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Nature Medicine: Medicinal Plants You Should Have At Home

Playful as kids are, accidents happen. And the accidhent that befallen me at 7 years old was the feeling of the hot exhaust pipe of a motorcycle kissing the skin of my leg. Grandma was around and saw it. Immediately, she took out a knife and sliced the thick lower part of the aloe vera plant by the garden and rubbed the exposed end on the burn. Looking back, I realized that it was important to have medicinal plants around the house cause you never know when you might need them. So here are a list of plants that have the highest medicinal value compared to the other million species around the world worth planting around the house.

Aloe Vera

The aloe vera grows only under the sun with well drained dry or moist soil. Although the plant tastes like turd, it’s still edible. Aloe vera sap is extremely useful to speed up the healing and reducing the risk of infections for :

  • Wounds
  • Cuts
  • Burns
  • Eczema
  • Reducing inflammation

Apart from its external use on the skin, aloe vera is also taken internally in the treatment of :

  • Ulcerative colitis (drinking aloe vera juice)
  • Chronic constipation
  • Poor appetite
  • Digestive problems

Marsh Mallow

Marshmallow candies were once made of real mallow roots until candy makers decided to replace them with gelatin. Marsh mallow roots are taken internally to treat :

  • Inflammations and irritations of the urinary and respiratory mucus membranes
  • Counter excess stomach acid
  • Peptic ulceration
  • Gastritis

Externally, it is applied to :

  • Bruises
  • Sprains
  • Aching muscles
  • Insect bites
  • Skin inflammations
  • Splinters

The leaves are very edible, unlike aloe vera. They can be added to salads, boiled, or fried. It is known to help out in the area of cystitis and frequent urination.

Great Burdock

It requires moist soil and can grow shadeless. Medicinal plants like the great burdock is famous in the area of detoxification in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine. Its root is used to treat ‘toxic overload’ that results from throat infections and skin diseases like :

  • Boils
  • Rashes
  • Burns
  • Bruises
  • Herpes
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Impetigo
  • Iingworm
  • Bites

The leaves and seeds can be crushed to poultice it to bruises, burns, ulcers and sores.

Pot Marigold

It grows in almost any type of soil condition. It has no problem with nutritionally poor, very acidic or very alkaline soils, just as long as it’s moist. Well known as a remedy for skin problems, the deep-orange flowered pot marigold variety is applied externally to :

  • Bites
  • Stings
  • Sprains
  • Wounds
  • Sore eyes
  • Varicose veins

Internally, medicinal plants such as pot marigold are used to treat fevers and chronic infections. The tea of the petals tones up circulation and, taken regularly, eases varicose veins. Applying the crushed stems of the pot marigold to corns and warts will soon have them easily removable.

Gotu Kola

The gotu kola acts on various phases of connective tissue development and stimulates healing of :

  • Ulcers
  • Skin injuries
  • Decreasing capillary fragility
  • Stimulation of the lipids and protein necessary for healthy skin

Leaves are thought to maintain youthfulness. Crushed leaves are poulticed to treat open sores. Medicinal plants like the gotu kola can also be used to :

  • Treat leprosy
  • Revitalize the brain and nervous system
  • Increase attention span and concentration
  • Treat venous insufficiency


With a sweet, crisp, fruity and herbaceous fragrance, medicinal plants like chamomile has long been used medicinally as a remedy for problems regarding the digestive system. Chamomile has a soothing and calming effect in the area of aromatherapy, used to end stress and aid in sleep. The entire herb is used to treat common aches like toothache, earache, shoulder pain and neuralgia.

Globe Artichoke

A bitter tasting medicinal plant that requires a lot of sun, the cardoon has become important as a medicinal herb in recent years following the discovery of cynarin, the biologically active chemical constituent of artichoke. The cardoon leaves, best harvested before flowering, helps to :

  • Improve liver and gallbladder function
  • Stimulate the secretion of digestive juices
  • Lower blood cholesterol levels
  • Treat chronic liver and gallbladder diseases
  • Jaundice
  • Hepatitis
  • Arteriosclerosis
  • Early stages of late-onset diabetes

Chinese Yam

The roots of this medicinal plant contain diosgenin, a phytoestrogen, or plant-based estrogen, that can be chemically converted into a hormone called progesterone. Traditionally, Chinese yam is used to treat disorders of the stomach, spleen, lungs, and kidneys such as:

  • Tiredness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Poor digestion
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Asthma
  • Dry coughs
  • Uncontrollable urination
  • Diabetes
  • Emotional instability

Externally, it is applied to :

  • Ulcers
  • Boils
  • Abscesses

The leaf, on the other hand, is used to treat snakebites and scorpion stings.


