• Alicia Baron

Magical Medicinal Herbs we Love

Updated: Feb 1, 2021

That are also extremely easy to grow!

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When we started the farm we focused highly on not just things that we love to eat but on herbs, flowers and plants that we could use to build out our homestead apothecary.


With my family being Native American, I grew up with the knowledge that plants and herbs were used for centuries for not just my native people but around the world in many cultures. Especially in Western Medicine which has some of the most highly developed earth medicine practices.


Many herbs that we use everyday to flavor food also are high in antioxidants and have other medicinal healing properties that can be useful to many day to day ailments.


Yes you can buy many of these dried or fresh in the grocery store, many of the below mentioned herbs are extremely easy to grow as a beginner building their green thumbs or with an empty sunny window sill at home.

 
Here are our favorite herbs to grow at home With their medicinal purposes

Basil:

If you follow our previous posts, you will know that at Loveland Farms; we love basil. Not only is this one of the most versatile herbs for spicing up your soups, sandwiches, pastas and many other Mediterranean cuisine. This herb also contains oils that protect the body from illness and infection.

High in vitamins A, C, K as well as minerals copper, calcium, magnesium, iron and omega-3 fatty acids. It serves as a nutrient gold mine. But on the plant medicine side, Basil can work as an anti-septic for cuts, offer relief from headaches, help the body fight bloating/water-weight and gas.

To Grow: It is very easy to start from seed outdoors in a warm and sunny location with enough watering only to keep the soil moist. This is an annual plant and will naturally dwindle down in environments where the temperature drops to less then 50 degrees. You can keep happy inside next to a warm window with semi direct sunlight with minimal draft.

To Harvest: Simply snip the leaves and use.

 

Chamomile:

Generally used as a soothing tea, chamomile is also an extremely easy floral herb to grow at home. Most known for its calming properties, Chamomile also can be used to aid upset stomach, skin irritations. If you are a new mother steep chamomile in warm milk to help your baby go to dreamland.

To Grow: English Chamomile is the most common to find in which they need full sun to prosper and will grow each year to be about 18 inches tall.

If you are seeking easy to grow German chamomile is the easiest varietal to grow from seed- (use the johnny appleseed method) and after the first season the plants will self sow freely. So enjoy this floral herb that keeps on giving. To grow in the best environment spread the seeds in a cooler climate with full sun and well drained soil.

To Harvest: The florals when fully developed appear around 6 weeks. Prune and dry in a warm dark environment (paper bag in a dark room works) until leaves fall off and use.

 

Echinacea:

One of the most popular floral herbs known for treating the common cold. Echinacea; commonly known as coneflower can be used for tea and in a tincture form.

The fresh flower bulbs (on plants that are over two years old) that helps prevent and treat cold and flu symptoms. The most powerful forms are the dried roots of the plant and steeping as a tea or to use the plant in its entirety. Buds & roots in a concentrated alcohol for four to six weeks and then removing the liquid filtering with a cheesecloth. This can last for up to 4 months if kept in a refrigerator.

To Grow: The plant grows very easy from seed and bulb but will not start flowering until the second year. If you want to use for plant medicine best way to ensure that you will have healthy time from spring to fall to harvest enough of the plant is to go to your local hardware store or nursery and purchase a small plant that is flowering and transplant it into potting soil or your planter bed. The plant with minimal watering will grow to be about two feet tall in full sun.

To Harvest: Snip the flowers to the bottom of the stem. Use leaves immediately for tea or dry to store. To dry place in a paper bag in a dark room check regularly to ensure that mold has not formed on the bulbs while drying.

 

Lavender:

This is an extremely potent french culinary herb which is one of the most popularly used in aromatherapy techniques. The fragrance is historically known to help people calm down and feel more relaxed.

Lavender can ease the pain of cuts and bruises; commonly used in plant medicine as an antiseptic when applied topically. Other uses for this wonderful aromatic plant are: treating digestive problems, bad breath, headaches, toothaches, nausea and vomiting if made as a tea or tincture. When used in aromatherapy this herb can alleviate stress, minimize anxiety and promote restful sleep.

To Grow: This plant is low maintenance and will grow very well in dry areas with full sun. Do not be discouraged if you live in a cold area- as long as these plants are not exposed to repeated high winds they will thrive year after year producing more and more buds.

To Harvest: Snip the flowers to the bottom of the stem. Either use the leaves immediately to infuse in an oil for aromatherapy or a fresh herbal tea or dry to store in an airtight container for future use.

