What’s more satisfying than growing your own herb garden? With this list of herbs, you’ll have plenty of choices. Whether you have a large space or just a few pots on a patio, growing a crop of herbs like basil, oregano or thyme to harvest gives a feeling of accomplishment. Once you’ve mastered the basic herbs, try the more exotic types.
Here’s our comprehensive list of herbs to choose from! Did we leave anything out? Leave a comment and let us know, so we can add it.
Agrimony Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) is a perennial herb native to Europe and North America. Known for its slender spikes of yellow flowers, it has historically been used in herbal medicine for its astringent properties, especially for skin ailments. Thriving in sunny areas with well-drained soil, agrimony is an easy-to-grow addition to gardens.
Alfalfa Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is a perennial flowering plant native to warmer temperate climates. Often used as fodder for livestock due to its rich nutrients, its young sprouts are also popularly consumed by humans in salads. Preferring deep, well-drained soil, alfalfa establishes deep root systems, making it quite drought-resistant.
It’s technically a succulent and can be grown as a houseplant, but the juice and gel from the aloe vera plant’s leaves can be used as an herbal remedy to soothe sunburns and other minor skin irritations so it made the list. It is also used by some to relieve mild stomach irritation, to treat acne, to relieve the symptoms of eczema, and even to stimulate hair growth. Learn to grow aloe vera.
Angelica (wild celery)
Angelica has been cultivated as an herb and medicinal plant for centuries, and achieved popularity in Scandinavia as far back as the 12th century. Roots, fruits and stems are all useful. Learn more.
Anise has a licorice taste and can be eaten whole or dried and ground to flavor foods or help with digestion. Learn more.
Aralia racemosa, American spikenard root, is native in the Eastern United States. The root of Aralia is often used in teas and tonics with a balsamic flavor. The root is harvested in the late summer and can be dried to preserve. With Aralia in the Ginseng Family, it has similar effects as ginseng root. American spikenard is also used to make a poultice for rheumatism and eczema. Learn more about aralia.
Arnica montana, also known as wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, mountain tobacco and mountain arnica is considered toxic if ingested, and is typically used topically as an herb. It is a European flowering plant in the sunflower family.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is a perennial shrub native to India and North Africa. Revered in Ayurvedic medicine, its roots and berries are used to produce an adaptogen, helping the body resist physical and mental stressors. Thriving in sunny, dry conditions, it prefers sandy, well-drained soils.
Astragalus propinquus or Astragalus membranaceus, commonly known as Mongolian milkvetch or Huáng Qí. An herb used in traditional Chinese medicine. The dried root is used medicinally. It is also known as an adaptogen.
Basil’s name is derived from the Greek word meaning royal. Over 100 varieties of basil have been identified and although is fresh basil is one of the most popular culinary herbs, not all varieties are for culinary use. You can select and plant a large assortment of Basil with leaves ranging from small to large and red to purple and taste of cinnamon to lemon. Basil is considered a nutrient dense herb with benefits of flavonoids, antibacterial properties, anti-inflammatory properties, and Vitamins A, K, and C. Read more about growing basil.
Bay is also called bay laurel leaf or sweet bay. The leaf is from a perennial shrub that grows well in a container. Whole leaf is used in cooking or teas. Commonly used in French, Spanish, Italian, and Creole dishes, including soups, stews, sauces and pickling brines. Historically, the Bay tree is a symbol of honor. Leaves were often used in head wreaths in Greek and Roman mythology. Learn more about growing bay.
Bayberry has a medium salt tolerance, and grows well in sandy, well-drained soil. The berries have been used in candle making, the leaves to flavor meat dishes and stews, and the dried root made into powders. Learn more about growing bayberry varieties. Bayberry is also called Wax Myrtle.
Bee balm (also known as Oswego tea, horsemint and bergamot) is a member of the mint family. It grows best in full sun and has red, white, pink lilac or purple flowers. Bee balm is a perennial and is a great addition if you want to attract pollinators to the garden. Read more about growing bee balm here.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is a perennial shrub native to Northern Europe. Producing small, dark blue berries, it has been traditionally used to support eye health. Preferring acidic, well-drained soils, bilberry can often be found growing wild in woodlands and heaths.
Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa) is a perennial herbaceous plant native to North America. With tall white flower spikes, it’s known for its use in women’s health, particularly menopause symptoms. It grows best in partially shaded areas with moist, well-drained soil.
