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27 Medicinal Plants Worth Your Garden Space




Playful as kids are, accidents happen. And the accident that befallen me at 7 years old was the feeling of the hot exhaust pipe of a motorcycle kissing the skin of my leg. Grandma was around and saw it. Immediately, she took out a knife and slice the thick lower part of the aloe vera plant by the garden and rubbed the exposed end on the burn.

Looking back, I realized that it was important to have medicinal plants around the house cause you never know when you might need them. So here are a list of plants that have the highest medicinal value compared to the other million species around the world worth planting around the house.

  1. Aloe Vera
  2. The aloe vera grows only under the sun with well drained dry or moist soil. Although the plant tastes like turd, it’s still edible. The sap from aloe vera is extremely useful to speed up the healing and reducing the risk of infections for :

    • wounds
    • cuts
    • burns
    • eczema
    • reducing inflammation

    Apart from its external use on the skin, aloe vera is also taken internally in the treatment of :

    • ulcerative colitis (drinking aloe vera juice)
    • chronic constipation
    • poor appetite
    • digestive problems

  3. Marsh Mallow
  4. The plant of which marshmallows were once made of. The root is taken internally to treat :

    • inflammations and irritations of the urinary and respiratory mucus membranes
    • counter excess stomach acid
    • peptic ulceration
    • gastritis

    Externally, the root is applied to :

    • bruises
    • sprains
    • aching muscles
    • insect bites
    • skin inflammations
    • splinters

    The leaves are very edible, unlike the aloe vera. They can be added to salads, boiled, or fried. It is known to help out in the area of cystitis and frequent urination.

  5. Great Burdock
  6. It requires moist soil and can grow shadeless. The great burdock is the pretty famous in the area of detoxification in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine. The root is is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that result in throat infections and skin diseases like :

    • boils
    • rashes
    • burns
    • bruises
    • herpes
    • eczema
    • acne
    • impetigo
    • ringworm
    • bites

    The leaves and seeds can be crushed to poultice it to bruises, burns, ulcers and sores.

  7. Pot Marigold
  8. It grows in almost any type of soil condition. It has no problem with nutritionally poor, very acidic or very alkaline soils, just as long as it’s moist. Well known as a remedy for skin problems, the deep-orange flowered pot marigold variety is applied externally to :

    Internally it is used to treat fevers and chronic infections.

    The tea of the petals tones up circulation and, taken regularly, eases varicose veins.

    Applying the crushed stems of the pot marigold to corns and warts will soon have them easily removable.

  9. Gotu Kola
  10. The gotu kola acts on various phases of connective tissue development and stimulates healing of :

    • ulcers
    • skin injuries
    • decreasing capillary fragility
    • stimulation of the lipids and protein necessary for healthy skin

    Leaves are thought to maintain youthfulness. Crushed leaves are poulticed to treat open sores. The gotu kola can also be used to :

    • treat leprosy
    • revitalize the brain and nervous system
    • increase attention span and concentration
    • treat venous insufficiency

  11. Camomile
  12. With a sweet, crisp, fruity and herbaceous fragrance, has long been used medicinally as a remedy for problems regarding the digestive system. It has a soothing and calming effect in the area of aromatherapy, used to end stress and aid in sleep. The entire herb is used to treat common aches like toothache, earache, shoulder pain and neuralgia.

  13. Globe Artichoke
  14. A bitter tasting plant that requires a lot of sun, the cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin. The cardoon leaves, best harvested before flowering, helps to :

    • improve liver and gall bladder function
    • stimulate the secretion of digestive juices
    • lower blood cholesterol levels
    • treat chronic liver and gall bladder diseases
    • jaundice
    • hepatitis
    • asteriosclerosis
    • early stages of late-onset diabetes

  15. Chinese Yam
  16. A type of yam that can be eaten raw, the chinese yam can be easily grown, succeeding in fertile, well drained soil in a sunny position. It is sweet and soothing to the stomach, spleen and has a tonic effect on the lungs and kidneys. It is used internally to treat :

    • tiredness
    • weight loss
    • loss of appetite
    • poor digestion
    • chronic diarrhea
    • asthma
    • dry coughs
    • uncontrollable urination
    • diabetes
    • emotional instability

    Externally, it is applied to :

    The leaf, on the other hand, is used to treat snakebites and scorpion stings.

  17. Echinacea
  18. One of the world’s most important medicinal herbs, the echinacea has the capacity to raise the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections by stimulating the immune system. It also has antibiotic properties that helps relieve allergies. Basically, the roots are beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds and burns. It was once used by the Native Americans as an application for insect bites, stings and snakebites. The echinacea grows on any well drained soil, as long as it gets sunlight.

  19. Siberian Ginseng
  20. The siberian ginseng has a wide range of health benefits, mostly as a powerful tonic herb that maintains good health. Its medicinal properties are used for :

    • menopausal problems
    • geriatric debility
    • physical and mental stress
    • treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation
    • angina
    • hypercholesterolemia and neurasthenia with headache
    • insomnia
    • poor appetite
    • increasing endurance
    • memory improvement
    • anti-inflammatory purposes
    • immunogenic purposes
    • chemoprotective purposes
    • radiological protection

  21. Great Yellow Gentian
  22. The great yellow gentian root is a bitter herb used to treat digestive disorders and states of exhaustion from chronic diseases. It stimulates the liver, gal bladder and digestive system, strengthening the overall human body. Internally, it is taken to treat :

    • liver complaints
    • indigestion
    • gastric infections
    • aneroxia

  23. Sea Buckthorn
  24. The sea-buckthorn has been used throughout the centuries in China to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain. The branches and leaves are used in Mongolia to treat gastrointestinal distress in humans and animals.

    The bark and leaves are used for treating diarrhea, gastrointestinal, dermatological disorders and topical compressions for rheumatoid arthritis. Even the flowers are used as skin softeners.

