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9 medicinal plants to grow at home

Grow your own medicinal plants to ensure the best quality and potency of your herbal remedies.

Even inexperienced gardeners can conjure up simple home remedies. Like teas and ointments, with these nine easy-to-grow medicinal herbs.

1 marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula is also known as pot marigold. It is an antifungal, an antiseptic, an ancient ally for wound healing. The petals of these cheerful yellow and orange daisies impart skin-soothing properties to many natural cosmetics and children’s creams.
Calendula is an annual medicinal plant that reproduces freely and blooms all season long. It makes a lovely addition to gardens in full sun. Harvest the fresh petals. You can also dry the whole flowers, which close in the evening before setting seed.

2 coriander (Coriandrum sativum)

Coriander has a unique flavor that people either love or hate. The leaves often garnish exotic dishes. Coriander seeds are a key ingredient. Not many people consider this plant a medicinal herb, but research has shown that it is a powerful digestive aid and may be able to remove heavy metals and other toxins from the body. Coriander grows best in a cool, moist garden. It grows quickly in hot weather. Look for slow-growing strains from seed companies.

3 lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

The oils and tannins contained in the fragrant leaves and flowers of lemon balm have a relaxing and antispasmodic effect on the stomach and nervous system. According to a 2008 study, when applied topically, it can help fight viruses like herpes simplex. Lemon balm is tasty and sweet enough for kids when brewed in glycerin-based teas or tinctures. This calming and stimulating perennial makes a beautiful bright green spot in the garden. It is an excellent plant to grow. Dried herb loses some of its potency after six months.

4 peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Spearmint and peppermint are well-known flavors in toothpaste and chewing gum. Both products have a very refreshing taste. Peppermint is a more potent medicine than its more culinary cousin. Brewed as a tea, peppermint can relieve digestive discomforts like indigestion and vomiting. It can also soothe sore muscles when applied topically as a liquid or lotion. All peppermints spread by creeping in a humid garden. Consider growing each plant in its own large pot. Harvest the leaves just before flowering. Later they start to taste bitter.

5 Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary is the big wake up call. This woody perennial increases energy and optimism, and sharpens memory and concentration by bringing more oxygen to your brain. It’s a wonderfully stimulating alternative to caffeine when you need a second breath. A number of these perennial, drought tolerant plants form a beautiful, evergreen, bee-friendly hedge. You may only need one plant in your garden.

6 Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

The sedative properties of mullein may help heal bronchial respiratory infections. The leaves are commonly added to cough medicine.
Give this beautiful, majestic Biennale plenty of space and stand in awe. Emerging from a rosette of thick, hairy leaves, the sturdy, yellow-flowering stem reaches nearly 6 feet in height.

7 Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

The delicate stems and tiny leaves of this groundcover belie the immense power attributed to it by medieval Europeans. Many believed in its ability to increase courage and ward off nightmares. Modern herbalists rely on the antibacterial and antiseptic properties of thyme oils to help ward off winter colds and flu. Many species exist beyond the pure species, including sweet-tasting citrus varieties that are perfect remedies for children’s tummies.

8 Lavender (Lavandula)

Long known for its sweet scent, lavender also has medicinal benefits as a mild antidepressant that may also benefit your nervous system. Add lavender oil to your bath to relieve stress, tension and insomnia. It is also used in creams to treat sunburn and acne. Lavender wood plants prefer warm, sunny, and dry environments. Fresh flowers are tasty in small doses when added to salads, honey, butter, and even shortbread cookies. If you are crafty, try sewing a herbal heating pad or an eye pillow with the fragrant dried flowers.

9 German chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Delicate, apple-scented chamomile proves that gentle doesn’t mean ineffective. It is mainly grown for its small, yellow-bellied flowers. Chamomile is one of the best herbs for treating colic, nervous stress, infections, and upset stomachs in children. These easy-to-grow medicinal plants will bring health benefits to your garden and family. Many of them attract beneficial insects, including bees. They can also help repel harmful pests from more susceptible plants nearby.

Be sure to choose medicinal plants that are appropriate for the light, water, and temperature conditions in your garden. For example, rosemary, lavender, and mullein grow best in hot, dry places with full sun. Coriander and mint prefer rich, moist spots with shade.

Sources

Arora D, et al. (2013). An overview of phytochemical and ethnopharmacological aspects of the genus Calendula.

Cummings D, et al. (2014). The medicinal garden handbook : a complete guide to growing, harvesting and using medicinal herbs. New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishers.
Peppermint oil. (2016).

Sahib NG, et al. (2013). Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.): A potential source of high quality ingredients for functional foods and nutraceuticals – a review.

Schnitzler P. et al. (2008). Melissa officinalis oil affects the infectivity of enveloped herpes viruses. DOI:

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace the advice of a doctor.

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calendula lavender lemon balm peppermint medicinal plants

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