Medicinal plants and herbs, just like conventional drugs and medication, are proficient in combatting sicknesses and diseases. Easy in this context because some of them are plants that can be found anywhere and can be easily infused with food or water to help boost your immune system. A lot of drugs are derived from plants such as aspirin, morphine and caffeine. This article will enlighten you on the top medicinal herbs to grow and their medical uses. It is recommended to use these herbs under the close supervision of a medical practitioner.
Numerous types and species of medicinal herbs exist in the world. From ginger and garlic which are used to cook to chamomile.
Here is a list of the easiest medicinal herbs to grow at home and their uses. The list is useful so you can decide which of these herbs are likely to be most useful to you.
You should note that plants are harvested differently depending on what part of the plant offers the remedy. For some plants, it is the flower petals, and for others, it is the root or the leaves.
1. Calendula or Pot Marigold (Calendula Officinalis):
This is an antiseptic, soothing, wound-healing herb. It is used in shampoo, body washes, diaper creams and herbal salves. Calendula is a very beautiful and cheerful orange and yellow petaled flower. It does not taste the best on its own but when mixed with peppermint, the flavor is great.
Medicinal uses: rashes, wounds, skin issues
How to use: Pick the petals of the flowers once they are open. Pour hot water over the petals and let steep for about 10 minutes then strain.
2. Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
A member of the mint family, is a very easy plant to grow. It tends to spread so it is recommended that they are planted in pots. The leaves and flowers of this plant have a very relaxing effect on the nervous system and the stomach. Lemon balm tastes great and is also light enough to be used for children. This plant is best grown fresh.
Uses: Coughs, colds/flu, relaxes nerves, reduces fevers
How to use: pour a cup of boiling water over about six fresh leaves. Leave to steep for five minutes and strain.
3. Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)
This is a very soothing herb. Like the lemon balm, it should be planted in a pot to avoid spreading. This plant also requires a lot of sunlight. It is great for stomach upsets.
Uses: motion sickness, upset sickness, sinus issues, headaches
How to use: steep about a dozen leaves in hot water till it begins to turn a yellowish hue.
The most known characteristic of chamomile is its soothing nature. It is mostly used as a sleep inducer. It is delicious too. There are different types of chamomile like German and Roman chamomile. Some species of chamomile plants are annual while others are perennial.
Uses: eye issues, upset stomach, reduce fever, gas, promotes sleep.
How to use: harvest the flowers when they begin to open and chop them up. You can either steep the chopped up flowers in hot water to get tea or you can make the chopped up flowers into a tea bag by using a muslin bag with a drawstring.
You likely recognize lavender and a scent used for perfumes. However, lavender also has medicinal values. For example, it is used as an antidepressant and it is great for the nervous system. As an oil, people use it in their bath waters to relieve tension, stress and insomnia. They grow well in dry sunny areas with well-drained soil.
Uses: insomnia, sunburn, acne, antidepressants, stress relief
How to use: when the flower spikes start to open up, collect the leaves and flowers and chop them up. You can put the chopped up pieces in a sachet and put them under your pillow to help reduce stress. You can also add small doses of the flowers into your butter, honey, baked goods, salads, and even fresh drinks like lemonade.