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A recent interest I have found is using plants for home remedies. The first book I purchased that has been very helpful and remains my favorite is “Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide” by Rosemary Gladstar.
It lays out how to know the plants, grow them, and use 33 plants. What I discovered is many of the “weeds” were beneficial! All I needed was to be able to identify them and know where they were naturally growing. If I knew that area was not going to be sprayed, I could just harvest them there! Win!! I didn’t have to take care of it! The best part is most of these are easy to grow and maintain once they are established. I like to get any seeds I can from Seed Savers
if I cannot find them there, the next place is Amazon. I try to get heirloom varieties, as they seem to start from seed and grow the best. They also are great for saving seeds for next year.
This is still a growing area of my yard. I started collecting the information and trying plants when I was pregnant with my second, not thinking about the fact that having a baby in June greatly limits my ability to take care of the new plants. So I am still working on starting that flower bed….
Here’s what I have so far:
Aloe Vera – gel from the leaves soothes burns, wounds, and skin irritations. This one lives in my house and able to survive toddlers!
Calendula – has so many uses! My favorite is for wounds. It has amazing ability to stimulate cell repair and keep infections at bay. It is also a great for yeast overgrowth, it’s astringent and antiseptic which is great for gastrointestinal problems, and great at nourishing and cleansing the lymphatic system. I love this one! Super easy to grow and re-seeds easily. I keep this on in an old tank by the house.
Dandelion – the leaf is a mild diuretic and can be used for bladder or kidney problems and is high in potassium. The root is a liver tonic and stimulates the production of bile. It does taste very bitter though. The flower can also be eaten. You can find dandelions everywhere but make sure, wherever you harvest them from, they have not been sprayed!
Lavender – The flower is the mainly used, but the leaf can be as well. It helps to alleviate migraines and headaches, reduce tension, stress and insomnia. This is one I got going good last year from seed and then it was killed on accident…
Lemon Balm – calms nervous and digestive systems. You can add it to chamomile for nervous exhaustion. It is also great as a spice to flavor food! Also, easy to grow and will spread.
– best known for its digestive aid and relieving nausea and gas. It spread to wherever it is allowed, so keep it contained.
Plantain – I didn’t know about this one, but it is everywhere! I don’t plant it because it comes up wherever there is blank dirt. It draws toxicity from the body and has properties that help check bleeding! I mix this one with calendula into a salve and use it on all cuts or rashes.
Spearmint – milder than peppermint, but just as easy to grow. It is great alternative to peppermint for children and tends to have amphoteric properties (it moves the direction the body needs, stimulating and relaxing).
Yarrow – antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties. It is well known for healing wounds, bruises, and sprains. Make sure you find the wild version not a colorful hybrid. I found this one in my horse pasture!
Here’s the list of what I have coming:
– aids in immune function, has antifungal and antibacterial properties
Elder – Rich in vitamin C! Great immune enhancer
– Great from soothing inflamed and irritated tissues of the respiratory, digestive, and skin systems.
Mullein – the leaf is antispasmodic and an expectorant (get rid of mucus).
St. John’s Wort
– strong antidepressant, antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Made into an oil, it is one of the best herbs for trauma to the skin, relieving pain and promoting tissue repair.
used for stress, tension, insomnia and nervous system disorders.
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