The 85 Best Medicinal Plants and Herbs to Grow in Your Garden


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Throughout history, nearly, if not every culture has used plants and herbs as the basis for their medicinal practices. Even today, many modern medicines contain plant-based ingredients. And while present-day treatments and drugs are far more effective than ancient practices, natural vegetation still provides seemingly countless health benefits. From vitamin boosts to aromatherapy and skin-soothing, mother nature offers several remedies for common problems. Scientific advances confirm that certain plants and herbs may help treat more severe cases, like mood disorders and cancer prevention. Of course, herbalism should never replace prescribed medications, though it can be helpful as a supplementary resource. Natural medicines still pose the risk of adverse side effects, so always consult a physician when considering your treatment options.


Below, you’ll find a comprehensive list of the most popular and studied plants and herbs believed to have medicinal properties. Each also contains a link, should you choose to grow at home. Houseplants are not only beautiful to look at but can also improve your quality of life!

  1. DANDELION (taraxacum officinale)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Flower, Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: Dandelion is a highly nutritious flower with potent antioxidants. When eaten or taken as an herbal tea, it may help fight inflammation, aid blood sugar control, reduce cholesterol, or lower blood pressure. It can also promote a healthy liver while aiding in weight loss.
  1. PLANTAIN (plantago major)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Many herbalists consider Plantains a helpful remedy for a cough, minor wounds, inflamed skin (dermatitis), and insect bites. Medicinal uses utilizing bruised, or crushed leaves may topically treat insect bites and stings, eczema, and minor injuries or cuts.
  1. STINGING NETTLE (urtica dioica)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years due to its medicinal properties to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia. Today, many people use it to treat urinary problems during the early stages of an enlarged prostate.
Close-up picture of stinging nettle leaves
  1. BURDOCK (arctium minus)
    • Parts Uses: Roots, Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: People take Burdock to increase urine flow, kill germs, reduce fever, and “detoxify” blood. It’s also helpful for treating colds, gastrointestinal discomfort, joint pain relief (rheumatism), gout, and bladder infections. It may also relieve skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.
  1. YARROW (achillea millefolium)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Roots, Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Yarrow is an herb whose above-ground parts are ingredients in making medicine. Common uses for Yarrow can treat fevers, a cold, hay fever, dysentery, diarrhea, loss of appetite, gastrointestinal (GI) tract discomfort. It may also induce sweating, and some people chew the fresh leaves to relieve toothaches.
  1. SELF-HEAL (prunella vulgaris)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Self-heal may aid inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis), diarrhea, colic, upset stomach, and digestive irritation (gastroenteritis). Herbal products utilizing Self-Heal may prevent mouth and throat ulcers, a sore throat, and internal bleeding. 
  1. BLACKBERRY (rubus fruticosus)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Roots, Berries 
    • Medicinal Benefits: Blackberries have many medicinal uses, and they’re delicious! Various blackberry plants can help treat cancer, dysentery, diarrhea, whooping cough, colitis, toothache, anemia, psoriasis, sore throat, mouth ulcers, hemorrhoids, and minor bleeding. Some cultures have even used blackberries as a form of mouthwash.
  1. WILLOW (salix babylonica)
    • Parts Used: Bark, Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Willow bark is often an ingredient in medicine. The bark is a lot like aspirin, so people use it to relieve headaches, muscle or joint pain, menstrual cramps, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, gout, and some spine diseases.
  1. CHICKWEED (stellaria media)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Stems, Flowers 
    • Medicinal Benefits: In homeopathy, this plant may relieve rheumatic pains and psoriasis. Chickweed is a folk remedy for many conditions such as asthma, blood disorders, conjunctivitis, constipation, inflammation, dyspepsia, and various skin ailments.
  1. GINGER (zingiber officinale)
    • Parts Used: Rhizomes, Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: Several studies show that ginger as a dietary supplement may relieve nausea and vomiting, mainly when associated with pregnancy. A small amount of research suggests that ginger nutritional supplements might be beneficial for menstrual cramps and symptoms of knee osteoarthritis.
