Scientific and medical experts all agree that plants of all kinds can be used to heal our bodies. The basic elements of the wonder drug we call aspirin were synthesized from a formula based on the plant extracts of willow tree bark and spiraea.
In fact, the use of plants for medicinal reasons predates written history! Flowering plants, in particular, were prized for their medicinal properties by early humans. Since then, more varieties of plants have been recognized as beneficial. Through that time, medicinal plants have been used for a variety of reasons, including:
- Used to synthesize other compounds
- Fight against infections from insect and animal attacks
- Prevent disease with regular use
- Relieve pain and reduce fever
Popular herbs grown that possess healing qualities include aloe, eucalyptus, garlic, lavender, and thyme.
One of the most famous healing plants, Aloe is a flowering succulent that’s native to Africa and is used for a variety of pharmaceutical purposes. It produces a nutrient-rich gel with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, and E.
- Raising Aloe: These plants need well draining soil, so make sure your pot has drain holes. Also be sure to allow room for plenty of root growth. These plants need direct sunlight to thrive.
- Aloe’s Healing Properties: Aloe can be used to alleviate skin irritations and sooth sunburn. It’s also a help to reduce the swelling and inflammation of insect bites. It’s oil is also commonly used in massage and aromatherapy oils.
This plant is a fast-growing evergreen tree native to Australia. It’s well known for being the favorite food of koalas! For humans, eucalyptus oil is the key medicinal version of the plant. Globe Eucalyptus is most common among homegrown varieties and is grown as a container shrub.
- Raising Eucalyptus: This plant grows quickly, and seems to especially thrive in poor soil conditions. Be warned: This plant can die off if exposed to temperatures under 50 degrees, so plant in a sunny, windless location.
- Eucalyptus’ Healing Properties: Eucalyptus is known to help relieve symptoms of colds and flu-like chest congestion, sore throat, and respiratory infections. In particular, it assists in the healing process of mucus membranes for asthma and allergy sufferers. Many mouthwashes, toothpastes and cough drops use eucalyptus.
Aside from being a tasty addition to many recipes, garlic is known for its therapeutic effects from its sulfur-containing compounds.
- Raising Garlic: Start garlic in a bed not recently used by a plant from the onion family. Separate the cloves and plant about 5 inches apart. As they begin to grow in the spring, gently work in a teaspoon of high-nitrogen fertilizer such as blood meal near the plant.
- Garlic’s Healing Properties: Garlic is said to reduce inflammation and boosting immune functions. It also reduces blood pressure and reduces plaque in arteries.
The key to lavender is its oil, which can be extracted by mixing dried, crushed leaves with another non-scented oil. The resulting oil will be rich in esters, an acid-alcohol compound, known to have calming properties.
- Raising Lavender: When placed in a sunny location, lavender will thrive well indoors, and this aromatic herb can be moved outdoors during the summer months.
- Lavender’s Healing Properties: Popular for its aroma, lavender helps reduce the effects of insomnia by relaxing you. It’s also known to be a pain reliever that eases sore and tense muscles. Other effects include improved digestion and relief from respiratory issues.
This fragrant herb will give you a health boost thanks to its high levels of antioxidants. It contains vitamins A and C as well as copper, manganese, iron, and dietary fiber.
- Raising Thyme: Frequent watering and lots of sunlight help thyme grow well indoors. Liquid fertilizer helps supplement this plant’s energy needs.
- Thyme’s Healing Properties: Thyme’s healing abilities range from its antiseptic properties to remedying gastrointestinal upset. You can even use it in a mouthwash to promote good oral health.
The Basics of Medicinal Herbs & Plants
As with other houseplants, growing medicinal herbs is an easy task. Equip yourself with high quality planting soil and fill your plant containers half way. Place an already maturing plant with roots into container and fill the remaining space with potting soil. Adequate drainage is necessary when growing these plants because overwatering can suffocate roots and kill them.
It is important to note that although medicinal herbs have long been used for their healing properties, some illnesses or infections may not be treatable using them. Consult your physician for expert care advice regarding herbal treatments or before beginning an herbal regimen.
What Healing Plants Do You Use?
Do you use some of these healing plants? Are there other healing plants you would like to know more about? Leave us a comment or visit us with your comments on Facebook.
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