Planning A Medicinal Herb Garden

I just received my first order of seeds for the medicinal herb garden I am planning to plant this year. It took me a long time and a lot of researching to finally make up my mind as to what herbs I should order. I wasn’t able to get all of the plants I’d like to have, but I got enough to start with.

I am still very new to the world of medicinal herbs. I haven’t had an opportunity to try many herbs, and have much to learn still. I’ve never made my own tincture or salve. But I’m determined to learn. And this is where I start.

medicinal herb bed

Some of these herbs grow naturally in the wild, so find out if you might have them growing on your property or nearby before buying seeds. I ordered mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Here is what I ordered:

Basil– Good insect repellent, good for after childbirth, itching skin, coughs, head colds, asthma or bronchitis, and mental fatigue; also good for cooking with.

Burdock– Good for skin disorders like eczema; athlete’s foot, ringworm, indigestion, bruises, acne, and feverish colds with sore throat and cough.

Calendula/Pot Marigold- Not only are they pretty in the garden, they are also useful for menopausal problems, period pain, gastitis, inflammation of the esophagus, sluggish digestion, menstrual problems, mouth ulcers and gum disease, varicose ulcers, breastfeeding, scalds and sunburn, hemorrhoids, and broken capillaries, vaginal yeast infections, nervous anxiety or depression.- Also good for rashes, diaper irritations, facial creams and other natural cosmetics, and dry skin.

German Chamomile– Good for insect bites, eczema, IBS, getting restless baby to sleep, asthma, and mucus.

Chickweed– Good for UTI’s, painful joints, shingles, drawing insect stings or splinters, and burns.

Comfrey– Good to apply to minor fractions, such as broken toes, ribs, or hairline cracks in larger bones; osteoarthritis, bruises, sprains.

Echinacea Purpurea– (Purple Coneflower) Good for influenza, chills, UTI’s, food poisoning or snakebites, infected wounds, sore throats, skin conditions, kidney infections.

Lavender– Good for tension headaches, during labor; babies for colic, irritability and excitement; depression, halitosis, eczema, sunburn or scalds, asthmatic  and bronchitic spasm, lice, migraine, insect bites and stings.

Marshmallow– Good for use as a cough expectorant, digestive or urinary disorders.

Meadowsweet– Good for feverish colds, children’s stomach upsets, excess stomach acidity, arthritis, painful joints, pink eye (conjunctivitis) and other eye complaints; works like aspirin.

Plantain– Good for diarrhea, lung infections, heavy mucus, bee stings and slow-healing wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, sores, sore throats, and mouth or gum inflammations, coughs, and constipation.

Yarrow– Good for upper respiratory phlegm, eczema, hay fever and mild asthma, inflamed joints, chesty colds and flu, nosebleeds, cuts, reduce fevers, menstrual problems and varicose veins.

Here are a few other things I’d like to add eventually:

Agrimony– Good for kids diarrhea, bleeding, wounds, pink eye, eczema.

Eyebright– Good for pink eye, mucus, colds

Lady’s Mantle– Good for regulating menstrual cycles, female problems

Ginger-Good for chills and phlegmy colds, flatulence, indigestion and nausea, morning sickness in pregnancy, travel sickness, menstrual cramps, stomach upsets, prevents vomiting, antiseptic.

Garlic– Good for acne, intestinal parasites, digestive disorders and infections, thrush, cardiovascular problems, reducing excessive blood cholesterol levels; antibiotic, anticoagulant, lowers blood sugar levels, anti-histaminic.

Aloe– Good for burns, dry skin, wounds, fungal infections, sunburn and insect bites; stops bleeding, sedative, expels worms, constipation, used on children’s nails to stop nail biting.

Green Tea– Rich in fluoride, helps guard against tooth decay; good on insect bites to reduce itching and inflammation, first aid for bleeding from cuts and grazes.

Cayenne– Good for colds; antiseptic, antibacterial.

Cinnamon– Good for chronic diarrhea or weak kidney problems, coughs and respiratory irritation.

