The Heady Smell of Herbs

I’ve been dutifully composting my food scraps using the 10-pot system and it’s been about 7 months now.
Don of Green Crusaders (that’s him below) taught me this system and since using it, I’ve never had to throw out any food scraps! I have actually reduced the amount of rubbish I throw out as I compost mostly everything (except unedible and inorganic stuff).
This is Don, the tireless eco crusader!
I can safely report that all’s fine and I couldn’t tell you how pleased I was to find big, fat earthworms in my compost a few months ago. Earthworms make the job easier! Of course besides the earthworms, there’s a host of bugs, milipedes, ants and such but that’s part and parcel of the composting process.
But there is no smell. No stink. That is the beauty of Don’s 10-pot system. It’s really simple once you get the system all set up. And you don’t need to buy those plastic bins or composting contraptions which look really huge and ugly.
Now with enough compost, I can start my little herb garden. (Compost must be mixed well with regular red earth in 1:1 portions. Compost on its own will kill plants as it is too ‘nutritious’!)
I’ve always been interested in gardening. I wouldn’t say I’m Miss Green Finger but I do enjoy getting my hands dirty, watching plants grow and best of all, eating what I grow. That’s the best organic kind of food.
Of late, I’ve been poking around C&L Nursery (opposite Convent Green Lane) and buying pots of herbs.
Rosemary is one herb I really adore, especially its heady aroma as one brushes against its spiny leaves. I am still figuring if it needs direct sunlight or not as my previous pot of rosemary died after 2 years (that pot was kept on the balcony away from direct light). I don’t really use rosemary for cooking – I just want to inhale its fragrance!
Next I came across a type of mint which smells like lemon. Its mint leaves are thin and papery but again, it smells like lemon and lemongrass when you light brush your hands over its leaves. Again I bought this because of its citrusy smell.
Recently a friend gave me two cuttings of Indian borage. It is also known as local oregano because it smells just like that!
Indian borage
The heart-shaped leaves of the Indian borage are thick. big and hairy. In Malay, it is known as Daun Bangun-bangun. Apparently it is a hardy plant but what makes it attractive as a must-have herb in the garden is its ability to help with coughs. A fresh leaf boiled with some water is a good tea to sip if you have persistent coughing. Or pick a leaf and chew it if you have a sore throat.
And here’s more uses for Indian borage – if you have a blocked nose, crush some leaves and inhale.
If you have skin problems or insect bites, crush the leaves and use as a poultice.
If you have dandruff, use an infusion to rinse your hair.
This herb seems to be multipurpose. You can use it for increasing milk flow for new moms, to reduce flatulence and stomach cramps, to reduce menstrual pain and insomnia. Oh yes, it can also get rid of kidney stones!
Besides these herbs, I am also trying my hand at growing turmeric, plantago, basil and Thai basil. There’s something really special when you can eat the stuff you grow!

5 thoughts on “The Heady Smell of Herbs”

  1. I’m really interested in the Daun Bangun-bangun plant.. I need to go to my local garden/florist shop and see if they have that plant in stock! Anyways, first time reader; your writing..I thought it was a male blogger. Oops.

    • Hi Jenny: Thanks for leaving your comment. Haha, maybe I write like a testosterone-laden person. 😉 Or perhaps it is because I am opinionated. The daun bangun-bangun plant is easy to grow. So much so it is invading my garden!

    • Hi Dahlia: Sorry for this late reply. I will send you the ebook that I wrote on this. You’re the first person getting the ebook so let me know your feedback and if the instructions are clear.


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