Plants have been used as medicine for thousands of years. While the western medical field is often skeptical about natural healing, holistic medicine continues to thrive in eastern cultures. However it is becoming more widely used in the west thanks to accessible information through the internet!
Prescription drugs certainly have their place and are often life saving. But using medicinal plants and herbs for less serious ailments or in conjunction with pharmaceuticals can make a huge difference. Plants are much cheaper (and sustainable if you’re growing them yourself) and have fewer side effects than prescription drugs.
Growing Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is an easy to find and very low maintenance house plant. In fact, they thrive the most when you forget about them! If you live in zones 8-11, Aloe Vera can be grown outdoors. If you live outside of these zones, keep your plant in a container which can be left outside during the summer, and bring it inside once the temperature drops.
Aloe Vera is infamous for using to heal sunburn or other burns. Simply cut off a part of a leaf and spread the gel-like insides onto the affected area. Along with burns, this works to heal other minor skin injuries and irritations including scrapes, cuts, and eczema.
Drinking Aloe Vera juice helps with digestive problems including constipation.
Most types of mint grow quickly without much work. Mint plants can be grown as perennials outdoors in most climates. However be weary that these plants might take over a good portion of your garden with how quickly they spread! Growing peppermint in a container indoors is also a great option.
Peppermint can be used to ease nausea, gas, and other digestive problems. You can dry out the leaves and use them in a tea, or make a tincture out of the plant. Rubbing fresh mint leaves onto your skin can also help soothe sore muscles. Additionally, smelling the aroma of mint is great for clearing sinuses and helping symptoms of the common cold such as congestion.
Rosemary is another easy to grow medicinal herb that can be grown either outdoors or indoors in most climates. The pleasant aroma from its leaves alone is enough to make this plant appealing!
Rosemary is mostly known for its culinary uses. Eating rosemary has medicinal qualities in itself – it’s full of antioxidants which are great for your overall health.
However this plant also has a number of other healing uses. The smell of rosemary, either from oils or fresh leaves, is known to improve memory and concentration. Rosemary also has antibacterial qualities. Using oils or salves of this plant on minor injuries can encourage healing. Rosemary is great for dental health too! Adding a small amount of rosemary oil to your toothpaste or mouthwash is great for killing bacteria and having healthy gums.
Lavender is not only a beautiful plant to have in your home or garden, but it’s also easy to grow. Once the plant is mature, you’ll get plenty of flowers to harvest through out the growing season!
Lavender is a great herb to use for relaxation and sleep. If you’re someone who suffers from anxiety or insomnia, this is the perfect plant for you to try. Using a lavender tincture daily can help relieve stress and tension. Another option is using the plant as a tea to aid with sleep and headaches. You can also use this tea as a shampoo to help with dandruff or dry scalp issues! Additionally, placing a sachet full of lavender flowers in your pillow can help with insomnia.