For the past few months I have begun a little adventure into growing my own medicinal herbal plants. I feel like I’ve learnt a lot through this process. The one’s that have survived the best has been calendula, also known as marigold (Calendula officinalis). They are really easy to grow. I grew them from seeds towards the end of winter and eventually I planted them in a large-ish planting box and now they are thriving. I have about 6 or so calendula plants. I’m looking forward to them flowering later on. A few of the other plants I have in my garden include raspberry plants, comfrey, chamomile (no flowers yet), garlic and an elder flower/berry tree.

I was quite inspired in India seeing all the plants they grew, including withania. I’m quite interested in growing withania because it is such a loved herb among herbalists and naturopaths. I would be so happy to have my own home-grown supply of it.

I’ve sourced my medicinal seeds from a few places including Horizon Herbs (US), Eden Seeds and Beauticanicals, the latter two of which are in Australia. I’m now in my second round of attempting to grow withania (Withania somniferia), the ‘vedic type’, with seeds from Horizon Herbs. My first attempt in growing it, I grew them in a heated seed box and I was able to germinate a few, sadly they died. Maybe it was a little too hot in there for them. On the 3rd of October I sowed some more, this time out of about 7 small pots, only one seed has germinated. I think I put 2-3 seeds in each pot.

Tiny little withania seedlings

So now my plan is to keep it happy and thriving. According to the seed packet for my withania seeds, from Horizon Herbs, here is how they should be grown:

On the Horizon Herbs website they suggest growing it as an annual and growing it for 200 days to develop the medicinal roots.

How I’m growing Withania:

With the little seedling I have above, I’ve put it near a windowsill and i’m giving it a spray of water everyday. It took about 17 days to germinate one little seedling, hopefully the others will follow.

Here is some information on growing withania:

Germination rate:

When to sow:

  • Sow in early spring indoors or in the greenhouse.



  • Fast-draining, alkaline (pH 7.5 to 8.0) soil and dryish conditions.  Sweeten regular garden soil with ground limestone.  (Horizon Herbs).



  • Space 1 foot apart–grows 2 to 3 feet tall, producing eventually the lantern-like pods enclosing the pea-sized fruits, green at first and becoming bright red as the inflated calyx dries and becomes transparent.

Days to harvest:

I would love to know have you ever grown withania or any other medicinal plants?  Please let me know in the comment box below and share your experiences. 


Hi Health Food Lovers. Today we have a giveaway for some beautiful bath tea, from the lovely Natasha Linz from Temple Bath Tea. I met Natasha in India earlier this year. Natasha is currently studying Naturopathy (Bachelor of Health Science) and she has created her own line of Naturopathic, hand-crafted bath teas, called Temple Bath Tea.

Temple Bath Teas

Here’s what Natasha has to say about her hand-crafted line of herbal bath teas:

Temple Bath Teas were created from my passion for herbs and their medicinal values. Herbal baths have been used for centuries, by cultures all around the world. The skin is the largest organ of your body and when immersed in water, the pores of the skin are open and receptive to the healing properties of herbs. The Bath Temple experience allows you to unwind your mind while nourishing your body. For most of us, showering has become another task on the to-do list. Yet, having a bath encourages 15 minutes of you time, a time for peace and introspection. I strongly believe in conscious and mindful living, which is why I have provided mantras for you to meditate upon. All products are made by hand and naturopathically formulated to support the condition indicated. There are currently 5 therapeutic teas; Nourish, Detox, Sleep, Immunity, and Soothe. Jump on over to the website at to read all about the ingredients”.

Thanks to Natasha, today we have a giveaway. In this giveaway you have the chance to win a surprise Temple Bath Tea.

Win Temple Bath Tea

 Temple Bath Tea Giveaway



 What you will win:

One lucky person will win a surprise bag of Temple Bath Tea.

How to enter:

There are 6 ways to enter and each way counts as one entry. Please leave a comment with EACH way you have followed/liked/signed up/re-posted/tweeted/shared so we know which way(s) you have entered (though with Instragram we can see your entry with the #wintemplebathtea).

  1. Follow Temple Bath Tea on Instagram @bathtemple
  2. Like the Health Food Lover Facebook page by clicking here
  3. Sign up to receive the Health Food Newsletter by clicking here.
  4. Re-post the image above that is marked ‘giveaway‘ on Instagram by ‘hashtaging’ #wintemplebathtea  and tag @bathtemple. (You can save the image on your phone or computer and upload it to Instagram).
  5. Tweet about the giveaway by tweeting: 
  6. Share this link on your Facebook page: and tag it with #wintemplebathtea


  • For Instagram entries to count, your profile needs to be set to ‘public’ (otherwise we won’t be able to see your entry).
  • This competition is open to Australian residents only.
  • This competition will close after the 30th of June 2015.
  • The winner will be generated by and will be announced on the 1st of July 2015 .
  • We will contact you by email.

 Good luck!

UPDATE 1/7/15: GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. The winner is: TAYLA_W93 (on Instrgram).

Thanks everyone for entering!


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Recipe: Seafood & Sweet Potato Noodles Makes 2 -3 serves Ingredients: 1 medium gold sweet potato, peeled 2 teaspoons of butter 2 cloves garlic Roots and stems from coriander bunch (washed and chopped) 200g mussels, shelled (info on sustainability of mussels) 100g squid rings (info here on sustainability of squid & see Katie’s post here) 1 bunch fresh coriander/cilantro leaves, […]

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