Posted on: April 21, 2020 at 3:03 pm
Last updated: April 21, 2020 at 3:40 pm

Plants are more than just pretty flowers to look at and delicious things to eat, but they serve us in other important ways. Did you know that about 40% of our prescription medications are developed from plant extracts or plant compounds? [1]

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Plants are well known for having medicinal properties, everything from reliving skin problems to helping aid the digestive system and reduce the symptoms of colds. Here are 15 easy to grow plants that pack a medicinal punch.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a super easy, super versatile plant that pretty much anyone can grow. But before you put it in the ground, consider where you live. If you live outside of gardening zones 8 through 11, you’ll need to grow the plant in a pot and bring in each winter.

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Aloe vera enjoys full sunshine and can thrive on next to no water. Aloe is well known for its ability to relieve the pain from burns and to help heal cuts and various skin conditions. [1]

Calendula

Calendula, sometimes known as pot marigold, is named for its golden colored flowers. The plant is edible and can be added to salads. The plant can also be used to treat minor abrasions. It can help relieve irritation from insect bites and bee stings as well. [2]

Read: 6 Healing Herbs That Can Boost Your Natural Bronchitis Treatment

Basil

Basil is delicious. Have you ever made fresh pesto with basil from the garden? It’s downright next-level deliciousness. But did you know it has medicinal qualities as well? Basil is good for your digestive system and can be used to help reduce throat pain when sick. [3]

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Lavender

Lavender is a gorgeous, aromatic plant that prefers well-drained soil and full sunlight. The plant is incredibly easy to grow and is delicious when steeped in an herbal tea. Lavender flowers, when added to tea, are said to help relieve indigestion, ease the nerves, and promote relaxation. They can be added to homemade salves and soaps to add a fragrant, lavender smell. However, the essential oil tends to be more useful for this purpose. [4]

Dill

Dill, which is an herb related to parsley used in pickles, salad dressings, and some types of bread is an amazingly easy plant to grow, but be warned. It tends to flower and seed rather prolifically. Some say that dill, when made into a tea, it can help settle your stomach. Consuming fill may even help relieve the symptoms of PMS. A 2014 study showed that 1000 mg of dried dill was effective at easing menstrual cramps [5].

Garlic

If you aren’t growing garlic, I feel bad for you son. Garlic is incredibly easy to grow and, depending on your location, can be grown pretty much year-round. When you harvest your garlic, set aside a couple of bulbs to break apart and sow back into the soil for even more garlic!

Garlic is known to help soothe cold symptoms and adds a great flavor to everything from soups to shredded chicken. [6]

Stevia

In recent years, stevia has taken the world by storm as an alternative sweetener to sugar and other high-carbohydrate, high-calorie sweeteners. Stevia is a really simple plant to grow and can easily be harvested and refined into a sweetener. No need to buy it in a store!

Cloves

Ok, so this might be a little bit of stretch considering cloves come from trees, and require a hot, humid tropical environment. However, if your yard has what it needs, you’re golden.

If you love baking in the wintertime, cloves are a must-have in your garden. Not only are they called for in numerous sweet and savory baked good recipes, but they’re known to help reduce stomach pain. Cloves are good for toothache pain as well. Eugenol, a compound found in cloves, has been used in dentistry since the 1900s. [7] [8]

Read: Use Antiviral Herbs to Boost Immune System and Fight Infection

Sage

Sage is another aromatic plant that’s simple to grow and can be used in a bunch of different recipes. It may also help aid your digestive system and relieve some of the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. [9]

Thyme

Thyme is a great herb to keep in your garden if you suffer frequent sore throats and stomach aches. It’s known to help relieve both symptoms. Thyme is a creeping plant, meaning if you don’t watch it, it will start taking over. If you want to prevent excessive seeding, clip the plant’s flowers. But keep in mind that bees and other pollinators love the flowers. [10]

Mint

Mint creeps like thyme on steroids. It spreads quickly by both seeds and by sending runners out to begin new plants. But mint is a great plant to keep in a container where it can’t run wild. Mint is good dried and added to herbal teas. The leaf of the mint plant can help soothe an upset stomach. [11]

Dandelions

You might be surprised to see this plant on our list. It’s very likely at some point or another, you’ve battled it out with this ‘weed.’ But in reality, the dandelion plant is nutritious and should be allowed to grow unhindered. It’s believed to help with both liver and kidney function and is delicious on salads or in tea. [12] You can use the root and the leaf! Though, you might want to avoid putting the room on your salads, as its more medicinal than anything else.

Rosemary

Rosemary is a hardy plant with an evergreen appearance, blue and purple flowers, and a strong aroma. It’s believed the plant helps reduce inflammation [13] and the tea may help with brain health as well [16]. Otherwise, this herb is delicious in numerous recipes and pollinators love the plant’s flowers. In warm climates, rosemary can grow to be a fairly gigantic plant.

Lemongrass

Lemongrass gets its name from the lemony smell it produces and grass-like appearance. It has been used medicinally throughout the world, and the essential oils of the plant are thought to help reduce digestive discomfort [14][17]. It can be enjoyed as a tea, in cooking or in a diffuser. Lemongrass is a rather plain plant but is self-reliant once established. It will keep growing back year after year.

Chamomile

Chamomile tea is popular for its ability to relax the mind, relieve stress, anxiety, and even help with depression (although with depression, talk to your doctor and stay on your prescribed treatment!) Chamomile may also be able to help you sleep and reduce the symptoms of IBS. [15] It’s a relatively easy plant to grow too with beautiful yellow and white flowers.

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

Keep Reading: 10 Perennial Vegetables That Grow Back Every Year

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK74820/
  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/calendula-oil
  3. https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/hn-3652007
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3612440/
  5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4115348/
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/garlic-fights-colds-and-flu
  7. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321256
  8. https://www.rxlist.com/clove/supplements.htm
  9. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/314664
  10. https://www.healthline.com/health/health-benefits-of-thyme#1
  11. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/peppermint-tea
  12. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5553762/
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19053868
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3217679/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3923011/
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Thomas Nelson
Environmental Advocate
Thomas is an environmental advocate currently residing in the Pacific Northwest. In his spare time, he enjoys experiencing the outdoors, raising chickens and ducks, and reading about current environmental issues. Despite slight colorblindness, his favorite color is green.

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