Now I know this photo shows a pity full looking garden. But not all things start off lovely. This is my first garden with a focus on medicinal plants. My knowledge is limited today but will continue to grow and as it grows I’ll share with you.
Yarrow, Bee Balm, Dandelions, Marshmallow, Comfrey, Mullein, Lemon Balm
I know that a lot of these plants grow wild and are considered weeds but I have learned enough to know, I love these plants. I decided to grow even the most common of plants rather than pull them from pastures and streets because I know how they have been grown. These plants have no chemicals sprayed on them. I use only organic growing practices.
Yarrow – the entire plant can be used. Flowers should be fully open but not yellowing or browning. You should never use an herb until you have researched and understand it’s effects on the body.
Marshmallow – Use the leaves and flowers as poultices to soothe skin irritations, bruising, and irritation. Make a tea of the leaves and flowers for bronchitis, and cough. The roots contain more than 30% mucilage that is soothing to mucus membranes and the digestive tract. The leaves in early spring, make a mild tasting, and healthful salad.
Bee Balm – This herb is edible and medicinal. All above ground parts of the plant are edible and used as a pot herb, and also used as a flavoring in cooked foods. The flowers make an attractive edible garnish in salads. An medicinal infusion is used internally in the treatment of colds, catarrh, headaches, and gastric disorders, to reduce low fevers and soothe sore throat, to relieve flatulence, nausea, for menstrual pain, and insomnia.
Dandelions – every part of the dandelion is useful but most harvest the root and make a tincture. This is medicinal and edible. Roots are valued for the high anti-inflammatory properties. The flowers and leaves are great in salads. Some make jellies and add to baked goods.
Comfrey – contains allantoin, which promotes the growth of new cells. Knowing this, comfrey is a go-to herb for skin issues. Useful for skin healing and as a poultice for bruises and sprains and sores. Add comfrey to your salves remembering that it truly is a powerful skin re generator, and caution needs to be used that the wound is already healing before applying a salve that may trap infection under the new skin.
Mullein – is best known as a respiratory tonic. The leaves and flowers activate lymph circulation in the neck and chest and can be useful for mumps, glandular swellings and earaches. Mullein tones and soothes the mucous membranes, reduces inflammation and encourages healthy fluid production in the lungs. By encouraging mucus production, Mullein protects the membranes from absorbing allergens and encourages expectoration. It is anti-spasmodic and antibiotic. Use it for hay fever, emphysema, colds, flu, hoarseness, bronchitis, whooping cough and asthma.
Lemon Balm – The leaves are lovely when minced and added to green salads, fruit salads or your favorite salsa. Because of the lemony scent, the leaves make a great addition to seafood and poultry dishes. The leaves and stems can also be used to make a mellow, relaxing tea.