Farming Tips

5 Medicinal Plants You Need at Home 

We humans are intrinsically tied to nature through the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat. The food we choose to include in our diet have an impact on our overall health and well-being, which is where nature’s tremendous gifts, namely plants, come into play.

A great deal of research has gone into studying the medical benefits of plants, and new things are being discovered every day, emphasizing the significance of plants in our lives. “Nature has supplied some extremely powerful tools for enhancing your body’s immune system,” says Brian Hetrich, a naturopathic doctor who had witnessed the healing properties of plants first-hand.

He further adds that “There’s no better way to harness the healing potential of food than by growing it yourself in your own garden.” With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 5 medicinal plants, along with their remarkable health benefits and ways to utilise them, to assist you in deciding which plants to grow in your system.

Do note that it is vital to consult your doctor before consuming or applying anything new to your body. once you’ve decided on the plants you want to grow, make sure to take good care of them according to plant care guidelines and avoid using pesticides that contain hazardous chemicals.

Fortunately, you won’t have to search elsewhere for natural pesticides because we’ve got our very own neem oil which efficiently repels pests/insects like grasshoppers, weevils, mealy bugs, spider-mites, aphids, caterpillars, and fungal diseases like leaf spot and bacterial blight.

1. Red cabbage microgreens

Red cabbage also known as purple cabbage is a nutrient-dense plant from that can help you avoid a range of diseases by boosting your immune system. While red cabbage is ubiquitous in modern diets, the fresh microgreens produced by this plant have higher levels of antioxidants, amino acids, and vitamins, providing even greater health benefits.

Red cabbage health benefits:

  • Boosting immunity with a high vitamin C content
  • Preventing cancer growth
  • Promoting Gastrointestinal Health
  • Preventing Neurodegenerative Diseases such as Alzheimer’s
  • Maintaining a healthy weight and cholesterol level
  • Improving heart health
  • Reducing the risk of diabetes

Tips to consume:

  • Sprinkling on salads, sandwiches, and wraps
  • Adding to soups or stir fried for added burst of flavour
  • Topping on pizzas, omelettes, and frittatas

2. Basil

Basil was once deemed to be a sacred and noble herb native to India, Asia, and Africa. The name “basil” is derived from the ancient Greek word “basilikhon,” which means “royal.”

Sweet basil is commonly used in adding flavour to salads, pasta, and a variety of other dishes. It is known for its benefits of treating common disorders due to the vitamins and minerals it contains.

Meanwhile, tulsi, often known as holy basil, plays  therapeutic role in Tamil and Ayurvedic medicines, both of which are predominant in Southeast Asia. This sacred plant that’s used in teas, ointments, and other forms to treat a variety of diseases including fevers and diabetes. The flavour of this spice is far superior to that of a normal basil.

Basil health benefits:

  • Reducing oxidative stress
  • Supporting liver health
  • Fighting cancer
  • Protecting against skin aging
  • Reducing high blood sugar
  • Promoting cardiovascular health
  • Boosting mental health
  • Reducing inflammation and swelling
  • Combating infection

Tips to consume:

  • Sprinkling fresh over pizza or into a wrap
  • Adding into tomato sauces, stir-fries, pasta, and salads
  • Blending into sauces
  • Pureeing into soups
  • Adding as a topping on ice cream

3. Lemon balm

Lemon balm is a plant that originated in Europe and is now grown all over the world. It’s planted as a garden herb or a bee lure, and it’s utilised in crops for medicine, cosmetics, and furniture polish manufacture. To promote relaxation, lemon balm is frequently combined with other relaxing and soothing herbs such as chamomile, valerian, and hops.

Lemon balm health benefits:

  • Relieving stress
  • Reducing anxiety
  • Boosting cognitive function
  • Easing sleep disorders such as insomnia
  • Treating cold sores
  • Relieving indigestion
  • Treating nausea
  • Minimizing menstrual cramps
  • Easing headache
  • Reducing toothache

Tips to consume:

  • Sprinkling on salad in baked goods
  • Making lemon balm tea by boiling lemon balm leaves with water
  • Adding raw honey to lemon balm tea to make herbal syrup for sleep
  • Adding ginger syrup to lemon balm to make cold syrup

4. Marigold

The use of medicinal marigold in culinary tradition and cosmetics dates back to the Greek and Roman eras. In the 7th century, it captured the hearts of Europeans, and its cultivation extended throughout the Middle Ages. The petals of marigold were utilised by the ancient Greeks for make-up, food colouring (stews, soups, puddings, etc.), fabric dyeing, and medicinal purposes. The petals can also be used to make a herbal infusion, a topical treatment, and an eyewash.

Marigold health benefits:

  • Lowering inflammation and free radical damage
  • Reducing eye inflammation and conjunctivitis
  • Healing skin wounds, burns and rashes
  • Reducing hemorrhoid pain
  • Easing cramps and spasms
  • Boosting immune system

Tips to consume:

  • Eating the petals by pulling off the petals from stem, avoiding the white (or pale greenish) “heels”
  • Boiling leaves with water

5. Rosemary

Rosemary, a member of the mint family, is not only delicious in meals but also high in nutrition such as iron, calcium, and vitamin B-6. It can be purchased as a whole dried herb or as a dried powdered extract to be used in teas and other liquid extracts. For centuries, rosemary has been used in treating many health problems such as muscle discomfort and hair loss.

Rosemary health benefits:

  • Boosting immune system
  • Improving blood circulation
  • Improving digestion
  • Enhancing memory and concentration
  • Protecting the brain from stroke and neurodegeneration caused by harmful chemical free radicals
  • Promoting eye health
  • Prevent brain aging and cancer

Tips to consume:

  • Sprinkling over chicken, beef, or pork dishes
  • Boiling rosemary leaves with water to make rosemary tea
  • Adding to roasted vegetables while cooking
  • Adding into pasta dishes
  • Mixing into butter and spread it over bread
  • Adding into lemonades for refreshment

Next time you have a bothersome ache or symptom, try reaching for one of these medicinal plants to help you feel better. It’s important to remember that these plants should only be ingested as needed, as too much of them might create unpleasant side effects, so finding the right balance is crucial.

We hope you gained some knowledge today. Have a wonderful day!