  1. LAVENDER (lavandula angustifolia)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: The beautiful flowers and oil of lavender can help to make various forms of medicine. Lavender often treats anxiety, stress, and insomnia. It also may ease depression, dementia, pain after surgery, and many other conditions. However, scientific evidence is still developing to support many of these uses.
  1. GARLIC (allium sativum)
    • Parts Used: Bulbs
    • Medicinal Benefits: People often use garlic for conditions related to the heart and blood system. The conditions that garlic may aid include high blood pressure, high levels of cholesterol or other fats in the blood (hyperlipidemia), and hardening of the arteries.
  1. SPINACH (spinacia oleracea)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Stems
    • Medicinal Benefits: As a medicine, spinach may treat stomach and intestinal (gastrointestinal, GI) complaints and fatigue. It may also act as a blood-builder and an appetite stimulant. Some people use it to promote growth in children and recovery from illness. Spinach is an excellent source of iron!
  1. CATNIP (nepeta cataria)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Buds
    • Medicinal Benefits: Catnip tea most commonly treats nervousness and anxiety, along with other symptoms like indigestion and insomnia. Some may use it in treating illnesses or symptoms related to gastrointestinal discomfort, indigestion, cramping, and gas. It’s not just suitable for cats!
  1. THYME (thymus vulgaris)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Among other therapeutic herbs, many people eat Thyme to relieve bronchitis, whooping cough, a sore throat, and colic. It may also prove beneficial in treating an upset stomach, stomach pain, diarrhea, and intestinal gas. Some have even used Thyme to address parasitic worm infections, skin disorders, and arthritis.
  1. TEA TREE (melaleuca alternifolia)
    • Parts Used: Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: When used topically, many believe Tea Tree oil to be antibacterial. Tea tree oil often treats acne, athlete’s foot, lice, nail fungus, and insect bites. It is easily one of the most popular essential oils.
  1. LADY FERNS (athyrium filis-femina)
    • Parts Used: Fronds, Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: Some have claimed that the young unfurled fronds may help treat internal ailments such as cancer of the womb. The roots of Lady Ferns help to fight against parasites and may also promote urination. A tea of the boiled roots may treat general body pains and breast pains caused by childbirth and induce milk flow in breasts.
  1. SAGE (salvia officinalis)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Sage is a welcome addition to your herb garden as the leaves can be an ingredient in medicine. Sage often helps with digestive problems like loss of appetite, gas, stomach pain, diarrhea, bloating, and heartburn. It may also reduce overproduction of sweat and saliva to relieve stress and remedy and relieve depression, memory loss, and Alzheimer’s disease.
  1. PEPPERMINT (mentha × piperita)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Peppermint is a popular and traditional remedy for treating several conditions. Many use it for its supposed calming effects. Peppermint may also treat flatulence, menstrual pains, diarrhea, nausea, depression-related anxiety, pain, the common cold, indigestion, and IBS. Make sure to grow in partial shade to avoid burning the leaves. 
  1. MARIGOLD (tagetes)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: The main therapeutic applications of Marigold include treating many skin conditions like contusions, bruises, and varicose veins. Some people have successfully treated minor skin injuries and inflammation by using Marigold. Marigold ointment promotes wound healing for eczema and sunburns. Though as an annual plant, you’ll only have it fresh for half the year!
  1. CAYENNE PEPPER (Capsicum annuum)
    • Parts Used: Peppers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Cayenne pepper’s benefits are numerous and influential; it may help digestion by easing an upset stomach (believe it or not!), slow intestinal gas, stop stomach pain, stop diarrhea, and work as a natural remedy for cramps.
  1. CHAMOMILE (Matricaria recutita)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Chamomile, specifically German Chamomile, is helpful for many human ailments such as hay fever, inflammation, muscle spasms, menstrual issues, insomnia, ulcers, wounds, gastrointestinal disorders, rheumatic pain, and hemorrhoids. Essential oils and herbal teas of chamomile are used extensively in cosmetics and aromatherapy. 
  1. REISHI MUSHROOM (ganoderma lucidum)
    • Parts Used: Mushrooms
    • Medicinal Benefits: Reishi mushrooms might help enhance the immune system, reduce stress, improve sleep, and lessen fatigue. People also take reishi mushrooms for health conditions such as high blood pressure. Plant in rich soil with plenty of darkness to grow at home!
