Health + Wellness

Herbs That Heal

Growing up in a small town, I am used to the accessibility of locally-produced goods. The Danforth is one of the few hubs of Toronto that praises sustainability and ensures the continual growth (pun intended) and development of their community. Each year, farmers’ markets pop up like bulbs, ready for the residents to consume the products they’ve tended to whole-heartedly.

I say, take it one step further: grow your own. Support farmers and your locals, but apply their knowledge to something you can create and encourage with your own hands. Digging your fingers through dirt, planting microscopic-sized seeds, watching something pop through the soil is so vital and important to human wellness. Ask your farmers about growing for yourself and I guarantee they will offer you a cornucopia of information; they want to see locals sustain themselves too!

Do you have the opposite of a green-thumb? Not to worry, Mingle Hill Farms’ owner, Emily Rozema, says, “It’s not about the knowledge you have—you can learn that part along the way. It’s about taking pride in what you grow and tending to it because it brings you joy.” For over twelve years, Rozema has been utilizing all-natural and self-grown remedies in her home. “It’s not only about using natural products; it’s about knowing where those products came from,” expresses Rozema, as she pours boiling water over some thyme sprigs that sit in the bottom of my mug. Take a note from this successful female entrepreneur, start small and reap the rewards. Our suggestion? A potted herb garden. It’s inexpensive to begin and it allows you to care for your new sprouts throughout the seasons. Don’t fret about the details; go pick up some organic seeds, soil, and a pot—this is what you’re going to plant and why:



Thymus vulgaris (garden thyme)

Thyme is more than a cozy kitchen herb used for savory stews—it is the perfect addition to your medicine cabinet. Pour boiled water over thyme sprigs and allow it to steep for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme and add lemon and honey as desired. Thyme has been proven to aid coughs and respiratory infections.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, Mother Earth News, Fall 2018



Rosmarinus officinalis

Stay sharp and improve your memory. Rosemary is known as a brain booster and memory aid because it increases blood flow to the brain. Add this magical herb to your daily diet and utilize its preventative properties.

Michelle Schoffro Cook, Mother Earth News, Fall 2018



Salvia officinalis

Keep this sore throat saviour close all winter long. By chewing on sage leaves, you can numb soreness and speed up the healing process. To take it one step further, try gargling with cool sage tea.  

Margaret Boyles, Naturally Living, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, May 2018.




This easy-to-grow perennial is your new best friend; minimal maintenance necessary. Chew on some leaves to freshen your breath, or chop up a handful and infuse into boiling water; let it cool in the fridge and use as a homemade mouthwash.

Margaret Boyles, Naturally Living, The Old Farmer’s Almanac, May 2018.


For all medicinal uses of herbs—natural or over the counter—always consult an herbalist practitioner, especially if pregnant or breastfeeding.


Photo credit: Indoor Herbs by Alan Levine @ flickr

Teanne Teeft is a yoga instructor, vegetable and lavender farmer, and a publishing professional. Though she lives part-time in Toronto, her heart is on her family farm.

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