Wellness

9 medicinal plants to grow at home

Grow your own medicinal plants to ensure the best quality and potency of your herbal remedies.

Even novice gardeners can whip up simple home remedies. Such as teas and ointments, using these nine easy-to-grow medicinal herbs.

1 Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula is also known as marigold. It is an antifungal, an antiseptic, an age-old ally for healing wounds. The petals of these cheerful yellow and orange daisy-like flowers lend skin-soothing properties to many natural cosmetics and children’s creams.
Calendula is an annual medicinal plant that reproduces freely and blooms throughout the season. It makes a lovely addition to gardens in full sun. Harvest the fresh petals. You can also dry the whole flowers, which close in the evening, before they set seed.

2 Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Cilantro has a unique flavor that people love or hate. The leaves often garnish exotic dishes. Coriander seeds are a prime ingredient. Not many people think of this plant as a medicinal herb, but research has shown that it is a powerful digestive aid and may be able to remove heavy metals and other toxic agents from the body. Cilantro grows best in a cool, moist garden. It grows rapidly in hot weather. Look for slow-growing varieties from seed companies.

3 Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

The oils and tannins contained in the fragrant leaves and flowers of lemon balm have a relaxing and antispasmodic effect on the stomach and nervous system. According to a 2008 study, it may help fight viruses such as herpes simplex when used topically. Lemon balm is tasty and sweet enough for children when brewed in glycerin-based teas or tinctures. This soothing and stimulating perennial makes a lovely patch of bright green in the garden. It is an excellent plant to grow. Dried herb loses some potency after six months.

4 Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Spearmint and peppermint are familiar flavors in toothpaste and chewing gum. Both of these products have a very refreshing taste. Peppermint is a more potent medicine than its more culinary cousin. When brewed as a tea, peppermint can relieve digestive discomfort such as indigestion and vomiting. It can also soothe sore muscles when applied topically as a liquid or lotion. All mints spread creeping in a damp garden. Consider growing each plant in its own large pot. Harvest the leaves just before flowering. Later, they will start to taste bitter.

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5 Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary is the great wake-up call. This woody perennial boosts energy and optimism and sharpens memory and concentration by bringing more oxygen to your brain. It’s a wonderfully stimulating alternative to caffeine when you need a second wind. A row of these perennial, drought-tolerant plants makes a beautiful, evergreen, bee-friendly hedge. You may only need one plant in your garden.

6 Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

The soothing properties of mullein could help cure bronchial respiratory infections. The leaves are commonly added to cough formulas.
Give this beautiful, majestic biennial plenty of space, and stand in awe. The sturdy, yellow-flowered stem emerges from within a rosette of thick, hairy leaves, reaching nearly 6 feet tall.

7 Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

The delicate stems and tiny leaves of this ground cover belie the immense power attributed to it by Europeans in the Middle Ages. Many believed in its ability to boost bravery and ward off nightmares. Modern herbalists rely on the antibacterial and antiseptic properties of thyme oils to prevent winter colds and flus. Many species exist beyond the pure species, including sweet-tasting citrus varieties that are perfect remedies for children’s bellies.

8 Lavender (Lavandula)

Long known for its sweet scent, lavender also has medical benefits as a mild antidepressant that may also benefit your nervous system. Add lavender oil to your bath to relieve stress, tension and insomnia. It is also used in creams to treat sunburn and acne. Lavender woody plants prefer warm, sunny, and dry environments. Fresh flowers are tasty in small doses when added to salads, honey, butter and even shortbread cookies. If you’re handy, try sewing a herbal heating pad or an eye pillow with the fragrant dried flowers.

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9 German chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Delicate, apple-scented chamomile proves that gentle doesn’t mean ineffective. It is mainly grown for its small, yellow-bellied flowers. Chamomile is one of the best herbs for treating colic, nervous stress, infections, and stomach upset in children. These easy-to-grow medicinal plants bring health benefits to your garden and family. Many of them attract beneficial insects, including bees. They can also help repel harmful pests from nearby more susceptible plants.

Be sure to choose medicinal plants that are suitable for the light, water and temperature conditions in your garden. For example, rosemary, lavender, and mullein do best in hot, dry places with full sun. Cilantro and mint prefer rich, moist places with shade.

Sources

Arora D, et al. (2013). A review on phytochemistry and ethnopharmacological aspects of genus Calendula.

Cummings D, et al. (2014). The medicinal gardening handbook: A complete guide to growing, harvesting, and using healing herbs. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing.
Peppermint oil. (2016).

Sahib NG, et al. (2013). Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.): A potential source of high-value components for functional foods and nutraceuticals–a review.

Schnitzler P, et al. (2008). Melissa officinalis oil affects infectivity of enveloped herpesviruses. DOI:

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