80 Incredibly Healthy & Healing Herbs You Can (Legally) Grow at Home

Tired of the perpetual barrage of artificial chemicals and questionable side effects, many individuals have turned to ancient and completely natural solutions to quell their various ills. DIY types with a bit of space to spare – even a windowsill will do! – may want to take their pharmaceutical pursuits one step further and create for themselves a garden full of traditional herbs and plants. However, it is always a good idea to execute plenty of research before committing to whipping up remedies medicinal herbs. Obviously, not every climate stands as suitable for every botanical, so be sure to discuss which ones thrive best in a given region. Second, one must always consult with a physician and/or pharmacist before committing to any herbal treatment. They are not regulated by the FDA, so caution needs to be taken when it comes to allergies, negative reactions with certain medical conditions or toxicology. Never enter into such a pursuit blindly, though responsible care and use of a medicinal plant can certainly yield plenty of hearty and healthy rewards.

1. Mint

Good for more than just mojitos, mint freshens breath, calms the stomach and plays numerous other valuable roles in herbal home remedies.

2. Dill

This spunky little herb assists in digestion, combating halitosis and the lessening of swelling, boils, cramps – among other great benefits.

3. Basil

A popular additive in cuisines from around the world, basil enjoys praise for its defenses against low blood sugar and antioxidant properties almost as much as it does for the rich flavor.

4. Parsley

Chomp down on parsley for a beneficial boost to Vitamin C and A levels, as a conduit for stabilizing blood pressure, a natural breath freshener and more!

5. Sage

Sage is a very common addition to home herb gardens due to its value as a flavoring agent and easy care. But many do not realize that it also helps relieve cuts, inflammation, memory issues and other health problems in need of addressing.

6. Rosemary

One of the most flavorful herbs available – especially when it comes to poultry! – rosemary also serves the added benefit of infusing a diet with the antioxidants needed to keep the body free of harmful compounds.

7. Thyme

Home herb gardeners looking for a natural disinfectant, digestive aid or infection cure would do well to plant a bit of thyme.

8. Coriander/Cilantro

For those who do not taste soap when they nosh on a sprig of cilantro, the fresh, slightly peppery taste enjoy the myriad benefits it provides against oxidants, stomach upsets, cholesterol and other health issues.

9. Fennel

Many parts of the lovely, licorice-tinged fennel plant – the seeds in particular – find their way into herbal remedies as a breath freshener, natural pesticide and defense against upset stomachs.

10. Chamomile

Head Automatica was a little bit right when they promoted “chamomile for nerves of steel.” This popular flower frequently finds itself playing a starring role in herbal teas to stimulate muscle relaxation, quell depression and anxiety and promote sleep – all of which a body needs to remain alert and operating at peak performance.

11. Jasmine

Jasmine mainly comes accompanied by the always valuable green tea, making it a nice way for home gardeners to add a touch of delicate flavor to their antioxidant intake. Many also claim that it greatly benefits ocular and dermatological health and well-being, too!

12. Lavender

Gentle lavender boasts a sweet, soothing scent perfect for inspiring relaxation and promoting healthy sleep patterns – so much so that many herbalists recommend it as a natural treatment for headaches and migraines.

13. Catnip

Grown primarily as a stimulant for feline friends to go entertainingly insane, but humans can take advantage of the plant’s minty goodness as a relaxing agent, diuretic and laxative to enjoy while watching their cats absolutely lose it.

14. Chives

The perfect partner for tangy sour cream, this member of the garlic family reduces inflammation, prevents cancer, repels insects and serves as an excellent source of beta carotene and Vitamin C as well – among many, many other amazing benefits.

15. St. John’s Wort

Moderate amounts of St. John’s Wort are believed to alleviate – though not cure – depression and anxiety. Many also use it in order to combat muscle pain as well. However, anyone considering growing the plant may want to discuss doing so with a medical professional beforehand, as ingesting too much of the stuff can cause a few health problems.

16. Garlic

For a simple, cheap, healthy and extremely flavorful way to prevent cancer and swab out dangerous free radicals in one fell (if stinky) swoop, bite down on this beloved bulb.

17. Onion

In spite of their odiferous reputations, onions actually have much to offer the human body. This anti-inflammatory anti-bacterial benefits the cardiovascular, skeletal, and digestive systems while simultaneously working to prevent cancer.

