Herbs have been around for thousands upon thousands of years, and have always been the go-to medicine for most any ailment or disease. Many modern-day medicines are based off herbs or extracted oils from herbs. Why not just go to the source for your medicine, as we did for so many thousands of years? Natural remedies are not only the best route to go, but VERY effective.
Start a Healing Garden today with as little or as many herbs you wish to grow. Herbs are very easy to grow and are generally very hearty, not to mention many can be grown indoors. Below are just some of the more popular herbs known for offering medicinal benefits.
Herbs and their Medicinal Properties
Peppermint is mostly known for its delicious peppermint flavor and aromatic properties. Not only an excellent herb for cooking and garnishing drinks, but also a very effective medicinal herb. Native to Europe and Asia, peppermint has been used for thousands of years for clean minty taste and health benefits.
Here are some medicinal remedies derived from the peppermint herb:
- Relaxes digestive system and eases pain. Prevents smooth muscles from contracting, which may also help to relieve spasms in your stomach.
- Rub peppermint oil on your forehead to relieve headaches and migraines. Within minutes the pain will subside.
- Reduces IBS symptoms and helps calm nausea.
- With its natural antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties, peppermint will help relieve clogged sinuses, as well as fight infections, the common cold and relieve allergies. Consider using peppermint steam to open up your nasal cavity. Peppermint tea also works wonders!
- Effectively shown to help relieve menstrual cramps.
- Peppermint tea can improve energy and reduce daytime fatigue.
- With its antibacterial properties, peppermint has been proven to kill bacteria and fight infections. Known to effectively kill E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella, Staphylococcus and pneumonia-linked bacteria.
- Many people report that peppermint has improved their sleep, as it is a muscle relaxer and acts as a mild sedative.
- Assists in weight loss.
- May improve concentration and cognition.
Such an easy herb to eat, drink and add to your diet. If nothing else, it’ll give you fresh breath and a great taste in your mouth!
A delicious pepper that not only tastes great, but also has many health benefits! Cayenne pepper is often used to flavor pasta, pizza and many various foods as a seasoning (pepper flakes). An easy to grow pepper, you’ll be able to produce lots of delicious fruit. Eat them fresh or dry them out and crush them. Either way, Cayenne is an amazing fruit to enjoy. Mix with honey and you have a powerful detoxifying concoction.
Some of the more common benefits of Cayenne Pepper include:
- Detoxes body by increasing pulse of lymphatic and digestive rhythms. Heating the body naturally detoxifies.
- Relieves sore throats and throat infections due to its natural antibiotic properties.
- Clears congestions due to colds or seasonal allergies.
- Helps to relieve headaches.
- Assists in digestion and increases the flow of enzyme production and gastric juices.
- Promote cardiovascular health.
- Helps remove inflammation in the body.
- Encourages weight loss by boosting the metabolism.
- Use a topical remedy for sores, wounds, as well as lower back pain.
Considering sprinkling some cayenne next time you eat pasta, pizza, or any dish where you want some extra spice and health benefits.
Fenugreek is probably an herb you may have not heard of before. It has a nice flavor, often described as a cross between celery and maple. Some people confuse this herb with fennel; they are not the same thing. Easy to grow, sow seeds in early Spring and you’ll have plenty of Fenugreek in no time.
Some common medicinal benefits of Fenugreek include:
- Stimulate milk production for breastfeeding mothers. Additionally, this herb is full of vitamins and minerals making it highly nutritious to the newborn and mother.
- Helps to boost testosterone.
- Helps to manage heartburn by reducing acid secretion. It also helps to neutralize acid.
- Benefits diabetics by reducing blood sugar on average by about 10%.
- Helps increase brain function and reduces the production of proteins that foster plaque development in the brain.
- Helps to manage and prevent weight gain thanks to its effects on insulin and blood sugar.
Commonly known as the go-to herb for treating or preventing colds, flu, infections and healing wounds. While you can buy Echinacea in tablet form from your local drugstore, why not grow your own? Growing your own herbs allows you to get the full benefit from the plant, plus you can trust it was grown without harmful pesticides or chemicals. Additional benefits of consuming Echinacea include:
- Boost the immune system.
- Cure upper respiratory issues.
- Eliminate bacterial and viral infections.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Treat skin conditions.
- Speed healing and recovery process.
- Regulate blood sugar levels.
- Helps to treat anxiety.
Chives (Garlic or Onion)
- Mighty cancer fighter: Lutein and zeaxanthin, are known to protect one from lung and mouth cancers. Chives are also rich in fiber, and this helps to prevent colon cancer. And like other members of the family, chives also contain allicin, an important antioxidant known to help prevent breast cancer. Studies have shown that chives can help prevent prostate cancer as well.