As one of the world’s most important medicinal plants, the echinacea has the capacity to raise the body’s resistance to bacterial and viral infections by stimulating the immune system. It also has antibiotic properties that helps relieve allergies. Basically, the roots are beneficial in the treatment of sores, wounds and burns. It was once used by the Native Americans as an application for insect bites, stings and snakebites. Echinacea will grow on any well drained soil, as long as it gets sunlight.

Siberian Ginseng

The siberian ginseng has a wide range of health benefits, mostly as a powerful tonic herb that maintains good health. This medicinal plant’s properties are used for :

  • Menopausal problems
  • Geriatric debility
  • Physical and mental stress
  • Treat bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy or radiation
  • Angina
  • Hypercholesterolemia and neurasthenia with headache
  • Insomnia
  • Poor appetite
  • Increasing endurance
  • Memory improvement
  • Anti-inflammatory purposes
  • Immunogenic purposes
  • Chemoprotective purposes
  • Radiological protection

Great Yellow

Great yellow gentian root is a bitter medicinal plant used to treat digestive disorders and states of exhaustion from chronic diseases. It stimulates the liver, gal bladder and digestive system, strengthening the overall human body. Internally, it is taken to treat :

  • Liver complaints
  • Indigestion
  • Gastric infections
  • Aneroxia

Sea Buckthorn

Medicinal plants like sea-buckthorn has been used throughout the centuries in China to relieve cough, aid digestion, invigorate blood circulation and alleviate pain. The branches and leaves are used in Mongolia to treat gastrointestinal distress in humans and animals.

The bark and leaves are used for treating diarrhea, gastrointestinal, dermatological disorders and topical compressions for rheumatoid arthritis. Even the flowers are used as skin softeners.

The berries on the other hand are used together with other medications for pulmonary, gastrointestinal, cardiac, blood and metabolic disorders. Fresh sea buckthorn berry juice is known to be taken in the event of :

  • Colds
  • Fever
  • Exhaustion
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Cancer
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Liver diseases
  • Inflammation
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Gastritis
  • Eczema
  • Canker sores
  • General ulcerative disorders
  • Karatitis
  • Trachoma

Tea Tree

Even the aborigines have been using the tea tree leaves for medicinal purposes, like chewing on young leaves to relieve headaches. The paperbark itself is extremely useful to them as it serves to line coolamons when used as cradles, as a bandage, as a sleeping mat, as material for building humpies, as an aluminum foil, as a disposable rain coat and for tamping holes in canoes.

The leaves and twigs, eventually made into tea tree oil, is anti fungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and deserves a place in every household’s medicine box. As a medicinal plant, tea tree oil is used to treat :

  • Cystitis
  • Glandular fever
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Thrush
  • Vaginal infections
  • Acne
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Verrucae
  • Warts
  • Insect bites
  • Cold sores
  • Nits
  • Minor burns

Lemon Balm

The reason this medicinal plant is called lemon balm is because of the lemon minty scent of the leaves. The flowers, which appear during the summer, are full of nectar. The crushed leaves, when rubbed on the skin, are used as :

  • Mosquito repellent
  • Herpes
  • Sores
  • Gout
  • Insect bites

Infusion of the leaves with water are known to treat :

  • Colds
  • Fevers
  • Indigestion due to nervous tension
  • Digestive upsets in children
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Depression
  • Mild insomnia
  • Headaches


Peppermint is sometimes regarded as ‘the world’s oldest medicine’, with archaeological evidence placing its use as a medicinal plant at least as far back as ten thousand years ago. Peppermint are naturally high in manganese, vitamin A and vitamin C. Crushed leaves rubbed on the skin help soothe and relax the muscles. Infused peppermint leaves are used to :

  • Reduce irritable bowel syndrome
  • Against upset stomachs
  • Inhibit bacterial growth
  • Treat fevers
  • Flatulence
  • Spastic colon

Evening Primrose

The young roots can be eaten like a vegetable, or the shoots can be eaten as a salad. Poulticed roots of the evening primrose is applied to piles and bruises. Tea made from the roots have also been used in the treatment of obesity and bowel pains. However, the more valuable parts are the leaves and bark, which are made into evening primrose oil, are known to treat :

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Premenstrual tension
  • Hyperactivity
  • Eczema
  • Acne
  • Brittle nails
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Alcohol-related liver damage (alcoholics, this is for you)


One of the most highly regarded medicinal plants in the orient, the ginseng is reputable in its ability to promote health, general body vigor and prolong life. The roots are used to :

  • Stimulate and relax the nervous system
  • Encourage secretion of hormones
  • Improve stamina
  • Lower blood sugar levels
  • Lower cholesterol levels
  • Increase resistance to disease
  • Treat debility associated with old age
  • Treat lack of appetite
  • Treat insomnia
  • Increase libido, potency, or sexual pleasure