Myrrh– Makes a good chest rub for colds.

Goldenseal– Useful for measles and eczema.

Mint– Good for nausea, indigestion, flatulence, colic, feverish conditions, and migraines; cools inflamed joints, nasal congestion, skin irritations, scabies and ringworm, repels mosquitoes, menstrual pain or to relieve milk congestion when breastfeeding.

Ginseng– Good to fight fatigue and promotes health during the winter months.

Rosemary– Good for fatigue and headaches.

Sage– Can reduce lactation when weaning, relieves night sweats during menopause, reduces salivation in Parkinson’s disease, sore throats, tonsillitis, mouth ulcers or gum disease, dandruff, restore color to graying hair, menstrual pain, coronary heart disease, digestive stimulant.

Also check out: Guidelines to Growing Medicinal Herbs from Seed (tons of great info here!)

As you can see, some of these herbs are great to cook with as well! This is just a list of some of the herbs I’d like to grow for medicinal purposes. There are many other useful plants that I have not listed.

Do you have a favorite medicinal herb in your garden? I’d love to know what you grow and how you use it!

22 thoughts on “Planning A Medicinal Herb Garden”

  1. I know I keep saying the same thing. I love the article and would like to pin it, would you put a picture on here to allow me to pin it to pinterest. Thanks so much. 🙂

  2. Hi Kendra, I just stumbled upon your blog and really appreciate your honest evaluation about the various homemade products and remedies you’ve tried. If you have any success growing ginger, I’d love to hear about it. I wanted to share with you a tea that a friend who lived in Asia shared with me. I never see ginger listed as being good for a soar throat, but it is fantastic for alleviating soar throat pain. Grate a couple inches of fresh ginger into water and add some cinnamon and boil. Add sugar to a pleasant sweetness (the sugar helps coat your throat). I haven’t tried honey, but it might be worth a try. The ginger is spicy and numbs the pain. I hope this helps the next time you’re fighting a soar throat.

  3. Your medicinal herb garden is beautiful. I like your advice about looking to see if the herb grows naturally (wildly or already in the garden) before buying seeds. It makes sense, but I know I would not have thought of it had you not mentioned it in the first place. Thank you for the research and sharing your information.

  4. Pot marigold and calendula are the same thing. The petals made into an infused oil and then beeswax added to it is a big help to diaper rash.

  5. Great post! I’m trying to get into more natural remedies for my family. This is a great list. It may be a little late for planting an herb garden this year, definitely will be planting one next spring!

  6. Have you heard of white horehound?I have a white horehound plant. I read that it clears mucus in lungs like the dickens! You can make your own hard candies to suck on when you have a sore throat and congestion. I also have read that it should not be taken during pregnancy. I found out that there were a lot of herbs that one shouldn’t take during pregnancy. I suggest herb books by Jekka McIvair (I think that is what her last name is). She is very knowledgeable in the world of herbs and I like how her books are set up!

  7. Loved reading your medicinal garden information. Your enthusiasm is contagious! I also am “meddling” in such a garden(Colonial herbs) where we live. Wanted to share that Woolly Mullein is a decongestant herb (a weed to most people) which grows on roadsides and in the wild here in North Carolina. We grow it freely in our yard for tea for winter colds (if someone happens to get one…knock on wood!). It also has a lovely tall stalk of tiny yellow flowers in summer). I dry the velvety green leaves in the summer and store them for winter use in hot tea for colds, etc. I also put yarrow, oregano, sage, rosemary, peppermint, spearmint and horsetail in the teapot with it. I do NOT put in lemon balm anymore, however, because my husband has an underactive thyroid and they say not to drink lemon balm tea if your thyroid is underactive. Interesting! Remember that oregano is a fabulous herb for winter health!