Black Cumin (Nigella Sativa)
Black Cumin (Nigella sativa) is an annual flowering plant native to southwestern Asia. Recognized by its delicate blue or white flowers, its seeds are used as a spice in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine. Preferring full sun, it grows best in loamy, well-drained soil.
Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) is a perennial plant native to Eastern North America. Boasting clusters of white flowers, it was historically used to treat fever and flu symptoms. Favoring wet, marshy grounds, it thrives in full sun or partial shade with well-drained soil.
Borage grows to two feet tall and incorporates well in flower, vegetable, and herb gardens. Use Borage in the vegetable garden to attract pollinators and repel hornworms around tomatoes. The leaves and flowers are edible. Medicinally, borage is used as an anti-inflammatory. Learn how to grow borage.
Burdock (Arctium) is a biennial plant known for its large leaves and thistle-like flowers. Native to Europe and Asia, its roots are used in both culinary dishes and herbal medicine for its detoxifying properties. It is a hardy plant, growing best in full sun with deep, well-drained soil.
Burnet is an herb native to western, central and southern Europe; northwest Africa and southwest Western Asia; and also commonly grown and spread throughout North America.
The herb is used as an ingredient in both salads and dressings, having a flavor like cucumber. Learn more about how to grow burnet.
Can be eaten whole, but bay leaves are pungent and have a sharp, bitter taste. As with many aromatic herbs and spices, the fragrance of the bay leaf is more noticeable than its taste. When dried, the fragrance is herbal, slightly floral, and somewhat similar to oregano and thyme. Learn more about California bay.
Calamint plants are native to the UK and have thick stems. They are bushy herbs that spread from rhizomes. The leaves are textured with hairy or fuzzy foliage. Learn more about growing calamint.
Calendula has yellow and orange edible flowers. Learn to grow calendula.
Caraway is one of the biennial herbs native to Europe and Western Asia. Caraway roots and seeds are edible. Often the licorice flavored seeds are used in sauerkrauts, breads, soups, sauces, and pickles. Roots can be boiled and eaten. Medicinally, Caraway is used to help treat rheumatism, eye infections and toothaches. Learn more about growing caraway.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum) is a perennial herb originating from the Indian subcontinent. With tall shoots and green or black pods, it’s a staple spice in Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines. Preferring tropical climates, it requires consistent moisture and shade.
Cascara Sagrada (Rhamnus purshiana) is a deciduous shrub native to the western part of North America. Known for its bark, which has been used as a natural laxative, it grows in forests and prefers moist, well-draining soil, thriving under partial to full shade.
Cat’s Claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is a woody vine native to the Amazon rainforest. Known for its immune-boosting properties, its bark and root have been used in traditional medicine. It thrives in tropical climates and prefers moist, well-draining soil.
Member of the mint family, and like other mints can easily spread. It is a perennial with blue flowers and grown as decorative herb in garden or to attract pollinators. As catnip is used to stuff cat toys, it is attractive to outdoor cats in your garden area. Learn more about growing catnip.
Cayenne is not completely an herb, but is often grown as a spice. Cayenne powder is made from the fruit of the plant by grinding the dried hot peppers. Read more about growing peppers, including growing cayenne peppers here.
Commonly used to calm the nervous system and digestive system as an herbal tea. Both the leaves and flowers are edible. Chamomile is versatile growing in shade, full sun, and even indoors in containers. Learn more about chamomile.
Chervil is sometimes called French parsley or garden parsley. It grows best from seed, as the seedlings are fragile for transplanting. Leaves and stems are commonly used in French cuisine with a mild flavor between anise and parsley. It is recommended to succession plant chervil, as it tends to bolt quickly. Learn more about growing chervil here.
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a low-growing annual herb native to Europe. Used both culinarily and medicinally, it has small star-shaped flowers. It prefers cooler climates and moist environments.
Chives are perennials native to Asia and Eastern Europe and can help with digestion and high blood pressure. When planting chives, be sure to give them time to germinate, as they are slow growers. Learn more about growing chives here, including harvesting tips.
Cicely, Myrrhis odorata, is one of the perennial herbs native to the woodlands in central Europe. The fern-like leaves can be harvested and eaten raw or cooked with a flavor similar to anise. Grows best in partial shade and grows well in deep containers. Learn more about .