    The berries on the other hand are used together with other medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders. Fresh sea buckthorn berry juice is known to be taken in the event of :

    • colds
    • fever
    • exhaustion
    • stomach ulcers
    • cancer
    • metabolic disorders
    • liver diseases
    • inflammation
    • peptic ulcer
    • gastritis
    • eczema
    • canker sores
    • general ulcerative disorders
    • karatitis
    • trachoma

  25. Tea Tree
  26. Even the aborigines have been using the tea tree leaves for medicinal purposes, like chewing on young leaves to relieve headaches. The paperbark itself is extremely useful to them as it serves to line coolamons when used as cradles, as a bandage, as a sleeping mat, as material for building humpies, as an aluminum foil, as a disposable rain coat and for tamping holes in canoes.

    The leaves and twigs, eventaully made into tea tree oil, is anti fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and deserves a place in every household medicine box. Tea tree oil can be used to treat :

  27. Lemon Balm
  28. The reason the plant is called lemon balm is because of the lemon minty scent of the leaves. The flowers, which appear during the summer, are full of nectar. The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as :

    • mosquito repellent
    • herpes
    • sores
    • gout
    • insect bites

    Infusion of the leaves with water are known to treat :

    • colds
    • fevers
    • indigestion due to nervous tension
    • digestive upsets in children
    • hyperthyroidism
    • depression
    • mild insomnia
    • headaches

  29. Peppermint
  30. Peppermint is sometimes regarded as ‘the world’s oldest medicine’, with archaeological evidence placing its use at least as far back as ten thousand years ago. Pepeprmint are naturally high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C. Crushed leaves rubbed on the skin help soothe and relax the muscles. Infused peppermint leaves are used to :

    • reduce irritable bower syndrome
    • against upset stomachs
    • inhibit bacterial growth
    • treat fevers
    • flatulence
    • spastic colon

  31. Evening Primrose
  32. The young roots can be eaten like a vegetable, or the shoots can be eaten as a salad. Poulticed roots of the evening primrose is applied to piles and bruises. Tea made from the roots have also been used in the treatment of obesity and bowel pains. However, the more valuable parts are the leaves and bark which are made into evening primrose oil, known to treat :

    • multiple sclerosis
    • premenstrual tension
    • hyperactivity
    • eczema
    • acne
    • brittle nails
    • rheumatoid arthritis
    • alcohol-related liver damage (alcoholics, this is for you)

  33. Ginseng
  34. One of the most highly regarded medicines in the orient, the ginseng is reputable in its ability to promote health, general body vigor and prolong life. The roots are used to :

    • stimulate and relax the nervous system
    • encourage secretion of hormones
    • improve stamina
    • lower blood sugar levels
    • lower cholesterol levels
    • increase resistance to disease
    • treat debility associated with old age
    • treat lack of appetite
    • treat insomnia

  35. Turkey Rhubarb
  36. Known mainly for its positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system as a whole. Even children may use the turkey rhubarb as it is gentle enough. The roots act as an astringent tonic to the digestive system while larger doses are used as laxatives. Other than that, it is also known to treat :

    • chronic constipation
    • diarrhea
    • liver and gall bladder complaints
    • hemorrhoids
    • menstrual problems
    • skin eruptions due to accumulation of toxin

  37. Sage
  38. Salvia, the Latin name for sage, means ‘to heal’. Internally, the sage is used for :

    • indigestion
    • flatulence
    • liver complaints
    • excessive lactation
    • excessive perspiration
    • excessive salivation
    • anxiety
    • depression
    • female sterility
    • menopausal problems

    On the other hand, it is used externally for :

    • insect bites
    • skin infections
    • throat infections
    • mouth infections
    • gum infections
    • skin infections
    • vaginal discharge

  39. Wu Wei Zi
  40. Low doses of the fruit are said to stimulate the central nervous system whilst large doses depress it, while regulating the cardiovascular system. The seed is used in the treatment of cancer. Externally, it is used to treat irritating and allergic skin conditions while taken internally to treat :

    • dry coughs
    • asthma
    • night sweats
    • urinary disorders
    • involuntary ejaculation
    • chronic diarrhoea
    • palpitations
    • insomnia
    • poor memory
    • hyperacidity
    • hepatitis
    • diabetes

  41. Milk Thistle
  42. It protects and improves the function of the liver (take note, alcoholics). Taken internally, milk thistle helps to treat :

    • liver and gall bladder diseases
    • jaundice
    • hepatitis (liver inflammation)
    • poisoning
    • high cholesterol levels
    • insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis
    • the growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate cancers
    • the effects of a hangover

  43. Comfrey
  44. Comfrey contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. It is reputed to have teeth and bone building properties in children. Safer to use externally than internally, comfrey is used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from :

    • bronchial problems
    • broken bones
    • sprains
    • arthritis
    • gastric and varicose ulcers
    • severe burns
    • acne
    • cuts
    • bruises
    • sprains
    • sores
    • eczema
    • varicose veins

  45. Feverfew
  46. A tea made from the whole plant is used in the treatment of arthritis, colds, fevers etc. It is said to be sedative and to regulate menses. An infusion is used to bathe swollen feet. Applied externally as a tincture, the plant is used in the treatment of bruises. Chewing 1-4 leaves a day has proven to be effective in the treatment of some migraine headaches.

  47. Fenugreek
  48. Fenugreek seeds are nourishing and taken to :

    • encourage weight gain (take note, anorexics)
    • inhibit cancer of the liver
    • lower blood cholesterol levels
    • treat inflammation and ulcers of the stomach and intestines
    • drain off sweat ducts
    • for body building
    • for late onset diabetes
    • poor digestion
    • insufficient lactation
    • painful menstruation
    • labor pains
    • freshen bad breath
    • restore a dull sense of taste

  49. Slippery Elm
  50. The inner bark of the slippery elm can be ground into nutrient-rich porridge-like soup that serves as an excellent remedy for sore throats. Other than that, it can be used to soothe the digestive tract. The bark of the slippery elm was used as an abortion tool, moistened with water and inserted into the cervix, before it was banned by certain countries like the UK.

