2 Kitchen garden herbs your kids can so benefit from – Mint and Holy Basil

I did not plan this. Really. When I said munchkins got to eat, I did not have munching on fresh herbs like Mint and holy Basil on my mind. But what I started accidentally, I intend to let it carry on. In fact my three-year olds have even mastered the art of eating curry leaves and holy basil like a mountain goat. And it is so much easier to just have them graze on vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium and beta-carotene and more in their own garden, than buy exotic food in the name of supplements. Yes, healthy living needs to be inculcated early. So here are the herbs my kids are mooing about – Mint, Holy Basil, Curry leaves and lemongrass.

The first three are commonly used in Indian curries, chutneys and salads. However lemongrass is something I introduced to my kitchen garden more for adding some flavour to plain water or for soups. However in this article I will touch base on the first two plants and will follow it up with another article about lemongrass and curry leaves. So here it is to a healthy world with safe foods for the kids!

Holy Basil or Tulsi
Holy Basil or Tulsi is actually worshipped in India. In traditional Indian houses you will still find a Holy Basil plant growing in the central courtyard or at the entrance of the house. The women of the family are known to take their bath and worship the basil plant before starting their daily chores. It is considered auspicious and incomparable in its healing powers. Well, in the modern flats too, you will still find them gracing the balconies.

Goodness for your kids:
1) Do you know unlike most of the plants Tulsi generates oxygen day and night (almost 20 hours). So while it needs sunshine during the day, you can place it the kid’s room in the night. Think of it as a healthy and free air-purifier and an antimosquito live-coil. In fact botanists are even trying to grow Tulsi as a big tree to increase its good impact on the environment. Read Times Of India’s article Tulsi has environmental benefits too.
2) Even its smell is known to sooth headaches.
3) It is beneficial in treating respiratory tract problems in kids such as cough, colds, sore throats etc. Here is a concoction that has been passed down by generations and that works:

10 Holy Basil leaves
2-3 black pepper corns
One cup of water
Pinch of salt

Boil holy basil and pepper corns in one cup water. Let it reduce to half its quantity. Now give it to kids, as hot as they can tolerate.

4) Its medicinal and healing properties are known to boost immunity. Let the children swallow 5-6 fresh leaves with water or just boil the tulsi leaves in water and let them drink it first thing in the morning.
5) Tulsi is antibacterial and antiseptic. If your kids have a skin problem or minor wounds, then a paste of crushed or grounded tulsi leaves can provide relief. Now you know why so many cosmetics have Holy Basil or tulsi in them!
6) This herb full of anti-oxidants makes for a natural insect repellant too. In case of mosquito or leech bites it is advised to apply fresh juice of its leaves on the effected area.

Mint or Pudina
Well my earliest memory of mint is the fragrance of fresh green chutney (sauce) my mother spread on paranthas (Indian bread), just before she added some chicken to it. Then she rolled them neatly into these delicious rolls that we’d finish in less than 5 minutes. I did not know it then, but I know it now that mint was supposed to cool (read understanding foods) us down during summers along with adding that, well minty flavour.

Yes growing your own herbs means no artificial flavours or seasonings, lol. So what does mint do for your kids you ask…

Goodness for your kids
1) It is a natural remedy to alleviate indigestion in kids. It provides instant relief from gas troubles, stomach aches and nausea (no wonder I always benefit from eating Uncle Chipps, Pudina flavour).

2) Its anti fungal and antibacterial properties make it a wonder herb. If kids chew 5-6 mint leaves twice or thrice a week, their teeth too stay white and their breath fresh.

3) For migraines or headaches, applying mint oil on the temples and back of the head is considered beneficial.

4) Respiratory tract, congestion problems, cold, asthma or other allergic conditions are known to benefit from inhaling fresh mint or applying of the same.

5) Mint or mentha also boosts immunity. You can either add it in salads or just give them mint water in the morning. How about just adding a few leaves to the water bottles. They can enjoy the fresh mint flavour and its medicinal benefits all day long.

Don’t forget to check this Natural Detoxify 5 with mint for that tried and tested cleanse for healthy living. Yes, nature just has a treasure hidden in these greens and it is up to us to use these as natural remedies for a simple and holistic life. Introduce your kids to this healthy lifestyle and help them junk bad food habits.

Comments (3)

Biraja Prasad MIshra Posted on Feb 20, 2017

Very good sister. I am also giving holy basil + mint to my kid, 5 years old as per your instruction. Thank you. Kind regards, Biraja Mishra.


Abhijeet Kanshide Posted on Nov 23, 2015

Thank you.


jyotsanask Posted on Jul 25, 2015

What a nice and positive article! Thanks for sharing such information... Would love to share this with friends too.

  Reply   View Reply

Charu Chhitwal

Charu Chhitwal, Founder KetchupMoms has daring tastebuds, a love for travel and an owl for her soul. It’s little wonder then that she loves to write and share her tips and tricks on traveling, food,

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