 

Oregano:

If you love Italian cuisine, you are most likely a fan of the taste of oregano. This herb is like all of the other listed above is flavorful and aromatic. But also is a superhero with its antibacterial, antioxidant, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Rich in vitamins A, C, E, and K ad well as fiber, manganese, iron, calcium, magnesium, niacin, zinc and omega-3 fatty acids this herb too is a nutritional goldmine.

Oregano eases discomfort from the common cold, muscle pain, vomiting, acne, bronchitis, asthma, toothaches, stomach bloating, headaches and menstrual cramps.

To Grow: You can grow oregano in raised garden beds or in containers that have well-drained soil and that receive full sun exposure. Be careful not to overwater this medicinal herb.

To Harvest: Simply snip the leaves and use

 

Parsley:

This herb is one that is stocked in most spice cabinets. This native mediterranean herb is known for its versatility often used lightly in salads, soups or as a garnish. It has a bold flavor even can be used as a loose leaf tea.

Parsley though is generally overlooked as one of the most powerful medicinal plants. This plant powerhouse; Parsley is loaded with nutrients, including folic acid and vitamins A, C, B-12 and K. It can be used to treat urinary tract infections, kidney stones, constipation, jaundice, flatulence, indigestion, colic, coughs, asthma, bloating, curving appetite, osteoarthritis and high blood pressure. It also works well to fight bad breath and hangovers.

What does this plant not aid? Its like having Walgreens in your garden.

To Grow: This plant is low maintenance and does best in partial sun small garden areas with moist, well drained soil.

To Harvest: Snip the flowers to the bottom of the stem. Either use the leaves immediately to infuse in an oil for aromatherapy or a fresh herbal tea or dry to store in an airtight container for future use.

 

Mint:

This herb is one is potent, strong aroma and will take over your garden if you let it.

The most common garden mint is peppermint and easily defined by its spicy-sweet aroma and bold taste.

Used mainly when consumed lightly or in an herbal tea this herb is known to cure nervous tension, upset stomachs. Or alternatively use as aromatherapy to quickly cure motion sickness.

To Grow: This plant needs to be grown in a container as it grows tall and wide very quickly and will root down to take over any plant in its way. So make sure to harvest harvest harvest as a little plant does go a REALLY long way.

Peppermint prefers full sun and well drained soil.

To Harvest: Snip the flowers to the bottom of the stem. Either use the leaves immediately to infuse in an oil for aromatherapy or a fresh herbal tea or dry to store in an airtight container for future use.

 

Rosemary:

This herb sits at the top of my list of not just favorite medicinal herbs but also favorite plants to grow. With a spring almost pine like appearance this beautiful plant gives off a wonderful aroma.

The medicinal herb is high in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds as well as other nutrients such as iron, calcium, fatty acid and vitamin B6.

Mainly used in treating headaches, colds, indigestion, muscle pain and enhancing cognitive brain function.

To Grow: This plant needs to be grown in a sunny and well drained area with neutral conditions. Although it is considered a perennial, flooding, water logging or frost will challenge its overall health. Works amazing with its fragrance as a hedge plant to keep the pests and small rodents out of the garden.

To Harvest: Snip the flowers to the bottom of the stem. Either use the leaves immediately to infuse in an oil for aromatherapy or a fresh herbal tea or dry to store in an airtight container for future use.

 

Sage:

The word sage stems from Latin origin meaning “to heal.” This plant is very easy to grow and comes in a variety of species all with medicinal properties and a strong aroma.

Used for centuries in many cultures including Native American for spacial cleansing. Many people do not realize that this plant also serves to aid with other ailments such as loss of appetite, stomach pain, heartburn, excessive sweating, cold sores, gum disease, gingivitis, menstrual cramps, and asthma.

To Grow: This plant grows well in many environments but does best in nutrient rich soil with a lot of sun exposure.

To Harvest: Snip the flowers to the bottom of the stem. Either use the leaves immediately to infuse in an oil for aromatherapy or a fresh herbal tea or dry to store in an airtight container for future use.

 
This is just the start of a list containing our favorite medicinal herbs that can be a jumping point for your home garden. Having this at home flourishing natural apothecary can be a very rewarding part of a natural lifestyle. Having these power plants in your garden can help reduce greatly your bodies need to use over the counter or prescription drugs, but also can help your body proactively combat ailments proactively.

Dive deep into your new relationship with your plant friends.

 

Here is a link to purchase a bulk seed set.

https://www.instagram.com/lovelandfarmsmi/

#howto #plantmedicine #plants

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