Gardening

Medicinal plants in the garden: 8 plants with properties

Surely you have ever heard of natural remedies such as chamomile for conjunctivitis or onion for colds. Many are centuries-old recipes, typical grandmother’s remedies that can be very useful to heal. Unfortunately, in some cases the use of these medicinal plants is forgotten.

The lower use of medicinal plants is due, among other things, to how comfortable it can seem to take a pill or apply a prepared medicine. Also because of the accessibility to the plants, which in cities is more difficult. Anyway we can always find them in herbalists and other specialized stores, or even grow these medicinal plants in the garden , as we will see today!

Benefits of medicinal plants in the garden

Many times, natural remedies with medicinal plants are more than enough to cure ailments and do not have adverse effects or against indications, as can occur with medications. 

In addition to healing people, there are medicinal plants that are also useful to “heal the garden.”

There are many medicinal plants of this type that we can grow in the garden: garlic, onion, basil … Their aromas scare away harmful insects that can become pests , and some are also used to prepare natural remedies to treat pests and diseases. . In addition, with these plants we can prepare beneficial remedies for our health or to cure ailments and they are also used for cooking.  ARE ALL ADVANTAGES !!

Other of these medicinal and aromatic plants attract beneficial insects, such as pollinators (bees are among the most important), or  natural enemies  that feed on pests and help us fight against them. We already talked about these things in posts such as Flowers in the garden ” or Aromatic in the garden: which ones and why “. 

Medicinal plant remedies

Infusion

Boiling water is added to a container where the cut herbs are. Cover it and let it sit for a while to extract the beneficial substances into the water. Once it has cooled, strain it with a cloth or a strainer. The infusion can be sweetened with honey or sugar.

Decoration or decoction

The plant is thrown into cold water or another liquid. It is heated in a pot until it cooks, and it is kept boiling for the indicated time. It is then strained through a cloth, pressing with the fingers to squeeze the herbs or leaves.

Maceration or hydroalcoholic extract

To extract all the medicinal principles of the plants by this method, cold water with alcohol, vinegar or wine is poured over the chopped or crushed plants. It is allowed to marinate for hours, days or even weeks (it depends on the remedy). After maceration, it is filtered or strained, draining the residues well so that they release all the beneficial compounds.

Syrup

It is prepared with water and sugar in the indicated proportions, heating the mixture of plants, water and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved (but without boiling). As in the rest of the cases, it is filtered at the end through a clean cloth to obtain a smooth syrup without traces of leaves or herbs.

8 Medicinal plants for the garden and home remedies

As I told you at the beginning of the post, there are plants that have double benefits: making preparations to heal us (creams or preparations to apply in strokes, depurative infusions …) and also having an important role in the garden (useful for cooking and to improve the health of the rest of our crops).

I have made a compilation with some of these useful plants in the organic garden that will help us to have a more natural life and garden :

  1. Holly 
  2. Garlic
  3. Basil
  4. Bilberry or bilberry  
  5. Flowers : calendula, mallow …
  6. Cabbage
  7. Turnip
  8. Clover

What does basil cure or what are the medicinal properties of garlic?
What other medicinal plants can be grown in a garden?
Next we will see what species to include in a medicinal garden : hedges, herbs to heal and aromatic plants with beneficial properties that will help us to prepare natural medicines .

1. Holly (Ilex Aquifolium)

Holly is one of the useful plants for the garden , like many other hedges that we already saw in the post “Interesting species for hedges in the organic garden” .

In addition to these benefits, it is one of the healing plants that we can have in our organic garden, as it is very useful as an anti-inflammatory to treat arthritis and rheumatism and help improve kidney function.

In addition, holly has an antibacterial activity that can be used for digestive conditions, since it is effective against infections by Escherichia coli, Enterobacter aerogenes or Salmonella.

You can make an infusion of holly by preparing a decoction with 30-40 grams of leaves in a liter of water.

2. Garlic (Allium sativum)

In addition to being a very useful plant to prepare natural remedies against pests and diseases of the garden,  garlic is one of the best known plants to cure . Among its most common properties, its effectiveness against digestive conditions, such as the stomach, stands out.

