Keeping your own medicinal herbs to grow at home is far more beneficial in most cases than buying at the store. The main reason is that plants are not mere objects, they’re alive.
Studies have shown that plants adapt to counteract the environmental concerns surrounding them, such as pollution. That means when you eat (or make tea from) these home grown greens, you will be ingesting a specialized blend of compounds the plants made to stay healthy in your home environment!
Aside from that, each plant comes loaded with it’s own unique cocktail of protective antioxidants. The health benefits of growing your own are almost endless!
Bearing all that in mind, check out the following list of easy-to-grow medicinal plants and the number of ways in which you can use them.
Basil is one of the most commonly used cooking herbs as it has a delicious flavor and pleasant aroma. It’s often paired with tomato-based dishes in Italian cuisine, but it’s actually one of the most potent medicines available to you.
This magnificent herb’s top quality is it’s adaptogenic ability to block stress chemicals (Cortisol) in the body – probably the reason we feel so good after eating it!
Other amazing properties of basil include:
Cook with basil to help win the battle against diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression, Alzheimer’s Disease, cancer and auto-immune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis.
Oh yum – this has got to be my favorite cooking herb of all time and it’s incredibly easy to grow! With a well draining pot and a sunny window ledge, you can easily add a wow factor to nearly any dish that pops out your kitchen!
Rosemary has many health benefits that you probably never knew about. It’s quite famous for alleviating muscle pain, improving memory and soothing digestive problems, but did you know it can also:
This wonder herb has been proven effective in aiding Irritable Bowel Syndrome, digestive or metabolic problems, hair loss, cognition impairment, neurological disorders, hormonal imbalances and cancer (particularly prostatic and breast cancers).
Another Italian herb that is a walk in the park to grow and that contains mega medicinal properties!
Oregano oil has proven to be highly effective as a natural replacement for pharmaceutical antibiotics, being more potent than many of them. It has been used for centuries to kill several strains of staphylococcus, salmonella, E. Coli, toenail fungus, candida, sinus infections, bronchitis and gingivitis. Furthermore, it doesn’t come with any of the horrifying side effects that the usual antibiotics do.
Cook with this herb when you’re fighting an infection, a cold or have allergies to help your immune system. It also has fantastic antioxidant ability and prevents the onset of both cancer and aging, so adding it to your culinary arsenal is a good idea all round!
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyyyme~!
To be honest, all of those herbs are loaded with health benefits and easy to grow indoors. Thyme in particular however is most commonly renowned for it’s antiseptic properties. It originates from mountainous regions and can tolerate most extreme weather from drought to frost.
Here are some other things Thyme is good for:
All women should grow thyme and cook with it to help with PMS and menopause. Thyme is also fantastic for those with skin problems like dermatitis and eczema, respiratory issues, infections, and tension or pressure headaches.
It’s also been shown to help those with bowel disorders as it reduces gas and bloating. Amongst other conditions, those with neuropathies such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s Disease will also benefit from using Thyme.
Lavender is more than just a beautiful smell – it’s a powerhouse of antioxidants! This gorgeous herb has been grown in households for thousands of years and has tons of applications.
The flowers and leaves of this plant are used to soothe and calm one down. Even just the smell while entering your home can brighten up your mood and help to alleviate tension.
While many people do not cook with Lavender, one can add it to herbal teas for an intensive calm that really works!
Other properties of Lavender include:
Headache and pain relief
Decreases in wound and burn heal time
Bolstered immune function
Acting like an anti-depressant without side effects
Lowering blood sugar levels
Preventing weight gain
Aiding in fat metabolism
Promoting hair regrowth
Diabetics, those with traumatic stress disorders, cancer patients, chronic fatigue sufferers, sleep disturbance disorders and chronically stressed individuals should all keep a lavender plant in their homes.
Not only is this plant east to maintain, but it looks absolutely stunning and has strong immune boosting effects!
Echinacea’s big pink daisy-like flowers are bound to spruce up your home and if you make a tea from the flowers or dry them up and ingest the powder, they’ll also help you to fight colds and flus.
During the cold season, it’s recommended to take this herb to keep your immune system strong and healthy. Apparently it reduces your chances of catching one by 58%!
Other great advantages of having this flower on hand are:
Use Echinacea if you are fighting any infection from a cold to a bladder infection. It also greatly helps those with gout, arthritis, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, cancer, asthma and allergies to stay pain free and healthy. This herb also showed promising results for helping to alleviate inflammation in those with eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis.
Peppermint is so easy to grow that in many places it’s considered a pest! This wonderful herb smells fantastic and tastes especially good in Greek cuisine.
Often used as a cough medicine, sore throat remedy and a tummy soother, peppermint has an abundance of anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic compounds in it. In a study done, it was shown that peppermint alleviated symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome by more than 50%!
Other amazing properties of this herb include:
And the list goes on!
Peppermint should be used by everyone, without any exceptions. If you have any pain, tummy upsets, breathing problems, headaches, loss of focus or energy, acne or skin problems, stress, muscle stiffness, cancer, hormonal problems and more, peppermint can probably help if not cure your symptoms!
If you have the patience and a nice long windowsill pot, then you should consider growing this potent anti-inflammatory herb. Used mainly in asian and some European cuisine, this spicy plant will liven up many dishes in the kitchen.
Ginger is a root that grows slowly just beneath the surface of the ground. It has been used for thousands of years to prevent nausea, boost the immune system, aid digestive troubles and rapidly decrease pain and inflammation.
The only problem is that, while it’s easy enough to grow, it takes a good portion of the year before there’s more. However, if you suffer from arthritis, gout, fibromyalgia and any other disease that involves chronic inflammation, ginger is a must have in your home.
Ginger also has green shoots which only take 2-3 weeks to grow. These have a milder flavor but can also be used in cooking to help alleviate inflammation.
Sure, it’s not exactly a medicinal herb to grow at home but tomatoes deserve to be included on this list. Some of the easiest edible fruits to grow in your home are tomatoes, but did you know that they are incredibly medicinal too? Loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin C and carotenoids, these vibrant fruits are ideal for eating in many dishes from soups to oven bakes to salads.
The main active ingredient in tomatoes is Lycopene, which is the carotenoid responsible for giving many varieties of tomato their red coloring. Lycopene has been shown to help reduce pain and stiffness in joints, as well as alleviate severe inflammation.
Beyond this, other compounds in tomatoes have shown to protect the heart, destroy bacteria and prevent the onset of cancer.
When using tomatoes, cooking them increases their lycopene content by 50-100%! For those who suffer from arthritis, asthma or gout, it is recommended to eat many cooked tomatoes.
Raw tomatoes on the other hand confer the other protective benefits and should be eaten by cancer patients and those with cardiovascular disease.
Having one or more of the above plants growing in your home will improve your health, your mood and your food. So what are you waiting for? That local nursery is calling your name!