Five Medicinal Herbs For Your Garden

A variety of herbs in dry and liquid format. These are used in herbal remedies

Here are five potent and highly effective medicinal herbs for you to have in your herb garden or medicine cabinet. When times call for a home remedy, you will be ready to dispense these herbs in a timely fashion.


There are nine different species of echinacea. The most commonly used is referred to as echinacea purpurea.

People take echinacea every day to prevent colds, flu, and any other types of infections, as it is known for strengthening the immune system. Those who use echinacea for the common cold swear by it and it is recommended that for the most effectiveness you should begin taking echinacea when you notice the very first symptoms of a cold and then stay on it for three weeks and stop taking it for one week.

Some people also use echinacea for the treatment of acne and boils. The entire echinacea plant including the roots are dried and made into teas, juices, and tonics.

Pink echinacea flowers blooming in a garden

The Native Americans used to use echinacea for things including the treatment of poisonous snake bites and insect bites.

Back in the 1800s, echinacea played a large part in United States medicine. It was used then  as an antibiotic and continued on until better antibiotics were made available.

There are various parts of the echinacea plant that are used to make medicine, but often it is the roots that are of the most value.

Echinacea can be administered in many different ways such as in a tablets, capsules, juice, tea, extracts and tinctures. Some are made from the flower in full bloom and others are made from the root itself. Echinacea is also available in a topical solution or cream that is used for creams, lotions, mouthwashes, ointments, skin washes, and toothpastes.

Echinacea is an extremely beneficial herb for helping the body rid itself of microbial infections. When combined with other herbs such as yarrow and bearberry, it is said to work great combating cystitis.

There are some who would be at risk if they took echinacea, such as people with multiple sclerosis, white blood cell disorders, collagen disorders, HIV/AIDS, auto-immune disorders, or tuberculosis. Caution also should be taken if you have any plant allergies; take other medications, or herbal remedies. Children should not take echinacea, nor should pregnant women or nursing mothers.

People who are on steroid medicine including betamethasone, cortisone, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, triamcinolone, cyclosporine, tacrolimus, azathioprine, or other immune system suppressants should avoid the use of echinacea.


Burdock is a plant related to the daisy family. It is also closely related to echinacea, dandelion, and feverfew. Greeks used the roots, the seeds, and the greens for healing purposes. In the Middle Ages burdock was used for both food and medicine.

Burdock flower on a white background

Today, burdock is used for things like easing liver and digestive disorders. It is also effective for cleansing the skin for problems such as acne.

Research is being done on burdock and interesting discoveries are cropping up. It has been shown that since many of the cancer-causing compounds are in almost all foods which are then eaten and stored in the human fat tissues, that burdock might very well be of help in fighting cancer because of the role that it can play in depleting these mutagens.

Burdock is also very helpful in strengthening the immune system when it has become weakened by environmental factors. When mixed with dandelion and ginger, it can be a powerful blood purifier.

It has a high amount of inulin, which is a natural occurring chemical within the body that mimics actions of insulin. Because of this, burdock has been successful in helping combat hypoglycemia and pre-diabetes conditions.

If you look for burdock in the supermarket you may find it called gobo instead. It is often combined with other vegetables or added to tofu. Some boil burdock while others sauté or deep fry it.

Burdock is well-recognized as a health food because it has low calorie content and a high fiber intake. It is also loaded with potassium, iron, and calcium.

The best description when it comes to the flavor of burdock is that it is sweet yet earthy, with a tender and crisp texture. It is often added to stews, soups, and stir fries. In the form of food, burdock is highly nutritional and full of vitamins but in retrospect burdock is also an effective herb for bringing the body back into balance.


Goldenseal is a perennial herb that is part of the buttercup family. Goldenseal is one of the most widely sold herbs on the market today.

Goldenseal plant with white blooming flowers in the wild

It is used frequently for medicinal purposes in a variety of ways both topically as well as internally. Goldenseal can be purchased in a bulk powder, a salve, a tincture, or in tablet form. Internally it is a great digestion aid and if gargled with it has been known to remove canker sores.

