17 Medicinal Plants Worth Your Garden Space

I have a few really nice areas around the house that I would love to turn into garden/flower beds, but I want them to be garden beds with a purpose. A combination of beauty and medicinal usefulness.

 

Here are 17 plants that can be used to beautify your garden while providing medicinal comfort to your family.

1aloe1. Aloe Vera

Most people are aware of the amazing power of aloe vera  leaves when used on burns, but it has other medicinal uses, as well. The Aloe Vera plant contains an ingredient known as bradykinase which can relieve pain, decrease swelling, and reduce redness. It's ability as a pain reliever is amplified by an additional component known as germanium.

Depending where you live, you may be better of planting the Aloe plant inside, rather than out of doors, but its usefulness in burns, and pain relief put it on our list for must have plants in your garden or home!

2basil2. Basil

Basil is excellent for flavor in a number of dishes, I think we can all agree on that. But, did you know that basil leaves can be used for the relief of indigestion? The leaves aren't the only part of this plant with medicinal uses, the seeds of basil can also be used to relieve all sorts of stomach discomfort including diarrhea, and constipation. The basil seeds have also been shown to help with cough. 

One word of caution - the use of basil is not recommended for pregnant women.

3blackberry lily3. Blackberry Lily

These beautiful flowers grow best in area that are sunny, or partially shaded. They are absolutely stunning and offer a long-bloom. These plants reach 2-3 feet tall, so keep that in mind when adding them to the design of your garden bed. They bloom mid-summer and will keep their beautiful display well into the fall. Don't eat the "blackberries" though.

Beauty isn't the only thing that the blackberry lily offers, though. The root of hte blackberry lily has been used in Chinese medicine to treat asthma, croup, and a sort troat. Pretty impressive, right? But wait, there's more! Studies have also indicated that extract from the black lily can help with the treatment of prostate cancer (but it's not a cure).

4blackeyed-susan4.  Black-Eyed Susan

This beautiful perennial has beautiful yellow pedals that will splash a vibrant color in your garden bed. The black-eyed susan prefer full sun, and well drained soil, but is a fairly hardy plant. A special bonus of the black-eyed susan is that they attract butterflies!

The roots from the black-eyed susan have long been used to treat colds, and earaches. The juice that can be squeezed from the roots was used by native americans to soothe sore on the skin, snakebites, and swelling. Beware - some people can have an allergic reaction to the plant - so, you'll either love it's benefits and beauty, or hate it's consequences.


5false indigo5. (Blue) False Indigo (Baptisia australis)

Another beautiful perennial that is both heat and drought tolerant; they prefer full sun or partial shade. The downside to this plant is that it can take 2-years to flower, but the benefits are worth the wait! Caution to observe: The plant you are looking for is Baptisia australis not Baptisia tinctoria

Native Americans used the tea from the root for two purposes: When hot, it promotes vomiting, and when cold it prevents vomiting. Interesting, right? The root of the plant can also be used for the treatment of toothache (directly apply the root). Studies have also indicated that this plant functions as a stimulant for the immune system


6marigold 6. Calendula, Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

Another burst of yellow for your garden. These grow best in full sun to part shade, but must be planted annually. The pedals of this amazing little flowers work as an antiseptic and can be used for the treatment of rashes, wounds, fungal infections, varicose veins, diaper rash, and even sore nipples. A freshly plucked pedal can be rubbed on the skin to easy the sting and itch of insect bites. You can also make a teat with the flowers to cleanse and detoxify.


7chamomile

7. Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum nobile)

These innocent little perennials pack quite a relief when it comes to settling an upset stomach and treat other intestinal complaints. Chamomile can also be used as apain reliever for both contractions of child birth and menstrual cramps. Chamomile teat can be used to relieve stress, promote relaxation, and has an overall calming effect. I should also mention it's noted abilities as an antibacterial, antifungal, antihistaminic, antiseptic, and anti inflammatory. 

8primrose 8. Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)

The primrose can reach up to 6-feet tall, and this should be considered when planning placement of the primrose in your garden. You can expect beautiful bloom from June to September. This plant is a re-seeding biennial. 

The medicinal benefits of the evening primrose are in abundance! Studies indicate the primrose is effective in the treatment of eczema. Primrose can help with the pain and inflammation specifically associated with rheumatoid arthritis. It has also shown to be effective in delaying the onset and development of diabetic neuropathy. Impressed? We're not done. It is also currently being studied for it's effectiveness in the treatment of cancer, peptic ulcers, ADHD, and hypercholesterolemia.

