Read the full article to get expert information, links, pictures and resources: written by Juliet Blankespoor with Meghan Gemma
1. Calendula, Pot Marigold (Calendula officinalis, Asteraceae)
An Edible flower and also used for treatment of wounds, rashes, dry skin. It is great for teas and is antifungal, antibacterial, lymphagogue (stimulates the lymphatic system), emmenagogue (stimulates the menses), and digestive anti-inflammatory.
2. Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca, Lamiaceae)
Easy to grow and highly versatile and used as a tincture or tea. Excellent for anxiety, stress, headaches, muscle sprains and aches. Motherwort fully lives up to its name in helping to increase parental patience. Many mothers find that motherwort softens the edginess brought on by sleep deprivation, endless laundry and dishes, and uppity wee folk.
3. Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata, Passifloraceae)
A gorgeous vine native to the southeastern United States and is an important sedative and pain reducer. The stems, leaves, and flowers can all be gathered for medicine, and used fresh or dried in tea or tincture form.
4. Echinacea or Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea, Asteraceae)
As an excellent immune-stimulating tea or tincture, it is drought tolerant and attracts bees and butterflies.
5. Holy Basil, Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum syn. O. sanctum, Lamiaceae)
A close relative to common basil, its leaves and flowers are used as as a medicinal tea for colds, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, headaches, arthritis, diabetes, stress, and anxiety. Its adaptogenic effect offers an uplifting energy and helps with mental clarity and focus.
6. Meadowsweet, Queen of the Meadow (Filipendula ulmaria, Rosaceae)
The leaves and flowers have a pleasant wintergreen aroma and flavor, and are used internally for inflammation, fevers, heartburn, and peptic ulcers. Most people, including finicky children, love the tasty tea. Meadowsweet is a wonderful tonic for arthritis.
7. Jiaogulan, Southern Ginseng, or Sweet Tea Vine (Gynostemma pentaphyllum, Cucurbitaceae)
it is used as a tonic for longevity and vitality. The leaves are brewed into a medicinal tonic tea for anxiety, stress, depression, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. This vine is an easy-to-grow adaptogenic tonic, which contains some of the same compounds.
8. Spilanthes, Toothache plant (Acmella oleracea, Asteraceae)
Spilanthes is one of the easiest to grow medicinal herbs, and kids absolutely love it! This striking plant has golden, globe-shaped flowers with a red center, leading one seed company to market them as “eyeball plant.” The tingly numbing sensation of its flowers affords relief to toothaches, and is used in many tooth and gum formulas, as it is antimicrobial.
9. Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica, Urticaceae)
The greens and tea of nettles are high in minerals, vitamins, and chlorophyll; namely Vitamin A and C and calcium, potassium, magnesium, and iron. The leaves and seeds are used medicinally in teas and foods for allergies, arthritis, and as a kidney tonic.
10. Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa, Lamiaceae)
Wild bergamot has a pungent aroma and flavor and can be enjoyed in tea or prepared as a tincture. The lavender flowers are edible and can be used as a garnish or tossed into salads for an extra splash of color. It attracts butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Great for upper and lower respiratory congestion.
Julia Parsell is a Certified Holistic Health Counselor with an emphasis on the intersection of science and the sacred. She writes from experiences and transformative understandings that have led her to an authentic and peaceful life. She goes by these names: grandmother, mother, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, and friend. As home educator of her three children, she also developed/ran cafes, and maintained various leadership roles within her community. Her greatest desire is to encourage others to live life fully. Her passions are family, art creation, writing, and trail blazing. She lives in Western North Carolina.