6 Medicinal Herbs to Grow at Home

From echinacea to lemon balm, growing medicinal herbs in your home garden can provide convenient access to many natural remedies.

| March 2013

  • To make echinacea tea, use 2 to 4 teaspoons of fresh echinacea flowers per cup of water. Enjoy!
    Photo By Gardening in a Minute/Flickr
  • Grow medicinal herbs in your garden to have available when you'd like to make natural remedies.
  • “Gardening By Cuisine” supplies dozens of easy plans, as well as a generous collection of simple, delicious recipes and menus that will make the most of any garden's bounty. Patti Moreno's colorful photographs, illustrations, and comprehensive instructions will encourage gardeners both new and experienced to embrace sustainable living with ease and enthusiasm.
    Cover Courtesy Sterling

Even urban dwellers with little more than a balcony, tiny backyard or windowsill can grow their own food, thanks to Patti Moreno's gardening guide, Gardening By Cuisine (Sterling 2013). Moreno has devised a unique plan for creating low-maintenance organic "cuisine gardens" that produce the vegetables, fruits and herbs people love and eat. The following excerpt is an explanation of seven medicinal herbs and their uses; add these to your garden to have easy access to natural remedies for everything from headaches to sore throats.

You can buy this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Gardening By Cuisine.

1. Echinacea

(Echinacea purpurea)

This native perennial, also known as Purple Coneflower, is a glorious garden plant that grows 24 to 36 inches tall, and sometimes even taller. It has a long blooming period, starting in the summertime. Echinacea grows large purple flowers that look similar to daisies. This drought-tolerant herb is a must in a summertime bouquet. Echinacea flowers attract wildlife like bees, butterflies, and other essential garden pollinators.

Echinacea boosts the immune system to prevent the common cold or flu. Make it into a tea, as described below.

Making Echinacea Tea

To make echinacea tea, use 1–2 teaspoons of dried or 2–4 teaspoons of fresh echinacea flowers, leaves, stems, or roots per cup of water. Allow whatever part of the plant you’re using to steep in a teapot in boiling water for 15–20 minutes. Then strain the echinacea and pour the tea into a cup. You can sweeten the tea, if you like, with honey, fresh stevia leaves, or raw agave nectar.

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