Living With Chronic Pain

How To Grow And Cook With Spices And Herbs That Decrease Pain

Previously, we reviewed 11 spices that decrease inflammation and help chronic pain. We also shared how growing your own produce is one way to incorporate healthy food into your diet while not breaking the bank. The same approach works for growing your own spices and herbs; some take longer to mature, but if planned well, you can grow enough to maintain your supply as new harvest comes in. Here’s how to grow 7 spices and herbs at home:


Rosemary is a great addition to your outdoor area but in the Arizona heat, it will require partial shade. If you have a space that has an overhang or is protected from the harsh daytime sun, that will be ideal for growing. You can propagate Rosemary from stems, seed, or using a starter plant. Due to a slow growth time, many do opt for a starter plant as the route to get the harvest going.

Try These Recipes:

Rosemary Parmesan Sweet Potatoes

Sheet Pan Rosemary Lime Chicken


Cloves like a warm, humid climate. If the climate you live in doesn’t coincide with that, they work well as house plants where you can help recreate their ideal growing conditions. Growing clove trees is a labor of love and it can take up to six years to produce harvest. But, once they do produce, you’ll also have long-term results. The plants themselves are beautiful, so while you wait patiently, they are a great addition to the decor.

Try These Recipes

Beef and Broccoli

Chorizo Tacos


This is one of the easiest to grow. Because of how much can be grown from just one bulb of garlic, you could get away with growing this in a medium sized pot. Once you get a batch of garlic growing, you’ll find you have more than enough to continue regrowing and still use the garlic for cooking.

Try These Recipes:

Garlic Sesame Chicken

Healthy White Chicken Chili


This is an spice that takes quite a while to mature (8 months!). Turmeric grows best between 68-95 F, making it an ideal indoor plant. If you grow it in a larger planter, you’ll have enough to carry you through to the next window of growth.

Try These Recipes:

Turmeric Sweet Potatoes, Poached Egg and Lemon Dressing

Coconut Turmeric Quinoa

Chili Peppers

There are a couple of ways to grow chili peppers. You can purchase peppers at the local grocers and save the seeds after you use the peppers to make a delicious dish. The seeds can then be used to grow plants. It does take a while for chili plants to produce fruit, so the second option is to purchase “starter” plants from a nursery or home improvement store and use that to jump start your harvest. Either way, the climate in Arizona is perfect for growing peppers- you’ll be surprised at the variety that is available. Here are also some suggestions on how to preserve peppers.

Try These Recipes:

Chopped Kale Salad With Peanut Chili Vinaigrette

Chili Lime Shrimp Salad


This is another plant that can be grown from a starter plant or using ginger from a grocer. If you go the route using ginger from your grocer, make sure to soak the root for 24 hours to remove any growth inhibitors used to prevent the root from sprouting at the store. Or, purchase organic.

Try These Recipes:

Mango Ginger Rice Bowl

Teriyaki Salmon Salmon Bowl


While Sage likes warm weather and sun, it won’t tolerate the full Arizona sun. Using a container is a great way to allow for transferring it to an area where it gets just the right amount of sun. It is tricky to grow Sage from seed, but you can easily propagate it from clippings or a starter.

Try These Recipes:

Pesto Roasted Cauliflower and Purple Cabbage

Flat-breads With Sage, Arugula, Fig, and Proscuitto

This informative post from “Grow A Good Life” shares how to harvest and dry herbs for long-term storage. It’s important to take note because the benefits lie in the essential oils.

While growing anything at home takes a little bit of time and care, once the initial setup is complete, the rewards are plentiful. Not only can you enjoy the harvest itself, but gardening is a time-tested hobby that can help alleviate stress and is also a fun activity to do with your family and friends. Try growing just one to start- you may find yourself reaching for those gardening gloves more often than you may suspect.

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