  1. JIAOGULAN (gynostemma pentaphyllum)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Jiaogulan is often used for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and improving heart function. It also helps strengthen the immune system, increase stamina and endurance, increase resistance to environmental stress (as an “adaptogen”), improve memory, and even prevent hair loss.
  1. SCHISANDRA BERRIES (schisandra chinensis)
    • Parts Used: Berries
    • Medicinal Benefits: Schisandra has a long history of use in traditional Chinese medicine to treat coughs, liver conditions, stomach disorders, sweating, as an adaptogen, and as a tonic to improve vitality. It is an ingredient in various formulas for fatigue and sleep. It also makes a deliciously tart iced tea!
  1. GOLDEN ROOT (rhodiola rosea)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Leaves, Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: Rhodiola Rosea has been used in traditional medicine for many years, particularly in Russia, Scandinavia, and other cold areas. Some people believe the herb can treat anxiety, depression, fatigue, anemia, and headaches. Numerous studies have detailed the plant’s benefits.
  1. CONEFLOWER (echinacea purpurea)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Buds
    • Medicinal Benefits: Echinacea, also known as the purple coneflower (among other common names), is an herbal medicine that has been used for centuries, customarily as a treatment for the common cold, coughs, bronchitis, upper respiratory infections, and some inflammatory conditions.
  1. CALIFORNIA POPPY (eschscholzia californica)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: People often use the parts of California Poppy that grow above the ground in medicine. California Poppy may treat trouble sleeping (insomnia), aches, nervous agitation, bed-wetting in children, and bladder and liver diseases. It may also promote relaxation.
  1. BLOOD FLOWER (asclepias curassavica)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Petals, Buds
    • Medicinal Benefits: In medicine, the roots of the Blood Flower may relieve breathing issues, pneumonia, and other lung problems. An extract of the root induces vomiting and bowel movements. A paste of the seed may treat ringworm and stop bleeding. The milky sap obtained from the stems may also treat warts and skin parasites.
  1. KOREAN MINT (agastache rugosa)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Leaves, Stems
    • Medicinal Benefits: The leaves and stems of Korean Mint are antibacterial, antifungal, aromatic, sweat-inducing, and fever-reducing. When taken internally, it may improve the appetite and strengthen the digestive system, relieving symptoms such as abdominal bloating, gas, indigestion, nausea, and vomiting.
  1. ALFALFA (medicago sativa)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Stems, Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Alfalfa is used for kidney conditions, bladder and prostate diseases, and increased urine flow. It may also treat high cholesterol, asthma, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, upset stomachs, and even some bleeding disorders. Alfalfa is an excellent option if you’re looking to start a microgreen garden!
  1. GREENTHREAD (thelesperma)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: In addition to using the herb as a beverage, Greenthread may benefit stress relief and the kidneys, alleviating digestive problems (especially cramps) and purifying blood. Few studies are known to determine the active components within Greenthread.
  1. FEVERFEW (tanacetum parthenium)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Feverfew is a medicinal plant traditionally used to treat fevers, migraine headaches, rheumatoid arthritis, stomach aches, toothaches, insect bites, and problems with menstruation and labor during childbirth.
  1. WINTER SAVORY (satureja montana)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Stems
    • Medicinal Benefits: Winter Savory is an herb whose leaves and stems are sometimes ingredients in making medicine. People take Winter Savory for intestinal disorders such as cramps, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, and intestinal gas. It may also treat coughs and sore throats and reduce sex drive when taken as a tonic.
  1. GLOBE ARTICHOKE (cynara scolymus)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers, Buds
    • Medicinal Benefits: The leaves may reduce cholesterol, purge the kidneys, promote digestion, increase urination, and lower blood sugar levels. Some ingest Globe Artichokes to treat chronic liver and gallbladder diseases, jaundice, hepatitis, arteriosclerosis, and the early stages of late-onset diabetes.
