Working the soil, pruning plants, giving them water, these actions not only represent a cure for the garden but also for ourselves. They help us to get away from problems and to stop dwelling on things. This does not mean, of course, to escape from one's responsibilities or from the present time, on the contrary, by leaving the mind free and getting lost in the here and now, we bring out the talents and resources that will help us overcome any trauma, thought or concern. Today we see how to grow and use mint, marjoram and oregano.
Mint, or mentha piperita, is a perennial aromatic plant, this means that, if you plant it in a pot or in the garden, after the winter stasis it grows back without having to plant another mint! With its green and fragrant leaves, mint cannot really miss in your garden and when you feel that you get antsy, you can try to pass a hand through its branches, a fresh and full of life aroma will be released and will fill your nostrils bringing calm and serenity (Akbari et al, J Pain Res, 2019). Moreover, the mint leaves, added to dishes, vegetables or salads or used as a basis for herbal teas, are digestive, carminative, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant (Meamarbashi et al, Avicenna J Phytomed, 2014). As for cultivation, mint is easy to grow. It adapts to different types of climate, it lives well in areas exposed to the sun or more shady. Irrigation should be regular, avoid, if possible, wetting the leaves too much so as not to damage them. Finally, it is also important to avoid water stagnation and to eliminate all the weeds that could take away energy from the plant.
Marjoram, scientific name origanum majorana, is an aromatic plant perhaps a little less known than other plants such as mint or basil but its cultivation can really give a lot of satisfaction thanks to its use in the kitchen. You can add marjoram to the batter of omelettes, to soups, to meat and fish or even to give more flavor to cheeses. In the Video Blog section you can find how to prepare a very delicious soy ricotta cheese step by step. Finally, you can flavor this special vegan cheese with a mix of herbs including marjoram. This aromatic seedling not only gives flavor to the dishes but also a little more health, in fact it is anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antioxidant, capable of protecting the liver, the mucous membrane of the stomach from the formation of ulcers and the heart by contrasting the formation of atherosclerotic plaques ( Bina et al, J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med., 2017). Marjoram is also a perennial plant, loves sunny areas and fears the great cold of winter. If you live in a region that often goes below zero in winter, no problem, you can grow the marjoram in any case only with the precaution of protecting it with covers during the coldest months. Marjoram doesn’t like stagnant water, so watering should be regular but never abundant.
Oregano, origanum vulgare, is an aromatic plant that cannot miss in your garden. Collect the sprigs of this fragrant seedling and let them dry upside down in a dry place, then separate the dry leaves from the branch, just by passing your fingers closed along the branch, and pour them into a jar that should be closed with a lid. Then, add a pinch of oregano on the pizza or on the focaccia, to flavor the sauces or even the meat. Oregano is a tasty way to enrich your dishes also with important antimicrobial, antiviral, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory and anticancer substances thanks to the essential oils which oregano is abundant in (Leyva-Lopez et al, Molecules, 2017). Oregano can be grown both in pots and directly in the garden, it loves sun and heat but also resists cold. However, it is better to protect the plant in case of very intense cold. Oregano resists well even in drought conditions and should only be watered when the soil is dry.