Top Ten Herbs to Have in a Home Medicine Garden
By Darren Huckle L.Ac. Herbalist
1) Stinging Nettle Leaf (Urtica californica or dioica)
A potent source of bio-available minerals including Ca, Mg, and Silica. Also contains caretenoids, and vitamins. C, B group. and K. Used as a nutritive tonic, as well as for allergies, and eczema. The stingers are used externally for aches and pains.
2) Lavender Flowers (Lavendula spp.)
Lavender tea drunk internally is a great calmative, digestive, anti-nauseal agent and treatment for stress related headaches. When used externally it makes a great bath or compress for sore muscles relating to overexertion, sprain, or stress.
3) Mint Leaf (Mentha spp.)
Mint tea is useful in the early stages of cold as a diaphoretic (sweat inducer), It makes a soothing yet stimulating tea useful for tiredness due to stress. One of the best digestive remedies, it is useful for indigestion and gas due to culinary libations.
4) California Poppy Plant (Escholtzia californica)
All parts of California poppy are used as a safe and effective remedy for occasional sleeplessness or anxiety. Can be used effectively as a tea or tincture.
5) Valerian Root (Valeriana officinalis)
As a tea or tincture, Valerian is a soothing digestive and anti-spasmodic herb. Useful for menstrual cramps, indigestion, stress related muscle tension, and sleeplessness. Especially effective for sleeplessness due to eating too late at night.
6) Thyme Herb (Thymus vulgaris)
A great digestive herb to be cooked with or drunk as tea. Due to its high thymol content,, Thyme is strongly Antimicrobial with a special ability to treat respiratory and digestive tract infections. Also useful as an antiseptic wash for wounds.
7) Sage Herb (Salvia officinalis, mellifera, clevandii)
Sage is especially useful for thin copious mucus that occurs after eating or a bout of the cold. It strengthens and tones the digestive system while eliminating excess mucus. Also useful as a gargle for sore throats, when mixed with honey and a slice of lemon.
8 ) Rosemary Herb (Rosmarinus officinalis)
An abundant and potent source of anti-oxidants Rosemary makes a great health promoting and uplifting tea. Internally it is useful for delayed menses, poor circulation, colds, indigestion, and mild bouts of depression. Externally as a soak or bath Rosemary is a great wound healer for conditions including ankle sprains and carpal tunnel syndrome.
9) Chamomile Flower (Matricaria recutita)
One of the safest and most versatile garden herbs, Chamomile is especially useful for issues of the digestive and nervous systems. Promotes a healthy digestive tract, gently cleanses the liver, and soothes frazzled nerves. Useful internally and externally for healing injuries especially when associated with trauma.
10) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow is one of the easiest grown first aid remedies. The crushed leaves applied to a bleeding wound will stop bleeding almost instantly. When applied to bug bites, bee stings and burns Yarrow will greatly reduce the associated pain and inflammation. Useful for the early stages of colds as a diaphoretic tea, as a mild substance to promote delayed menstruation, and for strengthening the digestive system.