  1. TANSY (tanacetum vulgare)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Tansy may help in treating roundworm and threadworm infections in children. Other uses include treatment of epileptic seizures, colds, fever, hysteria, gout, kidney problems, and tuberculosis. It may also kill lice and bacteria, promote sweating, calm nerves, and act as antioxidants and stimulants.
  1. CAT’S CLAW (uncaria tomentosa)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Cat’s Claw is a dietary supplement for various health conditions such as viral infections (herpes, human papillomavirus, HIV), Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis, peptic ulcers, colitis, gastritis, hemorrhoids, parasites, and leaky bowel syndrome.
  1. BASIL (ocimum basilicum)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Basil may relieve stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It might also treat snake and insect bites. Women sometimes use basil before and after childbirth to promote blood circulation and start the flow of breast milk. It’s also a delicious addition to your kitchen garden!
  1. TURMERIC (curcuma longa)
    • Parts Used: Root, Powder
    • Medicinal Benefits: Turmeric is herbal medicine for rheumatoid arthritis, chickenpox, wound healing, urinary tract infections, and liver ailments. It is mainly well known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
  1. DRUMSTICK TREE (moringa oleifera)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Drumstick Trees may protect and nourish skin and hair, reduce skin irritations, treat edema, protect the liver, and even prevent cancer. It can also aid in treating stomach complaints, fighting against bacterial diseases, making bones healthier, and treating mood disorders.
  1. GRAVIOLA (annona muricata)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Fruit, Seeds, Roots, Stems
    • Medicinal Benefits: Despite safety concerns, Graviola might treat infections caused by bacteria and parasites, including a disease caused by parasites transmitted through the bite of sand fleas. It may also relieve herpes, coughs, and cancer. It can also cause vomiting and emptying of the bowels.
  1. NEEM (azadirachta indica)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Seeds, Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: Neem leaves may treat leprosy, eye disorders, nose-bleeds, intestinal worms, upset stomachs, loss of appetite, skin ulcers, cardiovascular diseases, fever, diabetes, gum diseases, and liver problems. The leaf can also be a natural birth control method and may cause abortion. Neem oil is an excellent tool in defense against houseplant pests!
  1. ALOE VERA (aloe barbadensis)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: Aloe Vera has antioxidant and antibacterial properties. It is also known for its antiviral and antiseptic properties, which may help heal wounds and treat skin problems. Aloe Vera is a popular remedy for sunburns.
  1. CALENDULA (calendula officinalis)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: The flower is sometimes an ingredient in some forms of medicine. Calendula flowers may prevent muscle spasms, start menstrual periods, and reduce fever. It might also treat a sore throat and mouth, menstrual cramps, cancer, and stomach ulcers.
  1. ROSEMARY (rosmarinus officinalis)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Rosemary is a rich source of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may help boost the immune system and improve blood circulation. Rosemary is considered a cognitive stimulant and can help enhance memory quality. It also may increase alertness, intelligence, and focus.
  1. FENUGREEK (trigonella foenum-graecum)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Seeds
    • Medicinal Benefits: Some ingest Fenugreek for digestive problems such as loss of appetite, upset stomach, constipation, and stomach inflammation (gastritis). Fenugreek may also treat diabetes, painful menstruation, polycystic ovary syndrome, and aid in weight loss.
  1. ASHWAGANDHA (withania somnifera)
    • Parts Used: Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: Ashwagandha is an ancient medicinal herb with multiple health benefits. It can reduce anxiety and stress, help fight depression, boost fertility and testosterone in men, and even improve brain function. Supplementing with Ashwagandha may be an easy and effective way to improve your health and quality of life.
  1. LEMONGRASS (cymbopogon)
    • Parts Used: Stalks, Leaves, Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: Lemongrass is a plant whose leaves and oil are often ingredients in some medicines. Lemongrass may aid in treating digestive tract spasms, stomach aches, high blood pressure, convulsions, general pain, vomiting, cough, achy joints (rheumatism), fever, the common cold, and exhaustion. It is also used to kill germs.
  1. CALOTROPIS (calotropis procera)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: The Calotropis plant may effectively treat skin, digestive, respiratory, circulatory, and neurological disorders. It also may help in treating fevers, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. The milky juice of Calotropis procera can also treat arthritis and cancer and as an antidote for snakebites.