Cilantro is a cool season herb and bolts quickly as temperatures rise. To have a healthy harvest of cilantro, succession plant every three to four weeks. Cilantro easily self-seeds, since it is quick to flower. Cilantro refers to the leaves of the plant and coriander the seeds. Learn how to grow cilantro, as well as popular varieties.
Cinnamon is derived from the inner bark of trees from the genus Cinnamomum, native to Sri Lanka and India. It’s popularly used as a spice and has various health benefits. These trees prefer a tropical climate and adequate rainfall.
Cleavers (Galium aparine) is an annual herb found worldwide. Its sticky nature allows it to cling to clothing and fur, aiding in seed dispersal. It has a preference for moist locations and partial shade.
Cloves are the aromatic flower buds of the tree Syzygium aromaticum, native to Indonesia. Widely used as a spice, cloves have a warm and sweet flavor. The trees favor tropical climates with a consistent rainfall.
Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) is a perennial herbaceous plant native to Europe and parts of Asia. Its yellow flowers resemble dandelions, and it has been traditionally used for respiratory ailments. It thrives in damp, marshy locations.
Comfrey, also called blackwort, is a perennial with a deep root system, often overtaking an herb garden. Comfrey can grow up to five feet tall and spreads a few feet, as well. Comfrey is rich in Calcium and Vitamin C used medicinally for healing. Learn more about growing comfrey here.
Coriander is used to flavor many Latin and Indian recipes. It is also known as cilantro. Coriander is an annual herb and the entire plant can be used from the leaves to the seeds, which are the part that we refer to as coriander. Coriander has many medicinal uses. Learn more about the health benefits of coriander here.
Costmary is a perennial herb that grows to four feet high. Learn about Costmary here. Costmary is commonly used to add a spicy flavor to ale.
Cotula is an annual herb with a strong odor. It is called stinking chamomile because it has an unpleasant odor. It is most commonly used in tea. It is less effective as a medicinal herb than chamomile. Learn more about Cotula here.
Cramp Bark (Viburnum opulus) is a large shrub native to Europe and Asia. Its bark is traditionally used to relieve muscle cramps. It grows best in well-drained soil and prefers partial to full sun.
Cuban oregano is a perennial herb with a strong flavor, just like oregano. Cuban oregano is used in cooking and for medicinal purposes. It has both antibacterial and antioxidant properties. You can learn more about cuban oregano here.
Damiana (Turnera diffusa) is a small shrub native to Central and South America. Recognized for its aromatic leaves and yellow flowers, it’s traditionally used for mood support. It flourishes in arid, warm climates.
Dill is an annual herb that is in the same plant family as celery. Fresh dill is commonly used for pickling and served with salmon. It loses flavor quickly so it is best used fresh. It is easy to grow and has many medicinal uses too. Read more about dill here.
Dittany of Crete
Dittany is not a widely used herb today. Historically it was used for healing. It is similar to marjoram and oregano. It has small pink or lavender flowers and hairy oval leaves. You can learn more about dittany of Crete here.
Dong Quai (Angelica sinensis) is a perennial herb native to China. Often referred to as “female ginseng,” its roots are used in traditional Chinese medicine. It prefers cool, high-altitude regions.
Echinacea, commonly known as the purple coneflower, is native to North America. Renowned for its immune-supporting properties, it’s a popular herbal remedy. It grows best in well-drained soil and full sun.
Elder (Elderberry, Elderflower)
Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a shrub native to Europe. Both its berries and flowers are used for culinary and medicinal purposes. It prefers moist, fertile soil and partial shade.
Eleuthero (Siberian Ginseng)
Eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus) is a woody shrub native to Eastern Asia. Often used as an adaptogen, its roots have various health benefits. It prefers moist, well-drained soil.
Epazote is used in Mexican cooking. Epazote is a perennial herb that grows up to four feet high. It also has many medicinal uses but isn’t widely available. See how to use epazote here.
Eucalyptus is a diverse genus of evergreen trees native to Australia. Its leaves are rich in essential oils, often used for respiratory health. Thriving in well-drained soil, it needs full sun and can withstand drought once established.
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis) is a biennial plant native to North America. Its seeds contain beneficial oils, often used for skin and hormonal balance. It thrives in dry, sunny areas.
Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is an annual herb native to Europe. Traditionally used to support eye health, it has small, white flowers with yellow patterns. It grows best in meadows and grassy regions.
