The environmental movement has spawned an interest in growing plants that have been used traditionally for their medicinal properties. Many of these plants are easy to grow in most regions, while others do well when grown indoors. The plants can be prepared as infusions, tinctures, syrups, or as oils for medicinal use. Those interested in growing and using plants for medicinal purposes should carefully research how these substances should be used and in what amounts. Like all medicines, improper use can be dangerous.
Aloe Vera is a plant that grows commonly in the southwestern United States. The leaves produce a mucous-like substance that possesses cooling and healing properties. It can be used against sunburn, kitchen burns, and other skin irritations. In a juice form, aloe vera is used against ulcerative colitis, constipation, and other digestive diseases.
Sage is a cooking herb as well as a medicinal plant. It was often used to help indigestion, flatulence, depression, and menopausal symptoms.
Besides its delicious smell, peppermint has been in use since ancient times for its medicinal properties. It is used to help upset stomach, spastic colon, and irritable bowel syndrome, as well as to reduce fevers.
Besides being known as a soothing tea, chamomile can be used for a number of ailments, including a cold, diarrhea, earache, toothache, digestive disorders, eczema, and common wounds.
This lovely flowering plant is known as one of the most important medicinal herbs in any medicinal garden. It can be used to treat wounds, burns, insect bites, and even snakebites. It is also used to strengthen the immune system in fighting allergies.
Tea tree oil is used in many over-the-counter medicines and beauty products. It can be used to help acne, athlete's foot, burns, cold sores, insect bites, and vaginal infections. Tea Tree can also be used against chronic fatigue syndrome.
Ginseng is a plant highly regarded for its medicinal properties. It is used to relax the nervous system, stimulate hormone production, treat insomnia, lower blood sugar and cholesterol, and improve general stamina.
Feverfew is a very old medicinal plant that has been used for hundreds of years to treat colds, fevers, and arthritis, as well as for bruises, swollen feet, and to help with migraine headaches.
The seeds of fenugreek are nutritious and are taken to treat inflammation of the stomach and intestines. It can also be used for the treatment of late onset diabetes, to lower cholesterol levels, to prevent cancer of the liver, and for labor pains.
The roots can be eaten and the shoots can be added into a salad. A tea is often made from the roots to treat obesity and bowel pain. Leaves and bark, which are made into evening primrose oil, treat rheumatoid arthritis, eczema, acne, and premenstrual disorders.
Precautions When Using Medicinal Plants
Pregnant or nursing women should not use medicinal plants unless under the supervision of their doctors. Always let your physician know what medicinal plants you have been using. If there are any changes in heart rhythm, vision, mental processes, dizziness, itching, rashes, or abnormal bleeding, discontinue use of medicinal plants and consult with your physician.