18. Bay Laurel

Teas brewed from bay laurel leaves have been known to help those suffering from dandruff slough off their itchy white flakes and stave off the pain caused by arthritis and other inflammatory conditions.

19. Kava

Kava roots have been used extensively throughout the Pacific for its tranquilizing properties that come without a crash or a hangover, though it is illegal in Canada and France. But even beyond the anesthetics, kava serves as a go-to source for maladies as diverse as migraines and gonorrhea.

20. Dandelions

Individuals who embrace this commonly (and wrongly!) perceived weed will be treated to a natural diuretic and laxative that helps promote healthy liver and kidney functions. Just be sure not to eat any wild ones, as they may have come in contact with harmful pesticides and herbicides.

21. Arrowroot

A natural antiseptic, cookies crafted with arrowroot flour are a common treat for young children in order to keep their digestion and waste elimination regular.

22. Ginger

One of the cornerstones of Chinese herbal medicine, tangy ginger serves as a natural relief for nausea, menstrual, heartburn and migraine pain in addition to potentially killing off ovarian cancer cells.

23. Ginseng

Energy drink manufacturers plop ginseng into their cloyingly sugary wares to boost mental and physical functionality, though different varieties do boast different features.

24. Green Tea

Tiny tea bushes are legal plants that provide home gardeners with a steady source of antioxidants and a means of lowering their risk of heart disease. Toss in other herbs and spices for rich flavoring that quells monotony.

25. Peppermint

As with many of the other members of its family, peppermint is particularly notable for its ability to promote proper digestion and agreeable breath. However, many do not realize that it also stands as a nice source of Vitamin B, calcium and potassium as well.

26. Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is a terrifically easy plant to grow, so with minimal effort home gardeners may enjoy improved blood flow, antioxidants and hundreds of nutrients whenever they so desire.

27. Safflower

Oil produced from the safflower plant lowers one’s risk of contracting diabetes later in life by encouraging weight loss, and on top of that it also contains anti-inflammatory properties.

28. Salvia

One must be careful of which variety of salvia ends up in a garden, as the hallucinogenic features possessed by a few species elicit a bit of legal turmoil. The non-controversial plants – many of which are common types of sage – have been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries in order to promote healthy hearts and livers.

29. Peony

As with many of the ingredients for herbal and natural remedies featured on this list, teas can be fashioned from the roots, leaves and flowers of peonies for a natural means of curbing menstruation pains and finding some degree of physical relief from terminal illness.

30. Shiitake

Though not technically an herb from a botanical standpoint, dried shiitake mushrooms have earned a well-respected place amongst natural medicine enthusiasts for bombing the body with numerous vitamins, nutrients and minerals that fortify it against heart disease and infection.

31. Indian Winter Cherry

Different parts of the Indian Winter Cherry get used in different alternative treatments, appreciated for its numerous benefits to memory, arthritis, dermatology and other facets of health and wellness.

32. Stevia

Grow the pretty little stevia plant for quick access to one of nature’s own sweeteners with no pesky calories to get in the way of a fun, healthy time.

33. Yerba Maté

This nifty shrub is used to brew a smoky tea in Latin America, beloved for the flavor and possession of over 24 necessary vitamins and minerals that the body needs to function properly.

34. Goji Berries/Wolfberries

Wolfberries, known more by their market name of goji berries, have become quite a trendy little ingredient lately. They have earned the accolades, though, possessing the antioxidants needed to fight cancer, heart disease and complications from aging.

35. Licorice

Popping an antiviral licorice plant into an herb garden rewards the resourceful green thumb with an impressive plethora of benefits – including antioxidants, antifungals, the slowing of HIV/AIDS, ulcer relief, skin care and many more.

36. Camphor Laurel

As the most pungent ingredient in Tiger Balm, the camphor laurel is a great plant for encouraging the muscles to relax. Beyond that, though, it also stimulates proper circulation, respiration and metabolism.

37. Boldo

South Americans with an appreciation for herbal, natural remedies appreciate the boldo plant for its digestive properties and nurturing of gall bladder health.