  51. Stinging Nettle
  52. Long known as a nutritious addition to the diet and as a herbal remedy, the stinging nettle leaves have been traditionally used to :

    • cleanse the blood
    • treat hay fever
    • arthritis and anemia
    • excessive menstruation
    • hemorrhoids
    • rheumatism
    • skin problems like eczema
    • nettle rash
    • chicken pox
    • bruises
    • burns

  53. Agnus Castus
  54. Beneficial to female hormonal system, the agnus castus seeds and fruits are used to rectify hormonal imbalances caused by an excess of estrogen and an insufficiency of progesterone. It acts upon the pituitary gland, reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of others, shifting the balance in favor of the gestagens, hormones that ‘secure’ pregnancy. Thus it has a wide application of uses in malfunctions of the feminine reproductive system and has been used with great effect in :

    • restoring absent menstruation
    • regulating heavy periods
    • restoring fertility caused by hormonal imbalance
    • relieving premenstrual tension
    • easing the transition of menopause

     



176 thoughts on “27 Medicinal Plants Worth Your Garden Space

    • Great list! It would have been better if you had:
      A) included the scientific names and
      B) include the zones

    • You stole my words! Where’s Cannabis? Depression, anxiety, pain and stimulation of hunger. If prepping for collapse of society, legality kinda goes out the window right? It would definitely be a staple of my survivalist garden.

    • Will these herbs grow in the deep south, subtropical climatr

    • i was raised on different plants and herbs theres alot i haven’t thought about in quite sometime . got married young lived in a family that didn’t use medicinal herbs . seemslike now a days there still shunned as being something almost evil/ give me home remedys and herbs wild plants any day! the plant i would like to see listed is the golden seal.It is used as a healing mouth rinse for dental extraction pain for canker sores, for a gargle for sore throats,to drink as it helps stomach problems like honey it a natural infection fighter. all rhubarb leaves aren’t poison as it was a fight to see who got the rhubarb first in minnesota. tthet never showed any ill effects of eating the leaves and rhubarb

    • Who here has taken milk thistle before? How did it work for you?

    • I contracted Hep C in the hospital in ’97. In ’98 I started using Schizandra berries to treat it. Then, about 3 months later, I found Milk Thistle and started taking the seeds when the Schizandra was running out. I was tested in October of that year, and the Hepatologist said there was “not a viral body to be found”. It’s never reappeared . I mix Milk Thistle into my dog’s food (and my friend’s dogs too) when they’re feeling old and sluggish, and they’re as good as puppies again.

    • I am so glad to see that I am keeping up with the Jones, as far as gardening goes. I love growing aloe from seed, my lemon balm has taken over my backyard and my purple coneflowers are so faithful.

    • Two years ago, a Chinese lady who owned the Chinese restaurant that I frequented was sitting at a nearby table with a pile of leafy switches, picking off leaves and putting then into a pot to make some type of soup. After I noticed the signature tiny thorns adorning the now-naked switches, I asked her if they were Goji, to her surprise. I told her I’d been resurrecting seeds from dried Goji berries for a few years, but the resulting seedlings never lived for more than a couple of months. She bundled all the switches in newspaper and told me to stick them in the ground or in pots where they were to grow. I did, and they all immediately rooted and began regrowing. I now have over a dozen healthy Goji vines and am looking forward to my first harvest of fresh berries this year. I’m still looking for Black Chokeberry bushes to add to my Medicine Garden.

  1. Would have been better to include the scientific names of the plants too

    • It is actually very dangerous to tout plants that are to be ingested and not include the genus and species. The user is responsible, but this is still pretty lazy to leave them out.

  2. Great list! Just a small correction- marshmallows (at least, the ones you buy in the store) are NOT made from any kind of plant. They’re made from gelatin, which comes from cow bones.

    • Long before” modern day”marshmallows of today they were made using this plant.

    • Marshmallows were indeed originally made from the namesake plant–and were delicious AND good for you…THEN.

      Now you either make the original yourself, or search online for the small, Organic and/or Gourmet concerns who do…

    • The Marsh mallow is actually a plant just as pictured.

    • Until the mid 1800′s, marshmallow candy was made using the sap of the Marshmallow plant. Gelatin replaces the sap in the modern recipes.

    • The original fluffy marshmallow was made as a hard candy used to soothe childrens sore throats. When technology changed,they quit using the juice from this plant which took out its healing properties of marshmallows. I’d love to learn how to make them the old fashioned way.

  3. You forgot about one sir, yup the number one on the list you forgot.

    • Cannabis DEFINITELY belongs on this list.

      I was at Target yesterday and heard some woman asking for “Prevacid” – it’s for heartburn.

      I used to take Tagamet & Zantac to deal with Silicon Valley Stress (of the Asshole Manager sub-variety.)

      Cannabis works SO MUCH BETTER for heartburn than any pill I was prescribed.

    • I SO agree. Cannabis should be on here.

    • Don’t forget Cannibis Indica for pain relief and sleeplessness. Works far better than Sativa, for me at least.

  4. I think that this is a good and informative list of 27 worthwhile additions to one’s garden, and thank you to its creator.
    I must, however, say that I spotted one major (and crucial) flaw, namely that THE LEAVES OF THE RHUBARB PLANT ARE POISONOUS [only the stems and roots are to be eaten.]
    On another note, I also feel that garlic would be a fine addition to this list ,both because of its extreme nutritional value and its hardiness/resistance to pests.
    Cannabis sativa and Psilocybe cubensis would make it onto my personal list as well.
    thanks

    • I used to believe that the leaves of the rhubarb plant were poisonous and did some research to learn that it depends on the variety.

