There is no reason to become intimidated by growing herbs and other medicinal plants in your garden. The internet provides a multitude of websites that can help you choose which ones you and your family will actually use. You can also consult with herbalists online if you’re in an area where it is difficult to find a practitioner. Some medicinal plants are more challenging to grow and maintain than others, but it doesn’t mean that it is impossible. The most important things to consider is your geographic area and the quality of your soil.
Here are 10 medicinal plants that most anyone can grow in their yards:
1. Marsh Mallow: This is the same medicinal plant that commercial marshmallow products are made with, but here we will share its healing benefits. The Marsh Mallow plant is great for topical skin issues, such as bites, wounds and bruises, and inflamed skin from insect bites. For internal health issues, such as ulcer pain and discomfort, Marsh Mallow should be brewed as slow-brewed in cold water to preserve its natural healing ingredients for those types of illnesses.
2. Tea Tree: A lot of people who use herbal products have heard of Tea Tree. This plant is in shampoos, lotions, and various skin products. The benefits of Tea Tree focus mostly on the health of the skin. Besides being great for minor skin burns, acne, and warts, Tea Tree can also help with symptoms of fatigue, fevers, and vaginal infections. The best way to use the Tea Tree plant is to soak it water and then place the juice into a bottle along with the water, to use as an antiseptic and anti fungal agent. Tea Tree can also be mixed with olive oil to apply on the skin and diluted with water to drink for internal health problems once a day. You will only need a drop of Tea Tree extract per 8 oz. of water, juice, or tea.
3. Basil: The thought of basil may make you hungry for a delicious Italian meal, but you will be surprised about basil’s health benefits for the body. Speaking of appetite, basil will assist in increasing the appetite for people who have trouble gaining weight or who may have gone down to an unhealthy weight due to illness. Basil also works to heal stomach gas and flatulence.
4. Sage: Sage is another smell-good plant medicinal that many people use to season foods, but what are its other great qualities? The sage leaf is good for gum aches, by rubbing a small piece of sage leaf on your gums or brewing the sage to use as a mouth rinse. This wonderful smelling plant also helps to cure skin infections, ease the discomfort of digestive problems, along with soothing menopause symptoms.
5. Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a very well-known plant used in many drugstore products such as face creams, medicinal creams for cuts and burns, and anti-aging products. You can easily take a leaf off of the aloe plant and break it open to place the aloe gel directly on a cut or minor burn. However, if you have a serious burn, please visit the nearest hospital emergency room. Aloe Vera when made into a juice or tea, also relieves the symptoms of constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
6. Peppermint: We aren’t talking about holiday candy canes here, but instead the pure peppermint plant with all of its medicinal uses. Peppermint, as a leaf, or a tea, is great for nausea, upset stomachs, and many other digestive blockages. This common plant is also an effective breath freshener just by chewing a small piece of the leaf. Peppermint has an abundance of menthol in it which can act as a cooling agent for the skin. For example, those who work outside in the summer, menopause hot flashes, and fevers, would all benefit from a wash cloth dipped in cool water combined with plain peppermint tea placed on the neck and shoulder areas to cool the skin.
7. Pot Marigold: The Marigold is not just a gorgeous flower we use to decorate the porch, with its lovely yellow and orange hues. If grown organically, marigolds are edible and are delicious in salads or tossed with sea salt, pepper, and lightly dusted with flour for frying. Pounding the petals with a mortar and pestle will transform marigolds into a poultice for soothing sunburns. Skin blemishes and acne are both soothed by the same marigold poultice.
8. Lavender: Lavender is best known for its pretty fragrance and its ability to act as a relaxant, but there is more to this beautiful flower than that. This gorgeous plant can relieve the symptoms of a headache with just a few sniffs, and can help to soothe occasional bouts of depression. *disclaimer* If you suffer from clinical depression, please visit a doctor as soon as possible, and if you are already diagnosed and on medication for clinical depression, consult your physician before adding the powers of the lavender plant into your medicinal plan.
9. Chinese Yam: The Chinese Yam is used in cases of fatigue syndrome and assists the weight loss process. Problems with digestion and urination can also be soothed by consuming the Chinese Yam. Since diarrhea is often a symptom of regular bouts of constipation, the Chinese Yam will assist with that as well. When the digestive system is balanced, many of the other issues will dissipate.
10. Lemon Balm: It is the leaves of the lemon balm plant that are packed with medicinal properties. During summer, the lemon balm plant will flower and those flowers can be rubbed directly on the skin for insect bites and minor sores. The lemon balm can be taken internally as a tea or juice for the symptoms of the common cold and insomnia.
As we stated above, check out books like The Farmer’s Almanac to see which of these medicinals will grow best in your area. The fact is, many of these plants help to treat some of the same health issues, so if you are unable to grow one of them, you can always seek out a an effective substitute.