9feverfew  9. Feverfew (Tanaceteum parthenium)

This smell good, aromatic herb is perennial or annual (depending on your zone). They prefer full sun, and moist or well-drains soil - and are reasonably cold hardy.

As the name suggests, these plants are wonderful at reducing fever and can also be used to relieve cold symptoms. It has also been shown to give relief for arthritis pain. These wonderful leaves also work wonders at relieving headaches (including migraines!). This amazing little herb should not be used during pregnancy, or by people who are using warfarin, or other blood thinners.

10jewelweed 10. Jewelweed (Impatiens pallida, Impatiens capensis)

This beautiful orange/red annual is a self-seeder that reaches up to 4-feet tall. These plants love a wetter soil in either full sun or partial shade. This plant has the good fortune of relieving the pain and itching from poison ivy. Another variety of the Jewelweed (Impatiens blasamina) offers additional benefits to treat fever, and treat pain associated with bruises and swelling.

11joepyeweed 11. Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum)

These beautiful pink perennials bloom in the late summer, and stand up to 9-feet tall (plant accordingly!). The root of this plant offers many benefits to the urinary system; treatment of urinary stones, cystitis, and an enlarged prostate. It also helps to treat gout, and rheumatism. These plants also draw in the butterflies! (and bees!)

12lavender 12. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

These beautiful perennial flowers can get up to 4-feet tall. The essential oils that are derived from the lavender flowers work as an antiseptic, pain reliever, and works to reduce the inflammation of skin wounds (burns, stings, etc). The lovely aroma of the flower is well known for it's calming effect. The aroma can help with insomnia, reduce stress, calm a headache, help with colic and asthma. When added to bath water Lavender has been known to ease muscle tension, and reduce stress.

 13lemonbalm13. Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

There won't be any beautifully colored bloom for lemon balm, but the leaves offers wonderful lemon flavor that can be added to teas or salads. They prefer to grow in full sun, and reach around 2' tall (bushy). Tea created from the leaves of the lemon balm has long been recognized as a sedative and calming agent for dealing with nerves. The leaves have also been used in teas to treat insomnia, and stomach complaints related to nervousness. It has also been used to treat herpes (genital and oral) to reduce outbreaks.

 14peppermint14. Mint (Mentha x piperita & Mentha spicata)

Peppermint, and Spearmint reach their peak in midsummer and prefer full sun or patial shade in a well-drained soil. They reach up to 3-feet tall, and can offer some variations of purple in their colors. Peppermint has long been recognized for its use to treat the common cold, sinus infections, and respiratory infections. It can relieve cough, and decreased inflammation of the mouth and throat. Peppermint has also been recognized as a calming agent for the stomach to decrease heartburn, nausea/vomiting, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), abdominal cramping, diarrhea, and gas. Peppermint also helps to relieve morning sickness.

 15purple coneflower15. Purple Coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia & E. pupurea)

These beautiful red, pink, purple, and white flowers prefer full sun and are relatively resistant to drought. These perennials will bloom in the summer and fall. Echinacea is well known for it's anti-inflammatory properties. It is also useful as a bactericidal and insecticidal. The roots can be used to treat symptoms of the cold and flu. The roots can also be used to treat yeast infections, insect bites, herpes, and reduce acne.

 16sage16. Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage works wonderfully for reducing the symptoms of colds and upset stomach. You can use the sage as a gargle for relief of a sore throat, sore gums, and mouth sores (canker sores, and herpes sores). Sage can also help reduce symptoms of menopause, and help regulate the menstrual cycle. There is current research being done to test the effects of sage in treating Alzheimer's disease.

 17stjohns wort17. St. John's Wort (Hypeicum perforatum)

If you don't know about the benefits of St John's Wort - I'm not sure what to say. But I will warn you that St John's Wort can have undesirable side effects when used with certain prescription medications, so please consult your physician before using. 

St John's Wort is best known for it's ability to improve the symptoms of depression.  Most notably the extract increases the sensitivity of light, which reduces season depression or seasonal affective disorder. The oil has also been used to treat superficial wounds, and burns. St John's Wort also has the potential benefits of reducing the effects of viruses such as herpes and hepatitis B.