Health, Fitness and Wellness

7 useful plants you should grow at home

Looking for house plants or easy plants to grow? These are 7 useful plants you should grow at home. Learn about these 7 medicinal plants and their uses. #firsttimemommy #commonhouseplants #usefulplants #MyFriendAlexa #anshuwrites

7 useful plants you should grow at home

No visit to the green grocer is ever complete without these useful herbs – mint leaves, kadhi patta, coriander. So why not grow them in your home. They don’t take much space or require special gardening skills. They are easy plants to grow and thrive on sunshine and water at your window sill or in the balcony. And just imagine the authentic bursts of flavours they can provide to your food, not to forget their medicinal properties. Here are 7 useful plants you should grow at home.

Looking for house plants or easy plants to grow? These are 7 useful plants you should grow at home. Learn about these 7 medicinal plants and their uses. #firsttimemommy #commonhouseplants #usefulplants #MyFriendAlexa #anshuwrites

7 useful plants you should grow at home

Ajwain or oregano: One of the best plants for balcony in India and a very important spice or herb used in Indian kitchens, ajwain is an excellent home remedy for tummy upsets and treatment for cold and nasal/chest congestion.

Boil a few leaves in water and have a little of this concoction to treat stomach disorders such as bloating, indigestion, abdominal pain, diarrhoea or colic and chest congestion. The leaves are used in chutney or sometimes eaten as fries – they are coated in thick chick pea batter and fried, and served with some freshly made mint-coriander chutney.

How to take care of ajwain plant: Ajwain grows fast like nettle and can overrun other plants in the hedge. It’s better to grow it in a pot and trim it regularly. You can fill many pots with its cuttings. I had got a small trimming from Kolkata and it thrived in a small pot in my balcony in Mumbai.

Tulsi or Holy Basil: Tulsi is a common house plant and holds a very important position in every Indian household. In India, no puja is complete without offering the deity a few fresh Tulsi leaves. Also, we worship this plant, offer water and light a lamp near it every morning and evening. In fact, the auspicious wedding season starts with the ceremony of Tulsi vivah where Tulsi is married to Shaligram (avatar of Krishna).

This is an excerpt from the mythology that my father had told me – During Sagar Manthan (ocean churning) between the devas (gods) and asuras (demons), Dhanvantari appears from the ocean with a pot of amrit (elixir). She sheds happy tears and the first drop falls in the pot of Amrit and Tulsi is formed.

What do you why Tulsi is given so much importance? Well, Tulsi has antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, germicidal and disinfectant properties, no wonder then it is called the queen of herbs or the elixir of life. Click To Tweet It is used for treating fever and common cold, cough and respiratory problems, sore throat, asthma, stress, etc.

In my household, we boil tulsi leaves in water and drink that concoction daily. It keeps our cold, cough and respiratory problems in check.

There are various species of Tulsi, however, Rama Tulsi which is light green in colour and Shyama Tulsi (Krishna Tulsi) which has leaves with purple hue are easily available and most popular.

How to take care of Tulsi plant: Tulsi plant needs ample sunlight, however don’t place it under very harsh sun. Water it regularly – neither more nor less. It’s seeds which are called manjari can be scattered in pots which then grows into a Tulsi plant.

Looking for house plants or easy plants to grow? These are 7 useful plants you should grow at home. Learn about these 7 medicinal plants and their uses. #firsttimemommy #commonhouseplants #usefulplants #MyFriendAlexa #anshuwrites

7 useful plants you should grow at home

Kadhi patta or curry leaves: Kadhi patta is widely used in Indian cooking and is also a powerhouse of nutrients. It fights anaemia, controls cholesterol, improves digestion, treats and prevents skin infections, helps in diarrhea, sharpens memory, etc. No doubt, it’s considered a very useful plant to be had in the kitchen garden.

You can chew the leaves raw or boil in water and then drink that water. Or make chutney with the leaves.

How to take care of kadhi patta plant: It needs well drained soil and lots of heat. Just put the plant under direct sunlight, water it regularly and you are golden. Just check for mealy bugs from time to time.

Pudina or mint: Think of mint and you can smell the sense awakening aroma of mint leaves. There are many benefits of mint leaves. Mint contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It’s helpful in treating allergies. The menthol in mint leaves helps in common cold and sore throat, upset stomach or indigestion, pain relief, IBS, insect bites, rash or other skin related reactions. And of course, it’s commonly used as a mouth freshener.

Mint provides great flavours to coriander chutney. It is also chopped and sprinkled on raitas, salads and biryanis.

How to take care of mint plant: Mint grows very easily and is quite prolific. Plant in a pot or it will take over your other herbs or plants. Place the pot in a sunny balcony.

Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is one of the 7 useful plants to grow in your home. We all know it’s a tremendous ingredient for skin ailments like acne, rash and sunburn and a great conditioner for hair. But aloe is also used to treat burns, cuts and insect bites. And, it’s a very effective ingredient for stretch marks.

How to take care of aloe vera plant: It’s a succulent, so doesn’t need too much water or direct sunlight to grow. It reproduces many children around the mother plant, use them to fill more pots.

Looking for house plants or easy plants to grow? These are 7 useful plants you should grow at home. Learn about these 7 medicinal plants and their uses. #firsttimemommy #commonhouseplants #usefulplants #MyFriendAlexa #anshuwrites

7 useful plants you should grow at home

Lemongrass: Though not a common house plant, lemongrass is extremely easy to grow and a very useful plant too. It has antifungal and antimicrobial properties.

