Many herbs have been used as medicine and as home remedies for hundreds or even thousands of years. If you are thinking of starting a medicinal herb garden, or if you want to make your own herbal home remedies, here are 20 posts to get you started.
How to Grow and Use Medicinal Herbs at Home: 20 Practical Tips
1. Grow aloe! An Aloe vera plant is one of the most useful medicinal plants to grow in your garden. It is especially good for the skin, an effective home remedy for sunburns and other burns, and it is also easy to grow. Read more about growing and using aloe in How to Grow Aloe.
2. Lavender is a beautiful and versatile herb: it is used in herbal medicine, in cooking, in beauty products …. Here are a few Things to Do with Lavender.
3. Chamomile (German or Roman varieties) is a very useful medicinal herb for families. Chamomile teas and infusions are safe and gentle home remedies for children’s stomach problems. Chamomile tea also soothes the nerves and promotes better sleep. Here are 7 Ways to Use Chamomile Herb at Home.
4. Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is known for its skin-healing properties. Read Growing Calendula in Your Herb Garden and use your calendula flowers for tea or for homemade herbal salves and hand creams.
5. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is easy to grow in the herb garden and makes tasty herb tea. Drink lemon balm infusions to lift low moods, and serve cold lemon balm tea on hot summer days. Read more about the healing properties of lemon balm in Culinary Herbs as Home Remedies: Lemon Balm.
6. Mint is another herb that is very easy to grow and very useful as a home remedy. Drink mint tea to relieve indigestion or colds and sore throats. Culinary Herbs as Home Remedies: Mint has more on the medicinal properties of mint and peppermint.
7. Don’t forget wild herbs and edible weeds! Many wildcrafted herbs and edible weeds have medicinal properties and can be used as home remedies. Try My Favorite Edible Weeds and Wildcrafted Herbs.
8. The easiest way to use medicinal herbs from your garden is to make herbal tea. Try these Refreshing and Healthy Summer Herb Teas.
9. Make the most of your herb garden with DIY herbal infusions. I think fresh herbs make better infusions than dried herbs, but drying some of your herbs means you can use them around the year even after the growing season. Infusions can be served hot or cold, and feel free to be creative when combining herbs for your DIY infusions. Here’s a guide: How to Make an Herbal Infusion.
10. Herbal medicine is excellent for “women’s problems”: hormonal imbalances, menstrual problems, menopause symptoms. I make my own homemade herbal infusion to relieve menstrual problems, such as period pain and heavy period. I use wildcrafted herbs such as yarrow, raspberry leaves and clover – here is the recipe: My Homemade Herb Tea for Women.
11. And here is a recipe for DIY Detox Herbal Infusion, made with wildcrafted herbs and edible weeds.
12. Here’s another way to use herbs or edible weeds: make your own herbal salves and body lotions! This Dandelion Infused Lotion is an easy recipe for a beautiful DIY herbal lotion.
13. Comfrey is another herb that is very useful in homemade salves and poultices for skin problems. Here is a guide to Growing Comfrey.
14. Many common kitchen herbs have medicinal properties, and are useful as home remedies for everyday ailments. Try these 8 Common Cooking Herbs and Their Health Benefits.
15. Have you planted your own medicinal herb garden yet? Here are some herbs to include in a garden that also serves as a natural home pharmacy: Medicinal Herb Garden Must-Haves.
16. There are more ways to enjoy medicinal herbs than teas and infusions. Try an herbal facial steam as a home beauty treatment that also has many other health benefits: Cleanse Your Skin with an Herbal Facial Steam.
17. Herbal baths are relaxing and therapeutic, excellent for relieving aches and pains, and they have been used for centuries for their health-giving properties. Here’s How to Use Herbs in a Bath.
18. Many flowers have therapeutic properties: rose is one of them. Here is a guide for growing roses for medicinal use and using them in homemade herbal remedies: How to Grow Roses for Medicinal Use.
19. Stevia is a hugely popular natural sweetener. Did you know you can grow your own? Growing Stevia is a guide to growing and using this beneficial plant.
20. And here is the ultimated guide to growing herbs: Must-Grow Kitchen Garden Herb Plants.
When I started to make my own herbal remedies, I found these two books really useful:
Bremness, Lesley: The Complete Book of Herbs: A Practical Guide to Growing and Using Herbs (Studio, 1994)