  8. Buy a bit of garlic from a flea market, or Asian market and just pop a whole one into the ground and it will grow. I did it and now it’s almost over-taken our back yard. 🙂

  9. Just found your blog & will be following! Looks like you have a lot of great information here, and I can’t wait to read through it all. I am really into self sufficiency & am just getting into natural remedies at home for my family. We are not ones to run to the dr and get on meds. In fact I just tried a natural cough remedy the other night on my daughter. Can’t wait to get to know you better.

  10. i can’t wait to learn more about all of this stuff!
    one thing i just thought of is making sure it won’t hurt any of your kids or pets if they eat any of it while it’s growing…probably not, but it might be good to know!

  11. Horehound is another good one to grow, it’s in the mint family so it grows like a weed, it also comes back year after year. I am fortunate to have an abundance of it growing in my area. It is well known and used for coughs. Last year, I got a terrible cough, it kept me awake at night, I coughed so much it hurt, I tried commercial cough remedies and it would only stop my coughing for about 10-15 minutes, not long enough to fall asleep. I made a strong tea using the leaves and stems, I added the same amount of honey, I also added a good amount of EverClear. I would take this by the tablespoon full, it would allow me to be cough free for around 20-30 minutes, enough time to fall asleep. Of course you can leave out the alcohol, I believe it helped me to fall asleep faster, it also made me sweat, which helped drive out whatever was making me sick. Now I always keep a small jar of this concoction around, just in case…

  12. Thank you for posting this! I have been reading up a bit on herbal remedies, as well. I’m still in the research part…just getting my feet wet. Plus, I don’t have a lot of room to plant these things. But our goal is to have an acre or two…and when we do, I will plant much of what you’ve listed on our property so that I have it all at the ready. Isn’t it amazing how much we truly can do for ourselves? The world’s got us so conditioned to go to a doctor every time we sniffle..and it’s just not necessary. Can’t wait to read more about your herbal journey! Thank you for sharing…

  13. A good deal of the seeds you bought might grow wild! Here in TN, plantain, chickweed, burdock, comfrey, and yarrow grow wild. You have me SO dying for Clay to get paid so we can place an herb seed order. Your list is bigger than mine… I need to add more 🙂

    • Kim-

      You’re right, some of these do grow wild here. I know for sure that plantain, chickweed and burdock grow here. A great tip for those looking to save some extra $$! I don’t have any of these in my yard, and figured I’d rather spend a couple of dollars than spend hours hunting 🙂 Thanks for the advice though!

  14. Very interesting post. I have been wanting to learn about how to use herbs as medicine. Could you share where you learned your information so we can know how to use/prepare them?


  15. Celery seed (not only for next year’s planting, but for gout), and arnica (you can apparently chew on the leaves for pain relief).

  16. The only other herb that comes to mind, and I’m not sure if it would be something useful to grow is arnica. It’s great for treating bruises and inflammation.

  17. I think herbal remedies are so interesting, although I’m also just getting started. I’m looking forward to hearing what everyone else has to say! The most dramatic experience we’ve had with natural healing happened when my husband got a bad second degree burn all over his palm from holding on to a hot pan handle that had just come out of the oven. We tried the usual ice water, but that just made it worse, so I did some digging and combined a few of the most common burn remedies.

    I had him put his hand in a dish of cool milk that I’d added some lavender EO to, and leave it there until it had reached room temp. The gradual change in temperature kept him comfortable, so when he finally took his hand out of the dish, it wasn’t hurting as badly. Then I had him slather his hand with raw honey and put a sock over it before he went to bed. I was sure he was going to end up with scarring and possibly some loss of flexibility in his hand, but when we woke up in the morning, his hand was only a little sore and the skin looked pink and fresh, when the night before it had been red and bubbled. He was really amazed and I so was I. Sorry to post such a long comment, but I wanted to give all the details in case this will help someone else. It really gives me peace of my to know that I can treat some injuries successfully at home! Keep us posted on your own experiments, Kendra! 🙂

  18. Herbs are usually easy to grow. One caution though is to find out whether to harvest each before they flower or not. Makes a big difference in the quality of herbs for cooking…not sure if that would make a difference in the quality for medicinal purposes.


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