It improves digestions, treats nausea, stomach aches, controls cholesterol, treats insomnia, cures fever, boosts immunity, treats edema and cancers, detoxifies the body, relieves menstrual pain.

Use it in your masala chai or herbal tea. Lemongrass essential oil is used to treat cold, cough, stuffed nose, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety and depression, acne and eczema and as a mosquito repellent.

How to take care of lemongrass plant: I have this plant for a few years now, and let me tell you it’s an easy plant to grow and take care of. Just water it regularly and give it some sunshine and you will see it growing into fine tall grass and swinging in the gentle breeze.

Dhaniya or coriander/cilantro: Coriander may be small leaves, but they pack quite a punch, both in terms of flavour and medicinal values. Click To Tweet It controls blood pressure, prevents anaemia, helps in digestion, relieves nausea, treats diarrhoea, boosts oral health, regulates cholesterol and diabetes, treats skin disorders and wrinkles.

Use finely chopped coriander leaves on subzis, dals, salsas, hung curd dips and guacamole. Or prepare chutney with it.

How to take care of coriander plant: I have personally not grown it in the window box of my kitchen, but that is something I plan to remedy asap. If you watch Nigella Lawson’s cooking show, you might have seen her plucking a handful of fresh coriander leaves and using it in her recipe. It’s a delight to see her using home grown coriander in her cooking and I am tempted too. All I need is a pot with good soil, sprinkle a few whole coriander seeds in the pot and put it on my sunny window sill.

These greens look more dramatic in these colourful polka dotted steel containers. If you are thinking of buying yourself a few, just click this link here.

Hope you liked knowing about these 7 medicinal plants and their uses. Not only these are 7 useful plants you should grow at home, but they make for ideal gifts too. Gift one of these potted herbs to your friend or relative who not necessarily have a green thumb but could do with these house plants.

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29 Comments

  1. I lately got to know about the benefits of lemon grass, a great list Anshu. Not only for cooking, all these plants have medicinal significance which makes them even more important to b a part of our gardens.

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you Vartika. Yes, sometimes I wonder if we started using them because of their benefits and then slowly acquired the taste.

  2. I have been waiting for this post. I got some empty pot, I already have Tulsi and money plant. Hopefully this weekend I plant some seeds/saplings as advised by you.

  3. That’s really an amazing list , thanks for coming up with such an informative post

  4. Great List. Not just for kitchen I think they are must have for their health benefits too. Lemon grass has really good aroma which is an additional benefit. I have them except Ajjwain. Because in winters it becomes a challenge to preserve them in Poland but I will try to keep them this time.

    • mammaspeaks

      Oh ya, in super cold weather, it can be a challenge to grow tropical herbs. Let me see if I can find some tip or trick to preserve those in Poland’s extreme winter.

  5. Luckily, I have everything! Yay!! Thanks for all the information you shared, Anshu

  6. The place I stayed earlier, I had planted lemon grass, ajwain, mint and tulsi. And, oh yes, kadhy patta, too. When I shifted to this place, I let go of all except tulsi. I may plant the rest of them someday.
    We too made the ajwain leaf bhajiyas..and they taste so good!

    • mammaspeaks

      I tried ajwain leaf bhajiyyas, well, I can safely say that I like potato and onion more. 🙂

  7. Lovely post. I’m glad I have three of the mentioned plants in my balcony… Tulsi, aloe Vera, ajwain.. I had tried growing coriander and mint but they didn’t grow much… May be I should try again… Thanks for reminding…

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you. Glad you liked the post. Most Indian homes would find at least Tulsi, however, do try others, they are equally easy to grow.

  8. A great post. Most of us use these herbs only to add flavour and aroma to the meal. But from now onwards, I will be reminded of their health benefits whenever I use them in my cooking.

    In special reference to kadi patta, I always interject my Mom as to why she uses it in almost all dishes, but I think now I can’t 🙂

  9. I can vouch for the benefits of tulsi, Pudina, aloe Vera and dhaniya. Though I have only tulsi plant at home, but I intend to have a small balcony garden soon. So keeping this list for ready reference.

    • mammaspeaks

      Awesome…good luck Sonia! I am sure you will have a great time planting them and then reaping their benefits.

  10. Rajlakshmi

    Yes, these are excellent plants to grow at home. I got a few, but I have tried growing coriander so many times, they always die. Maybe it’s the soil. I would try lemongrass next time.

    • mammaspeaks

      Coriander is tricky, but not impossible. Lemon grass is easy peasy, just needs a lot of water.

  11. We’ve got the curry leaves, mint and tulsi – need to get the others. Thanks for a fab post, Anshu. Am bookmarking it.

    • mammaspeaks

      Thank you Corinee, glad you liked it! I am also going to get some more plants one of these days!

  12. I have aloevera and tulsi, and I plan to grow dhaniya!

  13. pythoroshan

    lovely list… saving this one

  14. Natasha

    I have all these herbs and plants growing in our terrace and feel so blessed to be surrounded by them and to be able to savour them every day, in our food, tea, and our being. I have been rubbing aloe-vera juice on my face and arms, while sipping on my morning cuppa. Today used some on my little furry girls skin rashes also. 🙂

    Nice post Anshu.

    • mammaspeaks

      Natasha, wow, terrace gardening!! It must be so blissful to have a big space to garden. I am sure your little furry girls enjoy this natural pampering too. 🙂 Thank you!

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