  1. COSTUS (saussurea costus)
    • Parts Used: Roots, Oil, Leaves, Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: The roots and its oil are sometimes an ingredient in medicine. Costus root may aid in treating worm infections. Costus oil might also help asthma, coughing, gas, and intestinal diseases like dysentery and cholera. It is also used as a tonic to stimulate digestion.
  1. CANDY LEAF (stevia rebaudiana)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: This sweet herb, stevia rebaudiana, is native to Paraguay and Brazil. It is a medicinal plant and sweetener used by indigenous South Americans. Also, the people of Paraguay have used Candy Leaf as a folk medicine to treat cardiovascular problems, obesity, diabetes, liver ailments, and stomachaches.
  1. MARSHMALLOW (althaea officinalis)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers, Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: Marshmallow leaves and roots may treat the pain and swelling of the mucous membranes that line the respiratory tract. They may also treat dry cough, inflammation of the stomach lining, diarrhea, stomach ulcers, constipation, urinary tract inflammation, and kidney stones. Unfortunately, S’mores have no known health benefits.
  1. GREAT BURDOCK (arctium lappa)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Buds
    • Medicinal Benefits: People take Burdock to increase urine flow, kill germs, reduce fever, and “purify” blood. It may also treat colds, cancer, gastrointestinal complaints, joint pain (rheumatism), gout, bladder infections, and skin conditions like acne and psoriasis.
  1. CHINESE YAM (dioscorea polystachya)
    • Parts Used: Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: Chinese Yam is used in Chinese herbal medicine, traditionally to treat disorders related to the stomach, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. It can help treat poor appetite, chronic diarrhea, asthma, dry coughs, frequent urination, and diabetes.
  1. GREAT YELLOW GENTIAN (gentiana lutea)
    • Parts Used: Roots, Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: The roots and yellow flowers of Gentian may help digestion problems such as loss of appetite, fullness, intestinal gas, diarrhea, gastritis, heartburn, and vomiting. It also may treat fever and high blood pressure. Some people use Gentian to prevent muscle spasms, treat parasitic worms, start menstrual periods, and as a germ killer.
  1. VETIVER (chrysopogon zizanioides)
    • Parts Used: Grass, Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: Vetiver is sometimes applied directly to the skin to relieve stress, emotional distress, and shock. It also may repel lice and insects. Vetiver may treat arthritis, stings, and burns. Some people inhale vetiver as aromatherapy for nervousness, insomnia, and joint and muscle pain.
  1. COMFREY (symphytum)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Comfrey has a long history of tropical uses for treating wounds, skin ulcers, bruises, sprains, and strains. Comfrey has anti-inflammatory properties that may decrease bruising and help heal wounds when the herb is applied topically.
  1. FENNEL (foeniculum vulgare)
    • Parts Used: Roots, Stalks, Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Fennel may treat various digestive problems, including heartburn, intestinal gas, bloating, loss of appetite, and colic in infants. This great herb also might relieve upper respiratory tract infections, coughs, bronchitis, backaches, and visual problems.
  1. LEMON BALM (melissa officinalis)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Lemon Balm, a perennial plant in the mint family, is considered a calming herb. Many people groups used it as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion.
  1. BLACK COHOSH (actaea racemosa)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Black Cohosh most commonly treats menopausal symptoms, including hot flashes and night sweats, together known as ‘vasomotor symptoms.’ It also may reduce heart palpitations, tinnitus, vertigo, sleep disturbances, nervousness, and irritability.
  1. EVENING PRIMROSE (oenothera)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: Evening Primrose may effectively treat asthma, eczema, ADHD, hepatitis B, high cholesterol, breast pain, menopausal hot flashes and night sweats, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and the skin or joint symptoms of psoriasis.
  1. GINKGO (ginkgo biloba)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Ginkgo Biloba is often used in Chinese culture to treat altitude sickness, cognitive issues, dementia, dizziness, glaucoma, memory loss, PMS symptoms, and SSRI-induced sexual dysfunction.
