10 medicinal plants to grow at home

10 medicinal plants to grow at home

Growing  herbs in your garden means you get to use freshly harvested herbs in your cooking. Anyone who has used these for cooking will tell you that they are any day better than store bought herbs or dried herbs. Every herb has medicinal properties as well. They are used in traditional medicine to treat cough, cold, fevers, burn and cuts, wounds and other primary health care conditions.

Herbal plants have natural substances that have been used for centuries to treat illnesses. They are often used in cooking and herbal remedies. Herbal medicines are considered safer than pharmaceutical drugs or synthetic drugs. Most modern medicine is made from these herbs or their crude drugs.

There are many medicinal plants that can help prevent illness and boost health. Some are even used as food supplements. Growing some of these herbs at home can save you time and money. Some of the herbal plants with medicinal properties include Ashwagandha plant, Allium sativum, Vitex negundo, stinging nettle, Orange flowers, Chamomile flowers and so on.

Here are 10 of our favorite medicinal plants you can grow at home. 

1. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is perhaps the oldest known medical plant in the world. It was first discovered by the ancient Egyptians around 4000 BC. They believed that aloe had healing properties. Later, Hippocrates (460 BC – 370 BC) recommended aloe as a treatment for wounds. In the middle ages, Arab physicians used aloe as a cure for eye problems. During the 16th century, aloe became popular among Europeans because of its ability to heal burns.

Today, aloe is widely used for cosmetic purposes. The gel extracted from the leaves of Aloe vera is used to treat sunburns, minor cuts, and other skin conditions, skin irritation and bacterial infections. It is also used to reduce swelling caused by arthritis, muscle spasms, sprains, and sports injuries. Aloe vera gel is also used to prevent scarring after surgery.

The leaves of Aloe veras contain high levels of vitamin C, which makes them effective against cold sores. The gel contains polysaccharides, which can improve blood circulation. These compounds also stimulate cell growth. Aloe vera plant extract shows antioxidant properties, which protect cells from damage. It also has antibiotic properties. 

There are several types of Aloe vera. The most common type is Aloe barbadensis.

2. Lemon Grass

Lemongrass is a herb that grows in tropical climates. It is native to India and Sri Lanka. It was introduced to Florida in 1857 by Dr. John Witherspoon. He brought seeds back from his travels in India and planted them near his home. They grew well and he began selling them at local markets.

The leaves and the oil are both used to make medicine. The oil is extracted from the leaves and used to treat digestive tract spasms, gastric ulcers, high blood pressure, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, heartburn, dyspepsia, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, nervousness, rheumatic pains, sore throat, and toothaches. The oil is also used for killing germs and as a gentle astringent.

Lemongrass tea helps reduce painful menstruation and abdominal pain. It has a sedative and soothing effect. 

There are two varieties of lemongrass. One variety is called "wild" lemongrass and the other variety is called "domestic" lemongrass. Wild lemongrass is found growing wild throughout Asia. Domesticated lemongrass is grown commercially in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii.

3. Fenugreek

Fenugreek has been used throughout history for medicinal purposes. In fact, ancient Egyptians were known to use fenugreek seeds as a food supplement and even as a medicine. They believed that eating fenugreek helped boost energy and improve digestion.

In modern times, fenugreek was used by the Greeks and Romans for its health benefits. Today, fenugreek is still widely used around the globe for its medicinal properties.

The main active ingredient in fenugreek is called diosgenin. Diosgenin is a steroidal saponin found in fenugreek. Saponins are natural compounds that act like detergents. They remove unwanted substances from the body, including toxins and waste products.

Diosgenin helps to regulate insulin, which is why it's often used for diabetes. It also helps to balance hormone levels and boost testosterone.

Fenugreek is also used as a treatment for constipation. When taken orally, fenugreek stimulates the digestive system and increases the flow of bile. Bile is a fluid produced by the liver that aids in breaking down fats and other nutrients. It helps maintain digestive health.

Fenugreek can also be used to treat breast cancer. Research shows that fenugreek contains chemicals that help to inhibit tumor growth and has anticancer properties. This effect may be due to the presence of diosgenin, which has estrogenic activity. Fenugreek's ability to inhibit tumor growth may also explain why they are used to treat high cholesterol. Studies show that fenugreek reduces total cholesterol levels by up to 20%.

