Ode to the Bee
One of the most beautiful teachings of Ayurveda is that we should feed someone else before we feed ourselves. It bee-hooves us to apply this teaching, not only to fellow humans but, to other sentient bee-ings as well. Bees provide us with honey that has many internal and external applications and is an excellent source of nourishment.
Planting herbs that attract these plenipotent pollinators is an expression of gratitude for their hard work and helps to sustain their survival.
Make a Bee-Line to These Herbs
TULSI (HOLY BASIL)
Tulsi, also known as Holy Basil, is a most revered herb in Ayurveda and considered sacred in many cultures. It is known as an adaptogen—a substance that can provide us with the ability to handle stress. Tulsi is warming, and so, improves circulation. It clears the lungs, and its ability to calm and clear the mind makes it a good meditation aid.
While tulsi can be used for cooking, it is known to be enjoyed in the form of tea on its own or accompanied by other herbs such as ginger, peppermint, and moringa.
Nutrients Vitamins C, A, K, magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, and phosphorus.
Rosemary is an energizing and heating herb that stimulates the heart and circulation and is an emmenagogue (helps induce menstruation). It burns toxins and decongests the sinuses and lungs.
Even though rosemary energizes and stimulates, it also has the ability to be nervine—de-stressing and helpful for sleep. It has potent digestive capability, making it a good herb to pair with heavier or colder foods.
Nutrients Vitamins A, C, B-complex, iron, manganese, magnesium, calcium, and potassium.
Cilantro has a cooling energy that provides it with anti-inflammatory super powers. It has an affinity for cloying heavy metals from the blood and removing toxins. It is ground into a pulp and applied to rashes and is carminative—reduces flatulence.
Use cilantro as a fresh garnish. Cooking cilantro will snuff out its scent and foil its flavor. Coriander is the seed of the cilantro plant and is commonly ground and used in cooking. The whole seed of coriander is a popular ingredient in the famous Ayurvedic tea trio-cumin/coriander/fennel tea.
Nutrients Vitamins C, A, K, potassium, folate, and manganese.
Parsley is a heating herb and well known for its diuretic effects, benefits the urinary tract and female reproductive system. It nourishes the blood and plasma and has an alkalizing effect.
Fresh parsley is often used as a garnish because it is digestive, appetizing, and a great breath freshener!
Nutrients Iron, folate, Vitamins C, A, and K.
As a superstar soother, lemon balm is known for its nervine prowess. Insomnia, heaviness of the heart, and situations that provoke agitation benefit from the sweet smelling bouquet of lemon balm. Conversely, it also provides vitality and strength, offering us incentive to patiently persevere.
Lemon balm is popular in tincture form but can be found as a tea as well. When its scent is captured in the form of essential oil, it is known as Melissa oil.
Nutrients Vitamin C, calcium, iron, and magnesium.
All in all, the intelligence and synergy of herbs and bees make for a gift at any garden gate!