20 Medicinal Plants and Their Incredible Healing Properties

Medicinal Plants

Nature has always been our greatest healer, providing us with a plethora of medicinal plants that have been used for centuries to treat various ailments. From soothing lavender to powerful echinacea, these plants have incredible healing properties that can help cure everything from headaches and colds to chronic illnesses. In this blog post, we’ll be exploring the top 20 medicinal plants and their amazing health benefits so you can discover how nature’s medicine cabinet can improve your well-being. So, sit back, relax, and prepare to be amazed by the power of these incredible herbs!

Introduction to Medicinal Plants

Many plants have been used for medicinal purposes throughout history. Even today, there is a growing interest in the use of plants for natural health and healing. Today, we’ll look at some of the most popular medicinal plants and their healing properties.

Medicinal plants can be used in many ways. Some common methods include:

  • Drinking an infusion or tea made from the plant.
  • Applying a poultice or compress made from the plant.
  • Taking a plant extract or tincture internally.
  • Rubbing the plant’s essential oil onto the skin

20 Medicinal Plants and Their Benefits

There are an incredible number of medicinal plants out there with an equally impressive range of benefits. Here are 20 medicinal plants and a brief description of their medicinal uses. This list is in addition to MEDICINAL PLANTS: TOP 10 COMMONLY USED MEDICINAL PLANTS.

Let’s get started!

#1. Feverfew

Feverfew

Feverfew was, once upon a time, native to southeast Europe but has since naturalized in North America. As such, some now consider it native to North America.

It is a hardy perennial in zones 5 to 10.

It has been used for centuries to treat headaches and migraines. It is also said to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain associated with arthritis and menstrual cramps.

#2. Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm

The slippery elm tree is native to eastern North America and can grow upwards of 65ft tall. Other common names include red elm, gray elm, soft elm, moose elm, and Indian elm.

It is a hardy tree in zones 3 to 7.

Slippery Elm is demulcent, which means that it soothes and protects irritated tissues. It is often used to relieve sore throats, coughs, and digestive problems.

#3. Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh

Black cohosh is a shade-loving woodland plant. It is native to eastern North America. Other common names include black bugbane, black snakeroot, rattle-top, or fairy candle. 

It is a hardy perennial in zones 2 to 8.

Black Cohosh is used to relieve symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes, mood changes, and vaginal dryness.

#4. Goldenseal

Goldenseal

Goldenseal is native to North America. Other common names include orangeroot or yellow puccoon. It is a woodland plant that grows well in dense shade on the forest floor.

It is highly ranked among the most popular herbal remedies worldwide. 

It is hardy from zones 3 to 8.

Goldenseal is a natural antibiotic and is often used to treat infections, including colds, flu, and urinary tract infections.

 

#5. Red Clover

Red Clover

Red Clover is native to Europe, Western Asia, and northwest Africa. However, it has since naturalized in North America.

It is a hardy perennial in zones 3 to 8.

Red Clover is a source of isoflavones, which are plant compounds that mimic the effects of estrogen in the body. It is often used to relieve symptoms of menopause, including hot flashes and mood changes.

#6. Milk Thistle 

Milk Thistle

Originally a native of Southern Europe through to Asia, it has since been found throughout the world, including North America.

It is an annual and considered an invasive weed in some areas.

Milk Thistle is used to protect the liver from damage and is often used to treat liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatitis.

 

#7. Yarrow

Yarrow

Native to temperate regions of Asia, Europe, and North America. Other common names include old man’s pepper, devil’s nettle, sanguinary, milfoil, soldier’s woundwort, and thousand seal. 

It is a hardy perennial in zones 3 to 9.

Yarrow is a natural astringent and is often used to stop bleeding and promote healing. It is also used to relieve digestive problems and stimulate the appetite.

#8. Blessed Thistle

Blessed ThistleSimilar to but not the same as Milk Thistle, Blessed Thistle is native to the Mediterranean region, from Portugal to southern France and to Iran. Blessed thistle, also known as holy thistle, has been used since the Middle Ages to treat bubonic plague and prevent infection. It is an annual plant.

Blessed Thistle is used to promote lactation in breastfeeding mothers.

#9. Wild Cherry Bark

Wild Cherry BarkWild Cherry trees are native to Europe, Anatolia, Maghreb, and Western Asia. Other common names include Sweet Cherry and Bird Cherry.

They are hardy in zones 5 to 7.

Wild Cherry Bark is a natural cough suppressant and is often used to relieve coughs and other respiratory problems.

 

#10. Comfrey

Comfrey

Comfrey is native to Eastern Europe but is commonly found all over North America. It is sometimes considered a weed.

It is hardy from zones 3 to 9.

Comfrey is used to promote the healing of bruises, sprains, and other injuries. It is often used topically as a poultice or salve. However, it should not be ingested as it can be toxic to the liver.

 

#11. Black Elderberry

Black Elderberry

Black Elderberry is native to North America. Other common names include American black elderberry, Canada elderberry, or common elderberry.

It is hardy from zones 3 to 9.