There are two types of fennel, the herb and the bulb. The herb looks like dill and grows up to five feet high and the stems, leaves and seeds are useful. The bulb variety is shorter and darker. Both forms have a similar anise flavor. Learn more.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) is an annual plant native to Asia and the Mediterranean. Its seeds are a popular spice, and it’s renowned for its health benefits. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil.
Feverfew is a flower herb in the daisy family and it is often grown for ornamental use. It has a yellow and white bloom. Feverfew has medicinal uses as well; it is commonly used for migraines. Learn more about Feverfew.
Flax (Linum usitatissimum) is an annual plant known for its blue flowers. Its seeds, flaxseeds, are rich in dietary fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. It requires full sun and well-drained soil.
Foxglove has large bell shaped pink and purple blooms. It is actually poisonous, which earned it the nickname deadmen’s bells. Foxglove contains cardiac glycosides digitoxin and digoxin, which when used correctly are common in heart treatment drugs used today. Read more about foxglove here.
Galangal (Alpinia galanga) is a rhizomatous herb from the ginger family, native to Southeast Asia. Often used in Thai and Indonesian cuisines, it offers a sharp, citrusy flavor. It thrives in tropical climates with well-drained soil.
Garlic is probably one of the most popular herbs and is widely used herbs in cooking. It is in the lily family like onions and shallots. When eaten raw garlic has a very strong flavor. Garlic is also widely used for medicinal purposes. You can learn more about how to grow garlic here.
Geraniums are a perennial herb with beautiful five-petal white and pink flowers and long stems. Geraniums are primarily used for making tea that has a floral flavor. The essential oil from geranium flowers is also used for medicinal purposes. Learn about the health benefits from geraniums here.
Germander is a perennial herb that is used as ground cover. It is in the same family as mint. Germander has a purple bloom. Germander is very popular with bees. It can be grown easily in full sun or partial shade. It has medicinal uses as well. Learn more about Germander here.
Ginger is is a perennial rhizome with annual stems that reach about three feet in height. The root is used in Asian and Indian cuisine frequently. Ginger also has widely known medicinal benefits. It is often used for motion sickness and stomach upset. Learn more about how to grow ginger here.
Gingko biloba is commonly referred to simply as gingko. It is one of the oldest species of trees that is still alive today. The tree produces fruit which is inedible. The dried leaves are used for medicinal purposes. Learn more about Gingko trees and their uses here.
Ginseng plants are a perennial herb that grows with a taproot. The root is the part of the medicinal herb that people are interested in. There are different types of ginseng, including American and Chinese varieties.
Goji Berry (Lycium barbarum) is a shrub native to Asia. Its bright red berries are nutritional powerhouses, often consumed dried. Preferring well-drained soil, it can grow in various conditions from full sun to partial shade.
Goldenrod is a flowering herb that is used both to attract pollinators and is also called a solidago plant. It is used as a medicinal herb and acts as a diuretic and is used for many traditional remedies including healing skin wounds.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) is a perennial herb native to Asia. It’s revered for its potential cognitive benefits and has small fan-shaped green leaves. Thriving in and around water, it’s a staple in many traditional medicine practices.
Gravel Root (Eupatorium purpureum) is a perennial plant native to North America. Historically used to support urinary tract health, it boasts tall stems with clusters of purple flowers and is commonly found in wet woodlands and meadows.
Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is a thorny shrub or tree native to temperate regions worldwide. Traditionally employed to bolster heart health, it produces red berries, white flowers, and sharp thorns.
Heather (Calluna vulgaris) is a low-growing perennial shrub native to Europe and Asia Minor. Recognized for its light purple flowers, it blankets moorlands and open woodlands and has historical ties to herbal medicine.
Holy Thistle (Blessed Thistle)
Holy Thistle (Cnicus benedictus) is an annual plant indigenous to the Mediterranean region. Renowned for its digestive aid properties, it showcases spiny leaves and bright yellow flowers.
Hops (Humulus lupulus) is a perennial climbing plant native to temperate zones. Famous for flavoring beer, it offers cone-like structures and prefers well-drained soil.
Horehound is a bitter perennial herb in the mint family with green and white leaves that is native to the UK and found all over Europe. Learn more about horehound.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) is a perennial fern-like plant with ancient roots, native to the Northern Hemisphere. Esteemed for its silica content and health benefits, it has jointed stems and a brush-like appearance.
