Thursday, 2 April 2015

More plants for your natural remedies garden

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

1. Feverfew

Feverfew (also called bachelor's buttons or featherfoil) is a small, bushy perennial with daisy-like flowers that can be useful in the prevention of migraines. The fresh leaves can be picked and added to a salad or sandwich, but they are a little bitter and not to everyone's taste. It is widely available in capsule form.

Feverfew is easily grown from seed and does well in a sunny spot.

Traditionally feverfew has been been used to help arthritis, tinnitus and in preventing blood clots. Historically it's been utilised as a 'women's herb' - Culpeper called it "a great strengthener of the womb". In ancient Greece and Rome it was known as Pathenion and used to treat problems associated with child birth.

2. Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower) 

Native to North America Echinacea is a herbaceous flowering plant from the daisy family Asteraceae. It is a hardy perennial that grows to around 60cm tall.

It is said to encourage the immune system and to be effective in reducing the symptoms of cold and flu. Echinacea has a complex mix of active substances - some of which are said to to anti-microbal.

3. Comfrey

Comfrey is an easy to grow plant that needs good soil and plenty of room to spread - at least a metre between plants. 

The most common use of comfrey in herbal medicine is in the treatment and healing of swelling, sores and inflammations - usually in a poultice.

In the garden comfrey works well as a soil conditioner and a plant tonic. The leaves can be dug into the soil or added to the compost bin.

4. St John's Wort

St John's Wort has historically been used to treat nervous disorders and is probably best known today as an anti-depressant. It has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. Culpeper described it as " a singular wound herb ... it healeth inward hurts, ... opens obstructions, dissolves swellings, and closes up the lip of wounds."

The plant is a perennial that does best in a light sandy soil in a partly sunny spot. It grows to approximately 1 metre and can be grown from cuttings or seed.

5. Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm is a perennial that likes well-drained, moist soil. It can take-over a garden so give it plenty of room to spread. Lemon Balm has ant-viral properties and has been traditionally used to soothe an upset stomach.

Lemon Balm Vinegar c an be used as a hair rinse. To make it fill a jar 3/4 full with fresh leaves. Fill the jar withe either apple cider or white vinegar. Cover the jar with a plastic lid (vinegar will corrode metal) and leave to steep for 4-6 weeks.

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

Nicholas Culpeper, Complete Herbal, first published 1653 (I have a 1992 reprint)
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  1. so many of these are in the ingredients of herbal preventative medicines - love the lemon balm too! thanks for sharing at our #OTM link up ~ Leanne

  2. I have really fallen in love with lemon balm as of late! Thank you for sharing these wonderful herbs with us on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

  3. Great recipes! Love the lemon lip balm too! Thank you for sharing with us at #HomeMattersParty

  4. This was such a helpful and insightful post. I love to make my own skincare products. Thank you for sharing these wonderful plants that can be used in natural remedies and skincare at the Healthy Happy Green Natural Party! Pinning and sharing this!

  5. These are great suggestions. Thanks so much for sharing at Inspiration Thursday! Hope you have a great week! See you tonight at 9 for another party!

  6. I've been wanting to grow comfrey! Looks like this is the year I'll be giving it a try :)