Medicinal Plants: Better Health from the Veggie Garden

herbal tea Photo: Tea Majesty

Injuries and illnesses happen despite our best efforts. When these things befall us, we often turn to modern medicine to fix that which ails us. Although the medical treatments that are commonplace in the world today are successful, there was a time when we did not have such innovation to rely on for health and wellness. In the past, we cared for ourselves with medicinal plants, a trend that is making its way back around.

In gardens around the world medicinal plants are grown to care for families. Wild plants are harvested in much the same manner. If it were possible to have a treatment at your fingertips, growing naturally in your garden, is that something you would pursue? Here are some examples of medicinal plants that can grow alongside veggies and what they can do for our health.

Peppermint, which is rich in vitamins A and C as well as manganese, has historically been embraced for its medicinal purposes. Peppermint dates back so far, in fact, that there is archaeological proof that it was used several thousand years in the past. It is known to help with upset stomach, fever reduction, irritable bowel syndrome, and also serves as a muscle relaxant when applied to skin.

Echinacea works on the immune system, strengthening it and making it more able to fight off bacterial and viral infections. This is a plant with antibiotic properties that can also aid in wound care. It has long been prized by Native Americans for its many uses, up to and including the treatment of snake bites.

Chamomile is a friend of the digestive system but it is more widely known for its calming and relaxing qualities. With a fruity, sweet scent, chamomile is often made into a tea that is embraced for its stress reducing and sleep inducing qualities. It is also said to help with aches and pains such as neuralgia.

Aloe Vera is prized for the sap inside which aids in healing. Whether it is a burn, cut, inflammation, or even eczema, aloe vera can help. Cut off a portion of the plant then open it to expose the interior, then place that part on the affected area to speed up the healing process. Alternately, aloe vera juice is actually consumed to calm stomach ulcers and other digestive upsets.

Pot Marigold is easy to grow and provides a lot of assistance when it comes to skin ailments. Whether it is a sting, bite, wart, or wound, pot marigold can help when applies externally. When a tea is made of the petals and consumed, it can help bring fevers down and increases circulation to help with varicose veins.

As with all things you have never tried before, it is possible to have a reaction to any or even all of the above plants. Because of this, it important to weigh the benefits versus risks before attempting to use them. Though these plants are known for certain properties, there is no guarantee you will have the same outcome, thus all users should proceed with caution and at their own risk.

Although there is no true way of knowing if you will ever need or benefit from adding medicinal plants to your garden, they are still a welcome addition to any garden. In addition to being useful in combating ailments in many cases, they are also easy on the eyes and can add a pop of color to your garden, especially upon flowering. With a little luck, they will add a bit of pep to your step when you’re feeling under the weather as well.


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