Alternative and holistic medicine are more commonplace today than they were just 5 years ago. People are turning to plants and herbs for remedies. Truth is, these remedies are just the ones that were forgotten in favor of chemical laden, prescription medications. These five plants and herbs should be in everyone’s garden for their wonderful and versatile healing properties.
1) Calendula – This sunshiny flower is an important medicinal herb for treating skin conditions. Its petals are incorporated into oils and salves for healing wounds, rashes, burns, and dry skin. Calendula flowers are used internally in teas, tinctures, and broths as an anti-fungal, antibacterial, to stimulate the lymphatic system, to stimulate the menses, and as a digestive anti-inflammatory.
2) Echinacea – Commonly known as the purple coneflower, this super flower is a potent immune booster. Use the roots, seeds, and fresh flowers to make a tingly tasting tea or tincture.
3) Holy Basil – This close relative of common basil makes a tasty herbal tea. Holy basil is highly aromatic and anti-microbial. The leaves and flowers are used as a medicinal tea for colds, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, headaches, arthritis, diabetes, stress, and anxiety. It also offers an uplifting energy and helps with mental clarity and focus.
4) Stinging Nettle – Despite its name, this plant is highly revered. A nutritious spring green, eaten steamed or in soups and stir-fries, the sting disappears when the leaves are cooked or dried. The greens and tea of nettles are high in minerals and vitamins, namely Vitamin A and C, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron. The leaves and seeds are used medicinally in teas, and as a food to help with allergies and arthritis. It also makes a powerful kidney tonic.
5) Motherwort – Easy to grow and highly versatile, this plant helps to reduce stress and anxiety. It is taken as a tincture or tea to lessen pain, such as headaches, menstrual cramps, and muscle sprains and aches. It is many women’s ally in menopause for easing hot flashes and hormone induced irritability. Motherwort is also used in childbirth to help strengthen contractions.
** Bonus** Meadowsweet – This lovely little flower can be used internally for inflammation, fevers, heartburn, and peptic ulcers. It is also a wonderful tonic for arthritis because of its anti-inflammatory salicylates.
Please note, one should always seek medical attention when necessary and ask their doctor before starting an alternative or holistic herbal regimen. That being said, you can’t go wrong by having these amazing plants in your garden and easily at your disposal.