- Protect the heart: The allicin in chives is an organosulfur and is known to help lower the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) but also increases good cholesterol levels (HDL cholesterol). Allicin releases nitric oxide in the bloodstream, which reduces the stiffness of the blood vessels as well as blood pressure. And the quercetin in chives reduces the build-up of plaque in the arteries.
- Improve bone health: Chives contain vitamin K, a nutrient quite important for the bones. This vitamin helps maintain bone integrity and density.
- Help the digestive system: Chives help the body get rid of the harmful bacteria, yeast, and fungi in your intestinal tract that might otherwise hamper your digestion. The antibacterial properties of chives can help eliminate at least 30 strains of salmonella (which can cause intestinal distress).
- Detoxify the body: Though there is limited research on this, certain sources say that the presence of chlorophyll and vitamin K in chives helps keep the blood clean. The minerals in chives might neutralize the toxins in the body. The antibacterial properties of chives might also aid the detoxification process.
- Boost immunity: The numerous phytochemicals in chives can boost your immune system.
- Boost vision: This benefit should be attributed to the lutein and zeaxanthin in chives, which reduce oxidative stress in the eyes and boost vision health. They also slow down the development of cataracts. Chives also contain quercetin, which, as per studies can help preserve vision in patients with macular degeneration.
- Are beneficial during pregnancy: Chives are rich sources of folate, and we don’t have to stress the importance of folate during pregnancy. Folate helps in the brain development of the fetus – it also aids cell division and DNA synthesis. Folic acid also helps to prevent birth defects, especially in the baby’s brain and spinal cord.
- Enhance sleep and mood: Chives are good sources of choline, which is one important nutrient that aids proper sleep.
- Have excellent antimicrobial properties: Chives have excellent antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, and antibiotic properties.
- Boost skin health: Chives are a good source of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that boosts skin radiance and health. It also can help treat acne while the vitamin C possesses antioxidant properties that offer anti-aging benefits. It can help reduce fine lines and wrinkles, some of the most prominent signs of aging.
German Chamomile is a pretty herb with flowers which provide many medicinal benefits. Many people oftentimes associate Chamomile with relaxation and means to help prevent insomnia, however German Chamomile also aids in:
- Treating irritated, inflamed and dry skin.
- Helps treat asthma, colic, fevers, inflammations, nausea, nervous complaints, skin diseases and more.
- Relieves morning sickness during pregnancy.
- Controls insomnia.
- Relieves heartburn.
- Heal mouth sores and prevent gum disease.
- Reduce menstrual cramps.
Plants will bloom all through summer and harvesting the flowers can take place any time. You can use the fresh flowers to make tea, however many people will dry the flowers before using.
When making tea, take 1 teaspoon of dried flower per cup. If brewing with fresh chamomile blossoms use 2 teaspoons per cup. You can add a touch of honey for sweetness.
When you hear the name Mugwort, you probably think of it as the spiritual herb, and rightfully so. Mugwort has consistently shown to induce lucid dreaming, and make dreams feel as if they are real. People who want to lucid dream will often put some Mugwort leaves underneath their pillow at night, or perhaps even smoke or vape a little Mugwort before going to bed.
Aside from being the dream herb, Mugwort also has many medicinal benefits including:
- Helps aid in digestion and relieves gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, gas, colic, diarrhea and so on. Eliminates intestinal parasites such as pinworms.
- Moxibustion – an old practice performed usually during acupuncture. They take the mugwort leaves and roll them into a cigar like shape, and then light one end. The smoldering end is then place just above the skin where the acupuncture area is being worked on. This helps to increase the flow of energy.
- Stimulates menstruation and helps maintain regular menstrual cycles.
- Calms the body and nerves.
Where do we begin? So much can be written about the so many health benefits, as it has been commonly known to prevent and fix so many various ailments. Adding garlic to your diet regularly is important to help maintain good health. Used ever since ancient history, garlic provides an abundant amount of benefits. Additionally, garlic will help liven up any dish!
Very nutritiuos with so few calories! A single clove of raw garlic contains:
- Manganese: 2% of the Daily Value (DV).
- Vitamin B6: 2% of the DV.
- Vitamin C: 1% of the DV.
- Selenium: 1% of the DV.
- Fiber: 0.06 grams.
- A generous amount of calcium, copper, potassium, phosphorus, iron and Vitamin B1.
Some of the common benefits to eating garlic include:
- Helps prevent sickness including the common cold.
