Bergamot is popular with bees

Bergamot health benefits: for digestive problems and bad breath

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Bergamot is another of those herbs occasionally mistaken for a mint, one of its alternative names being bergamot mint, but it’s not closely related, although it does share the mint genus’s habit of being invasive. Other names by which it is known are crimson or scarlet bee balm – it’s not closely related to lemon…


Spanish sage smells like spicy lavender

Spanish Sage health benefits: great memory aid

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

The recent news about Gingko biloba is disappointing. In case you missed it, the BBC publicized a recent study┬áby Imperial College, London, testing the effects of Gingko on memory in those suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease (AD), in comparison with a placebo. These results confirmed a previous study published in New Scientist of August 2002, which concluded “Gingko biloba has no beneficial effect…


European pennyroyal likes a good trampling

Pennyroyal health benefits: noble maybe, but not wholesome

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Today’s herb is the European pennyroyal, Mentha pulegium, and specifically not the American pennyroyal, Hedeoma pulegioides, which is not closely related.

Pennyroyal is a protected species, and is becoming difficult to find in the wild, though it does grow in abundance in the New Forest and on the shores of Lough Beg in Northern Ireland, according to the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. Its natural habitat is…


Ginger mint is used for making chewing gum

Ginger Mint health benefits: for headache, fever and digestive disorders

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Ginger mint is also known as red mint and little-leaved mint. The latin name is Mentha x gentilis, though you may find it labeled Mentha x gracilis or even Mentha viridis spicata (which is incorrect – this is the latin name of the spearmint). Like other mints, it’s invasive. It likes rich moist soil, and is happy in…


Corsican mint makes good ground cover

Corsican Mint health benefits: for headache, fever and indigestion

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

A native of Europe, particularly Italy, Sardinia and Corsica, Corsican mint (Mentha requienii) is a very low growing plant which creeps to spread over an area around 50cm (20 inches) in diameter. This makes it useful for ground cover, but as it self-seeds readily, it can become invasive. Give it a place in the sun, although it will not mind being shaded for part of the day. It may die off…


Apple mint has a fruity smell

Apple Mint health benefits: for indigestion, headaches and fever

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Apple mint (Mentha suaveolens), sometimes called pineapple mint, round-leaved mint or woolly mint, is another invasive mint which will take over if you let it.

Grow it in a big pot in a sunny or partially shaded position, bearing in mind that it is likely to reach 1m (3 feet) in height. It will do best if grown in good soil and not allowed to dry…


This is the mint used to make mint sauce

Mint or Spearmint health benefits: for colic, hiccups, bad breath and safe for kids

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Mint, as the British generally call it, otherwise known as spearmint or green mint (Mentha viridis spicata), is found in almost every garden somewhere, not least because once it has taken hold, it tends to spread as far as you let it. Like its cousin, the peppermint, it’s best grown in a…


Peppermint can be invasive, grow in a sunken pot

Peppermint health benefits: not just for toothpaste

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Peppermint, Mentha x piperita officinalis, is one of the most important remedial members of the Mentha genus, although it is actually a hybrid, which explains its vigorous growth, although even true species in this group tend to be invasive. Grow it in a big pot sunk into the ground, unless you want to be battling against…


Clary is an attractive member of the Sage genus

Clary Sage health benefits: once called Cleareye

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

Cleareye is a less common name for the herb usually known as clary or clary sage (Salvia sclarea). It’s a close relative of the common sage, as you might expect, and is not generally used for cooking, although in the past the leaves were sometimes dipped in batter and used to make fritters,…


Sage is helpful for the menopause

Sage health benefits: versatile multi-purpose herb

Originally published on Herbal Medicine from Your Garden

(A video covering the main points in this post can be found at Sage Health Benefits)

Sage (Garden or Kitchen Sage), Salvia officinalis, is the last member of the big four immortalized by Simon and Garfunkel (based on a folk song of unknown age). Leaf colors vary from green to greenish gray, which are most likely to be seen, and purplish-red (var. purpurascens). The…