6 Medicinal Plants Worth Having In Your Garden


I think the best garden one can have is a medicinal garden. There’s something comforting and reassuring knowing that the medicines you need are just a few steps away. The following plants are useful not only as medicinals but also in culinary dishes. It’s a win-win situation! Cooking with herbs you’ve grown and dried is a very satisfying experience.

Medicinal Herbs


Medicinal Plants Worth Having In Your Garden


Basil (Ocimum basilicum) is related to mints belonging to the Lamiaceae family. This herb is sweet, slightly minty and slightly peppery. It lends itself to a variety of culinary uses. 

This is a hardy plant and grows in a vast range of climates in slightly sunny to relatively sunny areas, with loamy to clayish well-drained soil. Basil is easy to propagate by stem cuttings. It is sensitive to cold and will grow as an annual in regions that frost during the winter.

Use basil in your cooking to assist in combating common viruses like colds, flu, and the herpes family of viruses. Basil settles the stomach and improves appetite. It’s a natural insect repellent and a natural disinfectant. Taken as a tea helps to promote the flow of mother’s milk. Basil tea reduces fever by cooling the body, helps with rheumatoid arthritis,  inflammatory bowel conditions, eases muscle spasms and relaxes blood vessels. Used as a skin wash this herb fights fungus infections.


Medicinal Plants Worth Having In Your Garden


Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) also belongs to the mint family Lamiaceae. For culinary uses lavender is used in salad dressings, honey, sauces, beverages, various teas, and as a flavoring spice for a number of other cultural dishes.

Lavender is a perennial and grows in sunny areas. Run your hand over this plant and you’ll release the wonderful aroma that is so calming and soothing.

This helpful herb soothes stress and anxiety, induces sleep, aids in digestion, heals wounds and provides pain relief. This is just a few things lavender is helpful for.

Lavender is very popular for soothing stress and anxiety, just inhaling the sweet scent can be enough to relieve stress and anxiety. Lavender tea is another way to soothe body and mind as the antioxidant properties impact the endocrine system lowering the levels of stress hormones.

This is a natural go to for sleep issues. If you struggle with sleep issues, this is the herb for you! Steeping lavender flowers in a tea is a wonderful, soothing way to induce sleep. The compounds in lavender tea impact the nervous system, clearing the mind of negative thoughts and clutter.

Another way to relieve stress and assist with sleep is to use a lavender mist spray. This mist is sprayed on bed sheets, pillowcases even yourself to help ease you into sleep.

Lavender has antiseptic and antibacterial properties and when applied to wounds cleans and heals them quickly. A tea made from the flowers and cooled is applied to burns, wounds and abrasions. Massage with lavender oil at tender trigger points to reduce the pain and tension of fibromyalgia. Lavender oil massaged into the skin relieves all types of pain: arthritis, sore muscles, and nerve pain.


Medicinal Plants Worth Having In Your Garden


Lemon balm

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis) is in the mint family, Lamiaceae. It is often grown in herb gardens to attract bees which help pollinate the rest of the garden. The plant grows up to two feet and has light yellow flowers that grow where the leaves meet the stem. The leaves are similar in shape to mint leaves and have a tart, sweet smell like lemons.

Lemon balm leaves treat insomnia, nervousness, anxiety, gastrointestinal complaints, menstrual cramps, heart palpitations and urinary spasms. Drink lemon balm as a tea or a tincture. A tincture of 5-10 drops 2x a day for a chronic condition works well.

The volatile oils in lemon balm contain chemicals that relax muscles, particularly in the bladder, stomach and uterus, relieving cramps, gas and nausea.
It helps significantly in the treatment of cold sores and the herpes simplex virus, shingles as well as other viral afflictions. Studies have shown a significant reduction in the duration and severity of herpes. When applied to cold sores or genital sores caused by the herpes simplex virus, creams or ointments containing lemon balm have hastened healing. The infections did not spread as much and individuals using topical lemon balm also reported more relief from symptoms such as itching and redness.


Medicinal Plants Worth Having In Your Garden


Peppermint (Mentha piperita) a perennial, is part of the mint family, Lamiaceae. They are vigorous perennials that thrive in light moist soil with good drainage. If you don’t want them to spread plant them in the ground in a container with the bottom cut off.

Mint tea is a popular after dinner drink as it helps prevent heartburn and gas. The tea also stimulates bile flow to increase the rate and efficiency of digestion.
Peppermint is a sedative and antispasmodic herb because of the menthol compounds making it very good at relieving mental stress. It reduces the chances of vomiting and nausea, even in cases of motion sickness on a boat or a plane. It also reduces the stomachaches and queasiness associated with motion sickness and its anti-inflammatory qualities can return your stomach to normal.

The anti-inflammatory nature of peppermint can reduce blood pressure and body temperature and allow you to unwind and relax letting your cares melt away. Peppermint tea helps relieve the  symptoms of cold, nausea, vomiting, fevers and allergies. It assists in having a healthy digestive tract, including the stomach, liver, gall bladder, and intestines.

Peppermint is a pain reliever, relieving headaches, muscle aches and spasms and cramps in the abdominal area. What a great herbal ally to have when colds and flu hit.
Medicinal Plants Worth Having In Your Garden


Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is in the Aster family, Asteraceae. Calendula prefers full sun and average garden soil. It grows to 18″ tall and will self sow if the seeds are left on the plant. Calendula is also planted in a container and placed on a patio, the reason its other name is pot marigold. Harvest the flowers every 2-3 days to ensure a longer flowering season. Dry the yellow-orange flowers on a screen to use in teas or fresh to make tinctures, oils and salves. The flowers are edible! The flowers are dried or used fresh in scrambled eggs, soups, salads and cakes.
Calendula is wonderful for supporting the immune system, healing rashes, burns, dry skin and wounds. Calendula tea heals peptic ulcers, irritation from GERD and inflammatory bowel disease. It also heals inflammation from infection or irritation.
A gargle made from calendula tincture will help sooth sore throats, canker sores, periodontal disease, thrush and sore and bleeding gums. A gargle is made with 5 drops of tincture in a small glass of water.
Medicinal Plants Worth Having In Your Garden


Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia) is an herbaceous perennial. Plant in full sun, this plant grows 3-4’ tall. I use it as a backdrop in my butterfly garden. I started with 2 plants a few years ago and now have probably 30 in our butterfly garden. Coneflower is a hardy plant that withstands drought, disease and insect infestations. The plants bloom between June and October. Harvest the flowers when they are in full bloom but only harvest the roots in the fall of 3rd year plants. Only take 1/3 of the roots to harvest so the plant grows next year.

The roots and fresh flowers are medicinal and are made into a immune boosting tea or tincture. It’s an excellent support for the immune system and treats any type of infection. A tincture is helpful for mouth infections such as gingivitis, canker sores, toothaches, tonsillitis, and sore throats. Use a tincture to help with internal infections as wide ranging as urinary tract infections, herpes, influenza, respiratory infections, insect bites and swollen lymph glands.
Having a medicinal herb garden right at your fingertips is a great way to have fresh and dried herbs for any health issues. Dry your herbs and you can make medicinal tinctures, salves and infusions whenever you need them. The tinctures and oil infusions need to infuse for 6 weeks before you can use them. I wrote an article on how to make infused oils and this one on how to make tinctures. Would you use these medicinal plants in your garden?