      I now eat the leaves of what I’m growing and have no problems whatsoever.

    • Not even kidney stones? Be very mindful, more so than usual, of your whole body when ‘experimenting’ with questionable foods. I want to add CILANTRO to the list. It makes a good Pesto. Also an excellent chelation therapy.Consuming a few tablespoons, chopped, to nearly a handful a day, for 3 weeks, will remove heavy metals from the body and clear up MANY health problems that most do not associate with heavy metal poisoning.

    • I have never been successful with rhubarb and finally discovered my ducks were happily eating all the leaves right down to the big root. They never seemed to suffer from any toxic aftermath.

    • Please note we are not ducks… I would just like to point out that just because some animals can eat something does not mean its not poisonous for humans and vise versa. Like how humans can eat garlic, raisins and chocolate but it can be poisonous for your dog.

    • Actually, Garlic is good for dogs, it keeps fleas away, if sprinkled on their food. It’s onions that are bad for them.

    • Garlic IS poisonous to dogs (and cats) it destroys their red blood cells, leading to anaemia. Look it up. It is in MANY internet recipes for dogs but it should ALWAYS be left out.

  5. I think the above info is really really useful.I’m doing a course in herbal science so I found it really helpfull and I just wanted to say thanks.

  6. hello!
    I recently had a heel fracture and at the moment, the cast has been removed and there is still a little swell on the the area of ankle. I need to know if you have a medicinal plant remedy for this kind of swell. I am not into drinking medicines so i prefer herbs. thank you and i hope you can lhelp me relieve this kind of problem… good day….

    • Make a warm comfrey poultice and apply it to the area.

    • I have found rosemary leaves put in a tub of hot, hot water, then let cool until you can stand to put your foot in it comfortably. Soak your foot and heel in it. It takes away pain and very quickly reduces swelling. I have done this many times for friends and relatives. And they didn’t believe it would work. But they were immensely amazed and now they are believers. Try it. You will love it. Rosemary will grow anywhere, and makes a great addition to any garden or flowerbed. I even grow it in pots. My son said” Oh that won’t work when he fell off a mountain and hurt his foot and ankle. Well, after the first soak, he could bear weight on the foot ant then he got up in the night and made some more for himself. After that, his foot was well.

    • You can also make a tea from boneset (not sure what the scientific name for it is, but it grows wild), or make a poultice and apply it to the affected area.

    • Boneset is Eupatorium perfoliatum. Good to keep on hand during Winter and cold season.

    • the best thing for your ankle is elevation above your heart to promote the drainage of your leg. Gravity and immobility is your main issue. Once you start working with physio and they start activating your calf muscle (the heart of your leg) this will promote venous return and thus decreased swelling.

  7. Thanks for the info.

    Just to let you know that Aloe Vera is also good to take the poison out of the Dr. Fly Bite in Southern Mexico and Belize. I was highly alergic to the bite and swelled up and itched horribly. Opened up the plant and placed on the bite and then took an old sock top and put on the ankle to hold it on and within 10 min. the red lines that was running down my foot and the swelling was gone.
    The bush Dr. in Belize told me to do it and it works!

  8. I ‘m amazed with the article! Now I know that flowers are not only beautiful and colourful,but they also have lots of medicinal values.

  9. The botanical name plus other common names sometimes is helpful. I would like to see how and which parts of the plant are to be used.

  10. Am Rose from uganda and iam inttrested in the use of herbal medicine.
    How can i get seeds for these medicinal plants

    • You can probably get seeds from a seed catalog, or catalog that sells flowers and garden plants. I know many of these grow wild in the Pacific NW. I used to live there. I think there are some Cacti that can be added to the list of plants. One would be the Prickly Pear which can be boiled and eaten after the spines are scraped off. There are many more out there that were not on the list. I have a photo, or just look up Prickly Pear Cactus for one.

    • I order my herb seed from an amazing greenhouse business in Ontario, Canada called Richters. It isn’t the fanciest place to visit, but who cares, they have a great product! There is a website as well, and they ship all over. Even the catalogue is full of useful information. (No, I don’t make a profit from plugging this business.)

  11. Very useful if we can have in our garden and use the same. It will no side effect , easily available, and also save time, money and life too.

  12. Y’all are wrong about the marshmallow bit. Marshmallow roots were used to create their namesake, and the recipe just changed over the years. Also, though, the writer should change that to the past tense, they don’t use them anymore.

  13. This is a great list! I’ll definitely plant some of these when I get a chance. After all, why buy the artificial alternative that’s packaged in plastic when you can have the real thing.

  14. You should mention that the “26. Stinging Nettle” will give you a poison oak type of reaction when the wild plant comes in contact with skin.

    • Stinging nettle only leaves temporary discomfort. I have yet to actually develop a rash from it like I do from poison ivy (and I would assume poison oak). Of course many of the other plants found growing around nettles will help with the sting. Plantain, yellow or curly dock, violet and other plants can soothe stinging nettle pretty quickly.

    • Stinging nettle will definitely make you dance if it comes in contact with bare legs! However, if yo pick it while wearing gloves and cook it as a delicious green, the heat removes the stinging element.

    • I have found that if you are “stung” by stinging nettles, and you are able to smash some of the fattest part of the stalk, and put that juice (of the inside of the plant) on your sting, it will go away immediately. Ahhhh! Sweet relief!

    • Calendula is part of the marigold family, and on this list it was called Pot Marigold, but is exactly the same thing!
      Lots of other good plants mentioned in the comments, to them I would add dill!

  15. ‘Blythe’, Pot Marigold IS Calendula. Also, Wu Wei Zi (Schizandra) CURED me of HepC in 1998. But another plant that should definitely be added to the list is Self-heal or All-heal (Prunella vulgaris), as it controls Herpes and HIV, and will treat/cure myriad other health problems, without side effects.

    • Good point about the prunella vulgaris. I use it and know first-hand that it works.

