Aletheia Luna: Natural Remedies: Best 50 Medicinal Herbs, Fruit & Vegetables To Grow

feature_image_templateWritten by ALETHEIA LUNA, Taken from Expanded Consciousness, February 4, 2015

Nature – it is the world’s largest, most eclectic and expansive pharmacy, with literally millions of species at our disposal to plant, cultivate, harvest and make use of in our everyday lives. And yet, most of us remain uninitiated into the highly practical and powerful realm of natural remedies that Nature herself offers to us with open hands.

While most of us grew up disconnected from the natural world, it is never too late for us to discover the endless sources of natural remedies hidden all throughout nature – and make use of them ourselves.

Whatever your personal context, natural remedies can be grown almost anywhere or in anything, from large paddocks and small patches of ground, to pots and window boxes. Healing plants of all varieties can also be bought at local nurseries, swap meetups, garage sales, online stores, or even foraged in the wild and transplanted into your own garden.

Having a great love for medicinal fruit, vegetables and herbs myself, I have taken the time to compile an extensive list of the best 50 natural healing plants to grow in your own personal garden or living area. This list is based on the high number of healing properties each plant has.

50 Best Natural Remedies Plant List

From vegetables that fight cancer and prevent colds, to herbs that treat indigestion, skin conditions and anxiety – there is a healing plant for almost everything and everyone here. Most of these medicinal plants can be dried, powdered, made into tea, tinctures, soups, balms, and even soaps, syrups and salves. I’m sure you will find what you’re looking for – and even more here!

1. Agrimony

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Soothes urinary tract disorders such as cystitis and irritable bladders. Anti-inflammatory.
Parts used: Flowerheads, leaves.
Growing conditions: Prefers full sun. Perennial.

2. Alder Buckthorn

Genus: Shrub/Tree
Benefits: Relieves constipation, stimulates colon.
Parts used: Bark.
Growing conditions: Prefers damp soil conditions, deciduous hedging shrub, grows to about 5 meters tall.

3. Aloe

Genus: Succulent.
Benefits: Healing properties for skin conditions such as sun burn, eczema, psoriasis, wounds and dermatitis. Used to soothe and skin and prevent wrinkles. Helps ease gastrointestinal disorders such as indigestion and aids elimination.
Parts used: Fleshy leaves and pulp.
Growing conditions: Evergreen succulent. Prefers sunny position with moderate water, but water sparingly in winter.

4. Angelica

Genus: Herb.
Benefits: Appetite stimulator. Treats indigestion. Eases cramps and prevents flatulence. Anti-inflammatory.
Parts used: Root.
Growing conditions: Biennial/perennial herb. Prefers damp soil. Grows 2 meters. Harvest root in Autumn.

5. Aniseed

Genus: Fruit
Benefits: Helps cure respiratory congestion such as colds and flu. Used as a digestive aid to help with colic, bloating and gas. Helps to control nausea and vomiting. Reported to enhance libido.
Parts used: Seeds.
Growing conditions: Annual plant, warm climate.

6. Artichoke

Genus: Vegetable.
Benefits: Lowers cholesterol production. Soothes irritable bowel syndrome. Treats indigestion. Helps digest fats by enhancing liver function.
Parts used: Flowerheads, leaves, roots.
Growing conditions: Prefers full sun, fertile, and well-drained soil. Perennial.

7. Bilberry

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: High antioxidants contribute to eye health, lessening the effects of glaucoma. Anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. Reduce the effects of vascular problems such as varicose veins, water retention and painful periods.
Parts used: Berries.
Growing conditions: Prefers acidic soil, large pots and full sun. Fruits in summer.

8. Black Cohosh

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Reduces menopausal symptoms. Balances hormones. Regulates menstrual periods. Soothes inflammation, e.g. arthritis.
Parts used: Root.
Growing conditions: Prefers light shade and moist soil. Harvest roots in Autumn.

9. Blackcurrant

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Rich source of GLA. Treats skin conditions such as eczema. Reduces PMS symptoms, hypertension and rheumatoid disorders. Reduces blood pressure and alleviates swollen glands.
Parts used: Root, leaves, berries.
Growing conditions: Full sun, requires high nitrogen levels in soil (so add extra organic matter). Prune back in Autumn. Attracts birds, so protect plant with net.

10. Black Mustard Seed

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Improves circulation, and thus helps stiff muscles, joints and cold extremities. Reduces inflammation.
Parts used: Seeds.
Growing conditions: Annual plant that prefers light soil and moderate sun. Harvest seed pods in late summer, and dry in cool place.

11. Brahmi

Genus: Succulent.
Benefits: Improves mental clarity, memory and concentration.
Parts used: Aerial leaves/stems.
Growing conditions: Creeping perennial that thrives in warmer temperatures and tropical climates.

12. Burdock

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Detoxifying, antibiotic, antiseptic and mild diuretic effects. Most especially helps with the treatment of skin problems such as eczema, acne, boils and dermatitis.
Parts used: Leaves, fruit, roots and seeds.
Growing conditions: Biennial and simple to grow. Harvest seeds in summer.

13. Caraway

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Used to aid digestion, ease pain, expel gas, soothe bloating, prevent reflux and relieve heartburn.
Parts used: Seeds.
Growing conditions: Biennial, prefers full sun and free-draining soil. Avoid transplanting.

14. Celery

Genus: Vegetable
Benefits: Anti-inflammatory. Taken for gout, anxiety, arthritis, and to aid sleep. A good diuretic.
Parts used: Stem, seed.
Growing conditions: Prefers full sun, lots of water, compost and mulch.

15. Centaury

Genus: Herb.
Benefits: Used as a tonic for the liver and gallbladder. Stimulates appetite. Relieves disorders of the upper digestive tract such as heartburn and indigestion.
Parts used: Aerial parts.
Growing conditions: Biennial, prefers full sun, grows with other wildflowers.

16. Chamomile

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Helps reduce the effects of a variety of ailments such as anxiety, poor sleep, indigestion, colic, sciatica and gout. Often brewed in tea to calm nerves and enhance sleep.
Parts used: Aerial parts.
Growing conditions: Perennial, likes partial sun and poor soil. Self-seeds.

17. Chaste Tree

Genus: Shrub.
Benefits: Relieves PMS pain, reduces hormonal acne, helps regulate hormones during menstrual cycles. Relieves menopausal symptoms.
Parts used: Berries.
Growing conditions: Grows up to 5 meters, prefers sun and does well in most soils.

18. Cherry

Genus: Shrub.
Benefits: Rich in vitamin A, B and C. High in calcium and magnesium. Good general immune system booster with anti-inflammatory effects.
Parts used: Berries.
Growing conditions: Two plants must be planted for pollination. Likes full sun and needs damp soil.

19. Chickweed

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Soothes sore and inflamed skin. Mild diuretic. Soothes rheumatism. Vitamin rich and great in salads although they’re classified as weeds!
Parts used: Leaves.
Growing conditions: Thrives in most soils. Blooms in late winter to spring.

20. Chicory

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Mild laxative. Anti-inflammatory. Can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Parts used: Leaves and roots.
Growing conditions: Likes well-drained alkaline soil. Needs deep soil for root development. Roots are harvested in the second year.

21. Chili

Genus: Vegetable.
Benefits: Used as an antiseptic, analgesic, stimulant and tonic. Reduces muscular aches and pains and prevents gastrointestinal infection.
Parts used: Pepper fruits.
Growing conditions: Likes dry soil and full sun. Can easily grow in pots.

22. Cinquefoil

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Anti-aging benefits for skin. Treats fever, diarrhea, toothaches and mouth ulcers.
Parts used: Leaves.
Growing conditions: Perennial plant that prefers full sun. Invasive and fast-growing.

23. Cleavers

Genus: Herb.
Benefits: Also known as goosegrass, cleavers is a good diuretic, assisting with swollen lymph glands, and many irritations of the urinary tract such as cystitis. Softens skin when applied, but beware of the prickly thorns on the stems when picking!
Parts used: Leaves, roots.
Growing conditions: Annual and prefers alkaline soil. Simple to grow.

24. Cranberry

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Used to treat cystitis and other urinary tract infections.
Parts used: Berries.
Growing conditions: Prefers part sun part shade and moist acidic soil. Can grow in pots.

25. Cucumber

Genus: Vegetable.
Benefits: Help lower blood sugar levels. Anti-inflammatory. Help to rehydrate and soothe skin.
Parts used: Fruiting body.
Growing conditions: Likes humid environments. Needs space to grow, and regular watering. Hardy.

26. Daisy

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Used to heal wounds such as cuts, bruises, sores and stiff joints when made into a salve. Helps reduce the impact of respiratory tract infections such as sinusitis and bronchitis.
Parts used: Flowerheads and leaves.
Growing conditions: Evergreen perennial plant that prefers full sun to grow.

27. Dandelion

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Classified as a weed because of its relentless growing habits, dandelion has excellent detoxifying and diuretic properties. It also possesses vitamins A, B, C and D as well as potassium and calcium. It has been used to treat high blood pressure, cleanse the liver and gallbladder and treat skin problems such as acne and eczema.
Parts used: Flowerheads, leaves and roots.
Growing conditions: Perennial. Grows in sun and shade. Does best in well-drained soil, but tolerates most soil types.

28. Dill

Genus: Herb.
Benefits: Calms digestive disorders such as cramping, bloating and colic. When chewed can alleviate bad breathe.
Parts used: Leaves and seeds.
Growing conditions: Annual. Easy to grow from seed, and requires 2 weeks germination.

29. Echinacea

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Highly effective for cold and flu relief. Antibacterial properties that helps wounds and other skin infections heal.
Parts used: Roots and flowerheads.
Growing conditions: Perennial that prefers full sun. Likes rich, sandy soil. Harvest roots in Autumn.

30. Elderberry

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Helps treat coughs, sore throats, cold and flu symptoms. Can be made into and taken as a tincture or syrup.
Parts used: Berries.
Growing conditions: Sow seeds in rich soil. Prefers full sun. Simple to grow.

31. Elderflower

Genus: Shrub.
Benefits: Can be made into cordials or wines. Antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Helps treat coughs, sore throats, cold and flu symptoms.
Parts used: Fresh flowers.
Growing conditions: Deciduous shrub that prefers full sun, but tolerates shade. Pick only fresh white flowers.

32. Eucalyptus

Genus: Tree.
Benefits: Antiseptic and decongestant properties. The leaves have been used to remedy chest infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis, relieve muscle and joint pain, and cold and flu symptoms.
Parts used: Leaves.
Growing conditions: Hardy species of tree that tolerates full sun and hot temperatures. Prefers well-drained, fertile soil.

33. Evening Primrose

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Rich source of GLA which assists bone health and regulates metabolism. Helps reduce PMS symptoms. Mild blood pressure reducer and soothes eczema.
Parts used: Roots, leaves and seeds.
Growing conditions: Biennial. Prefers full sun and low-nutrient soil.

34. Eyebright

Genus: Herb.
Benefits: Reduces the impact of eye infections such as conjunctivitis, and can be made into an eye wash for its astringent and antibacterial qualities. Also said to be a good lung tonic.
Parts used: Aerial parts.
Growing conditions: Annual. Prefers full sun and chalky soils. Harvest the leaves and flowers while the plant is still blooming.

35. Fennel

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Appetite-suppressant for weight loss. Relieves bloating, cramping, flatulence and all kinds of stomach upset including colic.
Parts used: Flowerheads and seeds.
Growing conditions: Likes full sun position with low water. Drought tolerant and attracts wildlife.

36. Fenugreek

Genus: Herb.
Benefits: Digestive aid. Soothes intestinal passages, sometimes used to treat gastric ulcers. Reduces cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Parts used: Seeds.
Growing conditions: Annual. Requires full sun, but needs shelter. Seeds ripen in 4-5 months.

37. Feverfew

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Commonly used to successfully treat migraines. Reduces the symptoms of fever.
Parts used: Leaves.
Growing conditions: Perennial that is drought-tolerant. Prefers full sun. Self-seeds.

38. Fig

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Gentle laxative. High fiber. Soothes stomach pains and cramping.
Parts used: Fruiting body.
Growing conditions: Prefers well-drained alkaline soil and full sun. Fruit ripens in summer.

39. Fleabane

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Diuretic and astringent properties. Lowers blood pressure. Helps treat kidney and menstrual problems. Also said to prevent the attack of insects such as fleas.
Parts used: Leaves and flowers.
Growing conditions: Annual and perennial. Prefers sun and light soil.

40. Garlic

Genus: Vegetable.
Benefits: Antiviral, and cancer fighting properties. Helps combat colds, flu and bronchitis. Lowers cholesterol. Anti-fungal properties good for treating fungal skin diseases such as athletes foot and ringworm.
Parts used: Bulb.
Growing conditions: Can be grown in pots. Prefers sun and damp soil. Bulbs are picked in Autumn.

41. Ginger

Genus: Rhizome plant.
Benefits: Prevents all kinds of nausea such as vertigo, morning sickness, and motion sickness. Anti-inflammatory and good for arthritic joints and pains.
Parts used: Root.
Growing conditions: Likes shade, with warm and moist soil. Not frost tolerant, so keep indoors in winter. Plant 10 to 20 cm deep into potting compost.

42. Ginko

Genus: Tree.
Benefits: Enhances memory and concentration. Soothes vertigo, leg cramps, asthma and allergies.
Parts used: Leaves.
Growing conditions: Deciduous slow-growing conifer. Likes full sun and well-drained soil. Leaves must be harvested in summer.

43. Goji Berries

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Super-food that is said to boost circulation, improve eyesight, lower cholesterol, protect the liver, enhance immune function and improve libido. High levels of vitamin C.
Parts used: Berries.
Growing conditions: Shrub grows to a height of 7-10 feet. Prefers full sunlight and fertile soil, but can grow in almost any soil type. Pruning necessary.

44. Gotu Kola

Genus: Herb.
Benefits: Commonly taken as a tonic for skin problems such as acne and digestive disorders. Aids memory and concentration. Anti-inflammatory properties give relief to rheumatism, arthritis and poor circulation.
Parts used: Aerial parts.
Growing conditions: Perennial creeper. Prefers full sun to part shade. Needs well-drained soil.

45. Honeysuckle

Genus: Flowering plant.
Benefits: Painkilling properties useful for soothing sore throats, headaches and arthritis. Used to cool down hot flushes, sunstroke and fever.
Parts used: Flowers and buds.
Growing conditions: Deciduous shrub that prefers shade. Needs support as it is a climbing plant.

46. Hops

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: Gentle sedative great for inducing sleep and relaxation. Great for reducing anxiety and abdominal tension. Assists with menopausal symptoms.
Parts used: Flowers.
Growing conditions: Climbing plant that prefers full sun. Requires support and distancing from other plants.

47. Horse Chestnut

Genus: Tree.
Benefits: Seeds are used to treat haemorrhoids and varicose veins. Helps to decrease the likelihood of developing deep-vein thrombosis, and decreases the swelling of the lower legs during flights.
Parts used: Seeds.
Growing conditions: Ornamental tree that can be grown from seeds or conkers. Reaches 10 to 20 feet in height. Collect chestnuts in Autumn.

48. Horseradish

Genus: Vegetable.
Benefits: Used to soothe aching joints and muscles when made into a balm. Also stimulates the digestive system and lessens the severity of colds and coughs by clearing the nasal passages.
Parts used: Root.
Growing conditions: Perennial plant that can grow in large containers. Harvest roots in Autumn.

49. Juniper

Genus: Tree.
Benefits: Berries have diuretic and anti-inflammatory effects. Used to treat urinary tract infections, rheumatism and good for gently lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
Parts used: Ripe berries.
Growing conditions: Evergreen conifer that prefers full sun. Drought-tolerant and frost hardy.

50. Kiwifruit

Genus: Fruit.
Benefits: High in vitamin C, E, magnesium and copper. Beneficial for improved heart function, improving eye health and improving the quality of skin and hair growth.
Parts used: Fruiting body.
Growing conditions: Climbing plant that prefers part sun and shade. Needs well-drained rich soil. Both male and female plants needed to pollinate for fruit.

Want a list of more medicinal herbs, fruits and veggies? Check out Loner Wolf for more!

This article originally appeared on Loner Wolf, check them out on Facebook.


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