Herbs for healing.
The use of alternative medicines as been documented going back as long as 60,000 years ago, each culture from around the globe would have had their own different herbs that were readily available to that particular region and certain individuals would have learned to harness the natural extract for the healing and relief of many ailments that the local people would have had.
Of course the big pharmaceutical companies play down the use of natural remedies and dont want simple folk using such things as they cant have you hooked on their medicines that can have long term detrimental health costs on your body if used for too long and the list of possible side effects is as long as your arm.
We have put together on this page the list of herbs that are available and what they are said to help with.
Aloe vera (/ˈæloʊiː/ or /ˈæloʊ/)
It is a plant species of the genus Aloe. An evergreen perennial, it originates from the Arabian Peninsula.
This plant can be grown as a houseplant ans as been used for the following ailments.
soothe sunburns and other minor skin irritations, mild stomach pain, acne, eczema and some have said it helps to stimulate hair growth.
Angelica is native to temperate and subarctic regions of the Northern Hemisphere, reaching as far north as Iceland, Lapland and Greenland.
It is said the soothing action of angelica on the lungs and is a decongestant that may help to treat various health problems like asthma, bronchitis, cold, cough and flu and brings the temprature down.
Anise (/əˈnis/, /ˈænɪs/; Pimpinella anisum), also called aniseed or rarely anix, is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae native to the eastern Mediterranean region and Southwest Asia
Anise is a strong plant that contains many nutrients and brags a wide variety of health benefits.
It has anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and possibly may help to reduce stomach ulcers, keep blood sugar levels in check and aid in reducing symptoms of depression and menopause
Aralia /əˈreɪliə/, or spikenard, is a genus of the family Araliaceae there are some 68 accepted species The genus is native to Asia and the Americas, with most species occurring in mountain woodlands.
Ming Aralia as been in use in traditional medicine as a tonic, and many recognise it to have anti-inflammation, anti-toxin, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. It is also used against dysentery, neuralgia, rheumatism, and digestion-related ailments.
Arnica is an herb that grows mainly in Siberia and central Europe, as well as temperate climates in North America. The flowers of the plant are used in medicine
Arnica is well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. It contains a wide array of inflammation-fighting plant compounds, such as sesquiterpene lactones, flavonoids, and phenolic acids. As such, it's believed to help with pain management
Native to China, Mongolia and North Korea,
It contains antioxidants, which protect cells against damage. this is used to protect and support the immune system, preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, lowering blood pressure, treating diabetes, and protecting the liver, and has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Basil, (Ocimum basilicum), also called sweet basil, annual herb of the mint family (Lamiaceae), grown for its aromatic leaves. Basil is likely native to India and as over a 100 varieties.
Basil is used for stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It is also used to treat snake and insect bites. Women sometimes use basil before and after childbirth to promote blood circulation, and also to start the flow of breast milk
Bay leaf, also called laurel leaf, leaf of the sweet bay tree (Laurus nobilis), an evergreen of the family Lauraceae, indigenous to countries bordering the Mediterranean
Bay has many traditional medical uses. Leaves are used for the treatment of skin rashes, earaches, and rheumatism. The leaves have aromatic fragrance, so they are kept in cloths and used to cover up bad mouth odor
Bayberry has a medium salt tolerance, and grows well in sandy, well-drained soils. The berries have been used in candle making, the leaves to flavor meats 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 known to attract pollinators to the garden. Read more about growing bee balm here.
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.
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 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 and 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 a biennial herb native to Europe and Western Asia. Caraway roots and seeds are edible. Often 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.
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 nervous system and digestive system as a 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.
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 a perennial 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.
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 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.
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.
Dill is an annual herb that is in the same plant family as celery. It 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Garlic is probably one of the most 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
St Johns Wort
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.
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.
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!