Did you know a lot many herbs we use in our everyday lives can be grown indoors in water? Below is a list of 10 herbs you can grow in water in your own house (do note that it is imperative that the leaves of the fresh cuttings of the herbs you use don’t touch the water as they can rot very easily and can spoil the water):
One of the most popular herbs in the world because of its medicinal uses, peppermint, a cross between watermint and spearmint, is a must-have for your kitchen. Being a hybrid it is sterile – it produces no seeds – and grows vegetatively and except for a few places, can grow anywhere. Peppermint has got a variety of uses; its leaves are commonly used in herbal teas which are great for weight loss and good digestion. Apart from that, as peppermint has a high menthol content, it is also commonly used for flavoring in ice-creams, toothpastes and chewing gums. Oil is also extracted from this valuable herb which has a lot of medicinal uses including, but not limited to, treatment of irritable bowel syndrome, while its aroma has many advantages, including enhancing memory and alertness.
Another mint with a lot of medicinal and household uses, spearmint is another herb which can very easily be grown indoors. Just like peppermint, it is used to aid in digestion, while other benefits include providing relief in cases of nausea, cold, stomach distress and headaches. It grows well in nearly all climatic conditions and is usually grown in pots because, just like peppermint, it has a very fast growth and is quite invasive. Spearmints can be used in different ways and does not lose its properties whether used fresh, dried or even frozen, while it can be preserved in salt, oil, sugar or alcohol. Spearmints are also used for their aromatic oil which has a lot of medicinal uses including alleviating headaches, sore throat, muscle pain, fatigue and stress.
Famous for the exquisite taste it brings to Italian cuisines, especially pizzas, oregano is one of the most important culinary items used in the kitchen and is another one of the herbs which can most easily be grown indoors. Oregano has various uses and is popular for its aromatic, warm and slightly bitter taste which’s intensity varies according to the climate in which it was cultivated. Various cuisines around the world use the herb for adding flavor to their foods, while it is most prominently used as a staple herb in Italian-American cuisines such as pastas, pizzas etc. In addition to enhancing the taste of different dishes, oregano has a lot of health benefits as well which include protecting and strengthening the human body’s immunity system. Other than that, oregano improves digestion, detoxifies the body, strengthens the bones and improves the heart’s health.
Nicknamed the ‘king of herbs’, Basil is another herb you certainly would want to have at your disposal all the time and can easily be grown indoors. It is the main ingredient of the popular Italian sauce pesto and is used in a variety of cuisines around the world. It is most commonly used fresh in cooked dishes – dried basil loses its flavor very quickly – and is added at the last moment in any dish because cooking it destroys its flavor. In addition to its culinary use, basil is also extremely useful in calming the stomach and alleviating cough and colds. It also is extremely useful in treating insect sting and bites, ear infections and is very effective in reducing stress. To grow basil indoors, take fresh cuttings just before they are about to flower and place them in the water pots; make sure that they are kept in a warm, bright place.
An important herb with numerous benefits, sage can also be grown indoors. To get the best out of this essential herb, it is advised to use soft cuttings in spring and place them in water pots in the kitchen or any place where it can get plenty of light and air as it is prone to mildew. Sage is one of the most widely used culinary herbs and has, for generations, been listed as one of the most essential herbs in Britain along with parsley, rosemary and thyme. Apart from Britain, it also appears in many Italian, Middle Eastern, Balkan and American cuisines and is an essential ingredient for roasted turkey or chicken on Christmas and Thanksgiving. Apart from culinary use, sage has a lot of health benefits which include improved memory, increased alertness and improved moods, while patients of Alzheimer’s disease have also shown marked cognitive improvement.
A must-have for all the fitness enthusiasts out there, stevia, a natural sweetener, can also be very easily grown indoors. All it needs is a warm place and plenty of light; do that and you have a very effective sugar substitute within your reach all the time. Stevia has a chemical compound which is 150 times sweeter than sugar and has negligible effects on blood sugar making it ‘THE’ thing to have for anyone looking to lose some weight without having to give up the sweet flavors of life. Naturally, this has led to a lot of commercial uses for the herb with many companies, which include beverage giants Coca-Cola as well, using it to add sweetness to their products while it is a delight for companies producing weight-loss products. Stevia is also great for those looking to keep their blood pressure in check, while it can also be used to lower blood glucose levels and fight diabetes.
Another mint-family herb which can be grown indoors with ease, lemon balm has numerous health benefits and a sweet lemony aroma which is a welcome treat in any home. The perennial herb’s leaves are often used in making tea, mostly along with peppermint as both herbs complement each other very well, and also as flavoring for various culinary uses. It is also used to add flavor in ice-creams, candies and fruit dishes. Do keep in mind that lemon balm flowers have a lot of nectar in it and can attract a lot of honey bees so if you are not fans of the busy insects, then you should exercise caution when growing this herb inside. Lemon balm needs a warm place and a lot of indirect sunlight to grow while it can take up to 3-4 weeks to develop roots. The herb is prone to mildew so it has to be taken care of regularly which includes changing the water at frequent intervals.
A perennial herb of the sunflower family, tarragon, especially French tarragon, is another herb which can be grown indoors. The best results come from spring cuttings after new growth appears, while fall cuttings may take longer to grow roots. Tarragon has two major variations: French tarragon and Russian tarragon. The former has a lot of culinary uses, while the latter is great for use in salads and cooked food (it doesn’t have the same aroma and taste as its French counterpart though). One of the four fine herbs of French cooking, French tarragon has numerous uses and goes well with chicken, fish and egg dishes. Different cultures have different uses for the herb with some using it in soft drinks, others in salad, while it is also the main component of the delicious Béarnaise sauce.
One of the most essential components of British cuisines, thyme, the evergreen mint-family herb, can also be very comfortably grown indoors. Thyme has a lot of medicinal, culinary and ornamental uses, while its aroma is most commonly used to treat coughing. The herb is used in different capacities in different cuisines around the world, while it is the main component of the bouquet garni which is mainly used for making soups and various stews. In addition to adding flavor to dishes, thyme has a lot of medical uses as well which include being used as an antiseptic in various commercial products, such as the popular mouthwash Listerine. Thyme is also used to treat bronchitis, while its chemical components make it very effective for hand-sanitizers. New cuttings, which are green in color, must be used for indoor growing as the ones which are stiff and brown are not as effective. They need to be put in water as soon as they are cut as they can dry out pretty fast.
A perennial herb famous for its fragrant and evergreen leaves, rosemary can also be grown indoors without any hassles. The herb is known to have countless culinary and medicinal uses, while it is also used as an ornamental plant in gardens because of its white, pink, purple or blue flowers. Rosemary also has pest-resistant qualities thereby making it a great addition to the garden. Used mainly as flavoring in various foods such as stuffings and roast meat, rosemary has a bitter, astringent taste which complements with various dishes. It is also used in herbal teas along with other herbs. In addition to culinary uses, the rosemary herb is known to boost memory, improve mood, reduce stress, strengthen the immunity system, stimulate blood flow and relieve pain in addition to the many other benefits it has.