The berries are rich in flavonoids that have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They have been used to boost the immune system and prevent colds and flu.

#12. St. John’s Wort

St Johns Wort

This flowering shrub is native to Europe and is sometimes considered a weed in North America.

It is hardy from zones 5 to 10.

This herb contains hypericin and hyperforin, which have antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. It has been used to treat depression, anxiety, and nerve pain.

 

#13. Valerian

Valerian

Valerian is native to Europe and Asia, however, it has been naturalized in North America. Other common names include Setwall and All-Heal. 

It is hardy from zones 3 to 9.

This herb contains compounds that act as a sedative and muscle relaxant. It has been used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and nervous tension.

#14. Passionflower

Passionflower

Passionflower is native to North America. Other common names include maypop, apricot vine, maracuja, and water lemon.

It is hardy from zones 7 to 11.

This herb contains compounds that act as a sedative and muscle relaxant. It has been used to treat anxiety, insomnia, and high blood pressure.

#15. Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape

Oregon Grape is native to Western North America. Other common names include holly-leaved barberry.

It is hardy in zones 5 to 9.

This herb contains berberine, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used to treat skin conditions, digestive issues, and infections.

 

#16. Wild Indigo

Wild Indigo

Wild Indigo is native to much of central and eastern North America and is particularly common in the Midwest. Other common names in Flase Indigo.

It is hardy in zones 4 to 7.

This herb contains compounds that have antimicrobial and immune-stimulating properties. It has been used to treat infections, fever, and rheumatism.

#17. Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh

Blue Cohosh is native to the eastern half of North America and has a long history of medicinal use by Native Americans. The early spring flowering state (as shown) is unusual and stunning. It will later produce blueish-green leaves and blueberry-like fruits.

It is hardy in zones 4 to 7.

This herb contains compounds that act as uterine stimulants and can help induce labor. It has been used by midwives to help with childbirth.

#18. Lobelia

Lobelia

Lobelia is a large group of flowering plants native to North America. This genus comprises over 415 species such as the beautiful Cardinal Flower. Lobelia hardiness greatly varies depending on the species.

This herb contains compounds that act as a relaxant and can help relieve muscle spasms and coughs. It has been used to treat asthma, bronchitis, and smoking cessation.

#19. Labrador-Tea

Labrador Tea

Labrador Tea is native to Eastern North America. Related species to the Rhododendron, this plant lets off a sweet, lemon-like aroma. Commonly found in marhslands and bogs. Other common names include Hudson’s Bay tea or Indian tea. 

It is hardy from zones 2 to 6.

Known for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it’s used to treat respiratory ailments, indigestion, and skin irritations.

#20. Eastern White Cedar

Eastern White Cedar

Eastern white cedar is native to eastern Canada and much of the north-central and northeastern United States. While it is commonly used as an ornamental plant, many don’t realize that it actually has medicinal usage.

It is hardy in zones 1 to 8.

Rich in Vitamin C, used for treating respiratory ailments and skin irritations.

How to Use Medicinal Plants for Healing

To use medicinal plants for healing, it is important to understand the different properties each plant possesses. Eventually, I will create a database of information regarding all plants and their uses.

When using medicinal plants for healing, be sure to speak with your doctor first, as they may interact with other medications you are taking.  Also, you want to ensure that you are using the correct plant for your specific ailment and that you are using it in the safest way possible.

Precautions & Side Effects of Medicinal Plant Use

Common side effects of medicinal plant use include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and headache. More serious side effects are rare but can include liver damage, kidney damage, and heart arrhythmias. Plants that contain toxic substances can also be harmful if ingested in large quantities. It is important to research any plant you plan to use medicinally, contact your doctor prior to use, and only use it as directed.

Growing Your Own Medicinal Herbs & Spices at Home

One of the best ways to ensure you have access to medicinal plants, herbs, and spices is to grow your own. Not only will this give you a never-ending supply of these potent plants, but you’ll also be able to customize your own blend of medicines, based on your specific needs.

Here are some tips for growing your own medicinal herbs and spices:

  1. Start with easy-to-grow herbs like basil, oregano, mint, and rosemary. These are all great for beginners and will give you a good foundation for more advanced medicinal gardening.
  2. Make sure you have plenty of sunlight and well-drained soil. Most medicinal plants need at least six hours of sunlight daily, so choose a spot in your yard with plenty of sun. And make sure the soil isn’t too dense or wet, as this can lead to root rot.
  3. Be mindful of when you plant your herbs. Many medicinal plants are best planted in the spring or fall when the weather is cooler and there’s less risk of disease or pests.
  4. Keep an eye on your plants and harvest them when they’re at their peak potency. This will vary depending on the plant, but most plants should be harvested just before they flower.
  5. Dry or freeze your plants for long-term storage. This will help preserve their medicinal properties so you can use them even when they’re not in season.

Conclusion

Medicinal plants have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. From calming anxiety to reducing inflammation, these powerful healing herbs can significantly affect your health and well-being. With just a bit of research, you can find natural remedies that are perfect for treating whatever ailment or condition you may be dealing with.

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