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Start a Healing Garden with These 6 Medicinal Herbal Plants

Empower Yourself With a Kitchen Pharmacy

medicinal herbal plants
Consider growing your own medicinal plants to make potent natural remedies that heal.

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Considering the events of the last few weeks, more people are interested in growing medicinal herbal plants. Think about it… many popular over-the-counter medicine ingredients come from China. If prescription and over-the-counter medicines become scarce, natural medicines could be necessary for health concerns and survival.

Even though the Corona crisis will come to an end, another disaster can happen at any time. And when it does, people will thankful they know about natural remedies. So, take advantage of spring approaching and plant some seeds for a more self-sufficient approach to living. You won't regret growing some of your medicines yourself, I promise!

Here you will learn about six medicinal herbs to include in your kitchen pharmacy for long-term and multi-tasking use. Additionally, you'll get some tips for growing and drying the herbs.

Here are a few medicinal, herbal plants to get you started:

1. Ginger Root

medicinal herbal plants
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a rhizome that comes from the same family as turmeric and cardamom.

Ginger is incredibly trouble-free to grow. You can easily buy a ginger root and cut it into smaller root pieces. It's best to start ginger indoors. Plant by digging down at least three inches and then point the root tip up and carefully cover with soil. You can reuse the roots for several years if you maintain it properly.

Ginger is a warming herb and is known to help with soothing intestinal issues and constipation as well as nausea from illness or pregnancy. It is a popular antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties as well.

2. Garlic

medicinal herbal plants
The healing power of garlic is found in allicin, a natural antibiotic that can strengthen our immune response to viruses.

 

Garlic has to be among the world's top healthiest foods! It likes humus-rich, deep, well-drained soil. Plant in a sunny location in rich, well-drained soil. Set cloves 4-6″ apart, root side down and cover with 1-2″ of fine soil.
 
You can use garlic to boost your immunity and help easy cold and flu symptoms. One of the easiest was to used it is to crush the cloves and place them in a jar of organic honey. Mix together and put in the refrigerator. When you have a sore throat or cold symptoms, add a teaspoon to hot water and drink the mixture.

3. Mints

medicinal herbal plants
spearmint, peppermint and sage are all part of the mint family.

 

Most mint plants are vigorous spreading, vining herbs which means you only need a few plants to get a good yield. Mint is best propagated from root divisions or cuttings. Both are easy and fool-proof, but starting from seed can be more challenging. You can grow mint outdoors or in window or vertical gardens.
 
Spearmint, peppermint and sage are all part of the mint family and all should be in your healing garden. Mint is useful for nearly every part of your body, including the digestive tract, respiratory tract and the reproductive system. Mints can help soothe tummy troubles and clear congestion. They are also useful for pain relief, and skin concerns.

4. Chamomile

medicinal herbal plants
Chamomile has a sedative effect on the nervous system

Chamomile is generally easy to grow in your garden from seed directly. Seeds germinate in about two weeks and need light to moderate watering and full to partial shade. You can also propagate by division of roots.

Chamomile is a nervine herb, which means it has an effect on the nervous system. This healing plant has a calming, soothing, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is an excellent herb to have on had for digestive health, sleep and skin aid.

5. Lemon Balm

medicinal herbal plants
Lemon balm can support a sluggish liver, especially if you have an unhealthy diet.

Lemon balm is wonderfully versatile and has been used for hundreds of years. It is easy to grow from seed indoors. It grows in clumps and should be spaced about 12″ apart.

Lemon balm can be used for the entire body and it is beneficial for the digestive tract, children's health, winter illnesses, and to strengthen your immunity. It is good for pain relief and is considered a great stress reliever. Lemon Balm belongs to the mint family, so you can easily make a tea or a pitcher of infused water to drink throughout the day.

6. Tulsi/Holy Basil

medicinal herbal plants
Tulsi is said to be both calming and energizing. An adaptogenic herb, (anti-stress agent) Tulsi is thought to balance cortisol, making it helpful for many conditions.

You can grow Holy Basil all year long and is said to treat a wide range of medical conditions. You can easily sow seeds in a warm, sunny location indoors. This medicinal herb grows in upright, ushy clumps if you pinch it regularly.

Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb that makes delicious tea, tinctures and elixirs. It builds energy and helps to relieve stress, anxiety, and acts as an anti-inflammatory. Additionally, it has antimicrobial properties to help heal the skin.

