(Homesteading.news) As you plan your organic garden this spring, you may want to include some important medicinal herbs that pack a punch for alternative health benefits. Herbal medicine is an old healing art that goes back thousands of years and in fact, many of our modern day medicines are derivatives of plain, old herbs.
Johns Hopkins Medicine states that, “Many prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines are also made from plant derivatives, but these products contain only purified ingredients and are regulated by the FDA.” You can grow your own little garden of natural, medicinal herbs that can provide you with natural health solutions at home.
There are several medicinal herbs that are worth growing and exploring their healing benefits. You can easily grow these in a container garden or in outdoor soil beds. You can even grow them in an indoor garden ready for immediate use when matured and dried. These herbs can be used for healing teas, applied as ointments and in various other forms for health use.
This is a perennial plant that is most famous for its ability to enhance the immune system. It’s great for colds, flu, and allergies since it boosts the immune system to more easily overcome these illnesses. Echinacea tea is commonly used during sicknesses and is also great in herbal supplement form to support immune function when you need it.
This is a most popular herb that is extremely helpful as a sleep aid and stress reliever when used as a tea. It can also relieve the symptoms of colic in children, help heal skin irritations, and relieve indigestion. The herb is typically best as a tea or ointment for medicinal use.
St. John’s Wort
Best known as a mood enhancer, St. John’s Wort can be grown, then dried for a powerful tea to drink for mild to moderate depression. It’s used in both the U.S. and Europe to help improve depression, as well as depressive symptoms such as fatigue, loss of appetite and anxiety. You can use both the dried leaves and flowers in a tea to improve mood.
Thyme is good for gas relief, congestion, indigestion or cough because of its antiseptic properties. You can drink it in tea form or even chew on its leaves for natural relief.
After drying, you can steep it in a strong tea that can give relief from digestive problems and gas. This tasty tea can also help relieve headache pain.
Parsley is an easy herb to grow and is great for use to get rid of bad breath and flatulence. Of course, it’s also used as a garnish on foods and can be eaten.
Most people first think of sage in the context of cooking. Actually, sage was used for medicinal purposes before it was used in cooking. Inflammation of the throat and mouth respond well to sage.
Another herbal tea that can help improve mood, memory and concentration is the medicinal herb, rosemary. It’s also another herb that helps reduce bad breath.
Basil is an annual plant that yields rather large leaves. It’s also an herb that is great for both food and medicinal uses. Basil can be applied to heal scrapes and cuts on the skin. It can be used to help improve a poor appetite and is an important herb to add to any medicinal garden.
This herb is great for brewing a tea that can control headaches, fever and arthritis. It can also be chewed for the same benefits.
This by no means is a comprehensive list of all the medicinal herbs that are worth planting in your own herb garden this spring. However, these are some of the most popular because of their effectiveness and also because some can be used for both medicinal and cooking purposes. It’s worth growing your own organic herb garden as well as learning the most effective ways to use medicinal herbs for natural health purposes.
Reporting by P.S. Orr.
Johns Hopkins Medicine
University of Maryland Medical Center
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