  1. GINSENG (panax ginseng)
    • Parts Used: Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: Ginseng is a potent antioxidant that may reduce inflammation. It might also benefit brain function and could improve erectile dysfunction. Furthermore, some use Ginseng to boost the immune system, as it may have benefits against cancer. Ginseng might also reduce tiredness while increasing energy levels, and it could lower blood sugar.
  1. GOLDENSEAL (hydrastis canadensis)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers, Berries
    • Medicinal Benefits: Many people promote Goldenseal for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also may treat skin disorders, lack of appetite, heavy or painful periods, sinus infections, indigestion, and other inflammatory or digestive diseases.
  1. GREEN TEA (camellia sinensis)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Green Tea contains healthy bioactive elements, improving brain function and increasing fat burning. The antioxidants may also lower the risk of some cancers, protect the brain from aging, and reduce bad breath. Green tea is also used to help prevent type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
  1. HAWTHORN (crataegus)
    • Parts Used: Berries
    • Medicinal Benefits: Hawthorn can help protect against heart disease and may aid in controlling high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Both animal and human studies suggest Hawthorn increases coronary artery blood flow, improves circulation, and lowers blood pressure. It has also been used on the skin to treat boils and skin sores.
  1. SAW PALMETTO (serenoa repens)
    • Parts Used: Fronds, Fruit
    • Medicinal Benefits: Saw palmetto is a south Atlantic and Gulf Coastal tree. Its ripe fruit is sometimes an ingredient in medicine. Many use saw-palmetto for decreasing symptoms of an enlarged prostate, officially called benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH).
  1. ST. JOHN’S WORT (hypericum perforatum)
    • Parts Used: Flowers, Buds, Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: St. John’s Wort may treat various conditions from kidney and lung ailments to insomnia and wound healing. It is used most often for treating mild cases of depression. Large doses may result in undesirable side effects, so only use as directed by a physician.
  1. BRAHMI (bacopa monnieri)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Brahmi is often used for Alzheimer’s disease, improving memory, anxiety, attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), allergic conditions, irritable bowel syndrome, and as a general tonic to reduce stress.
  1. EPAZOTE (chenopodium ambrosioides)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Epazote, also known as Mexican Tea, is a leaf vegetable and herb used for its pungent flavor and its supposed ability to prevent flatulence caused by eating beans. Epazote is also used to treat malaria and asthma. Chenopodium oil comes from this plant.
  1. TULSI (ocimum tenuiflorum)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Tulsi is considered an adaptogenic herb, meaning it can help adapt the body to stress and boost energy. In homeopathic medicine, tulsi is typically used for anxiety, stress, and fatigue and may be used in herbal formulations to help treat asthma, bronchitis, colds, and the flu. It is a close relative to Basil.
  1. MULLEIN (verbascum thapsus)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Mullein may help treat coughs, tuberculosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, earaches, colds, chills, the flu, fever, allergies, tonsillitis, and sore throat. Other uses include relieving asthma, diarrhea, migraines, and joint pain.
  1. INDIAN TOBACCO (lobelia inflata)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Lobelia inflata, also called Indian tobacco, has a long history in the United States as an herbal remedy for respiratory conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, and coughs. Historically, Native Americans smoked lobelia as a treatment for asthma.
  1. SORREL (rumex acetosa)
    • Parts Used: Leaves
    • Medicinal Benefits: Sorrel may reduce sudden and ongoing pain and inflammation of the nasal passages and respiratory tract, for treating bacterial infections along with conventional medicines, and for increasing urine flow. Sorrel is also an ingredient in the herbal cancer treatment Essiac.
  1. PARSLEY (petroselinum crispum)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Seeds, Roots
    • Medicinal Benefits: The leaf, seed, and root of Parsley are sometimes ingredients in some forms of medicine. Some people eat parsley to ease bladder infections, kidney stones, gastrointestinal issues, constipation, diabetes, coughs, asthma, and high blood pressure.
  1. CHERVIL (anthriscus cerefolium)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Stems
    • Medicinal Benefits: Chervil is used by herbalists for several medicinal purposes, dating back throughout history. Some people use chervil as a digestive aid and skin freshener. It also may relieve symptoms of eczema, gout, and kidney stones.
