10 Herbs to Grow for Their Medicinal Purposes

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{I’ve got a wonderful and incredibly informative guest post today from Monique Solomon at The Beauticle!  We are planning on growing our own herb garden here on the Little Simon Homestead, so I thought this would be an awesome post to feature. there are so many uses for different herbs well beyond adding them to my spaghetti. Be sure to stop by her blog and check out all the great tips on living a healthy beautiful life!}

10 Herbs to Grow for Their Medicinal Purposes

Going green for many of us includes the medicines that we put in our bodies. Though science has advanced far beyond what many believe are the limitations of herbal cures, the trick may be to use herbs long before you have an ailment.

Herbal remedies make use of nature’s rich abundance to either ward off disease and ailment or to help cure them. Here are some common herbal remedies and what they are good for.

Common Medicinal Uses for Herbs

You can purchase most herbs today as herbal supplements. The use of herbs for medicine is rooted in ancient medical practices. Before there were pills, syrups, and injections, there were poultices, pastes, salves, and potions.

Even in the age of modern medicine, over 75% of the world’s population uses herbal remedies in one form or another. Since many herbs produce effects similar to prescription drugs, it is recommended that any herbal concoctions used or supplements used are revealed to your physician to avoid interactions.

Colds and their symptoms

The common cold is caused by viruses. This means that there is no cure and that several strains can be floating around in the air at any given time. The best way to decrease the duration of a cold is to treat the symptoms. Herbal tea that contains antiviral herbs can help with this. Some to choose from include ginger, Echinacea, yarrow root, lemon balm, garlic, and elderflower.

The menthol contained in the oils of peppermint can also help open swollen nasal passages when breathing in the steam. Using peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil like olive or coconut oil to spread across the chest can help loosen respiratory mucus and phlegm.

Infections

Several herbs have antibacterial and antifungal properties. For instance, tea tree oil (also known as “melaleuca”) can be used topically on the skin to help reduce the chance of infection from bug bites, cuts, scrapes, and burns. This should also be mixed with a carrier oil as direct contact with the skin can be too harsh.

Eating garlic can also help with infections. Goldenseal is a perennial herb that is used in salves and ointments for its antibacterial action.

Stomach ailments

These range from diarrhea, constipation, and gas to indigestion, upset stomach, and irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint leaves contain menthol, which has antispasmodic properties. Eat a few leaves after your meal or steep them in a tea.

Chamomile also has antispasmodic properties. It can help you relax and soothe your stomach problems, especially if they are caused by stress. Chewing on a few pieces of ginger root can help relieve nausea as well as gas and bloating.  

Stress

We’re all affected by stress in one way or another during our daily lives. Drinking herbal tea and/or massaging your temples with herbal essential oils can relax and soothe you, even help you sleep. The best herbs for stress relief are valerian, chamomile, lavender, kava kava and ginkgo biloba.

Creating your own remedies is best accomplished with homegrown herbs. You know what type of soil and fertilizer was used to create what will undoubtedly be a thoroughly high-quality plant. If you need to dry them, they are best from fresh as well.

More and more people are taking a look at herbs and herbal remedies for their common ailments. As a part of a healthier lifestyle, herbal remedies can now be found in household medicine cabinets just as much as aspirin and cough medicine. Now you can grow your own herbs and make herbal remedies yourself.

Herbs Get A Bad Rap

Herbs for medicinal purposes are sometimes looked on as foolery. However, there is more of a relationship between herbs and modern medicine than people know. There are a variety of compounds found in plants that are now found in our modern medicines. Research is showing that there is value in using fresh herbs for preventative maintenance as well as treating some conditions.

Once scientists learned to extract certain compounds from plants and create similar ones, plant use dropped off. The herb remedies fell into hearsay but have been making a resurgence within the medical community. People want to return to their roots – literally and using these herbs is a great way to complement a lifestyle of living and eating clean.

Here are Some Herbs You Can Start to Grow and Their Medicinal Uses

Peppermint

Peppermint Leaves

This is great for candy but has several medicinal purposes as described above. Leaves can also be steeped in tea to be used as a muscle relaxant, antispasmodic and antacid. Use crushed leaves on the chest as an expectorant.

Calendula

Calendula Flowers

This flower is used as a healing cream to fight inflammation. Use it to find relief from poison ivy.

Thyme

This is excellent for fighting respiratory infections. You can use this to help cure anything from simple bad breath to mouth sores, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. It also works wonders on the skin as used in this Thyme and Green Tea Toner for the face.

Sage

Sage

This helps women deal with hormonal issues. It can help with menstrual cramps and those coming up or going through menopause. The tea can also help those dealing with depression and anxiety.

Lavender

The purple flowers smell great but this powerful plant has many medicinal benefits. You can make your own essential oil with it to relieve headaches and stress. Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be used topically without burning or damaging the skin. It’s is an antibiotic and antifungal and great in beauty concoctions for the skin and hair. If making your own essential oil is outside of your DIY comfort level, the tea works fine too.

Chamomile

Chamomile

Steep the leaves in a tea as a sedative to help you sleep better. This is also known for its anti-inflammatory properties and so will help you if you suffer from inflammation.

Ginkgo Biloba

Gingko Biloba

We’ve all heard of this one for improving memory. You can also use it as a supplement to help fight the effects of free radicals in the body. An alternative for growing your own ginkgo is rosemary. Rosemary also helps to boost your memory and is known to help those who need a cognitive boost. It also tastes good in your meals!

Echinacea

Echinacea

Known as the “immune booster,” this is used to ward off the effects of a cold or a sore throat. Usually, when drinking Echinacea, the duration of a cold is lessened.

Ginseng

Ginseng Plant

This can be used to lower your blood sugar levels and cholesterol. It reduces stress and promotes greater relaxation and generally boosts the immune system.

Ginger

Ginger Root

Eating fresh ginger root can help ease an upset stomach and any digestive problems. You can also steep this in a tea with a bit of honey.

Garlic

Garlic Cloves

Of course, we know that this tastes great in our food. But did you know that you can eat fresh cloves to help boost the immune system naturally? Garlic also lowers blood cholesterol and is antibiotic. If the flavor is too strong for you, consider cutting a clove in half and taking it as you would a pill, with water.

 

When using herbs for medicinal purposes make sure to check proper dosages used by herbalists for best results. Also, check with your doctor for any interactions with prescription meds.

This post was written by Monique Solomon of The Beauticle, a blog dedicated to living a beautiful life from the inside out. Get tips on living well; our topics range from healthy eating, yoga and meditation, wholesome parenting, coping with depression and anxiety and of course beauty! Interested in writing for us? We accept guest posts! Come on over and check out our guidelines and be sure to follow us on Pinterest.

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Comments

  1. Hillary Hood says:

    This is a great read! Super informative. I have been curious about herbs but now I just need to get on it! Thanks for sharing! I will definitely be checking out your blog!

    1. She had such great information! I can’t wait to start growing some of these medicinal herbs in my own garden!

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