    • prunella is also effective against MRSA, which is pampant in hospitals now.

  16. Great list! I, too, am disappointed that there is no mention of Cannabis (sativa and indica, as both have wonderful and different medicinal qualities). I would also love to see how one would prepare these plants for use, either by link or description next to ailment.

    Great job! Thank you!

    • I, too, would prefer to see articles on pot oil and “how to’s” on the plants that you have listed. Thanks!

    • Get a good book on identifying, preparing and usiing herbs such as Dr. Duke’s book, HERBS. it’s way to much information to be able to include it in an article like this. even two or three herb books can be very valuable to have to learn what different experts consider safe and effective.

  17. Please make sure before you plant anything “exotic” in your garden that it does not have the potential to escape and become invasive. I know that Burdock and Stinging Nettles are both highly invasive where I live.

    • If you are planting an invasive species you can control them by putting them in pots and if they have seeds that will blow in the wind you can bring them inside till you harvest their seeds, or if you don’t want to harvest them you can cut them back before they seed. Some are illegal to bring into certain areas so be sure to check that out. You can also cover them with plastic to avoid spreading the seeds around.

  18. Plants that are considered invasive shouldn’t be a problem if there is enough use for them. I wish peppermint was as invasive as spearmint. Prunella (Self-heal or All-heal) is considerably invasive, but you can never have too much of that. Also, Prunella, Sage, Lemon Balm, and of course Rosemary are high in Rosmarinic acid. Sufficient and long-term use of Prunella flower spikes and Turmeric will arrest and reverse Alzheimer’s. I just harvested all of my Marshmallow seeds today, for a HUGE planting next year. A friend gave me a lot of Burdock seeds a few years ago, but I have yet to get one plant from them—anyone have any suggestions? The American species of Wu Wei Zi/Schizandra growing here in the southeast produced an abundance of berries this Summer. I collected over a thousand seeds to spread it into other parts of the country. A new research program is underway, to determine whether the American Schizandra is as medicinallyeffective as the Chinese. And lastly, Pot Marigolds (Calendula) are high in Lutein.

    • You need to be careful. Even good plants, no matter how useful, can harm the environment you’re in. Look at Kudzo. It’s a great fodder for animals and even edible to us, but it’s so invasive it’s killing off everything it gets near and is spreading despite best efforts to control it.

      Milk thistle, from this list, is another example. If left to spread here in the midwest, it will crowd out all fodder in fields, and animals can’t eat it. I believe it’s actually illegal in Missouri to allow it to grow. One unharvested seed head can make misery for neighbors for miles around within only a very few years.

    • Most years, I can’t even get Milk thistle to grow here in West Tennessee

    • Anything can be considered undesirably invasive in certain environments. For example if a plant has invasive growth patterns and live in a compact community (such as condos or duplexes) and your neighbors do not want these plants in their garden area(s) then it is undesirably invasive no matter how much use you have for the plant. definitely something to keep in mind. More so for some than others.

    • good point bentpenny.

      Burdock might be invasive in your area but why cry about it. if you read up on it, the leaves make good pot herbs (first year) and the roots make a starchy vegetable similar to potatoes(second year). plant more and USE them. they’re a valuable food source.

    • For invasives, sure use what is already out there, but by introducing them to a new area you are causing more problems. Burdock chokes out native vegetation thus reducing the availability of natural, healthy forage for wildlife. Burdock seeds are spread by attaching themselves to fur and clothing. Sometimes they do not easily come off of animals and can cause sores.

    • in most states it’s illegal to grow invaisive plants, check your states laws first.

  19. I need to know where is a place where I could by my own seeds or starters for the medicinal plant… any ideas??

    Mariae

    • As someone mentions in an earlier (or later?) thread, Richters has an array of seeds and plants with a description of what their uses are. Google the name and then go to their site and request a catalog.

    • Richters Herbs ,great place to order from and free catalogue available. lots of tips & use hints in the catalogue

    • I recomend 3 places: Richters has been mentioned already, Mountain Rose Herbs, and Bountiful Gardens.

  20. Feverfew is very prolific! Our neighbourhood is full of it after just one neighbours propagated some.

    I’m sure there are thousands of plants helpful to good health and this list is a good start for those not aware of herbal lore.

    Thanx from Salt Spring Island B C Canada

  21. Good stuff.
    I would add Lavender, Plantain, Sheep Sorrel, Dandelion, and Arnica. Garlic has been mentioned. :)

  22. I noticed a typo under Fenugreek. You posted that it was to “encourage weight gain (take not, anorexics)”. I’m sure you meant “take note anorexics”. Your typo reversed that sentiment!

  23. Great article. I have bee hives and I grow flowers for them that are totally non toxic to us. Clover, borage, calendula, blue boy cornflower and sunflowers… makes great honey!

  24. Rather than buying “big cans o’ seed” from websites designed to cater to/fleece the recent uptick in prepper/survivalist purchasing, you’d do much better to obtain your seeds from well-respected organic/open pollinated seed houses and professional herbalists. The folk know how to properly pepare and store seeds. You have no idea where these fly-by-night survivalist websites get their seeds, how old they are, and whether they have been prepared and stored properly. Richter’s (mentioned elsewhere in the comments) is an excellent source, as are Horizon Herbs and any of the other resources listed on this herbalist page they maintain. http://www.horizonherbs.com/link.asp

  25. Also, forgot to add this one, which is extremely useful and not often mentioned in mainstream articles: “Lomatium dissectum”, also known as “Desert Parsley” or “Fernleaf Biscuitroot”. This grows well in drier areas in Zone 4 – 8, and is a Perennial native to western North America. It has many uses, the most well-known is for respiratory illnesses, and it has strong antimicrobial properties. A tincture of the roots is the primary method of preparation.

