This powerful adaptogen herb is easy to grow, fragrant, attractive, loved by honeybees (so you are not just growing for your own benefit!), easy to harvest, easy to dry, fun and easy to strip/store, and makes a yummy tea that you wouldn’t think would be highly medicinal! What an olfactory experience that I totally enjoy!
I’ve posted a tea recipe previously but here I encourage folks to grow it themselves–even if you only have a patio or balcony, as long as you have at least half a day’s worth of direct sun, you can do it in a planter. It can be started indoors in the Spring and planted outside once danger of frost is over– so you have until Spring to find some seeds (many seed catalogs have it–I prefer the “purple” variety). Some nurseries carry the seedlings in the Spring but it is not that easy to find. Here a few pictures that may inspire you.
I cut the plant at the base in late Summer or early Fall while there are still lots of green leaves but not too many flower spikes. Then the plant can be hung upside down with some string in a dark, dry, warm area. We have a shed that is perfect for drying. After 3-4 weeks it will be thoroughly dry and the leaves will be ready for stripping. In the photo above, notice several dried plants, the bowl of leaves that I stripped off the plants, and the bare plant that I discard–all on a sheet that makes it easy to gather loose leaves when you are cleaning up.
Here is the finished product–just the dried leaves. I store them in a glass mason jars. A gallon lasts me all year long until the next year’s harvest. Great fun–give it a try!