Used both internally and externally since Egyptian times this powerful healing herb is even more widely used today. The medicinal properties of aloe vera have been applied to treat a vast array of ailments both in people and animals.
Amla is a medium sized spreading tree with small delicate leaves and flowers. The tree is prized in Ayuvedic medicine which uses all parts of the tree in herbal preparations. The edible fruit ripens in Autumn, it is very high in vitamin C but very sour to taste, so it no wonder that one popular Indian recipe involves preserving the fruit in sugar syrup.
The Bay Tree has many qualities, with the edible leaf being a well known culinary herb. In the garden the plant has insect repellent qualities, acting as a guardian to nearby plants more susceptible to insect attack. Slow growing the tree will eventually reach heights in excess of 10 meters if left unpruned.
Leaves are used in Vietnam as a wrap for meats and vegetables. The vine is hardy when grown in frost free conditions with moist soil underfoot.
The tropical fruit tree starts to bear fruit after 4 years and fruit is edible once ripe. Fruit tastes mildly of chocolate only when perfectly ripe, hence its common name Chocolate Pudding Fruit. The tree grows well in most soil types, but does not tolerate prolonged drought or moderate to heavy frosts.
Borage is a fast growing annual herb otherwise known as the Herb of Happiness. Both the flowers and leaves are edible and suitable for salads.
Brahmi is known as the memory herb. It is a small leaved groundcover with pretty white flowers that last for some time. Brahmi has been used in traditional Indian medicine for thousands of years as a tonic for the nervous system, promoting clarity of thinking, mental calmness, and emotional balance.
This herb gets its name from the white whiskered flowers which bloom in Summer and Autumn, however it is most widely grown for the medicinal qualities of its leaves. Cat's Whiskers leaves are sold as tea in South East Asia and known as Java Tea or Kidney Tea.
Best known as stimulant for cats this perennial shrub also benefits humans. If mosquitoes are out we pick and bruise the fresh leaves then rub them over exposed arms and legs as a repellent. Prepared and taken internally this herb also has sedative effects which has been used to treat digestive complaints, migraines, nervousness and insomnia.
As the name indicates this groundcover naturally grows on coastal banks and has high wind and drought tolerance. This native plant plays an important role in erosion control. Both the leaves and fruit are edible.
This valuable herb has many uses. Medicinal application of comfrey root and leaf has been documented extensively, mostly in healing bruises, soft tissue damage and broken bones. We use comfrey leaves as a compost ingredient, feed them to chooks in a forage system, and use them as mulch when the plant dies back over winter.
Small hardy compact herb with spectacular grey foliage. The curry scented leaves have moth and insect repellent qualities, some saying it even repels cats.
This medicinal herb is known for its fishy smell and has many healing qualities. In Japan is it known as Dokudami which means detoxicant. The leaves have antibacterial, antinflammatory and antioxidant properties. Growing best in a moist semi shaded spot, the plant grows to 30cm in height.
This species of lavender is suited to growing in the sub-tropics. Flowers are a vibrant dark purple and the aromatic lavender leaves can be used as a pest repellent in the garden or in the home as you would with traditional English Lavender.
Gotu Kola is extraordinary, it has been used to treat, and also prevent, a wide range of ailments. Research links gotu kola to improved brain function, wound healing and arthritis relief.
Herb Robert is a regenerative herb, we eat the leaf at least once a week for good health. This plant is growing in use and recognition as a herb which fights, and according to some documented reports, cures cancer.
The Koda is a rainforest pioneer tree native to several countries. This tree produces sweetly scented flowers and fruit, is fast growing, briefly deciduous, has valued timber, and is used in traditional Chinese medicine. A permaculture plant without doubt!
Use of Lemon Balm dates back over 2000 years when Greek and Roman civilisations valued in it for medicinal purposes, hence the species name officinalis. The genus name Melissa refers to the bee attracting qualities of its flowers, whilst leaves contain a citronella compound known to repel mosquitoes.
Lemon grass is a hardy tropical clumping grass which is best known for its edible stems. In the garden it can be grown on steep banks for erosion control, or regularly clipped to use the stems as mulch. When grown in moist soil the stalks are juicier and better for cooking purposes.
Leaves have a strong lemon aroma when crushed. Plants can be used as an effective screen or incorporated into a native garden featuring the fine copper green leaves.
Moneywort is a perennial creeping herb and a very attractive groundcover. Having this plant in the garden may bring a feeling of wealth with its string of small coin shaped leaves. The crushed leaves have been used on wounds of any kind. Traditionally it was used as a tea to treat scurvy and respiratory ailments.
The Moringa Tree is drought hardy and highly nutritious, making it a popular food crop to grow in hotter regions of the world where it thrives. Leaves, young seed pods and cooked flowers are cultivated and eaten as a vegetables, oil used in food production is extracted from the seeds, and the tree itself makes a great windbreak.
Mugwort is a woody upright shurb that grows up to 2m. Mugwort has been used medicinally and spiritually throughout the ages. The leaf is also reported to be used as a culinary herb although we are yet to try it in any way.
This well known culinary herb is a wonderful ground cover and companion plant to many, especially brassicas where it helps repel the white cabbage butterfly. Oregano can be grown in full or part sun and is drought hardy.