Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. I am not an anti-vax, pro-vax, anti-pharma, pro-pharma person. I am, however, a “choose the best decision for yourself” person. I use nature AND medications to treat myself. Do your research and decide for yourself. Each of my posts in the “Farmacy” section will have this disclaimer.
I am always impressed when modern medicine comes up with a new drug to heal us. Truly. However, I believe that not all of our aliments require a manufactured medicine. There are so many other options out there in the world…from the earth. Besides, so many of the prescription drugs have long lists of side effects. And, for years and years, people have been using plants to treat all types of ailments. So, if you are wanting to begin a healthier treatment plan, or just an alternative to taking modern medicine, this is the article for you. You can grow or buy your own natural pharmacy. Just learn what each of these plants can do, then decide which ones will work best. As always, don’t discontinue any medications without first speaking to your doctor.
Ginger has a tangy taste and it’s been used as a Chinese herbal medicine for centuries. It can help relieve heartburn, indigestion and upset stomach. It may also help relieve headache pain and the symptoms associated with migraine headaches. Many believe that it can help kill ovarian cancer cells (though no actual evidence proves this) and it’s used to reduce nausea, treat cold and flu symptoms and to aid the digestion system.
American ginseng may boost your immune system, relieve inflammatory problems and stimulate the central nervous system. Many people use it to improve concentration, focus and mental fatigue and it may help boost the immune system and enhance the cardiovascular and endocrine systems. I have heard that it can help with memory, too.
This plant is most famous for its amazing ability to relieve the pain associated with all types of burns, including sunburns. Simply cut open the leaf to expose the gel inside and then spread it over the affected area. It will relieve the pain and promote healing. You can also use the gel from an Aloe Vera plant to heal cuts, scrapes and a variety of skin conditions that include eczema. Used internally as an aloe vera juice, it may also help relieve symptoms associated with constipation, ulcerative colitis and digestive problems.
Lavender has a very soothing aroma that helps you relax and improve sleep patterns. Use the dried lavender flowers to make herbal tea to relieve indigestion, pain associated with migraine headaches and to help you sleep better. You can use it as a shampoo to help eliminate dandruff. Add it to homemade salves, bath salts and soaps. Make a small lavender sachet to use in your pillow for better sleep.
The pot marigold plant, also known as Calendula, has several health benefits. The marigold flowers are edible, and often used to bring some color to salads. You can use this herb to treat minor abrasions, fevers, varicose veins and infections. It also helps heal insect bites and bee stings (make a salve and keep it handy).
Many believe that this herb aids the digestive system and eases menstrual cramps. Make some tea and sip it slowly to settle your tummy. (This wouldn’t be my first recommendation, but I am not judging) It may also help reduce swelling, cure the hiccups and it may even help with insomnia. Use it in weight loss programs as a substitute for salt.
Many people love garlic and the flavor it adds to a variety of foods. However, some people try to avoid eating it raw because of its stinky odor. Whether you like it or not, munching on a garlic bulb may help to eliminate free radicals and possibly even prevent cancer. Garlic is also known to help relieve cold symptoms, prevent dementia and it may even reduce your risks of heart disease by lowering your blood pressure. Eat often at dinner to help regulate blood pressure, mix with lemon and honey for a natural antibiotic, use vaginally against yeast infections (probably not something I am going to try.)
This plant contains antiviral, antioxidant and antifungal agents that help to ease symptoms of food poisoning, stomach ulcers, heartburn and indigestion. The anti-inflammatory agents help to boost the immune system, treat respiratory problems and you can use it to improve a variety of skin conditions.
This herb can be used to aid the digestive system and to treat infections, stomach problems and sore throat pain. It may also relieve coughs and congestion. It also has strong antiseptic agents that can help heal minor cuts and abrasions. Thyme is very popular in aromatherapy and it’s often used as a disinfectant.
If you need to increase your intake of vitamin A and C, try adding some parsley to your meals. It’s used to strengthen the immune system and to help make your bones stronger. It may also help stabilize your blood pressure and it can even freshen your breath. (Great tip when you are out to eat)
Cloves have some excellent benefits that can help improve your overall health. For example, they can help ease toothache and stomach pain and help reduce inflammation. Cloves also have the ability kill a variety of harmful bacteria that could make your sick. Clove essential oil is used to purify the blood, boost the immune system and to treat a variety of respiratory problems.
Used in many dishes to add flavor, sage also aids the digestive system and it helps to relieve inflammation. It’s used to heal gum diseases and skin infections. It may even help improve your memory, focus and concentration. Sage essential oil is used to strengthen the immune system, bones and to treat a variety of skin conditions that include psoriasis and eczema.
