Keith Fuller: Combat irritability with soothing herbs

The dog days of summer are approaching, and statistically around this time, many people become more irritable due to high heat and humidity.


You may find it helpful to have soothing herbs in your environment to provide a calming influence. This can be accomplished by having a potted herb nearby where you can pick a leaf and inhale its fragrance to help relax your nerves.

The scent of lemon is often equated with a relaxing smell. While you can’t have a lemon tree sitting on your counter, you can have lemon-scented herbs. Lemon balm and lemon verbena each emit a pleasant lemon smell when their leaves are crushed.

Some larger growing plants that have lemon scent are lemon eucalyptus and lemon grass. These can be in large pots on your porch or patio, and you can simply break a leaf off to enjoy their soothing aroma.

Scented geraniums come in a multitude of smells. Rose and citron are just a couple of examples. A scented geranium crowding a walkway will release its aroma whenever a pedestrian bruises its leaves upon contact with the plant.

The same can be said of a rosemary plant.

Lavender and mint are fragrant herbs that provide mood-altering aromas. Both of these herbs do well in containers, which can be placed adjacent to a chair outdoors where you can simply reach over to harvest foliage to smell. There are many varieties of mints that you can try such as; spearmint, peppermint, chocolate mint and pineapple mint. Experiment to see which one you like the best.

The sense of smell is one of our strongest senses, and as such, it leads to memory retention. Grow fragrant herbs and enjoy them so when you become stressed you can recall the calming effect they provide you.