  1. CILANTRO (coriandrum sativum)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Stems, Seeds
    • Medicinal Benefits: The cilantro plant contains ‘dodecenal,’ an antimicrobial compound that may help protect humans from infections and illnesses caused by tainted food. It may be effective against Salmonella, a microbe that can cause life-threatening food poisoning. If growing Cilantro at home, make sure to give it plenty of full sun!
  1. CANNABIS (cannabis sativa)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Buds, Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: Cannabis, also known as marijuana, has many documented benefits in treating conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, appetite loss, cancer, and Crohn’s disease. It also seems helpful in easing conditions affecting the immune system like HIV/AIDS and Multiple Sclerosis (MS), eating disorders, epilepsy, and glaucoma.
  1. MOTHERWORT (leonurus cardiaca)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Buds
    • Medicinal Benefits: Motherwort may treat heart conditions like heart failure, irregular heartbeat, fast heartbeat, and anxiety-induced heart symptoms. It also may aid in the absence of menstrual periods, intestinal gas, and overactive thyroids.
  1. PASSIONFLOWER (passiflora incarnata)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: Passionflower is a dietary supplement for anxiety and sleep problems, as well as for pain, heart rhythm problems, menopausal symptoms, and ADHD. Consider applying it to the skin as a treatment for burns and hemorrhoids.
  1. MEADOWSWEET (filipendula ulmaria)
    • Parts Used: Leaves, Buds
    • Medicinal Benefits: Meadowsweet is a plant whose above-ground parts are sometimes ingredients in medicines. Meadowsweet may treat colds, bronchitis, upset stomachs, heartburn, peptic ulcers, and joint disorders like gout. It may also help increase urination and kill germs in the urine of people with bladder infections.
  1. SPILANTHES (acmella oleracea)
    • Parts Used: Buds
    • Medicinal Benefits: Spilanthes acmella is used as a spice, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, and antimalarial treatment. It is also used to remedy toothaches, the flu, a cough, rabies diseases, and tuberculosis.
  1. WILD BERGAMOT (monarda fistulosa)
    • Parts Used: Flowers
    • Medicinal Benefits: An infusion of Wild Bergamot is used internally to treat colds, headaches, gastric disorders, and aching kidneys. It also may reduce low fevers and soothe sore throats. Externally, it is applied as a poultice to skin eruptions and minor cuts and as a wash for sore eyes.
  1. FLAX SEED (linum usitatissimum)
    • Parts Used: Seeds
    • Medicinal Benefits: Flax seeds contain many nutrients, such as omega-3 fats. Flax seeds are also a rich source of lignans, which may reduce cancer risk. The dietary fiber and high-quality protein may improve cholesterol and lower blood pressure.
  1. GRAPESEED (vitis vinifera)
    • Parts Used: Oil
    • Medicinal Benefits: Grapeseed extract, which comes from the seeds of wine grapes, is promoted as a dietary supplement for various conditions, including when veins have problems sending blood from the legs back to the heart. Grapeseed may also help promote wound healing and reduce inflammation.

While we’ve included the benefits of each medicinal plant, researching potential side effects is the most critical next step–– sometimes, the remedies don’t outway the risks. And whether or not you choose to use these plants topically or internally, each is beautiful to look at, which is a significant health benefit in itself! Many have simple air-purifying qualities and will bring life to any living space. Tending to a living organism is a worthwhile form of therapy. Several herbs are also edible, making a delicious addition to home cooking. Reference our guides to indoor herb gardens for more information and many other articles outlining plant care more generally. Be well!

*It is important to remember that herbal supplements are not subject to regulation by the FDA and, therefore, have not been tested in an FDA-approved clinical trial to prove their effectiveness in the treatment or management of medical conditions. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and discuss herbal supplements before use.

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Brent Hellendoorn

Brent is excited about all things minimal, and thus environmentally sustainable. From kitchen-scrap composting to indoor herb gardens and air-purifying houseplants, he enjoys continual learning and innovation. In simple, eco-conscious living, there is always room to… grow!

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