Herb Day is a worldwide celebration of herbs, plants and their importance in everyday life. It is held on the first Saturday in May (this year it’s May 5th), and aims to promote healthy living, alternative skincare and medicine, as well as educate people about various herbs and plants found in nature.
You want to learn how to grow parsley or tomatoes on your balcony? Here’s your chance. Always wanted to find out if there are any natural alternatives to certain prescription drugs? This is a perfect opportunity for you to sit down and research.
Curcuma, curry, ginger – they are all spices you’ve heard of, right? But did you also know that ginger is a plant with some of the strongest anti-inflammatory properties in nature? And that curcuma is chock-full of vitamins and minerals?
Herb Day also promotes growing flowers. They give off oxygen, are extremely beautiful, and have a uniquely calming effect… a wonderfully colourful blend of the best nature has to offer.
Flowers turn apartments and houses into little oases of nature, safe havens that help us unwind and relax after long and stressful days that are the norm for modern-day professionals.
This is exactly why Hipper decided to put together a guide that’ll help you spend Herb Day as creatively as possible, and give your early May the freshness of Spring in full bloom.
First of all, try growing a small garden. Gardening is incredibly, almost piously meditative, and there is no better way of paying homage to nature than “creating” nature yourself. You are, effectively, giving back to nature the exact same thing that nature has given you: life, in the most unambiguous sense of the word. For all you thrill-seekers out there complaining of gardening being “boring” or “old-people’s” activity, you’ve obviously never given it a go.
Whoever you are, whatever you interests may be, you will benefit by gardening. Period. There is no way that your new garden will in any way prove detrimental to your financial, physical or emotional well-being. If you are pressed for space, try growing small tomatoes, flowers or spices, i.e. plants that don’t require much space. If you are, on the other hand, pressed for time… well, if possible, rethink your lifestyle.
You have to be able to catch an hour or two of free time a week to work on your garden. If not for anything else, do it for your sake. Also, as far as flowers go, various types of marigold, fuchsia and hyacinths are ideal as balcony or patio plants, since they require very little maintenance and upkeep.
Second, take a trip into the woods. Feel the earth crack under your shoes, the unique smell of the forest fill your entire body, as well as the amazing tranquillity the forest ecosystem bestows upon us. Get out into the woodland at least for a day, and leave the trail of the city concrete behind.
Recharge, close your eyes, breathe in, and show your own self (not ‘yourself’, this is not an omission on the writer’s part) what you’re really missing. Human beings were not made to live in the woods; efficiently, that is. However, excursions into nature are necessary and beneficial to human health and well-being.
Ever read Walden by Henry David Thoreau? A famous transcendentalist, Thoreau was a literary behemoth who perfectly illustrated man’s necessity to be one with nature, to be as close as possible to the very heartbeat of the forest. Even though the book was written back in mid-19th century, it is still as relevant as ever.
Or, best of all, take the book into the woods with you. Mind you, if you’ll be sitting around and reading, make sure you check yourself for ticks when you get home. The little bloodsucking vampires are bearers of a wild number of diseases. Plus, you know… eww.
Third and last… Organize your local boy scouts brigade to clean up the woods. Or, girls’ choir, the Third Age retirement home, whoever is up for it. It is truly sad (and a crime, too; or at least it ought to be) to see our beloved woods, grasslands and bodies of water polluted, full of old, toxic junk people no longer need and just decided to chuck away.
The 21st century is well on its way, and it is still quite puzzling to see that people don’t recognize the importance these natural habitats, which they so carelessly decided to overflow with garbage, have on our everyday lives. Also, if you’re in a position to educate someone outside your closest circle of people about woodland etiquette, do so, by all means.
Let Herb Day be your chance to give back to nature, to give back to it in the kindest way possible. In the short term, nature has no real ways to protect itself against the (potential) wickedness of the human race.
However, it does in the long term. If we don’t alter our behaviour and realize how careful humans have to be not to fatally endanger the Earth’s health, and that the globe we’re all standing on right now is both the Matriarch and Patriarch to the human race, quite literally and figuratively, it will come back after us (in 5, 10, a million thousand years) with a vengeance.
Be kind. Be kind to your fellow human being, and be kind to Her who loves us all the most. Herb Day is not a real holiday, but an arbitrary celebration that wants to make people more aware, educated, and empathetic.
From this day forward, pencil Herb Day as a creative, productive and ecological start to your month of May.