38. Rhubarb

Anyone growing rhubarb should always remove the leaves entirely before consumption, as they are toxic to humans. The stalks, however, possess an astringency valuable to relieving constipation, cleaning the blood and keeping eyes functioning properly.

39. Cloves

They may smell like a Cure concert (which, for most people, is by no means a bad thing), but cloves certainly appeal to a general audience. This pungent partner to a smoky ham also kills off many harmful bacteria strains, staves off inflammation and relieves the pain from stomach and tooth issues.

40. Chervil

A lovely little herb, chervil may provide a bit of a bolster to human brain functioning as well as a bit of depression alleviation. Some use it to create eyewashes to relieve soreness and swelling.

41. Winter Savory

Crushed winter savory boasts a number of useful applications for the home herbologist, with diverse benefits ranging from clearing up oily skin and insect bites to relieving sore throats and colds.

42. Hyssop

Hyssop and its affiliated essential oil have plenty to offer humanity, and anyone seeking to relieve a staggering variety of painful maladies would do well to toss a plant or 2 into their gardens.

43. Witch Hazel

Anyone hoping to use herbal treatments in the fight against painful and scarring acne, varicose veins, eczema, poison ivy, hemorrhoids and more may like the idea of growing witch hazel, a natural astringent, to help them out.

44. Aloe Vera

Everyone associates aloe vera with burn and skin disorder relief, rarely realizing its detoxifying potential when taken orally. In juice form, the plant encourages healthy digestion, facilitates weight loss and keeps circulation flowing smoothly.

45. Rooibos

Also known as red tea, rooibos provides consumers with antioxidants, relief from diseases as diverse as HIV/AIDS and compromised respiratory systems, a way to possibly slow aging and more when brewed.

46. Asarum

Frequently travelling under the moniker of “wild ginger,” asarum promotes improved circulation in addition to many of the other benefits offered by the fellow plant with which it shares a name.

47. Rue

Pregnant women must avoid rue, as it triggers a natural abortion. Everyone else, though, may appreciate it when they need a stimulant, an antiseptic or a conduit for relieving gas and worms.

48. Dang Gui

Traditional Chinese medicine considers Dang Gui one of its main components, using it in the treatment of PMS and other menstrual problems. However, it also assists everyone with circulation, pain relief and the alleviation of swelling.

49. Pennyroyal

Because pennyroyal is toxic under certain circumstances, extreme care must be taken when incorporating it into an alternative medicine regimen. Teas brewed from the plant allegedly relieve the pain from multiple diseases, including cancer and indigestion.

50. Reishi

Another mushroom wielded by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine, the reishi variety garners praise for its assistance in alleviating liver diseases and cardiovascular difficulties.

51. Watercress

Herb gardeners with access to a small pond may want to beautify their natural spaces with watercress, which can be harvested to imbue a diet with insane amounts of the vitamins and minerals necessary to keep a body happy and healthy.

52. Wintergreen

This small evergreen shrub boasts numerous healthful properties and can be served up in a number of different ways. Depending on a patient’s needs, the various ways wintergreen gets cooked up can relieve pain in a manner similar to aspirin or soothe indigestion – among other positives.

53. Bupleurum

Bupleurum may contain some excellent, healthful facets, but it is best known as an alternative remedy to treating various liver ailments.

54. Tarragon

Known mainly as a fragrant and tasty kitchen herb, many brew tarragon into a tea to take advantage of its antioxidants, generous punch of vitamins and minerals and support of liver and stomach functions.

55. Nettle

Some alternative medicine aficionados use nettle tea to alleviate headaches, prevent allergies, relieve the symptoms of PMS and many, many other benefits – including improved heart health.

56. Lemongrass

Fans of herbal remedies looking for antioxidants such as beta carotene or a defense against cancer and eye inflammation should check into whether or not their area is conducive to growing flavorful lemongrass stalks.

57. Hibiscus

These beautiful, exotic flower has much more to give than a pretty pastel face. Cancer prevention, for one, and improved blood circulation for another.

58. Marjoram

Grow marjoram for more than culinary reasons, as it also holds the potential to lessen inflammations and encourage healthy appetite and digestion – and more!

59. Astragalus

Another herb valued by anyone practicing traditional Chinese medicine, the astragalus earns its keep by encouraging the immune system to keep fighting against numerous nasties out to do a body harm.