In addition, garlic is antimicrobial , so it will help you in respiratory or digestive problems when you have some type of bacteria, it also helps to secrete gastric juices and favors the elimination of gases .

This garden plant is also used to improve circulation, even for acne problems. It is essential in the kitchen and very useful for curing diseases of people and plants thanks to its antibacterial and antifungal properties.

3. Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

Basil is a very rich plant for cooking and very useful in the garden as a pest repellent. In addition, in traditional medicine this plant is used when it is in bloom to make infusions that are very effective against vomiting and nausea , in pregnancies, for example.

Prepare an infusion with 10 grams of basil leaves in 1 liter of water. Basil, as we saw in other posts, has a ton of health benefits.

If you want, you can grow basil at home, even in pots. It is easy to grow and not very demanding, as we saw in the post How to sow basil “.

4. Bilberry or bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

We already saw how to grow this delicious wild fruit in the post   Wild fruits: growing blueberries and raspberries in the garden “.

The blueberry or bilberry, in addition to beautifying the garden and serving as a hedge, has anti-inflammatory properties, so its berries are widely used to make effective natural remedies against inflammation of the mouth and throat. In addition, this small fruit is a great antioxidant, rich in vitamin C, flavonoids, anthocyanins and other phenolic acids that delay aging and prevent diseases .

You can make a blueberry decoction by boiling about 30 fresh berries or blueberries in a liter of water. After cooking, let it cool a little and filter it. Later it will be used to gargle or rinse that will be very effective against these problems.

5. Medicinal flowers

We know that many  flowers in the garden are used to drive away pests or attract beneficial insects.

In addition, flowers such as calendula or mallow are plants to cure, for example, intestinal problems ( a marigold decoction will help to fight against diarrhea or vomiting ).

Also the  infusion based on flowers and dried leaves of mallow will help you remedy a cough and is also good for stomach infections and against constipation. 

6. Cabbage or cabbage

The boiled cabbage leaves are used to make an effective drink against coughs, hoarseness, chest colds, they even help reduce bronchitis. 

7. Turnip

Turnip decoction is very effective in curing colds .

Peel the root and cut it into a few pieces. Cook it and, when the pulp of the turnip is soft, strain it and take it warm with a teaspoon of honey.

8. Clover

Perfect plant to use as  green manure in the garden . Clover is also used as a medicinal plant , as it is very useful for making eye drops against conjunctivitis and other inflammations of the eyes and eyelids. 

Make an infusion with 20-30 grams of clovers and their flowers in a liter of water and, when it is cold, wash the eyes with it.

I hope you found this collection of remedies with plants to heal useful. I hope you can tell us in the comments below about more natural remedies made with plants!

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Medicinal plants should be taken under medical supervision. The fact that they are natural does not imply that they are risk-free. Before taking them you should consult your doctor or pharmacist.

References

  1. Sánchez Govín, E. et al., 2000. Pharmacognostic study of Ocimum basilicum l. (white basil) . Cuban Journal of Pharmacy, vol. 34 (3), p. 187-195.
  2. Domingo, D. & López-Brea, M., 2003. Plants with antimicrobial action . Spanish Journal of Chemotherapy, vol. 16, no. 4, p. 385-393.
  3. Erdemoglu, N. et al., 2009. Antibacterial, antifungal, and antimycobacterial activity of Ilex aquifolium leaves . Pharmaceutical Biology, vol. 47 (8), p. 697-700.
  4. Jiménez-Bonilla, V. & Abdelnour-Esquivel, A., 2012. Identification and nutritional value of some native materials of blueberry (Vaccinium spp) . Technology on the Move, vol. 26, no. 2, p. 3-8.
  5. Lara-Cortés, E. et al., 2013. Nutritional content, functional properties and conservation of edible flowers. Review . Latin American Archives of Nutrition, vol. 63, no. 3, p. 197-208.
  6. González, MM et al., 2014. Bibliographic review on the therapeutic use of garlic . Cuban Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, vol. 6 (1), p. 61-71

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