The garden has a lot more to offer than pretty flowers and yummy produce. In fact, it is easy to grow a veritable pharmacy right out your backdoor by planting these incredible herbs that are loaded with health benefits. Here are a few of our favorite simple and powerful herbal remedies straight from the garden.
Peppermint is a hardy, useful herb in the mint family that can be used in many natural remedies and enjoyed in teas and tinctures to deliver several health benefits. It has long been recognized as an excellent tool for freshening breath and helping to prevent nausea and stomach upset, including indigestion and vomiting.
How to grow it: Like all mint varieties, peppermint will take over a garden if left to its own devices. Grow it in a pot on your patio or bury the entire nursery pot in the garden when you are planting it to keep the roots contained. If you are using a lot of peppermint, you can also dedicate an entire small garden space to the plant.
Not only is echinacea, or purple coneflower) incredibly beautiful, it is quite useful as an herbal remedy as well. Plus, it is an excellent plant for attracting pollinators to the garden. While all parts of the plant, including the roots and seeds, are safe for human consumption, the flowers are the part primarily used for various tinctures and teas created for medicinal use. It is an amazing immune booster and can even help reduce the severity of symptoms associated with the common cold.
How to grow it: Plant echinacea in a sunny spot in well-draining soil. The plant will self-seed each year and come back fuller and more vibrant. Keep in mind; you may have to wait until the second season to see flowers.
Ah, lavender. There’s nothing like this herb for improving sleep quality, reducing insomnia, boosting your mood, and helping you relax. It pretty much does it all. Well, as long as you don’t want something to pep you up. Grow your own lavender at home, dry it, and sow it into a homemade heating pad for natural aromatherapy, add it to your bath, use it in baking sweet treats, or enhance your lemonade, butter, or honey for a uniquely infused flavor. You can even make your own essential oil with enough lavender.
How to grow it: Find the sunniest, driest, and hottest spot in your yard and stick in your lavender plant. It will grow into a lovely bush that can be harvested from time and time again.
Though this herb is usually considered more beneficial for culinary use than health use, it is actually a potent digestive aid that could help detoxify the body and rid it of heavy metals and other toxins. Plus, it is incredibly delicious and will bring many dishes to a whole new level of flavor. Pair it with a squeeze of fresh lime juice for the optimal combination.
How to grow it: Cilantro will grow well in pretty much the opposite environment of lavender. Therefore, if you’re planting cilantro and lavender right next to each other, you’re probably doing something wrong. Keep cilantro in a cool, moist garden to keep it from bolting and going to seed.
Though it isn’t as potent as others on this list, chamomile is just as effective. Don’t let its gentle flavor and delicate scent fool you, these yellow and white flowers are loaded with soothing health benefits. In fact, studies have listed chamomile as one of the most useful herbs for treating colic, nervous stress, infections, and stomach disorders in children. Turn these flowers into tea for a wealth of other benefits as well, such as reducing inflammation, limiting menstrual cramps, and even lowering blood sugar.
How to grow it: Another perennial, chamomile can easily be started from seed indoors and then transplanted outside when the weather warms. It will thrive best when grown in a partly shaded area; however, it will still grow in full sun. Like most herbs, it is best left alone and doesn’t need to be fussed over.
What’s your favorite medicinal herb? Let us know in the comments below!