60. Garden Cress

The cardiovascular and respiratory systems and digestive tract all love garden cress, which also carries with it a slew of necessary vitamins and minerals.

61. Oregano

A beloved accompaniment to lush Mediterranean food, oregano imbues meals with an antibacterial antioxidant. It can also help keep skin feeling happy and healthy by alleviating any itching, pain, swelling and inflammation when applied alongside olive oil.

62. Myrrh

Resin crafted from the myrrh tree – definitely difficult to grow in many regions – nurtures the production of “good cholesterol” and helps combat the negative effects of the bad.

63. Bindweed

Better known as the morning glory, bindweed galvanizes bile when taken internally and eases abscesses and bleeding when applied externally.

64. Kaffir Lime

The leaves of kaffir lime reinforces dental hygiene and can serve as a natural cleanser for improved hair and skin health – not to mention all the scurvy-fighting goodness of the limes themselves!

65. Turmeric

Fragrant and richly colored, turmeric has always been valued as an anti-inflammatory. Though as of late, it has also earned praise for many of its other eclectic uses as well.

66. Magnolia

The magnolia is such a pretty flower that few realize the medicinal potential that lay beyond its ivory petals. When used properly, it may actually serve as a great stress reliever that discourages anxiety-related weight gain.

67. Coptis Chinensis

Chinese herbalists frequently use the root of a Coptis Chinensis plant in the treatment of maladies as diverse as insomnia and acne, though many of its benefits tend to involve digestive or cramping issues.

68. Celandine

Home herb gardeners in search of detoxifying agents and the stimulation of various organs may want to plant a celandine or 2 in their yards.

69. Milfoil

Alternately known as yarrow, milfoil primarily works as an anti-inflammatory that also staves off the symptoms of aging and regulates blood pressure and metabolism as well.

70. Calendula

Brewing a tea of calendula flowers bolsters the body with an excellent number of vitamins and minerals, and creating a poultice of the stuff can help to bring down inflammation.

71. Sea Buckthorn

Rich in vitamins and other integral nutrients, the sea buckthorn has plenty to offer in terms of keeping skin healthy and free of redness, pain, itchiness and swelling.

72. Meadowsweet

Herbalists praise the meadowsweet plant for its aspirin-like properties, using it in the exact same ways as mainstream physicians use the little white pills.

73. Rose

Already a popular addition to many gardens around the world, many do not realize that these aesthetic flowers also play host to a treasure trove of health benefits! Given their ability to ease inflammation in the joints, they are certainly of great use to anyone suffering from arthritis and similar afflictions.

74. Perilla

Most “Westerners” recognize perilla as the leaf uses to beautify plates of sushi, but noshing on these plants can serve as an anti-inflammatory that also helps keep allergies in check.

75. Chrysanthemum

This natural antioxidant swirls with vitamins and minerals, and Chinese herbalists frequently fashion a tea out of the flowers in order to improve upon a patient’s sense of sight and hearing.

76. Flax

Flax seeds and juice both encourage healthy digestion and regular waste expulsion with its hefty amount of fiber – not to mention how the plant also reduces the risk of cancer and heart disease as well!

77. Feverfew

As with many other plants utilized in herbal remedies, feverfew finds itself called upon in order to lessen the torment of inflammation and other skin ailments.

78. Milk Thistle

For a natural combatant against acne, liver problems and digestive upsets, plant a few milk thistles in an herb garden for quick and easy cultivation.

79. Pawpaw

Grow a pawpaw tree in a climate that meets its needs. It not only provides a sweet source of vitamins and minerals, but also chases away pests that eat away at other valuable plants or spread nasty diseases as well. Among other assets, of course.

80. Cumin

Tiny little cumin seeds pack a massive punch of necessary nutrients that perform a plethora of functions meant to keep a body running smoothly and efficiently.

Though not every plant or fungus on this list qualifies as an herb from a botanical perspective, practitioners of traditional medicine seem to lump them together under this banner. All of them may legally be grown in most areas, though whether or not the overall climate is conducive to their growth varies from region to region. After discussing the pros and cons of each herb, consider planting a garden that serves as a quick pharmaceutical bounty for basic health and wellness needs.


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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 8th, 2010 at 9:40 pm and is filed under Blog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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