Hyssop is a drought tolerant herb that likes full sun and sandy soil. It is used in cooking and herbal medicine. Learn more about hyssop.
Johnny Jump Up (Heartease or Wild Pansy)
This flowering herb has purple and white petals and is also known as wild pansy. It has many medicinal uses. Learn more about Johnny Jump Up.
Juniper (Juniperus communis) is a coniferous plant found in many parts of the world. Valued for its berries which are used to flavor gin, it’s an evergreen with needle-like leaves.
Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) is a crop from the Pacific Islands. Celebrated for its calming properties, it has heart-shaped leaves and is used in traditional islander beverages.
Kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) is a tropical evergreen tree native to Southeast Asia. Recognized for its unique alkaloids, its leaves have been used traditionally for various effects.
Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla vulgaris) is a perennial herb from Europe and Asia. With a history in women’s health support, it showcases delicate green leaves and tiny yellow-green flowers.
Laurel is an aromatic evergreen tree or large shrub with green leaves, in the flowering plant family Lauraceae. It is native to the Mediterranean area and is used as bay leaf for seasoning in cooking. Learn more about laurel.
Lavender is a bushy, flowering perennial herb with purple blooms growing from one to three feet tall. Learn more about lavender. Learn how to grow lavender.
Lemon balm is a perennial herbaceous plant in the mint family. It is used both as a culinary herb and medicinal herb. Learn more about lemon balm.
Lemon verbena (Aloysia citrodora) is a hard to grow, fragrant perennial herb with a lemon scent. Learn more about lemon verbena.
Lemongrass is a tropical herb that grows in a grassy clump and has a lemon-like flavor. Learn more about lemongrass.
Linden Flower (Tilia spp.) is a tree native to the Northern Hemisphere. Known for its fragrant flowers used in teas, it has heart-shaped leaves and produces small yellowish-white blooms.
Lovage is a tall, perennial herb native the UK and used as a culinary and medicinal herb. Learn more about lovage.
Lungwort is a medicinal, flowering herb. Learn more about lungwort.
Maca (Lepidium meyenii) is a root vegetable indigenous to the high Andes of Peru. Renowned as an adaptogen and for its nutritional profile, it resembles a turnip and comes in various colors.
Marshmallow Root (Althaea officinalis) is a perennial native to Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa. Valued for its mucilaginous properties, it offers pale pink flowers and has been historically used for soothing ailments.
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) is a perennial herb from Europe and Western Asia. Celebrated for its aromatic nature and aspirin precursor, it has fluffy white flowers and fern-like leaves.
Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a perennial plant native to Eurasia. Traditionally used for heart and women’s health, it displays spiky clusters of pink or purple flowers.
Mugwort has been used as a medicinal and protective herb since the Middle Ages, and is a flowering herb with the scientific name of Artemisia vulgaris.
Mullein is a medicinal herb and member of the Scrophulariaceae family, bearing silvery green and extremely fuzzy leaves and used for coughing and other lung related purposes.
Myrtle is an evergreen shrub native to North Africa and the Mediterranean region, and its leaves are used as an herb remedy for lung related issues like bronchitis.
Nasturtiums are often grown as flowers, but are also used as an herb and have a peppery flavor.
Neem (Azadirachta indica) is an evergreen tree from the Indian subcontinent. Esteemed for its medicinal properties, it has serrated leaves and small white fragrant flowers.
Urtica dioica, often known as common nettle, and stinging nettle. It is a medicinal herb often used as a remedy for arthritis and sore muscles, and the prostate.
Nosegays were used during the Middle Ages as a way to mask unpleasant odors. The flowers are edible.
Oat Straw (or Oat Tops)
Oat Straw (Avena sativa) is an annual grass grown across many temperate regions. Valued for its nutritive benefits, it’s the green stem part of the oat plant, harvested before the mature grain.
Most people associate oregano with Italian and hispanic dishes, but actually, the herb originates in Northern Europe where it grows in the wild. Its scientific name is Origanum vulgare, and to the ancient Greeks, where it gets its name from the Greek words oros (mountain) and ganos (joy).Learn how to grow oregano and its health benefits.
