Sunday, 22 March 2015

Plants for your natural remedies garden.

There are a number of easy to grow plants that can be used in natural remedies and skincare. These are some of the ones I use.


Calendula (sometimes known as pot marigold) is an easy to grow self-seeding annual that comes in a range of colours from vibrant orange through to a soft, pale yellow. Calendula has anti-fungal, anti-microbal, anti-inflammatory and skin healing properties which make it useful for healing cuts, scrapes, rashes and other minor skin irritations. It can be used as an infused oil or in a healing salve.


Lavender is a hardy shrub that thrives in a sunny, well drained spot. The most commonly used variety is English Lavender (lavandula augustifolia) sometimes called French or Common Lavender. The dried flowers have a purple-grey colour and a sweet aroma. Lavender is a calming herb which can be used to help with headaches and encourage sleep. It is also mildly antiseptic. You'll find some uses for lavender here


Mint is very easy to grow. Once established it is a very forgiving plant that you can as long as you remember to water it. Mint can be quite invasive so is best planted in large pot.

Varieties include spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate mint. Dried mint leaves are often used to in teas to help digestion. Peppermint essential oil is said to have a cooling effect. A few drops mixed with water and sprayed at entry points may keep spiders out of your home.


Chamomile is a daisy-like annual that likes a sunny place in the garden. The most commonly used variety is German Chamomile. The essential oil from this variety is a rich dark blue colour and is said to have both calming and healing properties.

Chamomile tea is made from the dried flower heads of Roman Chamomile. This tea may help with stress or insomnia. There's a simple recipe for Chamomile and Lavender Tea here.


If your front lawn is anything like mine you won't need to plant this one. You probably have more dandelions that you want or need!

The seventeenth century botanist and herbalist Nicholas Culpepper notes that it has cleansing qualities especially in regards to the liver and spleen. The leaves have diuretic properties and flowers are said to be mildly analgesic.

Please note that this article is an overview only. It is not intended as medical advice.

Part 2:  More plants for your natural remedies garden
Part 3: Five more plants for your natural remedies garden

Nicholas Culpeper, Complete Herbal, first published 1653 (I have a 1992 reprint)
Available online:
Photo: Chamomile Flowers by Vera Kratochvil
Photo: Mint Leaves by Lynn Greyling 
Photo:Dandelion by Craig Lucas


  1. Thank you for the information on Calendula, I wasn't aware of it's properties regarding anti-fungal remedy. Much appreciated.

    1. Calendula is a bit of a "jack of all trades" plant-wise.