Growing medicinal plants in your own backyard is easy and accessible. It is a great way to be more self- sufficient and to take control of your health options.
Today, I am going to take you around my garden and show you how easy it is to grow your own medicine in your backyard and how that can benefit you.
Let us get started: What are medicinal plants? How do you use them and why would you want to grow them? Medicinal plants can be a lot of things.
You would be surprised by what is classified as medicinal. This is because a plant’s medicine can be in it’s seeds, it can be in flowers, the leaves the roots, the bark or even the fruit. It can be used for both acute and chronic conditions. For example, this rosemary right here can be used in a tea in order to treat a headache right now, or you can also use other things to treat migraines over the long term. Plant medicine is holistic.
That means that it treats the whole self It does this by supporting major organ function. It restores hormonal imbalances, it counteracts stress and it takes mental health into consideration for a whole package treatment, But you can also use it just to help somebody feel better if they have a cold or maybe if they got bitten by an insect Plant medicine is really great for everyone all the way from children up until the elderly. Another great thing about growing medicinal plants is that you do not really need a lot of space When I first moved here three years ago, this bed right here was the only one I had, and it was all that I needed to provide for my family’s needs. I had some things in the sunny area and some things in the shady area and over the course of a few seasons, I was able to get a well-stocked apothecary in my home. You can do the same thing.
The great thing about herbs is that once you prepare them properly and store them properly, they can last several months up to several years, depending on what preparation you use. Therefore, you can go collecting little by little. If you have a small space, Medicinal plants are great to grow because they are already survivors and they often grow like weeds. In fact, even if you are not growing anything in your garden, yet you might already be growing medicine. If you yard is full of weeds In one of Rob’s recent videos, he talks about 11, edible plants that you can find growing wild around your garden or yard.
A lot of the edibles that he mentioned in that video are also wild medicinal plants. It is all about looking at your land as Rob says and looking at it from a different perspective Right here, for example, I have some Spanish needle. This is a wild, edible that grows all over the place here in Florida. You can also use the flowers in a tea for a cough This is a really great way for you to look at your yard from a different perspective and see what medicine you might already be growing in your yard and then just tend to those medicinal plants. Growing medicinal plants in your yard is actually very easy.
They are some of the least finicky plants to grow. Rob recently put out another video that is “ Beginner Gardening Tips for a Successful Garden”, and if you check that out, it will tell you nearly everything you need to know. If you apply those tips to your herbal garden, it should do really well. There are a few things that are unique to growing herbal medicine. First of all, you want to make sure that you are growing the right variety.
There are a lot of different varieties of plants, for example marigold. There are a lot of different marigolds that are just ornamental, so you may not have the one that is specifically the medicinal calendula flower that you are looking for. You can have sweet basil or you can have holy basil or “ tulsi”. Both of these are called “ basil”. Both of these have medicinal properties, but they are not the same.
You just have to make sure that you do not let common names confuse you and that you are looking at the Latin name to make sure that you are picking the right species for you. One other thing about growing medicinal plants that is really important is knowing when to pick the medicine at the right time. For example, you might have something where you are going to pick the leaves in the spring and then you are going to pick the flowers in the summer and then finally, you will pick the roots in the fall. You need to know exactly when to pick what so that you can gather your medicine at the most optimal time for it to be properly used. Let us talk prep and storage, because one of the biggest parts of having your own medicinal plants in your backyard is using them.
You can use things fresh. That is fine. Fresh is great for things such as soup or tea, a poultice or a compress anything like that would be great to use fresh herbs with them. You can also freeze your herbs to use in teas or to do medicinal soups. I like to blend the herbs with garlic and use that in a medicinal soup, that is really great.
For the other things like oils and tinctures and vinegars, you are going to want to have your herbs dried. You can do this in a few different ways. You can do little bundles, You can dry the flowers and just put them face down. You can just hang them up, or I have something like this, where I can lay the flowers inside and have them dry. The main thing is that you just want to make sure to keep the bundles small and to keep a lot of space between the flowers to promote good air circulation and also make sure that it is in a warm and dry place.
That doesn’t have a lot of humidity After a few days, you will want to check on your things depending on where you live, and how long it takes to dry. You want to take them down and put them into containers like this and label them, and also preferably put a date on them, so that you can use them within their optimal time frame And then once they are dried like this, you can put them together with Oil, or even with alcohol like I have done here and you can make medicinal oils You put the herbs in with the oil and you let them sit for about a month shaking them once a day. Then you will strain out the herbs and you will be left with something like this that you can use. You can use this as is or you can use this to create butters or balms or salves, or things like that. For the tinctures .
. This is really good because this is made with alcohol, and so these last a really long time. So it is a really good away to build your home medicine cabinet. It also packs a lot of medicine in a really small amount. So if you have somebody that does not like the way that it tastes, then this is really great to mix into a glass of water or maybe even hide it in a smoothie.
That’S a really great option too. It is also long lasting, like I said you can make these tinctures and then they can last you for many years. I hope that this has given you some inspiration to get started on growing medicinal plants in your own backyard, and I am really excited to hear if you will give this a try.