Parsley is a versatile herb that can be incorporated in many different kinds of dishes for a bit of added zest. Learn how to grow parsley.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is a climbing vine native to the southeastern U.S. and Central and South America. Renowned for its calming effects, it boasts intricate purple flowers and lobed leaves.
Patchouli is a bushy herb that belongs to the mint family and is native to tropical regions of Asia. Its strong, earthy scent is commonly used in perfumes, soaps, and incense. In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, patchouli leaves are used for their antibacterial and antifungal properties. The dried leaves are also used as a natural insect repellent.
Pau d’Arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa) is a tree from the rainforests of Central and South America. Cherished for its inner bark used in traditional medicine, it produces vibrant pink or purple flowers.
Pennyroyal is a small, mint-like herb native to Europe and Asia. It has a strong, pungent aroma and has been used for centuries for its medicinal properties. In traditional medicine, pennyroyal is used as a digestive aid and to relieve respiratory problems. However, pennyroyal essential oil should be used with caution as it can be toxic in large doses. The fresh or dried leaves of pennyroyal can also be used in cooking as a culinary herb.
Peppermint is a hybrid species of mint that is a cross between watermint and spearmint. Its leaves have a distinctive, cool and refreshing minty aroma and flavor. Peppermint is commonly used in herbal tea blends, where its natural menthol content can help soothe digestive issues and headaches according to home remedies. Peppermint essential oil is also popular for its use in aromatherapy and massage, as its cooling properties can help relieve muscle tension and discomfort.
Plantain (Plantago major) is a low-growing herb found globally. Recognized for its wound-healing capabilities, it showcases broad green leaves and small greenish flowers on tall spikes.
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is a perennial herb native to Europe, Western Asia, and northwest Africa. Esteemed for its isoflavones, it has trifoliate leaves and small pink-purple flowers.
Red Raspberry Leaf
Red Raspberry Leaf (Rubus idaeus) is a perennial plant native to Europe and parts of Asia. Its leaves, with a history of supporting women’s reproductive health, are dark green and serrated. It’s commonly found in woodlands and hedgerows.
Rosemary is a fragrant, evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region. It has needle-like leaves that are often used as a seasoning in cooking, particularly with meat dishes. In addition to its culinary uses, rosemary has a long history of use in home and traditional remedies for its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and cognitive-enhancing properties.
Rhodiola (Rhodiola rosea) is a perennial herb native to the Arctic regions of Europe, Asia, and Alaska. Recognized for its bright yellow flowers and adaptogenic properties, it flourishes in rocky terrains.
Rose Hips, the fruit of the rose plant (Rosa spp.), are native to various parts of the world. Often red or orange, they’re packed with vitamin C and are popular in teas and jams.
Rue is a hardy, evergreen shrub native to the Mediterranean region. It has small, green leaves with a pungent, bitter aroma and flavor that has been used in cooking and traditional medicine for centuries. As a traditional remedy, rue was used to treat a variety of ailments, including digestive issues, skin conditions, and headaches. The leaves can be consumed fresh or dried, but should be used with caution, as excessive consumption can cause nausea and vomiting.
Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) is a palm-like plant from the southeastern United States. Its berries, traditionally used for male urinary and reproductive health, grow beneath its fan-shaped fronds.
Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) is a woody vine indigenous to the forests of China and Russia. Its bright red berries are prized for improving stamina and combatting fatigue.
Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) is a small annual herb found across the globe. With distinct heart-shaped seed pods, it’s often used for wound healing.
Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) is a perennial herb from North America. With tiny, tubular flowers, it’s traditionally consumed for its calming properties.
Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra) is a tree native to North America. Its inner bark is used for its soothing properties, especially for the digestive tract.
Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a perennial herb found worldwide. Covered in tiny hairs that cause a stinging sensation, it’s rich in nutrients and traditionally used for various ailments.
St Johns Wort
St. John’s Wort is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia, widely known for its use as an herbal remedy for mood and anxiety. The plant has yellow, star-shaped flowers and is often used as a traditional remedy for its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and mood-enhancing properties.