    For those of you who are serious about growing medicinal herbs in your garden, along with reference books from well-respected herbalists, this website has a lot of great information about various plants used around the world: Plants for a Future: http://www.pfaf.org/ There are various ways to search the plant database and it is advised that you read the ‘how-to’ sections on the website. It is not the most simple ‘point & click’ type of resource, but it has great information.

  26. I think your list is very good. The ones I would add would be mullein, arnica and calendula. I was making my list of what to plant this year and was happy that with a little research and knowledge I can skip planting mullein because it is considered invasive in my area so I can harvest it locally for free!

  27. Plantain either Plantage Lancelata or Plantain Major is another good plant for insect bites and cuts and scrapes.

    • Jewelweed, which will stop blistering from poison ivy, will also neutralize nettle stings almost instantaneously.

    • Plantain tea is great in the bath for skin rashes, excema and chickenpox too

  28. Hello,

    Great list and information. I wanted to say that you should also add Oregano to your list. It is a very healing herb, with antibiotic qualities, digestive disorders, skin disorders, and quite a few others. People already mentioned Cannabis and garlic. There are so many good, healing herbs, it would be really hard to list them all at once. Thank you for the great list. God Bless.

  29. I find it interesting that so many post that a particular herb or plant is healing to so many aliments but how are we supposed to know how to use the substance for those aliments?

  30. You can do an internet search for a particular herb and the proper dosage. Generally when a plant is used as a tea, the usual amount is 1 to 2 teaspoons per cup (but with various stepping times). With Prunella, it doesn’t matter how much you use, it won’t hurt you. NOT so with many other herbs, even Peppermint: too much Menthol in your system can cause heart arrhythmias. Again, carefully search the internet OR find an herbalist or someone who is well-acquainted the plants and has experience with them.

  31. I am aware of the proclaimed uses of many plants but while lists are nice the average person has no idea how to prepare them. Maybe you can advise.

  32. You should also ALWAYS make sure that ANY herb you use will not interact negatively with any pharma medications you may be taking or any other herbs you use
    I would add Dandelion,good for water retention and cystitis and Meadowsweet a great painkiller that contains salicylic acid but does NOT have the nasty side effects of aspirin.

  33. I love the list but would love also to see how each is used for what ailment. I am trying to go to natural things rather than all these pills that they want to give all the time. BUT one has to know how to use every thing properly please.

  34. The best one to start with—I think— would be Prunella vulgaris. It was/is called All-Heal, Self-Heal, or Heal-All for good reason. It does not matter how much you use. It will not harm you. It is one of the few plants where “If a little bit is GOOD, then More is BETTER” is not dangerous thinking. Prunella is: Antiestrogenic–prevents estrogen-induced cancers; protects cells’ Mitochondria; protects red blood cells against hemolysis. It is antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. It is an immune stimulant, increases production and mobilization of NK (natural killer) cells. Inhibits histamine release, preventing anaphylactic shock and immediate allergic reactions; protects the kidneys and brain against lipid peroxidation. Prunella controls Herpes in all forms, including Shingles and Herpetic Keratosis; controls HIV by inhibiting a crucial step in the viral replication process, the ‘gp41 six-helix bundle formation’. Daily, and long-term use, of Prunella will arrest the progression of these two conditions and assist the immune system in killing them. The flower spikes are used in Chinese medicine to reverse medication-induced memory problems, but the whole above-ground plant can be used. It decreases acetylcholinesterase activity, for treatment of Alzheimers. The polyphenol compounds, Prunellin and Rosmarinic acid, break up amyloid-beta conglomerates (plaques) inside and outside cells (Turmeric breaks up the same plaques outside cells). PLUS, Prunella inhibits Shigella, Pseudomonas, Bacillus typhi, E coli, Mycobacterium tuberculi (Tb), and Staphylococcus aureas, including MRSA. The whole plant will help prevent food poisoning. Prunella can be used dried or tinctured. One can collect seeds from plants in the wild, in late Summer, and sow them in a prepared bed before Winter, and will have a lifetime supply of the plants.

    • OOPS! My goof. ‘Prunellin’ has no effect on Alzheimers. It is one of Prunella’s constituents that stops HIV replication.

  35. Great list and comments. I would add Yarrow (Achillea millefolium L.) to the list. You can use the leaves to stop external bleeding (it was used by Civil War soldiers) and the tea to help sweat out a fever.

  36. Is there anything that will help with hot flashes/over heating (I’m not in menopause, but probably getting close)? It’s so uncomfortable that I’m not looking forward to the summer :(

    • The Agnus Castus on the list, also called Vitex some places, is probably what you need.

    • Sage works well for me in reducing hot flashes & sweating.

    • Motherwort ( Leonurus cardiaca ) will stop hot flashes. Using a tincture, just a dropperful or two is all that’s needed. It will calm your nerves and lower your blood pressure, as well. Motherwort is good for all women’s complaints, but works wonders for men, too. Especially good for recovering from heart attacks and cardiac surgery.

  37. In some cases it would be better to buy the part of the plant that is used. In the case of the milk thistle and the cardoon/artichoke, both thistles, they are quite invasive. The more impossible one to control is the milk thistle. In fact if people are interested in using it they should come to socal and help us rid this non native by gathering it. Nettle can be invasive, but since the native one can be used then it can serve a purpose by providing habitat as well as food and medicine if grown. All plants should be check for such problems before planting so they can be planted in more controlled settings, such as pots or indoors or greenhouse so the seeds don’t easily spread….

  38. Spilanthes acmella (or S. oleracea, they keep changing the name) is an Annual here and perennial in more tropical climes. The seeds do not survive freezing well, so is unlikely to reseed itself. Collect the fully matured ‘buds’ before they start to ‘gray’ and shatter. Spilanthes treats dry mouth by stimulating saliva flow. It stops toothache and kills the infection that may be the cause; kills blood parasites and plasmodial diseases—prevents/cures Malaria and Lyme Disease; prevents Heartworms in dogs by killing the larvae; Kills Giardia; kills mosquito larvae in standing water; is antibacterial, killing E coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus; inhibits Candida; increases production of White Blood Cells and antiviral Interferon. It is a Lymphatic stimulant. Eating a bud or two, or several leaves each day, will prevent myriad diseases. Eating the plant—especially the buds (actually flower clusters) causes a pleasant shock when the mouth starts going numb, followed shortly by an intense “buzzing” sensation. This is just an immune reaction that MAY continue for nearly 30 minutes.

