Saturday, 2 May 2015

Five more plants for your natural remedies garden

This is the third in a series of posts looking at some of the easy to grow plants that can be used in natural remedies and skincare. These are some more of the ones I use.

1. Nettle

You're probably not going to want to actually grow this one in your garden if you have small children or pets. They're called stinging nettles for a reason. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered in tiny, fine hairs which release a chemical when touched that produces the "sting". This same chemical can be effective in reducing the symptoms of eczema. I use nettle oil when I make Eczema Healing Cream plus dried nettle leaves can be made into a tea that may also help.

Nettle oil is often used in herbal shampoo and conditioner as it's said to promote hair growth. Olive oil infused with nettle can be used as a scalp conditioner. Infused oils are simple to make - you'll find how to here.

2. Garlic

Garlic is easy to grow. Traditionally it's planted on the shortest day and harvested on the longest day. It will thrive in the garden or in containers so long as it has plenty or sun, water and is planted in soil with a goof base of organic material.

Garlic doesn't just add flavour to your cooking. It's anti-microbal, anti-fungal and anti-viral. Garlic can be effective in reducing the symptoms of colds and flu. It may help to stimulate the body's natural immunity and is said to help lower blood pressure. Culpeper even describes it as an "antidote against poisonous and dangerous herbs", but it's "stink is offensive".

3. Rosemary

Rosemary is an easy to grow herb. It can be grown from seed,  but is more successful if grown from a cutting. Rosemary can be slow-growing initially, but with good sun and drainage it should thrive. If you live in an area prone to frosts plants may need to be covered or brought inside at night.

Rosemary oil can be used in both skin and haircare products. It's anti-microbal and antiseptic properties can help with skin irritations and dryness. More about rosemary here.

4. Chillies

There are many varieties of chillies and they range from mild to very, very hot. Chillies are a small bushy plant that need frost-free conditions. They can be grown outdoors if protected,  but here in frosty Christchurch I've grown them successfully right through the winter in pots on the back porch. If conditions are suitable for growing tomatoes then you should be able to grow chillies.

Capsaicin is what makes chillies hot. It is a natural painkiller that provide relief from arthritis, headaches and joint pain. Capsaicin is an ingredients in a number of commercially-made pain medications.

Use sparingly and always wash your hands after working with chillies.

5. Yarrow

Yarrow is a flowering plant that grows easily anywhere. You often see in on the roadside, in fields or along riverbanks. It comes in pink, red and yellow varieties, but white is the most common. Yarrow self-seeds easily.

It has many names - Nose Bleed, Woundwort, Bloodwort, Thousand Weed, Staunchweed, Devil's Nettle - are just a few. Traditionally it has been used to treat toothache, urinary problems, inflammations,ulcers and piles. Yarrow tea can be useful if you have a heavy cold. For centuries it has been used on the battlefield to treat bloody wounds - as far back as Ancient Greece when Achilles is said to have been the first to use it to slow bleeding.

Part two: More plants for your natural remedies garden

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)
Available online:

I link up here

1 comment:

  1. It's always fascinating to me to see how many uses some plants have. Thanks for sharing on the Waste Less Wednesday Blog Hop!