Saffron is a spice derived from the dried stigmas of the Crocus sativus flower. It is widely known for its rich, distinct flavor and vibrant yellow color, and is used in cooking to add flavor and color to a variety of dishes, especially in Mediterranean, Middle Eastern, and Indian cuisine. Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world due to its labor-intensive harvest process, with a single kilogram requiring over 150,000 stigmas to be hand-picked.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
Sage is a woody, evergreen shrub that is native to the Mediterranean region and widely cultivated for its aromatic leaves. The leaves of the sage plant have a warm, earthy, and slightly bitter flavor, and are commonly used as a seasoning. Sage is a hardy plant that is well-suited for growing in sunny, well-drained locations. It requires full sun to partial shade, and prefers a slightly alkaline soil with good drainage. It is drought tolerant, and only requires occasional watering once established. Over-watering can lead to root rot.
Santolina (Lavender Cotton) (Santolina chamaecyparissus)
Santolina, also known as Lavender Cotton, is a woody, evergreen shrub that is native to the Mediterranean region. It is prized for its aromatic foliage and yellow, button-like flowers, which are often used in dried flower arrangements. Santolina is also popular in landscaping, where it is grown for its attractive, silver-green foliage, which is often used as a contrast plant in garden beds and rock gardens. It prefers well-drained soil and full sun to partial shade, and is drought tolerant, requiring only occasional watering once established.
Savory is an herb that comes in two varieties, summer savory and winter savory. Both are aromatic and flavorful, with a slightly peppery taste. Summer savory is a tender annual that is typically used fresh in cooking, while winter savory is a hardy perennial that is often used dried in cooking. Both types of savory are easy to grow, and prefer full sun and well-drained soil. They are drought tolerant, and only require occasional watering once established.
Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)
Scullcap is a perennial herb that is native to North America. It is prized for its medicinal properties, with a long history of use as a sedative remedy. The aerial parts of the plant, including the leaves and flowers, are used in traditional medicine for a variety of conditions, including anxiety, insomnia, and nervousness. Scullcap is easy to grow, and prefers partial to full shade, and moist, well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant, and only requires occasional watering once established.
Sorrel is a tangy, lemony flavored herb that is often used in French cuisine. There are several different varieties of sorrel, including garden sorrel and wood sorrel, with slightly different flavors and uses. Sorrel leaves are used fresh in salads, sauces, and soups, and can also be dried for later use. It is a hardy, easy-to-grow herb that prefers full sun to partial shade, and moist, well-drained soil. Sorrel is drought tolerant and only requires occasional watering once established.
Southernwood, also known as wormwood or lad’s love, is a small, woody shrub that is native to southern Europe. The leaves and shoots of the plant have a distinct, bitter aroma and are used in traditional European herbal medicine as an insecticide and insect repellent. Southernwood is also used in perfumery and in traditional European herbal remedies for digestive problems. This herb prefers full sun to partial shade, and well-drained soil that is moist. It is drought tolerant, once established.
Stevia is a sweet herb native to South America that is commonly used as a sugar substitute. Stevia can be grown as an annual or a perennial, depending on the climate. It grows best in warm conditions. It prefers full sun to partial shade, and well-drained soil that is evenly moist but not waterlogged.
Sweet bay, also known as Laurus nobilis, is a fragrant evergreen herb commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine. The leaves, stems, and wood are used to flavor soups, stews, and sauces. Sweet bay is a slow growing shrub or small tree. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained, moist soil. It is hardy and can tolerate a range of temperatures and growing conditions, making it a versatile choice for gardens and landscaping.
Sweet cicely, also known as Myrrhis odorata, is a perennial herb native to Europe and Asia. The leaves, seeds, and roots of sweet cicely are used for culinary purposes and as a sweetening agent. The licorice-like flavor of the leaves and seeds can be used as a substitute for sugar, making it a popular choice for desserts and beverages. Sweet cicely grows best in moist, well-drained soil and partial shade, but can also tolerate full sun. It is a hardy plant that can grow up to 4 feet tall and does well in cool climates.
Sweet grass, also known as Hierochloe odorata, is a native North American grass species that is valued for its sweet, vanilla-like fragrance. The dried leaves of sweet grass are traditionally used for smudging, a Native American spiritual practice that involves burning herbs for their fragrance and spiritual significance. The leaves are also used in basket-weaving, providing a natural sweet aroma to the baskets. Sweet grass prefers rich, well-drained soils and partial to full sun, and can grow up to 3 feet tall. The plant is also drought-tolerant and can be grown in a variety of soils, making it a versatile and hardy choice for gardens.