  39. I am SHOCKED to see that thyme wasn’t on this list? It is a very strong disinfectant. It helps heal a sore throat and helps with digestion, not to mention that it is used in Listerine. It is also a great bug repellent, for both closets and people. Add it to DIY deoderant and body sprays.

    • Thyme tea also is an excellent expectorant :)

  40. dandelion would be a good addtion too…it too also has a use even if it thought of as a “weed”.

    • was thinking the same thing – I use that “weed” from top to bottom. And then there should be Penny Worth on the list

  41. Enjoyed reading all the comments. Looking forward to any updates, suggestions.

  42. Merry Meet Beautiful Peoples!
    I just wanted to drop a quick note to let you know that the marsh mellow plant is not used to make marshmallows. I thought it was when I first stated my research into the plant and I found out differently. I found this great recipe to make them from scratch, http://www.grouprecipes.com/30192/homemade-marshmellows.html, if you want to give it a try! And as always I stand by the fact that being human I too can be wrong. If you have a recipe that uses this wonderful plant to create this fluffy sweet stuff PLEASE share it with me!!!
    Bright Blessing to you all

  43. Just wondering if anyone knows of an herb that will help with or cure Plaque Psoriasis?

  44. Didn’t read all the comments, but has anyone heard of stinging nettle treating itself? Like if you get stung, you can crush the leaves and rub it over the sting. I read somewhere that it cures itself that way, but I can’t remember where…

  45. Do you have a link that illistrates how to use these plants with the ailments they treat? I would hate to eat a dirtball thinking it was a root or something.

    • ?? I won’t even touch that one.

    • Sorry, I live in the country. Guess it could become a serious problem in that type of setting.

  46. Where is marijuana? Probably the most versatile and useful herb, it will address a wide range of the ailments discussed here.

  47. Amanda, I like very much you side about medicinal plant. hope you and you family are okay.

  48. I would add Ephedra; a tea of this works better on my asthma than any of the drugs I have been given. I have been cautioned about it but I have never had any bad effects from the tea I have used for many years; I have had bad side effects from every one of the drugs I have been given for it over the years.

  49. Glad to have found you… love all the help, freely given. I’m planting Prunella as soon as! Minor point; I found your ‘even the aborigines… etc’ on Tea tree was jarring. Hello; the indigenous people have the knowledge that later settlers relatively recently ‘discovered’. Respect! xx

  50. I know this is not an exhaustive list but my two favorites are not listed: Mullen and rosemary.

  51. I’d like to know how to use the sage. Great article.

  52. Genuinely curious re this comment about echinacea : “It also has antibiotic properties that helps relieve allergies.” How would an antibiotic help with allergies? They aren’t caused by a microbe, but by proteins that make our immune system over-react. The only explanation I can cook up in my non-allergist’s-brain is that by helping the immune system it won’t over-react to allergens?

    I’m not saying it’s wrong, I’m questioning how it works… this flies in the face of how I understand allergies.

    • It has antibiotic AS WELL AS antiallergenic properties, just as Prunella does. Prunella will kill many bacterial strains, and will also prevent allergic reactions by blocking histamine release.

    • Thanks for the clarification and follow up. I”ll have to read more about this.

  53. It seems that I will probably expand my garden in Southern Ontario.
    From whence could I obtain such plants?
    thanks if you could help me

    • Search for Richters on the web and request a catalog.

  54. While many people benefit from Cannabis Sativa, some folks, with high blood pressure, etc. are uncomfortable using it. Cannabis Indica is a better choice for those folks. I use it to combat the nausea and pain of ulcerative colitis. I don’t enjoy the “high” that Sativa causes.

  55. All this time, it’s never occurred to me to add a plant I’ve been growing and using for several years, for its myriad medicinal properties: Spilanthes acmella( or S. oleracea, the name keeps being changed) also known as Paracress, Toothache Plant, Eyeball Plant, “Buzz buds”, etc. Spilanthes is like Echinacea on steroids. It will stop a toothache (and kill the infection causing it). It kills plasmodial diseases and blood parasites—prevents and treats Malaria and Lyme, prevents heartworm in dogs—but DO NOT treat an established case of heartworms with it. It kills Giardia, E coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, proteus vulgaris, Pseudomonas, Salmonella, and Staphylococcus. Spilanthes increases production of white blood cells AND antiviral Interferon. Chewing a “bud” or a leaf will numb the mouth and in about a minute, will produce a pronounced “buzzing” sensation (an immune reaction). Eating a bud or two, or a few leaves, per day will cure/prevent MANY conditions of ill health.

  56. Not sure where you got your data but you need to verify before publishing erroneous information. Marshmallows do NOT come from the Marsh Mallow plant. Per the Cadbury website, marshmallow ingredients include: Sugar, Wheat Glucose Syrup, Water, Gelatine, Corn Starch, Flavours, Colour (122)

    • It has already been established, here, that marshmallows do not come from the plants anymore, but originally DID, and can be again if anyone wants to make the effort to do so. Get your OWN facts straight and read the entire list of comments before issuing reprimands.

    • Essential oil of Frankencense will effectively treat hypothyroidism. One drop in a glass of rice, or almond, milk—or rubbed on the bottoms of the feet, will be circulating throughout the body in about 20 minutes. It easily gets past the blood-brain barrier, and benefits the hypothalamus and pituitary glands.

  57. 1) Master the apostrophe. “It’s” is different than “its.”

