With some planning, you can grow medicinal plants in your garden. These healing plants can help relieve pain and ease symptoms of illness.
Plantain is a common lawn weed that has many healing properties. Use a fresh plant or tincture to soothe bruises, cuts, and swelling.
Camphor has antispasmodic, expectorant, and bronchial-dilator properties. It is also antiviral and antifungal.
Tulsi (Ocimum sanctum Linn) is an adaptogenic herb with health benefits. It is a powerful stress-buster and has antibacterial properties.
It has compounds called ocimumosides A and B that balance dopamine and serotonin, neurotransmitters that regulate mood and sleep. The plant also has a natural sedative and is an excellent anxiety reducer.
To grow tulsi at home, sprinkle its seeds in a small pot of well-draining soil and cover them lightly with an inch of loose dirt. Place the pot in a warm spot that is bright and sunny. It will take around 1-2 weeks for the seeds to sprout. Once the sprouts are 2-3 inches long, transfer them into a larger pot with soil.
Elecampane is a perennial composite plant that grows in fields, waste places, copses, damp meadows, and old garden soil. It thrives in shady positions, preferring moist but well-draining soil.
Also known as elfwort, elfdock, or horseheal and belonging to the sunflower family (Asteraceae), it has a long history of medicinal use, particularly for the respiratory system.
As one of the pain relieving plants, it is a strong uterine stimulant and a potent diuretic that helps expel excess fluids. It is also used as a digestive tonic and a vermifuge. It is easy to propagate with cuttings taken in the fall after the first frost. It can also be grown in a greenhouse or cold frame.
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is an easy-to-grow annual that blooms all season. It attracts beneficial insects and repels unwanted pests, making it a popular companion plant for vegetables in the garden.
When added to skincare, calendula reduces inflammation and protects from fungal infections, like powdery mildew. It is also antispasmodic, astringent, and vulnerary—meaning it heals wounds quickly.
If you use calendula as a skin herb, try applying a diluted salve to help heal burns and scrapes. Tinctures are another great way to get the most out of this medicinal flower. Using 190-proof alcohol is the recommended method for tincturing calendula flowers.
The camphor tree (Cinnamomum camphora) has a distinctive and easy-to-recognize smell. The leaves, bark, and fruits contain a chemical extracted as an essential oil to be added to lotions and ointments.
Since ancient times, this oil has been used as a repellent for the plague and in embalming fluids. It has also been shown to relieve pain when applied topically and to help with apparent respiratory symptoms.
It’s also believed to stimulate blood circulation, which can help reduce pain and heal wounds more quickly.
A fruit from plants of the genus Prunus, Cherry is an edible fleshy drupe that comes in sweet and tart varieties. It contains powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds.
It is a rich source of vitamin C, reduces muscle pain after exercise, and prevents gout and arthritis symptoms. It also lowers blood sugar levels and promotes healthy skin.
Cherry trees proliferate and are an attractive addition to any garden. They can be grown as standalone specimens or espaliered flat against a wall or fence. Espaliering promotes airflow and reduces the risk of fungal infections while providing an attractive feature. They prefer full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil.
Ginger grows as a tropical, perennial herb. It can be grown as a houseplant or an outdoor summer annual in containers in cooler climates. Its roots contain volatile oils and pungent phenol compounds, including gingerols and shogaols, which have been used to treat nausea, relieve the symptoms of arthritis, and reduce heartburn.
The ginger plant needs partial shade and rich, well-draining soil to thrive. It’s also susceptible to frost, making it hard to grow it in most of the US outside its native clime, between zones 8 and 9.