.

5. Rosemary

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This little plant loves to bask in the sun, and, when used in a tea, can help with Season Affective Disorder (SAD) and the occasional hangover. Quite the powerhouse of an herb, Rosemary is a good source of iron, calcium, and Vitamin B6. It’s been touted to boost the immune system, improve memory, sooth muscle pain, and help with circulation.

Get a healthy dose of rosemary by infusing your favorite olive oil with it.

Whether you grow all of them, or just one or two, you can bet the additions above all have anti-inflammatory and potential immune boosting health benefits. Make sure to check with your doctor if you’re pregnant or have health issues before adding in herbs for medicinal properties.

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