    2) Cardoons and artichokes are not the same thing.

    3) The term “red Indians” is offensive. Try “Native Americans” instead.

    • 1) Mastered. Thanks.

      2) Uncultivated or wild variety of artichokes are called cardoons.

      3) Amended. Thanks.

    • Master the apostrophe? What are you an English Teacher? Everyone knows what she meant, WITHOUT correcting her. Jeeze, I thought this was about Medicinal Plants, not a course in English or grammar.
      Get past the errors, and do not post back IF you feel a need to correct someone that you do not even know on their English.
      You people that are bent on correcting everyone’s mistakes really rile me.
      Perhaps she did not have the luxury of schooling, or grammar was not her best subject. How rude of you, when you do not know where she comes from or what kind of education she may have.
      You’d have a field day with me then….cuz (one of em) and another, and Jeeeeze is a favorite of mine too.
      Want to start correcting me on a Medicinal Plant guide website. Who are ya…..Little Miss Perfect? I bet you don’t have many friends, I’m correct aren’t I. Yeah, I knew I was.

  58. Thank you for a very informative list. I know it took time and effort putting it together and I for one find it very helpful. I am going to try growing some of these herbs/plants down here in Florida and continue studying them.

  59. Some of those on this list grow wild on my property such as echinacea, burdock, and milk thistle, along with others not on this list such as blackberries, red clover, dandelion, and quinine. I also specifically grow elderberries, goji berries, blueberries, barberries, grapes, lemon balm, catnip, oregano, rosemary, thyme, parsley, and garlic for both culinary and medicinal purposes.

  60. Burdock is not native to North America and is considered invasive/noxious in many states. Please check its status in your state/province before planting.

  61. thank you for putting such useful information so i can do my research medicinal plants thank you,but i want to know why you don’t put more on it people will like it you know?

    • Kratom is only for dopers seeking a legal, or ‘different’ high. Has just a few medicinal benefits, and is way too hazardous to use.

  62. I found the comment about ‘anorexic’s take note’ to be off-putting and misleading. There are herbs that help treat it but weight gain is not the main problem.

    When I’m having body dysmophic flare ups it has far more to do with my anxiety then my inability to gain weight. So I use passionflower and lavender to help calm them. (hops, camomile, and valerian root would also be affective.)

    It’s good to have weight gain in the list because so many other treatments (especially for cancer or adhd) cause intense and harmful weight-loss, but if you’re using herbs to TREAT anorexia then it needs to be recognized as a mental health issue not a weight issue. If you treat the mental health, in this case, the rest of the body will follow.

    • AMEN. Sadly, the mind/body connection is still largely overlooked, even in naturopathic medicine.

  63. I totally agree with the fenugreek being a must in any home garden. Both the sprouts and the seeds can be used. The seeds powder is actually a part of the curry mix.

  64. Do you happen to have any recipes for poultices used to help heal? My grandmother always swore by mustard poultice for deep coughs and my mom always used a bread a milk poultice to remove infections in wounds. It would be handy to have some of these old poultice recipes for future use. Thank You have a lovely day!

  65. I thought for certain that you’d be listing Arnica Montana as well as Cannabis.

    My own idea for your future prosperity is to make packaged sets of all these herbs, plants, and their growing instructions—to offer as a “boxed kit” for those of us who’d not like to have to purchase large quantities of each type of seed .

  66. The best medicinal tea tree oil comes from melaleuca alternifolia. The picture you show is of a type that does not make this oil. Over 130 varieties with common name Tea tree. Important to be specific as many have also commented. Great list by the way. Thanks

  67. Guess my comment didn’t go through. Milk Thistle and Schizandra cured me of Hep C in ’98.

  68. I think the ‘anorexics take note’ after saying fenugreek encourages weight gain in is VERY poor taste. Anorexics have a mental illness and the last thing they want to do is gain weight. It looks like you are warning them off something that would run counter to their goals. Anorexics starve themselves so are unlikely to munch on fenugreek for the little they allow themselves in a day.
    There are healthy individuals who would love to gain weight but can’t. They are not anorexics. They are thin people. If you are talking to them, you picked vastly the wrong term

  69. Very informative! Thank you for sharing this information in a organized usable way! We will likely add some of these to our garden.

  70. Safety of herbal medicine is very high, and side effects are rare. However, it can be argued that plants are always safe just because they are natural. They contain complex mixtures of chemicals, and each patient is a unique individual with personal reactions. It is important to consult with a specialist who will carefully study the needs of the patient to assist in healing.

  71. This post is a great resource especially since it’s spring and people are putting in gardens. Also, my first time hearing of Chinese yam. Thank you!

  72. i was so looking forward to a herbal garden this year i was raised on medicinal herbs and herbal treatments as a child and visions of my mother running to pick herbs from our garden at the sight of illness or treatment ,although i was part of the treatments never really learned herbal treatment like her …looking forward to my first garden

    • That’s already been posted several times. It’s also been posted–several times– that originally marshmallows WERE concocted from the plant . Time to let it go.

  73. Pingback: Natural remedies from the garden | The Other Side

  74. Good post ! These plants are really useful for our health. Aloe vere is the best for eczema . Thank you so much for article.

  75. Dandelion definitely belongs on this list, especially considering how easily it grows and its numerous applications and benefits!

  76. This is a great list. I’m sure there are others that could
    be added, but what is here is very good. Thanks for
    All the information.

  77. I showed it to my housekeeper and she knows some.
    I will try to plant in my vegetable garden and yard.

    Thank you

  78. Guess What ! ALl this are practiced in india on regular basis .

  79. I have been using stinging nettle and butterbur this year for my Hay Fever and completely eliminated my Zurtec usage. So Awesome to be sneeze, itchy eye, and runny noise free and no drowsiness again absolutely no drowsiness.

  80. Pingback: 27 Medicinal Plants To Grow In Your Garden | Health & Natural Living

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