- Helps cure throat infections due to its powerful antibacterial properties.
- Reduces blood pressure. Consuming too much garlic will certainly cause you to feel lightheaded due to how quickly and how well it lowers blood pressure.
- Helps maintain good cholesterol levels.
- Reduces risk of heart disease.
- Garlic contains antioxidants which have shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease and Dementia.
- Several studies have shown that people who eat garlic regularly live longer.
- Shown to help enhance athletic performance.
- A great way to help detox your body of heavy metals.
- Improves bone health.
Virtually every dish can benefit from garlic in some way or another. Consider making garlic a regular staple in your cooking to ensure good health!
Ginger is known for being one of the healthiest spices, as it’s full of nutrients and bioactive compounds that your body and brain need to thrive. Besides the so many health benefits of ginger, it’s also a very tasty root that can spice up many types of culinary dishes.
Here are some proven medicinal benefits to eating ginger:
- Ginger contains gingerol, a substance with powerful medicinal properties. Commonly used in Traditional Chinese Medicine, ginger is known to help digestion, reduce nausea, fight the flu and common cold.
- One of the biggest known facts about ginger is that help with many forms of nausea, including morning sickness. People will often take a ginger chewy, tablet, or just eat raw or picked ginger to help relieve nausea.
- Can reduce muscle pain and soreness due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
- Because it has such powerful anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can help with Osteoarthritis.
- Helps to lower blood sugars and reduce risk of heart disease.
- Can reduce menstrual pain.
- May lower cholesterol levels.
- Contains 6-gingerol, a substance known to help prevent cancer.
- May improve brain function and protect against Alzheimer’s Disease.
- Gingerol can also help fight various infections.
Cilantro is a very tasty herb, often used in Latin cuisine. Cilantro is one of the most powerful herbs to use when detoxing your body of heavy metals. Not only does it taste great, but it has many health and medicinal benefits such as:
- Rids the body of heavy metals – Cilantro has been shown to bind to toxic metals (arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead, mercury, etc.), loosening them from tissue and facilitating their elimination from the body.
- Protects against oxidative stress – Helps products against the damage caused by free radicals in the body.
- Reduces Anxiety – This herb has a natural calming effect on nerves and also improves sleep quality due to is natural sedative properties. A recent study shows that high levels of cilantro extract produced the same anti-anxiety effects as popular prescription drugs, without all of the risks and side effects!
- Lowers blood sugar levels – Proven to lower blood sugar levels. Simply add a few chopped leaves to your salad, and you’ll get an extra boost of nutrition.
- Supports heart health – Recent research has shown that cilantro could help promote heart by reducing several risk factors for heart disease.
- Prevents urinary tract infections – Cilantro is a natural antibacterial agent, and has shown to help prevent and resolve urinary tract infections.
Oregano, another common seasoning can help in so many ways medicinally. Native to the Mediterranean. Use for flavoring many different types of dishes, Oregano is also a powerful medicinal herb. Some medicinal uses include:
- Oregano is a very powerful anti-bacterial and anti-fungal agent, and also has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties. Generally taken as a supplement or used as an essential oil.
- Contains: iron, vitamin E, vitamin C, copper, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B6, niacin, thiamine an riboflavin.
- Helps fight colds and flu.
- Can be used to treat head lice.
- Can help lower cholesterol.
- Powerful antioxidant.
- Shown to help improve overall gut health.
- Can relieve pain with effects similar to the commonly used painkiller fenoprofen and morphine.
- May have cancer-fight properties.
- Has been shown to help aid in weight loss.
A culinary staple for seasoning food, Thyme also is known for many health benefits such as:
- Lowers blood pressure.
- Help relieve coughs and is often used as a natural cough remedy. Try drink some thyme tea.
- Boosts your immunity as it’s packed with vitamin C and A. Take immediately when you feel a cold coming on.
- A powerful yet safe disinfectant. Add a few drops to your essential oil diffusor to purify the air around you.
- Use as a natural pesticide to repel mosquitoes and bugs in your garden. Targets bacteria and viruses.
Regardless, thyme smells good and tastes great.
Lemon Balm has been known to offer the following medicinal relief:
- It can help relieve stress and boosts mood.
- It can help reduce anxiety.
- It may boost cognitive function.
- It can help ease insomnia and other sleep disorders.
- Has been known to help treat cold sores.
- Helps relieve indigestion.
- Treats and relieves nausea.
- Known to help minimize menstrual cramps.
- Eases headache pain, releases tension and relaxes blood vessels.
- Lessens toothache pain.