If you are thinking of starting your own medicinal herb garden, here are a few ideas of easy to grow herbs that no home herbalist should be without: (listed in no particular order)
- Comfrey – Comfrey is a cell proliferator and speeds healing. It is very easy to grow, just get a start from someone and plant it in a well watered spot in your garden in full sun. Soon you will see its large broad green leaves start to come up. These leaves are slightly fuzzy and stick together, making them good to use as a wrap. Pick leaves directly from your plant to add to infused oils, and other herbal remedies.
- Garlic – Garlic is one of natures strongest antiseptics. It is very easy to grow, in fact once it takes root, it is nearly impossible to get rid of it, so choose your location carefully!
- Cayenne – Cayenne is very easy to grow, and one thing that you may notice after planting is that unwanted wasps will not bother you anymore! Cayenne is good for the circulatory system, and can even stop a heart attack!
- Echinacea – Echinacea is beautiful, it has lovely purple cone flowers. Once you plant it will come back year after year, and the seeds will spread. You will want to wait until you have a large patch of it before you harvest the root, but tinctures made from echinacea can detox your system if you receive a poisonous bite, and it is a great immune system support.
- Lavender – Lavender is a wonderful calming herb, it is beautiful with all of its tiny purple flowers, and it smells divine! It enhances the properties of other herbs, and has strong anti-fungal properties. Lavender grows as a bush, and can get quite large and unruly if you don’t trim it back, so be sure to plant it in a part of your garden where it can spread out, or it may smother your other herbs!
- Calendula – Calendula flower petals have wonderful healing properties and can be infused in oils to be added to ointments, lip balm, and ear oil. These pretty yellow flowers will add a splash of color to your garden, and the petals can even be added to salads.
- Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera can be grown in a pot in your kitchen window sill, and is perfect to have on hand in case of burns, sunburn, bruises, and bug bites.
- Peppermint – peppermint and other mints are aggressive and spread very quickly, so they are best kept in a pot or in a section of the garden that you don’t mind having them take over. Once rooted, like garlic, they are impossible to get rid of. Peppermint is wonderful for belly aches, gas, heartburn, and makes an energizing herbal tea.
- Chamomile – Chamomile is a calming herb, great in a relaxing herbal tea to help on sleepless nights. Chamomile can also be used in an infused oil or added to an ointment or salve as an analgesic to soothe rashes and minor scrapes and burns.
- St. Johns Wort – Tinctures made from St. Johns wort are effective pain relievers for burns, shingles, arthritis, and bruises. It is also has antidepressant qualities, and can be used in herbal teas, tinctures and infused oils.
- Arnica– Arnica is essential for bruises and swelling. An oil infused with arnica flowers, immediately applied to an injury will prevent bruising. Great when you have an accident prone child!
- Lobelia– Lobelia and cayenne tinctures used along with CPR can help revive a person who has stopped breathing. It can also help with smoking cessation, or for someone who is in shock, to slow a racing heartbeat, or to help with circulation or blood pressure problems.
I could list many other easy to grow herbs for your medicinal garden, but this is a good start. These essential herbs will help you treat many common health issues at home.