History of herbs

Herbs have been used throughout written history, and probably much longer. They were depicted on cave paintings in France, dated between 13,000 B.C. and 25,000 B.C. It is speculated that early humans probably discovered a myriad of uses for wild plants through trial and error.

Much of modern-day medicine comes from herbs and medicinal plants, so we know how important and effective their healing properties are. Specialist herbal practitioners are fantastic healers and have been known to eliminate some of the worst medical conditions known to man.

This is why it is imperative to implement herbs into our designs. With a little learning, you can establish their uses and when and how to use them to heal or simply to provide a calmer and healthier lifestyle. 

It’s easy to grow herbs and if dried out, many can be stored for many years


herbs are our friends

Herbs help us create healthier garden ecosystems and reduce the amount of work, allowing us to have more time to sit and enjoy our garden! Herbs will fertilize, attract pollinators and beneficial insects, provide mulch, and deter pests as well as provide us with medicine to heal and nutrients to promote a healthy functioning body. 

Some of our favourite herbs

Many of the herbs you see below are often referred to as “weeds”. When you know the benefits of these so-called weeds, you may never want to use harmful herbicides again! The “herbs” listed below can all be foraged from hedges, although care should be taken to avoid areas of heavy traffic.

Nettles (Urtica dioica)


Yes, the humble stinging nettle is a wonderful herb and is in abundance. Aside from the fact it has a bit of sting, if handled right, they provide tons of nutrients, vitamins and goodness for a healthy body.

Treats painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anaemia

Dandelions (Taraxacum )


Fresh or dried dandelion herb is also used as a mild appetite stimulant, and to improve upset stomach. The root of the dandelion plant may act as a mild laxative and has been used to improve digestion. Preliminary research suggests that dandelion may help improve liver and gallbladder function as well as prevent heart disease

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)


Historically, people have used milk thistle for liver disorders and gallbladder problems. Milk thistle is promoted as a dietary supplement for hepatitis, cirrhosis, jaundice, diabetes, indigestion, and other conditions

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)


It is known to stop stomach cramps and fight infections. People commonly use yarrow for eczema, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), wound healing, and many other conditions



Herbs really are beneficial for permaculture design. Not only do they provide medicine, but they also provide well-being and health. All our designs include herbs either as a herb spiral, in amongst vegetables or in bedding plants and raised beds. They attract pollinators and wildlife but also be used in a guild to detract pests by confusing them with their potent aromas, ideal if you want to keep butterflies away from your lettuces!