Fenugreek can also be helpful for women who are pregnant or nursing. Fenugreek promotes lactation and increases milk production. It may also help to relieve morning sickness.

While fenugreek has many uses, it's not recommended for everyone. People with gallbladder problems, those taking medications for heart disease, and people who are allergic to fenugreek should avoid this herb.

4. Rosemary

Rosemary is a herb that has been used by humans throughout history for various purposes. Today, we still use rosemary for its medicinal benefits and uses. Some of the most common uses include relieving stress, improving brain function, stimulating hair growth, helping relieve pain, repelling certain bugs, increasing circulation, and easing joint inflammation. Being an aromatic plant, the oil is used in aromatherapy.

There are many different types of rosemary plants. One type of rosemary plant is called the "common" rosemary. Common rosemary is grown primarily for culinary purposes. Another type of rosemary is called the "garden" rosemary. Garden rosemary is usually found growing wild and is much harder to cultivate than common rosemary.

Rosemary is also known as the "herb of remembrance." That is why it is often associated with Christmas. People believe that rosemary helps them remember better during the holiday season.

5. Peppermint

Peppermint may help improve digestion. It contains menthol which helps stimulate digestive juices and aids in the absorption of nutrients.

Peppermint may freshen your breath and improves oral health. It also helps improve concentration. Menthol is known to reduce bad breath and increase blood flow to the mouth.

Peppermint has antibacterial properties and improves allergies. Menthol kills bacteria and reduces inflammation.

Peppermint is used to relieve congestion and ease headaches.

Peppermint oil is used to treat nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and indigestion.

There are many medicinal benefits of peppermint and it is easy to grow at home.

6. Thyme

There are many benefits and uses of thyme. Some of them include:

- helps fight acne

- lowers blood pressure

- boosts immunity

- disinfects

- repels pests

- aromatherapy

- boosts mood

7. Lavender

Lavender is a beautiful plant that grows well indoors and outdoors. It produces lovely flowers and is very fragrant. Lavender is often grown in gardens and landscapes. Many people enjoy growing lavender in their homes as well. Lavender is easy to care for and requires little maintenance.

There are many benefits to growing lavender at home. Lavender is a wonderful addition to any garden or landscape. It is easy to grow and does not require much water or sunlight. It is a low maintenance plant that needs only occasional watering. Lavender is very fragrant and makes a nice addition to any room. It is an important aromatic plant.

Lavender has many benefits. It may improve mood disorder, boost sleep, may soothe menstrual cramping, and may improve skin health. Lavender is widely used as an aroma therapy agent and supplement to help with anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

Lavender is easy to grow at home.

8. Tulsi

Research-backed benefits of Tulsi are:

Natural immunity booster, reduces fever (anti-pyretic), pain (analgesic), reduces cold, cough and other respiratory disorders, reduces stress and blood pressure, anti-cancer properties, good for heart health, good for diabetes patients, useful in kidney stones and gouty arthritis.

Tulsi has many medicinal benefits. You can grow Tulsi on your balcony or in your garden. Tulsi is worshipped as Queen of Herbs in India.

It is one of the most common grown herb in any garden. 

9. Ginger

Ginger has many health benefits. Some of the medical benefits include treating nausea, lowering blood sugar levels, helping with arthritis, and improving heart disease risk factors. But it may also help with weight loss and lower cholesterol.

Ginger may also help fight off colds and flu. It may even help relieve morning sickness during pregnancy.

10. Curry Leaves

Curry leaves are used in cooking and in Ayurveda medicine. They are known to cure stomach problems like gastritis, indigestion, acidity, ulcers and other digestive disorders. They are also used to treat diabetes, liver diseases, cold symptoms, coughs, asthma, fever, malaria, rheumatism, gout, urinary tract infections, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions.

In India, curry leaves are considered part of the “Holy Trinity” of South Indian flavors. They are used to prepare curries, soups and stews.

Further steps

 Further reading 

Happy Gardening!
Dr. Vandana K.