Natural Botanical Sources of Vitamin C

Lemon Balm on Left; Lemon Thyme on Right

Lemon Balm on Left; Lemon Thyme on Right

Vitamin C is essential for good health and especially helpful during cold and flu season. Winter, when we need good vitamin intake the most, is often the season when we cut back on fresh fruits and vegetables that contain Vitamin C.  The two herbs above are a great way to keep this vitamin in your diet and they taste delicious.

Red Rose Hips and Pine Needles

Red Rose Hips and Pine Needles

Two other natural sources are rose hips and pine needles.  For full benefits, crush the rose hips and brew fresh tea.  The hips can also be dried and crushed.  Collect fresh pine needles for tea all year long. Who knew our decorative landscaping could be healthy?  The particular pine above, a conifer with very small cones, is also used to treat radiation poisoning.

All of these sources make delicious teas and deliver the benefits hot and fresh.  Add any lemon herb to your cooking for a boost of flavor, especially chicken and fish.  Try creating your own lemon seasoning mix for gift giving by grinding the herbs with sea salt and other condiments and herbs.

Lemon balm, roses that produce hips, and thyme can be grown in your own garden then harvested and dried and crushed into air tight canning jars for herb tea or condiments all season. Lemon balm is also a natural virus fighter.  Lemon thyme or English thyme are natural antibacterial herbs.  Lemon herbs are effective in treating headache and fever.

An herbal medicine garden takes up little space and is a wonderful organic addition to your healthy lifestyle. Lemon balm is one of the easiest herbs to grow because it is a hardy perennial herb in the mint family; give it some room to spread out.  Lemon thyme is a tender perennial that must be brought inside in a pot to winter-over in Zone 5 or grow it annually.  English thyme, however, is a hardy perennial that will come back next season but it does not have the lemony benefits of its more tender cousin.  English thyme is excellent for savory dishes like pasta, meat, chicken and fish.

NEXT TIME–WHO KNEW CURRY POWDER WAS SO HEALTHY?

About Sharon L. Clemens

Sharon and husband Merle and their children owned and operated a specialty shop and restaurant in a restored dairy barn for thirteen years in a village in Illinois. After closing their restaurant, they converted the barn into the family home and moved their shop to the garden level. They operated a collectable shop as a home-based business for another thirteen years before retiring to the country life. Sharon has been a special feature guest on the local NBC telelvision affiliate and has spoken professionally on topics relating to herb gardening and cottage lifestyle. In addition to conducting workshops and programs, Sharon writes a weekly cottage lifestyle e-newsletter called “Cottage Chat” and a Word Press blog: Seasons of Farm Grove. She has written five novels, The Younger Girl, Door County Cottage, Timeless-A Door County Love Story, Door County Cabin and Door County Escape, love stories with traditional values set in Door County, Wisconsin.
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