Turkey Rhubarb

Known mainly for its positive and balancing effect upon the digestive system as a whole. Even children may use the turkey rhubarb as it is gentle enough. The roots act as an astringent tonic to the digestive system while larger doses are used as laxatives. Other than that, it is also known to treat :

  • Chronic constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Liver and gallbladder complaints
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Menstrual problems
  • Skin eruptions due to accumulation of toxin


Salvia, the Latin name for sage, means ‘to heal’. Internally, the sage is used for :

  • Indigestion
  • Flatulence
  • Liver complaints
  • Excessive lactation
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Excessive salivation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Female sterility
  • Menopausal problems

On the other hand, it is used externally for :

  • Insect bites
  • Skin infections
  • Throat infections
  • Mouth infections
  • Gum infections
  • Skin infections
  • Vaginal discharge

Chinese Magnolia Vine

Low doses of the fruit, aka magnolia berries, are said to stimulate the central nervous system whilst large doses depress it, while regulating the cardiovascular system. The seed is used in the treatment of cancer. Externally, it is used to treat irritating and allergic skin conditions while taken internally to treat :

  • Dry coughs
  • Asthma
  • Night sweats
  • Urinary disorders
  • Involuntary ejaculation
  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Palpitations
  • Insomnia
  • Poor memory
  • Hyperacidity
  • Hepatitis
  • Diabetes

Milk Thistle

It protects and improves the function of the liver (take note, alcoholics). Taken internally, milk thistle helps to treat :

  • Liver and gallbladder diseases
  • Jaundice
  • Hepatitis (liver inflammation)
  • Poisoning
  • High cholesterol levels
  • Insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes who also have cirrhosis
  • The growth of cancer cells in breast, cervical, and prostate cancers
  • The effects of a hangover


Comfrey contains allantoin, a cell proliferant that speeds up the natural replacement of body cells. It is reputed to have teeth and bone building properties in children. Safer to use externally than internally, comfrey s used to treat a wide variety of ailments ranging from :

  • Bronchial problems
  • Broken bones
  • Sprains
  • Arthritis
  • Gastric and varicose ulcers
  • Severe burns
  • Acne
  • Cuts
  • Bruises
  • Sprains
  • Sores
  • Eczema
  • Varicose veins


A tea made from the whole plant is used in the treatment of arthritis, colds, fevers, etc. It is said to be sedative and to regulate menses. An infusion is used to bathe swollen feet. Applied externally as a tincture, this medicinal plant is used in the treatment of bruises. Chewing 1-4 leaves a day has proven to be effective in the treatment of some migraine headaches.


Fenugreek seeds are nourishing and taken to :

  • Encourage weight gain (for people with anorexia)
  • Inhibit cancer of the liver
  • Lower blood cholesterol levels
  • Treat inflammation and ulcers of the stomach and intestines
  • Drain off sweat ducts
  • For body building
  • For late onset diabetes
  • Poor digestion
  • Insufficient lactation
  • Painful menstruation
  • Labor pains
  • Freshen bad breath
  • Restore a dull sense of taste

Slippery Elm

The inner bark of the slippery elm can be ground into nutrient-rich porridge-like soup that serves as an excellent remedy for sore throats. Other than that, it can be used to soothe the digestive tract. The bark of the slippery elm was used as an abortion tool, moistened with water and inserted into the cervix, before it was banned by certain countries like the UK.

Stinging Nettle

Long known as a nutritious addition to the diet and as a herbal remedy, the stinging nettle leaves have been traditionally used to :

  • Cleanse the blood
  • Treat hay fever
  • Arthritis and anemia
  • Excessive menstruation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Rheumatism
  • Skin problems like eczema
  • Nettle rash
  • Chicken pox
  • Bruises
  • Burns

Agnus Castus

Beneficial to the female hormonal system, agnus castus seeds and fruits are used to rectify hormonal imbalances caused by an excess of estrogen and an insufficiency of progesterone. It acts upon the pituitary gland, reducing the production of certain hormones and increasing the production of others, shifting the balance in favor of the gestagens, hormones that ‘secure’ pregnancy. Thus as a medicinal plant, it has a wide application of uses in malfunctions of the feminine reproductive system and has been used with great effect in :

  • Restoring absent menstruation
  • Regulating heavy periods
  • Restoring fertility caused by hormonal imbalance
  • Relieving premenstrual tension
  • Easing the transition of menopause
  • You may be surprised but organic apple cider vinegar is also a potent “medicinal” must have. It relieves sore throats, cures upset stomach, dissolve warts, etc.

If you have any suggestions or questions, you are welcome to leave them below in the comments.

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