Known mainly as a weed, the dandelion plant can be grown on accident or on purpose. I think they are pretty and have grown them with a mission. It’s known for promoting healthy liver and kidney functions. It’s also used to treat urinary tract infections and acne. It may also help prevent anemia and help you lose weight.
This very flavorful herb can boost the flavor of poultry and other foods but it also has many health benefits. Its antioxidant agents help to stimulate blood circulation, reduce inflammation and detoxify the body. It may also help protect the body from bacterial infections. Rosemary is used to help heal many skin conditions and to prevent signs of premature aging. Heck yeah!
Lemongrass has a great lemony smell along with antioxidants, flavonoids, anti-fungal and antimicrobial agents that help to treat many health problems. It’s used to reduce inflammation, improve digestive problems and to fight all types of infections. Lemongrass tea has sedative agents that can help you relax and sleep more peacefully. It detoxifies and cleans toxins from the body, reduces fevers and treats a variety of respiratory disorders. Lemongrass essential oil can help stimulate the nervous system, relieve anxiety, stress and fatigue and it eases a variety of aches and pains.
Safflower has antioxidant agents that help to reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases and it may even help prevent cancer cells from forming. It may also reduce inflammation, lower your risk of diabetes and it can even help you lose a few pounds. It’s a great herb to add to your garden but only if you have plenty of room. These plants can get really big!
Hibiscus tea is used to help lower blood pressure and it has antioxidant agents that help improve blood circulation. As a result, it can help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. This herb is also used to treat arthritis pain, diabetes and it may even help prevent cancer.
Peppermint aids the digestive system and provides you with a good source of calcium, potassium and Vitamin A, B and C. Rubbing the crushed leaves onto the skin can help relieve pain caused by sore muscles. This herb can also ease nausea, eliminate gas, lower fevers, reduce IBS symptoms and inhibit bacterial growth.
This herb is mainly used to treat gastrointestinal tract issues but you can also use it to improve blood flow, stimulate thyroid glands and enhance the metabolism. Wheat grass also relieves inflammation, constipation, diarrhea and it’s used to detoxify the liver.
You can roast, stew or boil arrowroot or you can even eat it raw to take advantage of its many medical benefits. Arrowroot is a natural antiseptic and it is known to improve circulation, aid in digestion and boost the immune system. It also helps prevent anemia because it contains copper and iron, which are essential minerals vital for the production of red blood cells. It’s also high in vitamin B.
Wintergreen is a ground cover plant with some interesting health benefits. It has the ability to relieve pain in the same manner that aspirin does and it can help relieve indigestion and other digestive problems.
Add this herb to food to take advantage of its antibacterial and antioxidant agents. Some of the possible benefits include treating respiratory tract disorders, urinary tract infections and gastrointestinal disorders. It also contains vitamin K, which is known to help increase the production of proteins that aid in clotting the blood and increasing bone growth and density. Mixing oregano essential oil with olive oil as the base makes a great skincare lotion that can reduce inflammation, swelling, itching and pain caused by skin disorders.
Marjoram tea is mainly used to improve the digestive system by relieving nausea, stomach cramps, gas, diarrhea and constipation. It may also prevent or heal intestinal infections and relieve stomach spasms. This plant also has antiviral, antiseptic, antifungal and antibacterial agents that fight infections, inflammation, food poisoning and cold and flu symptoms. It’s used to lower blood pressure, increase circulation and it may even enhance your cardiovascular health.
The lemon balm plant has big beautiful flowers that bloom in the summer. Rub the flowers on the skin to heal insect and mosquito bites. It may also help relieve pain caused by animal bites and sores caused by the herpes virus. Mix the nectar with water and use it to treat colds, coughs, fevers, headaches and nausea. The bright lemony fragrance with a touch of mint may also help with depression and mild insomnia.
Turmeric has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agents that help to protect your body from free radicals. It works by boosting the body’s own antioxidant enzymes. It may also help lower your risk of heart disease, ease depression and it may even help fight premature aging.
This is only 25 of the medicinal plants that you can plant at home to treat common health problems. There are many more…too many to actually list. There is a book that I recommend- the link will be below. Even if you don’t have room for a full garden, you can still grow some of your favorites. Many of the herbs and plants above will survive in a windowsill, so you can have an herbal garden even if you don’t have a lot of space.
Make sure to do your research on each particular plant BEFORE you get started planting. You need to make sure that it won’t present any risks or interactions with medications you currently take. And as always, check with your doctor.
Here is the link to the book that I use for most of my medicinal herb research: