Grow Your Own Medicine: A Simple Survival Guide To Natural Remedies

If you plan to make your own garden for both food and medicine you might want to check out this assortment of plants. The following can be your first line of defense in case of illness or skin eruption.

The mints (chocolate mint, lemon balm, catnip) make lovely teas.  They are also good for soothing stomach troubles – cramping, gas, indigestion, vomiting, upset stomach, and colic in babies.  I drank mint tea during my pregnancy to help settle my stomach.

Mullein is used externally for treating ear ailments, and internally for treating congestion.  It helps to loosen mucus so it can be expelled from the body.  This post provides more detailed information on harvesting, drying and use of mullein.  Both the blossoms and the leaves can be used.

Red clover has an assortment of uses, many related to women’s health, including breast health, and helping with hot flashes and osteoporosis.  More details on red clover in Wildcrafting 101.

Yarrow is used against colds, cramps, fevers, kidney disorders, toothaches, skin irritations, and hemorrhages, and to regulate menses, stimulate the flow of bile, and purify the blood.  (More information in the post Real Healing Potions.) It’s a real powerhouse, but the taste leaves a lot to be desired.  Still, I keep it on hand, because you never know when you might need it.  Also, it grows abundantly (almost too abundantly) in my garden.  Be warned – it can spread like crazy.  I allow some of it to wander around, because it is supposed to help increase the essential oil content of herbs it is grown near and boost other plant’s disease resistance.

Chamomile is a general relaxant.  It makes a soothing tea, and can also be used in the bath.  To make a chamomile bath bomb, take a fabric scrap or old towel or hanky, place about 1/4 cup of dried chamomile in the center, tie with a ribbon and hang in the water stream as you fill your tub for a bath.  This can be dried and reused 2-3 times.

Raspberry leaf helps with many women’s health challenges, assisting from pregnancy to menopause.  It may also aid adrenal gland function.  Read Herbal Remedies for PMS.

Anise hyssop has a licorice taste that is often added to teas.  it was also used by Native Americans to treat coughs.

The above is just a sample of what you can grow in your garden to take the place of store bought medications. It's amazing how the simplest and smallest plant can cure a wide variety of ailments.

For tips on how to dry, sort and store your home-made medicines go to Common Sense Homesteading.  The author says that even a weed can be useful and … I believe her!