I’m a lazy gardener. This means I plant crops that can thrive with very little attention, which is why our veggie garden typically consists of tomatoes, peas, beans, basil and lettuce. When I discovered herbs a few years ago, I was particularly fond of their perennial properties—plant once and they come back year after year. A lazy gardener’s dream! I love that herbs have multiple uses; not only do they add flavor to meals, many offer medicinal properties. Sage, for example, works in stews and also provides relief for sore throats or laryngitis when used in a tea.
Since moving beyond food gardening to other plants, I try to choose those with multiple uses. Yarrow in the front yard gives us fern-like leaves and pretty pink blooms. It also stops my daughter’s nosebleeds. Lemon balm on our patio naturally deters mosquitoes, yet can also add flavor to drinks and salads.
As you’ll see, you can create a veritable medicine cabinet in your own backyard!
Starting a Medicinal Garden
Where to begin? Check out these links, which provide tips and lists of medicinal plants. Consider your landscape needs (shade vs. sun) as well as your healing needs when choosing which plants to grow in your garden.
- How to Plan a Medicinal Herb Garden from Homestead Lady
- Must-Have Medicinal Herbs and Plants from Homestead Lady
- Create a Healing Garden from Mother Earth News
- Medicinal Plants and Herbal Remedies for Beginners from DIY Natural
Healing Herbs to Grow
These posts go into more detail on some of the basic medicinal plants: how to grow and harvest them, plus what healing uses they offer.
- Bee Balm from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Calendula from Life From the Ground Up
- Chickweed from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Clary Sage from Backyard Patch
- Dandelions from Life From the Ground Up
- Garlic from Delicious Obsessions
- Lemon Balm from Life From the Ground Up
- Parsley from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Red Clover from Life From the Ground Up
- St. John’s Wort from Life From the Ground Up
- Valerian from Life From the Ground Up
- Violets from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Yarrow from Eco-Mothering
And here are some recipes you can use once your medicinal garden is flourishing!
- 12 Things to Do with Lemon Balm from The Nerdy Farm Wife
- Elderberry Winter Tonic from And Here We Are
- Herbal Steam from Jessica Espinoza
- Oregano Infused Honey from Homespun Seasonal Living
- Rosemary Infused Honey from Delicious Obsessions
- Sage and Honey Cough Syrup from And Here We Are
P.S. Creating a medicinal garden with your kids adds a whole other level of goodness. It can be a fun way to teach them about plants, patience and self-healing. Learn other benefits of gardening with kids.