How to grow medicinal plants at home?
Because more and more people want to move away from conventional techniques, interest in gardening in general and growing herbs in particular has increased in recent years. Medicinal herbs are incredibly useful plants, both in the kitchen and to improve your health and well-being.
Many medicinal plants are really easy to grow, many have pretty flowers or interesting foliage, and they can easily be incorporated into your flower beds. Most medicinal herbs grow well in pots, indoors or outdoors, and many are very adaptable to climates and soil types. Would you like to cultivate your own medicinal plants? Here’s how to grow medicinal plants at home.
1. Why grow medicinal plants at home?
It’s more economical:
Medicinal plants, processed or not, can be quite expensive to purchase. In addition, you sometimes have to travel a long way to find quality plants at a herbalist or garden center. By growing your medicinal plants yourself, you will save time and money.
You control the quality of your medicinal plants:
By growing your medicinal herbs at home, you are assured that they will not be treated with pesticides and other harmful chemicals.
You can heal yourself quickly and easily:
Do you have a headache, a bad cold or do you suffer from insomnia? If you grow the necessary plants at home, you have a safe way to relieve yourself with an infusion or a few drops of homemade mother tincture.
Several medicinal plants can be used in cooking:
Medicinal herbs are really handy to have on hand, not only to relieve various ailments, but also for cooking! Let’s think of basil, lavender, thyme and many others.
2. Which medicinal plants to cultivate?
Are you new to the world of medicinal plants? Here are the best basic medicinal plants that you could easily grow at home:
True lavender is an essential medicinal plant. Indeed, its calming effects are useful in times of stress, during tension headaches, to calm a grumpy baby, etc. When applied topically, it can help relieve certain skin problems including acne and eczema-related itching.
This pretty medicinal plant with flowers resembling small daisies is used to relieve headaches and stomach upset, calm anxiety and soothe skin irritations.
We know its culinary uses well, but did you know that basil is also a medicinal plant? It can help relieve bloating, nausea, and digestive spasms, and it can also help bring down a fever.
Like basil, thyme can be used both in cooking and as a medicinal plant. It can be used internally to calm coughs, diarrhea and bloating. Externally, its antiseptic effects will be useful for treating various skin problems, ranging from simple wounds to fungal infections, including scabies and many others.
Mint: the medicinal properties of mint are varied, which makes it an essential plant in the home pharmacy. Besides its abilities to relieve digestive problems, mint can relieve cold or flu symptoms, muscle aches, as well as soothe the pain caused by insect bites.
Most herbal medicines can be used internally or externally. However, some should not be consumed orally, and others are not recommended for children and pregnant women.
We strongly suggest that you obtain a guide to medicinal plants or consult a herbalist before using them for yourself or a loved one.
Here is the Larousse of medicinal plants, a complete guide to identify more than 500 medicinal plants. With its 550 files and 1000 photographs, this guide is a must for those who want to know everything about medicinal plants.
- Identification, preparation and care
- 550 sheets of medicinal plants to discover
- A veritable bible for herbalists
4. Cultivate medicinal plants in the garden
To grow medicinal plants in the garden, you have several options. Since many also make pretty ornamental plants, why not incorporate them into your flowerbeds?
If you have the space, you can also choose to make them their own little corner of the garden. If you have a yard, but not enough space to dig up a medicinal herb garden, many can be grown in containers.
If you choose to grow medicinal plants in the garden, be sure to plant your medicinal herbs in a place that respects their needs.
Indeed, most need at least 6 hours of sunshine, others must grow in rich, well-drained soil, while some, including lavender, prefer poor, rocky soil. If in doubt, seek advice from a horticulturist or get a good gardening guide.
6. Grow medicinal plants indoors
You don’t have access to a garden, but still want to grow your medicinal plants? Although some are more difficult to grow indoors, you can still grow some medicinal plants in the house and even in the apartment.
If your apartment has a room with sun all day, then this will be the perfect place to grow medicinal plants in it. Otherwise, you can get specialized lighting that will replace the sun’s rays.
Depending on the needs of each, you will not only have to water your medicinal plants regularly, but also provide them with food:
Whether you want to keep your medicinal plants dried or in the form of mother tinctures, you must ensure that they will be protected from light, heat and humidity. Choose a closed closet or wardrobe in a cool, dry room.
Dried plants will keep longer in hermetically sealed brown paper bags, mother tinctures and ointments in amber glass containers. Dried medicinal plants do not have a long shelf life. You will notice that over time, they will lose their beautiful green color and become more yellow or brown.