Sweet woodruff, also known as Galium odoratum, is a low-growing herb that is native to Europe and Asia. Its delicate, fragrant white flowers are popular in bouquets and potpourri, and its dried leaves are used to flavor wine, desserts, and syrups. Sweet woodruff grows best in partial shade and well-drained soils, and can reach up to 6 inches tall. It is a hardy and low-maintenance plant that is often used in ground covers and as a filler in container gardens. Its delicate foliage and sweet fragrance make it a popular choice for shade gardens and woodland settings.
Tansy, also known as Tanacetum vulgare, is a tall, upright herb that is native to Europe and Asia. Its small, yellow, button-like flowers are arranged in flat-topped clusters and bloom from summer to early autumn. Tansy has a long history of medicinal and culinary uses, including remedies for digestive issues, skin conditions, and insect repellent. Toxic in large amounts, so caution. Tansy prefers full sun and well-drained soils, and can grow up to 4 feet tall. It is a hardy plant that is best grown in garden beds or as a specimen plant, as it does not always mix well with other plants. Considered invasive in some areas, so check first or keep in a container.
Tarragon is an aromatic herb that belongs to the sunflower family. The leaves of the herb have a distinct anise flavor and are widely used in various cuisines for seasoning poultry, fish, etc. It is also a key ingredient in the French blend of herbs known as “Herbes de Provence.” When growing tarragon, it prefers well-drained soil in a sunny location and should be watered regularly. It is a low maintenance herb and can be harvested multiple times a season.
Thyme is an aromatic, perennial, evergreen herb with many culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. Learn more about growing thyme.
Tulsi / Holy Basil
Tulsi, also called Holy Basil, is considered “The Queen of the Herbs” in India for its many medicinal properties. Also spelled Tulasi or Thulasi, it has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine to fight stress, for natural detoxification, and for general health improvement. Learn more about Tulsi and why it is considered an adaptogenic herb.
Turmeric is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial herb that is in the same family as the herb ginger. Like with ginger, the roots are consumed. Learn more about growing turmeric or the many uses of the herb.
Uva Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) is a dwarf shrub found in the Northern Hemisphere. Its leathery leaves and red berries have been traditionally used for urinary tract support.
Valerian is a perennial herb. Its flowers are pink or white and can grow to nearly five feet tall. The extract from Valerian flowers was used as a perfume but it is also used for medicinal purposes. Read more about Valerian herb.
Vitex, also known as Chaste Tree or Chasteberry (Vitex agnus-castus), is a shrub that is native to the Mediterranean and Central Asia. The dried berries of the plant are commonly used in traditional medicine, especially for hormonal balance and menstrual regulation in women. Vitex grows best in well-drained soil with full sun exposure and moderate watering. It is a hardy plant that can withstand droughts and is attractive to pollinators such as bees and butterflies.
Wild Yam (Dioscorea villosa) is a tuberous vine indigenous to North America. Traditionally used for women’s health, its roots have a history in herbal medicine.
Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a deciduous shrub native to North America. The plant is known for its astringent properties and has been used for medicinal purposes such as treating skin conditions and reducing inflammation. The leaves and bark of the shrub are used to make an extract that is used in skincare and beauty products. Witch Hazel thrives in moist, well-drained soil in partial shade to full sun. It is a low maintenance plant that is easy to grow and adapts well to different growing conditions.
Woodruff (Galium odoratum) is an herbaceous perennial plant native to Europe. It is commonly used in Germany to flavor wine, syrup and custard, and is known for its sweet and subtle fragrance. The leaves of the plant are light green and grow in a circular shape. Woodruff is typically grown in moist, shady areas and prefers well-drained soil. It is a hardy plant and requires minimal maintenance, making it a great addition to any herb garden.
The bitter herb wormwood is a species of Artemisia, native to temperate regions of Europe and Northern Africa and is widely naturalized in Canada and the northern United States. It is grown as an ornamental plant and is used as an ingredient in the spirit absinthe. Learn more about wormwood uses.
This flowering herb has edible petals. With range of flower colors, it is considered a medicinal herb. But it’s also an easy, attractive, fragrant and drought-resistant addition to border plantings. Learn more and how to grow it.
Zedoary, also known as white turmeric and kentjur, is native to India and Indonesia. As with turmeric, the rhizome or root is the most valued part of the plant that is consumed. Learn more about zeodary.
Did we miss any herbs that you like to grow or use? Please leave a comment with the name, so we can update the list!