It is used as an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, bitter tonic, laxative, and as a muscular stimulant. Herbalists also recommend it for to easing gastritis, colitis, duodenal ulcers, loss of appetite, and liver disease. Goldenseal is very bitter so it stimulates bile secretions, stimulates the appetite, and aids in digestion.

Goldenseal has been around since the mid-19th century. It is now threatened because goldenseal is one of the most over-harvested herbs. It keeps getting harvested and harvested but never replaced. Goldenseal, also know as yellow root, is often combined with echinacea and prepared for easing the symptoms of colds.

It is the underground root of goldenseal that is harvested and dried to make teas and both liquid and solid extracts that are then turned into bulk powder, capsules or tablets.


Chamomile is an herb used for thousands of years for many ailments including gas, diarrhea, stomach upset, sleeplessness, and anxiety. It can also be used topically for certain skin lesions.

The chamomile plant has flowering tops. These are what are used for making tea and other herbal remedies that include chamomile. When chamomile tops are stewed and then drained, the liquid is a deep yellow color. It has a very unique taste.

Chamomile flowers in a field

It was also given to women for menstrual cramps in the days before Midol and Pamprin. Chamomile also has some calming properties to it so it can be beneficial to sip on during the day if you are feeling anxious, or if the muscles in your body are tense from anxiety and stress.

Chamomile produces an oil that when isolated turns a unique bluish color. This oil has very distinct anti-inflammatory properties. It works well on skin infections, eczema, and inflamed skin. This is chamomile in its topical form rather than the flowers or the tea from the flowers.

Chamomile was also used in combination with other herbs for purposes such as if one felt nauseous. A combination of chamomile, shredded licorice root, fennel seeds, and peppermint would cure that quickly. Chamomile is part of the ragweed family. You should not ingest it if you have an allergy to ragweed.

People love to sip a hot cup of chamomile tea with no ailments at all, just because they enjoy it. Pregnant and nursing mothers are advised to stay away from all herbs but chamomile is the exception to this rule. It is completely safe for anyone to drink.

Chamomile has been known to be an excellent hair conditioner and to sooth scalps.


Dandelion leaves are at their best just as they emerge from the ground and they are very distinct as nothing really resembles this at all. Depending on when you harvest the dandelion leaves will determine the bitterness of them.

The leaves are considered an herb, and go well in salads. They can either be sautéed or steamed. Many claim the taste is similar to that of endive. It is acceptable to eat the dandelion flower as well. The flowers make outstanding fritters if they are battered up and fried. They also make a colorful contribution to a stir fry.

Yellow dandelion flowers growing in a field

Dandelion leaves are actually extremely nutritious, much more so than any other herb. They are higher in beta-carotene than carrots and have more iron and calcium than spinach does.

Dandelion leaves are also full of Vitamins B-1, B-2, B-5, B-6, B-12, C, E, P, D, biotin, inositol, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc. Dandelion root is one of the most widely-used, safest, and popular herbal remedies on the market.

Dandelion can be made into a tonic that is known for strengthening the entire body, especially the liver and gallbladder because it promotes the flow of bile. Dandelion root contains taraxacin so it reduces the inflammation to the bile ducts and reduces gallstones. It is commonly used for hepatitis, liver swelling, and jaundice. It also helps with indigestion.

When used in the tea form made by the leaves or the root, it acts as a diuretic on the kidneys. Over-the-counter diuretics tend to suck the potassium out of the body, but not the dandelion leaves. Dandelion root tea has helped some avoid surgery for urinary stones.

When you take a dandelion plant and break the stem you will find a milky white substance inside. This substance is great for removing warts, pimples, moles, calluses, soothing of bee stings, and blisters. Some other things that dandelion has been popular for is making dandelion jam, while others use it for a coffee substitute when the dandelion root is roasted and ground. Many also drink dandelion wine.

Try rounding up these five medicinal herbs in your garden or at the grocery store so you always have a natural solution for your ailments.

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