Tips for Growing Medicinal Herbal Plants

 
There are instances when you need to have herbs readily on hand for various healing recipes. Sadly, the herbs you may need may be challenging to source in fresh form or in a form where you know how they were preserved. 
 
In this case, you may want to grow your own medicinal, herbal plants for remedies. If this is your point of view, then you will want to know how to grow them, the best methods, and how to harvest them. Here are some tips to help.
 

Hydroponics

 
Hydroponics is a straightforward way to grow herbs in your home. If you are a beginner, you can even buy ready-made kits. The hardest part of hydroponics is using the pH strips to check and maintain your water levels. Most folks use hydroponics because it doesn't require soil. You can double or triple your yield with year-round harvesting instead of seasonal.
 

Keep Like Herbs Together

 
There are some medicinal herbs that can take on the characteristics of other nearby plants. For example, this can happen with lavender and mint plants and other similar fragrant plants. The mint can blend in and cause a fragrance you may not prefer.
 
You'll also want to keep like herbs together to reduce pests. Certain bugs are attracted to one herb and not to another. So you don't want your medicinal herbs undermined due to one misplaced herb. Also, certain herbs have different growing times and harvest times. By keeping them together, you can ensure you are harvesting at the right time.
 

Growing Vertically

 
If you have little space and want to grow a lot of herbs, try growing them vertically. You can use the window of an apartment, a fence wall, or an outside wall of your home. This utilizes an area that you're not using and uses it to the full advantage of growing medicinal herbs. Make sure that if your medicinal herbs need full light, you plant them in the correct location, such, as a window or outdoor fence.
 
There are some companies that make indoor growing stations that work well. These use mostly an aquaponic system that uses little soil and fertilizer. These systems begin around $200 and can take up as little room as a teapot. There is a bit of a learning curve, but it's not difficult, and it can help you grow more herbal medicine.
 

Drying Your Herbs

 
Herbs can get expensive, especially if you are using them in homemade remedies and soaps. You can buy them already dried, but you can also dry them yourself. This way, you know you're getting the highest quality medicinal herbs for your medicines.
 
Here are the basic methods of drying herbs and what you need to know about each method.
 

Food Dehydrator

 
The easiest and most common way to dry your medicinal herbs is to use a food dehydrator. Using a high-quality food dehydrator not only offers you the best air flow, but it also gives you the most control over the level of dehydration of various medicinal herbs.
 
A benefit of using a food dehydrator is if you are a beginner, you do not need any preparation or detailed knowledge. Ideally, you want a dehydrator with several tier trays that have a mesh lining. This will prevent smaller herbs from falling through the trays during the process of dehydration.
 
Choose a high-quality dehydrator with a fan to dehydrate your medicinal herbs while keeping them secured in an oven-like box. You then simply choose the correct setting for herbs and it's as easy as that. It will take approximately four to eleven hours to dry most herbs to a place they are ready for long-term storage. You do not need to apply anything to the herbs to help speed the process or preserve the herbs.
 

Oven Drying Method

 
Drying medicinal herbs in your oven requires a bit more finesse. Depending on the herbs you're drying, you need to know the temperature and time required. The temperature is usually between 150 and 200 degrees, and you will need to keep watch on the herbs to ensure they do not burn. You can't leave them in the oven like you can with a food dehydrator. The oven method can work, but it does need racks, pans, and attention to make sure the herbs are drying correctly and not burning.
 

Air and Sun Drying

 
If you don't want to use your oven and you do not have a food dehydrator, you can dry your medicinal herbs with the air and sun.
 
For this method, you can tie bundles of herbs together and hang them in your kitchen or pantry. If it's too humid in your home, you may want to buy an outdoor dehydrator. This is usually a three to four-tier hanging mesh dehydrator. It helps to keep your medicinal herbs bug and debris free while they dehydrate. This is the simplest way, but it does require several days of drying time.
 
Once your herbs have dried, you'll need to store them properly in airtight jars. If you want to use them in tinctures, you'll need to place the dried medicinal herbs in dark glass bottles filled with vodka. Allow them to ferment and cure for several weeks to several months before using it.

What medicinal herbs would you like to grow in your healing garden? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with us.

And don't forget to like us on Facebook and  Pinterest. Thank you for your time and reading.

The information presented here is in no way meant to serve as medical advice. If you are experiencing symptoms of any kind, please consult with your physician.

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Written by Jackie Parker

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