6 Medicinal Plants You Can Incorporate Into Your Home This Summer
Turn Your Backyard Into A Homeopathic Haven
Deciding what to plant in and around your home is a fun and exciting task. This summer, try out some plants that have medicinal qualities in addition to looking beautiful wherever you place them. We’ve consulted some of the world’s expert gardeners and garden bloggers to give you tips and advice on planting a medicinal garden this summer.
Check out our post with simple planting tips to help get you started!
The stinging nettle is a tricky one because upon contact with the skin it can leave an itching, stinging rash. But the stinging nettle is what Gayla Trail from one of our favorite gardening blogs, You Grow Girl, refers to as a “dynamic accumulator,” which means that it pulls nutrients from the soil into its leaves and roots. This makes it a powerful cleansing nutrient.
Many women swear by drinking nettle tea during menstruation to boost iron levels, while other people use it as a remedy for rheumatoid arthritis.
Stinging Nettles are technically a weed, so be careful about where you plant them to avoid an entire garden full of stinging nettles. They work best in raised beds or pots; check out our post on creating raised beds for tips on boxed gardens. Soak the fresh leaves and incorporate them into nettle tea, soup, or even pesto.
Be sure to wear long pants, long sleeves, and leather gloves to avoid getting stung as you harvest the leaves.
Echinacea is not only a pretty purple-petaled flower, but it also has many healing qualities that makes it the perfect addition to your medicinal garden. They are drought-tolerant, so plant them in full sun and be sure not to over-water. You can make a tincture by drying the leaves, or you can make tea — we love Jackie Ritz from the Paleo Mamma’s recipe for echinacea tea.
Ritz from The Paleo Mamma details the many uses of echinacea, including aiding ear infections, sore throats, and urinary tract infections. Echinacea is used as an immune support, and helps prevent inflammation of the nose and throat.
You can also apply an Echinacea root salve to cold sores, bug bites, and rashes to help ease inflammation.
Sage’s many medicinal properties makes it a perfect addition to your medicinal herb garden. A stimulant, diuretic, and expectorant with tons of antioxidants, sage is both tasty and healthy. Sage has many cleansing properties and works to clear free radicals from your system. It can also be used to relieve headaches and indigestion.
Sage is hearty and does well in hot and dry climates, but can also make it through an intense winter without a problem. People who live in cities with more extreme climates, like those in the trending city of San Antonio, are smart to plant sage.
Chris Dalziel, veteran herbal teacher and gardener from Joybilee Farm, recommends using sage in a steam bath to help relieve congestion. Dalziel places a handful of sage from the garden into a heat proof bowl and pour boiling water onto the leaves, then covering head and breathing in the steam.
Chamomile is known for its healing properties. It can be used as a sedative to aid insomnia and anxiety, or used externally to help reduce swelling, irritation, and calluses.
Chamomile leaves can be gathered throughout the summer months, but optimal harvest time is right when tiny yellow flowers start to blossom — when they start to look like tiny daisies. Jordan Miller from Guiding Instincts details how German chamomile can be given to teething toddlers as well as used to relieve heartburn.
The most common way to ingest chamomile is in tea form, but you can actually put full blossoms into salads and fruit bowls. Heidi Swanson from 101 Cookbooks has a great recipe for edible flowers.
Aloe Vera is a beautiful house plant, so works well for renters or homeowners without a lot of backyard space with which to garden. It clarifies the air and will give your space an element of feng shui.
Laura Dawn, a noted health and wellness blogger, uses aloe vera in skin cleansing salves and green smoothies. Dawn notes that the benefits of vitamin B12 and amino acids, which aloe vera is rich in, include being good for digestion and immune health.
Feverfew is traditionally used for the treatment of fevers, migraine headaches, stomach aches, and even bug bites. Feverfew flowers look similar to chamomile, with tiny daisy-like blossoms.
Apply a tincture of feverfew to small cuts and bug bites by grinding the flowers, adding boiling water and waiting for it to cool.
Take Advantage of Your Garden This Summer
Gardening is a great way to relieve stress and to incorporate farm-to-table practices into your lifestyle. With this list of medicinal plants, your garden will look, smell, and taste amazing in addition to being good for your health.
Make sure you check out our post on other DIY summer hacks to further turn your backyard into a summertime haven!
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