By Jennifer Poindexter
Medicinal herb gardens were once a common thing to grow around your home. With modern medicine, this tradition has died down some, but it may surprise you how many people still grow their own herbs and plants to help treat minor, common ailments.
Maybe you’ve found yourself being out of store-bought ointment in a time when you needed it for a cut and felt it would be worth the investment of time and energy to grow your own medicinal herb garden for convenience, if nothing else.
If you’ve pondered this idea, I have information that may be able to help you decide which plants to add to your growing space.
You should understand a plant’s growing conditions, hardiness zones, and its purposes before adding it to your garden.
Here are a few herbs and plants that could make a great addition to your medicinal herb garden:
Herbs and Plants to Include in a Medicinal Herb Garden
Calendula are brightly colored flowers that could liven up a medicinal herb garden. These plants do well in full to partial sun.
However, they’re typically grown in the spring or fall as they don’t enjoy warm temperatures. These flowers remain hardy in planting zones nine through eleven. Calendula contains anti-inflammatory properties which may prove helpful when kept on hand.
2. Holy Basil
Holy basil is a common herb to include in a medicinal herb garden as this plant contains both anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. If you’d like to grow this plant, be sure to select a growing location with rich, well-draining soil.
Also, your location should be an area with partial sunlight. Holy basil is grown as an annual in most locations but can remain hardy in planting zones ten and eleven.
Hops is a plant that enjoys plenty of moisture in its growing location. You should plant where there’s loamy, well-draining soil. It also requires an area of full sunlight and may need support from a pole or trellis.
Should you choose to add hops to your growing area, you should understand what it brings to the table. This plant is thought to be good for digestion and is sometimes used as a natural diuretic. Hops remain hardy in planting zones five through nine.
4. Sweet Tea Vine
Sweet tea vine is also known as the immortality herb. Many people believe this plant can help with things like anxiety, depression, stress, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
However, this vine has a few specifications which must be met to enjoy it around your home. The vine needs support as it can become as long as 25-feet. Sweet tea vine remains hardy in planting zones eight through ten and grows best in partial shade and loamy soil.
Peppermint is a wonderful plant to grow as it stands out for its full and lush green foliage. Expect this herb to grow best in areas with partial shade and evenly damp soil.
When growing peppermint, it should remain hardy in planting zones five through ten. This herb is thought to have antimicrobial properties and potentially help with minor colds.
Motherwort is a durable herb. Some people are glad to see this while others feel the herb should be treated more like a weed than a valuable plant. Your need may depend upon your view of motherwort.
Should you add motherwort to your garden, be sure to provide plenty of sunlight and evenly damp soil. This plant can grow in most soil types and remains hardy in planting zones three through eight. Motherwort is thought to help with anxiety, stress, and is viewed as a natural pain reliever.
7. Purple Coneflower
Purple coneflower is another vibrantly colored plant that’s hard to miss due to its beautiful blooms with a protruding, rich center. These plants grow best in full to partial sunlight and well-draining soil.
When adding this plant to your medicinal herb garden, treat it as a perennial in planting zones four through nine. The flowers are annuals in all other growing locations. The purple coneflower is thought to be helpful as a boost to your immune system.
One year, we had plantain take over our backyard. I was beside myself, but my mother-in-law (in all her wisdom) immediately brought calm to my panic as she let me know how useful this plant is. This herb is recognized for its rich green foliage and can grow in virtually any type of soil as long as it is provided with some sunlight.
Should you intentionally plant this herb or if it appears at random in your medicinal herb garden, you’re in for a treat. This herb is thought to contain anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-bacterial properties. For this reason, it’s considered a good choice for treating wounds.
Chamomile is an herb that you can’t help but smile when you see it due to its beautiful flowers with cheery yellow centers. If you need a hardy herb that’s good for a medicinal herb garden, then consider growing chamomile.
This herb is hardy in planting zones three through nine. It grows well in any area with well-draining soil and full sunlight. If you live in a warmer climate, try to provide some afternoon protection. Chamomile is thought to contain anti-inflammatory properties and may be able to help with minor digestive troubles.
Hawthorn can be grown as either a shrub or a tree. Most people use the plant’s leaves and flowers as they’re believed to contain more flavonoids than the berries.
Should you add this tree to your landscape, be sure to select a location with full sun and well-draining soil. This tree should remain hardy in planting zones four through eight. Hawthorn is thought to help reduce fevers, could be good for your heart, and may also serve as a natural diuretic.
11. English Lavender
English lavender is a beautiful herb which contains deep purple flowers and long green stems. If you’d like to add this herb to your medicinal garden, be sure to treat it as a perennial in planting zones five through ten.
This plant grows best in areas with full sunlight and well-draining soil. It’s thought to serve as a natural antidepressant, a natural pain reliever, as an antioxidant, and thought to contain antifungal and antiviral properties.
Hyssop is another plant recognized for its deep purplish, blue blooms. This plant grows best in areas with full to partial sunlight. It also enjoys well-draining soil that’s kept on the drier side.
Consider hyssop a perennial in planting zones four through nine. This plant is thought to be helpful in treating wounds, as a natural relaxant, and as a natural diuretic.
Elecampane are brightly colored yellow flowers which open wide like a daisy. They’re hardy in planting zones three through seven.
Plus, they enjoy growing in areas of full to partial sunlight. They also require well-draining soil. Elecampane is thought to contain antimicrobial properties and is sometimes used as a natural diuretic.
14. Queen of the Meadow
Queen of the meadow appears as a delicate plant with small blooms which form clusters of white or other pastel colors. If you’d like to incorporate this plant into your medicinal herb garden, be sure to provide a growing location with nutrient-dense soil that drains adequately. These flowers also need full sun.
Expect this plant to remain hardy in zones three through nine. Also, queen of the meadow is typically incorporated into herbal medicine due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Our last herb to discuss adding to your medicinal herb garden is the passionflower. This plant stands out due to its unique and colorful blooms. If you’d like to grow this plant around your home, select a location with ample sunlight and well-draining soil.
Passionflower does need support, so be sure to take this into consideration wherever planted. Expect this plant to remain hardy in planting zones six and higher. Passionflower is thought to be useful as a sleep aid and natural pain reliever.
You now have fifteen different options for herbs and plants to add to your medicinal herb garden. Consider the growing conditions you can provide, the planting zone in which you live, and the medicinal properties each plant is thought to contain.
Once you have an idea of what you can provide the plant and what you hope it’ll provide you in return, start adding these options to the medicinal herb garden you’d like to create around your property.