While prepping may involve obtaining as much emergency food and water as possible, there’s also something unique about knowing which medicinal plants to grow at home.
Many people ask me the best things to grow at home while prepping and then look strangely at me when I say medicinal plants. They often expect a long list of fruits and vegetables, those varieties hardy enough to grow anywhere and maybe have long growing seasons.
But medicinal plants live on top of my list of home-grown plants, and for good reason. Plenty of foods fill many caches, but how long will your medication last?
Given the number of new diseases that tend to pop up each year, you’re hidden away medicine chest would quickly diminish if a disease ripped through your family.
Medicinal plants contain some truly unique properties, 8 of which I explain below. While many more varieties exist, this is a great list to start you on your way. Between them, they cover a broad range of medical conditions that will hopefully ease many of the symptoms you may experience.
Best Medicinal Plants to Grow at Home
Plant #1: St. Johns Wort
One of the easiest plants to grow, St Johns Wort is an anti-bacterial plant with anti-inflammatory properties. Use the leaves on burns, bites, and bruises. If you steep the flowers in olive oil for a couple of weeks, the oil turns red, indicating it’s ready to use for earaches and open wounds.
People also the plant’s extract for depression, but be aware that more research needs completing to give it the all-clear. If you use birth control pills, heart medication, or anti-anxiety medication, avoid using this plant.
Plant #2: Rosemary
Many people associate Rosemary with the exceptionally fragrant spice, commonly used for lamb, this amazing plant also has some pretty unique health properties. This incredible plant increases the speed with which blood is supplied to your body.
Many believe the plant holds some remarkable brain-boosting properties, while also blocking fat absorption.
If you need a simple way to administer the health properties, either use a few sprigs in hot water and drink as a tea, or even turn some sprigs into a tincture with alcohol or glycerin. Tinctures are a great way to keep plants for long periods of time.
Common ailments treated with this herb include-
- Skin Complaints
- Fat Absorption
- Inhibits Carcinogenic Concerns with Meat Consumption
Plant #3: Horehound
Another plant that is very simple to grow and doesn’t take much to bring it to fruition. The leaves of this wonderful plant are where the magic happens, the health benefits quite substantial of this little plant.
Expect to use it for-
- Loss of Appetite
- Whooping Cough
- Sore Throats
- Common Colds
Plant #4: Thyme
Another great herb that’s used abundantly in kitchens the world over. This herb goes great with Rosemary and is popular on many types of meat and vegetables. But the health benefits of Thyme are not so widely known.
Many uses exist for thyme, including
- Sore Throats
- Gas and Flatulence
Plant #5: Wormwood
Chances are, you may already have this plant growing in your garden as they grow quite fast, sometimes mistaken for noxious weeds. But their health benefits will soon show you the light, these plants anything but pests. Wormwood-
- Improves Bile production
- Stimulates Digestion
- Improves Liver Function
- Treats Intestinal Worms
Plant #6: Self Heal
With a name like that, you know this plant is going to give you at least some healing benefits. And I promise this purple-flowering plant delivers.
While some nurseries sell these in pots, they grow mostly in the wild, many looking on this as a weed. But a weed it is definitely not, giving you benefits such as-
- Ointment for cuts
- Improves Heart and Liver Function
- High Blood Pressure
- Sore Throats
- Mouth Wash
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
Plant #7: Lemon Balm
Part of the mint family, this fast-growing plant is renowned for taking over gardens not regularly tended to. While you can rub the leaves straight on your skin to act as a fly and insect repellent, there are other medicinal uses that make it one to add to your list. These include-
- Stress Reduction
- Upset Stomachs
Plant #8: Comfrey
Another plant that grows easy, fast, and almost anywhere. This plant has both internal and external uses, some of which will need special consideration. Do not use this plant internally if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or have liver or kidney issues.
This plant is commonly used for ruptured skin and broken bones, evident since this plant is also known as “knit bone” and “boneset”. When used externally, this plant is great for-
These plants scrape the bare surface of common plants great for medicinal purposes. If you do choose to grow some, remember to always start with small amounts to ensure no allergic reactions occur.