A medicinal herb garden gives you easy access to your favorite remedies. Whether you struggle with headaches, indigestion, or insomnia, herbs can be a wonderful, healing aid. Here are some of the best herbs to plant in your medicinal herb garden.
Note: Please do your own research before using herbs for your health. While I refer to these as medicinal herbs, most simply aid in general wellness. Please consult your own doctor before using herbs to treat a health issue.
What is Medicinal Herb Garden?
A medicinal herb garden is simply a collection of healing herbs and plants that aid in promoting health and wellness. Medicinal herbs can be used to treat acute issues, but they can also aid in general wellness.
An herbal medicine garden doesn’t necessarily require a lot of space. Though it can be as expansive as you like, you can also start with just a couple of potted plants on your windowsill and grow from there!
Why Plant a Medicinal Herb Garden?
With a herbal medicine garden, you can have your favorite remedies at your fingertips the moment you need them. You can use your herbs right away, dry them for teas, or use them to create tinctures and other remedies for your home apothecary.
In addition to aiding in health and wellness, herbs are a beautiful addition to your homestead or kitchen. They are generally easy to grow and can even be integrated into your existing garden.
How to Select Which Plants to Grow in Your Medicinal Garden
When you’re starting your medicinal herb garden, it can be tempting to jump in headfirst and plant a dozen types of herbs at once. I get it! It’s amazing to have fresh herbs at your fingertips. However, it can be helpful to start with just a couple of herbs that you will use the most often. This way, your garden won’t get overwhelming.
In the first year of your medicinal plant garden, consider starting just a few, easy-to-grow herbs, like basil or calendula. Or, think about what types of herbs you enjoy and already use a lot. Do you find yourself constantly buying chamomile tea? Love the smell of lavender? Start with your favorites!
Lastly, as you’re selecting your herbs, make sure to note your grow zone and the location of your garden. Is it full or partial shade? As you shop for your herbs, check the labels for condition and climate requirements. Not all herbs grow well in all locations.
Best Herbs to Plant in Your Medicinal Herb Garden
Here are some of the best herbs for beginning your medicinal plant garden.
- Calendula – Besides being beautiful, calendula helps prevent infection and aids in healing injuries. Some say that it might even help to fight cancer and protect against heart disease.
- Lavender – The relaxing smell of lavender is calming and wonderful for promoting a good night’s rest.
- Chamomile – Chamomile is another herb that’s excellent for relaxation and aiding in sleep. Tea is one of the most common ways to use chamomile.
- Lemon Balm – Lemon balm is a stress-reducing, calming herb. It can also ease discomfort from indigestion. However, take note that it is a creeping plant and can easily take over your herb garden. For this reason, it’s often best grown in a pot.
- Bee Balm/Bergamot – This delicious de-stressor is great fresh, dried, or tinctured. It’s a tough perennial that can be a little invasive in warmer climates, so be sure to keep an eye on it and harvest often. It also promotes digestion and relieves bloating and menstrual cramps.
- Tulsi (commonly known as Holy Basil) – Tulsi is effective for stress management, and can also be a wonderful addition to salads or cooked dishes.
- Peppermint or Mint – Mint is helpful for headaches and upset stomachs. Take note that it is a creeping plant that spreads quickly. Therefore, mint is another herb that is often best grown in a pot.
- Echinacea – Echinacea is excellent for immune support and infection-fighting.
- Rosemary – This fragrant herb is antioxidant-rich and pain-reducing. It can also be added easily to many culinary creations.
- Thyme – Thyme is a versatile herb that adds tons of flavor when used for cooking. It’s antimicrobial, which makes it helpful for coughs and respiratory infections. Additionally, thyme is also a good groundcover and can decrease the need for mulch when allowed to spread.
How to Use Medicinal Herbs Safely
Before consuming medicinal herbs, be sure to do your research. While generally safe, it’s important to be aware of cautions and contraindications for each herb you use. If you’re taking prescription medications, be aware that herbs can affect the way that medications are absorbed by your body.
It’s important for anyone to be aware of the potential health cautions of herbs. However, if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a medical condition, it’s especially important to talk with your doctor or care provider.
The Benefits of Having a Medicinal Herb Garden
A simple medicinal plant garden is fairly easy to grow. It’s so nice to feel prepared for everyday ailments and to know that your favorite remedies are just a few steps away. Besides the medicinal benefits of herbs, you also get to enjoy the physical and emotional benefits of gardening and the beauty of your plants!
Which medicinal herbs do you find yourself using most often?