20 Medicinal Plants Worthy of Your Garden Space

Filling your garden with medicinal plants that have distinct health benefits is a smart use of garden space. You’ll be able to use natural remedies, while boosting your immune system and overall health with these powerful plants.


Milk Thistle for Your Lover

1. Milk Thistle

You’ll often see milk thistle in products labeled as being good for the liver, which could make it a very important plant to have because your liver has a big effect on your overall health.

It’s also a plant that has reported anti-cancer benefits thanks to the antioxidants it contains. To use it just add some of its seeds to a smoothie or other recipe, crushing them before use. Be sure to use up the stalks as well, which can be added to a salad or other meal.

Planting and Care Instructions

Early summer is the best time to plant milk thistle, and it grows well in sunny spots. You’re able to harvest seeds for a few weeks when it produces them.


Aloe Vera for Your Skin and Digestion

2. Aloe Vera

This is one of the most widely used plants for medicinal purposes, and you’ll find it in the ingredients list of a number of skin care products from lotions to creams and gels.

An Aloe Vera plant is pretty much a must have, because there are a myriad of ways that you can use it, many of which are skin related, but you can also use it internally as a digestive aid, to improve heart health, and as an anti-inflammatory.

Planting and Care Instructions

You can grow Aloe Vera indoors any time of year, and you’ll want to use something that drains better than plain potting soil. You don’t want the plant soaking in undrained water, and often it’s better to mist them than to add water to the base.


Echinacea for Immunity

3. Echinacea

Echinacea is a plant you’ll want to have in your arsenal, as a way of protecting you from getting sick, and speeding up the recovery process when you do get sick. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties, and can be used both internally and topically to help heal the body more quickly.

One remedy that Echinacea is used for is sunburn treatment. Along with aloe vera, Echinacea has been shown to heal sunburned skin more quickly than if left untreated.


Planting and Care Instructions

Plant echinacea in soil that is a mixture of sand, silt, and clay (loam). Place in an area that gets sun all day, or gets a bit of shade. Water it regularly, but don’t worry if you miss a few days or even a week, as it is quite resilient when it comes to infrequent waterings.


Astragalus for Anti-Aging

4. Astragalus

Just about anyone can benefit from including astragalus in their diet because it is said to bolster the immune system. This means that it’s not just good for helping to prevent colds and flus and in the short term, but can help prevent bigger diseases over the long term.

Astragalus even has anti-aging benefits, helping to strengthen the body at the cellular level and can bring down blood sugar levels in those looking to prevent or manage diabetes.

Planting and Care Instructions

You can plant Astragalus any time of year, but keep in mind that it will take a few years before it’s ready to be harvested, so this is one plant that requires some patience. Pick a spot that gets some shade rather than an entirely sunny one. Use a soil that drains well rather than standard potting soil.


Burdock for Cleansing

5. Burdock

The cleansing power of Burdock is enough to merit space in your garden, as this plant has been used to help the liver do its job better and benefitting the digestive system. It can provide some relief from the toxic world we live in, and help the body rid itself from stored toxins.

Keep your supply of Burdock coming and eat it along with salad greens to meet your daily fiber needs. Burdock is a rich source of fiber, including inulin which helps keep your digestive tract clean and your colon functioning properly.

Planting and Care Instructions

You’ll love Burdock because you don’t have to tend to it much in order for it to thrive. However, the more you tend to it, the better it will grow and the more yield you’ll get from it. Place it where it will get the most sun.


Medicinal Valerian Plant for Sleep and Stress

6. Valerian

You should consider planting Valerian if you’ve been having trouble getting to sleep at night. Its root has been well-documented as a sedative that can help your body relax allowing you to drift off to sleep.

Valerian can also help calm you down if you’re suffering from some emotional stress. It can be made into a tea and sipped just like a normal tea to relax you and help your muscles unwind. This could be used a possible all-natural alternative for the treatment of anxiety.

Planting and Care Instructions

Plant Valerian seeds in the spring with your other garden items. Choose a relatively sunny spot for them, but make sure that they’re getting a fair amount of shade throughout the day as well. Keep it well-watered and use a soil that drains easily.


Marshmallow for Sore Throats

7. Marshmallow

When your throat is achy, reach for marshmallow instead of a lozenge. This isn’t the S’mores ingredient, but the actual plant from which it was originally derived. It works because of its antibacterial nature, and can also be used as a cough suppressant.

It’s also been shown to have many possible digestive benefits, including heartburn relief, help with indigestion, and repairing of stomach ulcers. Of course for any health condition you’ll want to seek your doctor’s opinion, but using an all-natural plant like marshmallow is a good start.

Planting and Care Instructions

Although it thrives in marshes as the name implies, you can successfully grow Marshmallow in your garden. Make sure it gets lots of sun, lots of water, and it should grow to about five feet in height as long as it receives proper support.

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