People grow plants for many reasons. Beauty, food, and olfactory pleasure are three common causes for domestic gardening. Another is medicinal use. Human beings have been using plants to aid in medical practices for thousands of years. A great deal of modern chemical medicines can trace their roots back to medicinal cures that were known long before the advent of experimental empirical medicine. Although some medicinal plants need lots of care and special environments to be grown usefully, there are a great many that are perfectly within reach of the average gardener. Here is a very brief guide to the kinds of medicinal plants that you should have no problems with growing in your own backyard.
Growing borage from seeds is not particularly hard. Seeds are readily available from places like www.happyvalleyseeds.com.au/ (as well as a handful of others listed in this article) and the plant itself is a relatively hardy grower. Borage has many health benefits but is particularly well known for its anti-inflammatory properties. One tried and tested way of using borage to combat inflammation is to combine it with beeswax to make a balm. Borage balm smells wonderful. Rotting borage, however, smells awful and is commonly used as a powerful plant food. Many people keep dead borage plants in a bucket of water to promote microbial breakdown and create a healthy liquid fertilizer for their medicinal gardens.
Turmeric consumption has been rather hyped lately. Although some of the trends surrounding turmeric use are based on hyperbole, the plant does actually have some wonderful medicinal properties. People use turmeric as an anti-inflammatory and anti-allergen. Use the root of the plant to create healthy herbal teas. Combine powdered turmeric root with hot milk for a calming and sleep-enhancing beverage.
Holy basic is an easy-to-grow plant with many different health benefits. For people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, consuming holy basil may help to reduce spikes in blood sugar. It can also lower cholesterol and help ease the joint pains associated with certain kinds of arthritis. Never treat diabetes or arthritis with herbal medicines alone: they are best used to supplement well-planned conventional medical treatments.
The jelly-like flesh found inside the aloe vera plant are wonderful for helping to heal minor wounds and abrasions. This strange-smelling material is often used as a light antiseptic and mixed into gels and lotions. Ancient Chinese and Egyptian people used aloe vera to help burn victims during the healing process, and it is certainly true that it soothes pain if applied to minor burns.
Valerian root has been used medicinally since the heyday of ancient Greece. The plant contains chemicals that make it act as a very mild sedative. Modern use of valerian root centers around the mild sedative’s power to help ease insomnia and anxiety. Many people use commercially available valerian root pills and drops, but few people know just how easy it is to prepare valerian-powered medicines using the plants you grow yourself.