If you're cultivating your own herb garden, using local herbs rather than purchasing them from outside suppliers is more beneficial to the quality of your herb garden, and enriches your prowess as an herbalist. Harvesting local plants guarantees fresher and more medicinally potent herbs, and allows you to be fully involved in the process of selecting and understanding the herbs that you're working with.
Joybilee Farm, a great resource for homegrown wisdom run by Chris Dalziel, gives 8 reasons why homegrown is the way to go:
1. Herbs you harvest yourself are fresher
Herbs have a shelf life. Usually dried herbs will last only a year. Preserved in oil or tincture they can last for years. When you purchase from an herb supplier, you’re herbs may already be several months old before you buy them. This can reduce the time that these herbs will be strongly medicinally active in storage for you.
Herbs you harvest yourself will be stronger and fresher than any herbs you buy from your local herb store or online supplier. Growing and harvesting your own herbs allows you to harvest at the correct time in the quantities you need.
2. Herbs you harvest will be medicinally stronger
Herbs growing local to you are exposed to the very same stressors that you are exposed to. If they are thriving in spite of the fungal, bacterial, and environmental stress, they have the right chemistry to help you thrive as well.
3. Harvesting local herbs save money
Using herbs that are growing local to you, that you harvest your self will save you money. Local herbs are wildcrafted or grown at home and can make herbal preparations for your herbal apothecary significantly less expensive than the same preparations purchased from your herb store.
4. Ensures a correct identification
Herbs can be adulterated. While most online suppliers make every effort to correctly identify the herbs they sell, there have been case where herbs have been mixed up or substituted. Sometimes this has resulted in very serious side effects. When you harvest herbs yourself from local resources, you can make a correct identification before you harvest.
Head on over to Joybilee Farm to read the rest.