9 Medicinal Plants To Grow At Home In Winter

In autumn, when the dacha season ends and the garden begins to prepare for winter, we really want to preserve the summer flavors and transfer something to our windowsills. If you have time before the first frosts, you can extend the life of some medicinal plants and create a small apothecary garden on your windowsill. What plants are suitable for this purpose? What care they need at home, and how to use their useful properties in medicine or cooking? In this article I will tell you about 9 medicinal plants, which I successfully grow in winter at home.

9 medicinal plants to grow at home in winter
Thistleaf (Achillea millefolium L.). © Elena Vetrova

Medicinal plants I became interested long ago, back in my student days. Our summer practice in botany was in the Moscow region, in the village of Teryaevo. Nearby is situated Joseph-Volotsky monastery (at that time it was called Joseph-Volokolamsky), that is where we lived. From the very morning all groups with their teachers went to the forest, to the field, to the lakeside.

Each group had its own herbarium folder, for sure - a dustpan, notepad. Classes were always going on at a brisk pace. And here - a chance meeting. At the edge of the field, two old women, who later turned out to be mother and daughter, were collecting yarrow. We got to talking.

I remember how struck the answer to the question:   - What is the herb?   - From death.

1. Yarrow

This very unpretentious perennial plant. Easily tolerates even a severe drought. Loves open, sunny areas. In nature grows in any soil, though overwatering tolerates with difficulty. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is a medicinal and culinary plant. Its fragrance is tough, deep, bitter, spicy, warm.

Peculiarities of growing yarrow in the room

In my opinion, it is one of the most suitable plants for room keeping that can be taken from the garden. Especially if in advance, for example, in August, plant in a pot a part of the rhizome yarrow with root leaves, and cut the stem at a height of 5-7 cm above the ground. Soil should be prepared sufficiently nutritious, drained, not acidic, slightly moistened. Leave the pot in the garden until the weather starts to deteriorate.

By the time of "relocation" to the windowsill a compact bush should be formed. At home yarrow flower stalks very rarely appear, and it happens only in spring, but the root leaves grow well.

Yarrow easily tolerates transplantation and pruning, even the most radical.

Yarrow medicine application

The whole above-ground part of the plant contains a lot of essential oil, which includes azulene. Therefore, yarrow acts as a disinfectant, anti-inflammatory and anticonvulsant.

Yarrow fresh leaves are crushed on burns and on cuts to disinfect wounds and stop bleeding. Fresh or dried leaves are scalded with boiling water, wrapped in a napkin and applied to sore joints.

9 medicinal plants to grow at home in winter
The entire above-ground part of yarrow contains much essential oil, which includes azulene. © Elena Vetrova

Use of yarrow in cooking

The root leaves of yarrow and flowers are used as a seasoning, they are used both fresh and dried.

A surprisingly fragrant seasoning for meat, especially for fatty foods, is obtained from dried basil leaves and flowers (3 parts), yarrow leaves (1 part) and a small amount of black pepper with salt - all grinded in a coffee grinder.

You can make several kinds of seasonings at home using dried yarrow leaves, grinding them in a coffee grinder with juniper berries, dried leaves of sage, rosemary, red sweet pepper, apples.

I often use dried apple slices, especially sour ones, for spicy "compositions". Do not forget to add salt and optionally black or white pepper to the herbs in the grinder.

Some fresh root leaves of yarrow are placed in the form for baking fish. I am sure: the one who will try such a dish, the next time will put more leaves.

Sometimes yarrow is able to cause allergies, which is manifested in the appearance of a specific skin rash. In this case, its use should be discontinued.

Follow the list of medicinal plants that you can grow indoors on the next page.

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