There is a peacefulness found in self-reliance that only those who practice it know. There is just something awesome about the comfort in knowing that you’re not fully dependant on others to meet your basic needs. One area that you can shore up your independence is in holistic medicine via medicinal plants. You may be surprised to know there are numerous medicinal plants out there that can be used to treat a huge variety of ailments.
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In this article, I’m going to address some great ones to consider that will hit a wide variety and may expand on the topic in the future with more narrowly focused lists of medicinal plants. You can literally write books on this topic, and many have. But for our purpose, I’m going to keep this to a basic wide-ranging simple list for you to start with as you get moving on growing your first leafy pharmacy.
A quick note on the list below. Many of the plants I’ll cover have medicinal uses beyond what I’ll mention. My intent here is not to be an extensive look into each plant, but rather highlight some of the more popular plants and their respective most prominent medical uses.
Dandelions as a Medicinal Plant
You probably won’t have to look too hard to find these common lawn weeds. In fact, many consider them a nuisance as they like to grow abundantly and take over areas of your yard. They are however an amazing plant. Chinese and Native American cultures have utilized the Dandelion root for liver and stomach ailments for ages. It’s also used for a number of other things in modern herbalism such as varying skin conditions and more.
Aloe Vera as a Medicinal Plant
This is a great plant to keep, and one that my wife has an exceptional knack for growing. As you may very well know from a quick trip down the sunburn aisle of your local grocery store aloe vera is great for treating burns. Likewise, it’s good for cuts, and light (superficial) infections. Consuming it in juice form for digestion aid is another common and growing use for this great medicinal plant.
FeverFew as a Medicinal Plant
Feverfew has a ton of relatively common uses and as you may have guessed one of the early uses for it was for the treatment of fevers. Nowadays though the most common and prevalent use of the medicinal plant is for the treatment of migraines.
Lavender as a Medicinal Plant
Lavender is not only a pleasantly fragrant and attractive flower but also an excellent choice for your medicinal plants garden. It has a variety of uses and is commonly used as a tea, aromatherapy, and essential oil. It’s most notably known for its anti-anxiety properties, which serve a multitude of potential mental treatments as well as blood pressure.
Garlic as a Medicinal Plant
I love multi-purpose plants and most on the list are, but Garlic is one of my favorites; likely because I just love the taste. Regardless of flavor, it does fall under medicinal plants as well. The claims for the benefits of Garlic are vast, but in general, it is considered beneficial for blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart issues.
Valerian as a Medicinal Plant
Feverfew is possibly a little less familiar name on the medicinal plants’ list, though you may have very well had a taste of it at one time or another. As it is used as a flavoring for a number of foods, and most notably for Root Beer. It makes the list as a sleep aid and is said to be an exceptional one at that. To make it even more appealing it is a hardy and easy to grow choice on the list here.
Moving Forward With Your Backyard Pharmacy
This shortlist is just the tip of the iceberg, a primer, and few initial suggestions if you will to get you going. Take a little time and continue to research the right plants that fit your general family needs and plant and harvest accordingly. I recommend that you study each plant in-depth that you intend to include in your medicinal garden. Learn all the potential uses and benefits of it. Study the various preparations required for its application, and of course, always run it by your doctor before you commit to any medical use. That last part is legal talk as I’m not a doctor nor am I offering you medical advice, but outside of the CYA legal jargon I do consider it a good habit to discuss these things with my doctor. At the end of the day I make my own decisions, but I like to hear the experts take on it.
From a self-reliance and prepper perspective, I recommend getting the garden started rather you intend to utilize it or not. The bottom line is that if for some reason traditional medicine becomes unavailable (even if it’s your first choice) it is good to have a fallback option to try. So get out there, plant some herbs, plants, and flowers and get a headstart with your self-reliant plan.
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Modern Warrior Project Co-Founder
As a 20-year Army Special Operations veteran with numerous deployments and extensive S.E.R.E. and Personnel Recovery expertise, he is a respected leader and trainer with extensive experience in planning and executing high risk, low visibility evolutions in volatile and austere areas across the globe. He is married to Jennifer Blevins of Beaumont, Texas and is the father of five.
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