Top Medical Plants, Herbs, and Their Best Uses for Healing

Nowadays both modern and alternative medicine rely on the centuries-old healing properties of herbs and plants. Having a medicinal plants list for different sickness is a common trend these days.

Studies show that homeopathic medicine may prove beneficial to both our physical and mental well-being.

We at Sumo Gardener prepared a guide on how plants and herbs benefit your health and how to integrate natural medicine into your life.

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Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo biloba, or Maidenhair, is one of the oldest tree species in China

Ginkgo biloba, or Maidenhair, is one of the oldest tree species in China that plays a significant role in homeopathic and conventional Chinese medicine.

Leaves and seeds of this can serve as ingredients for many remedies – liquid extracts, capsules, tablets, or tea. 

Ginkgo supplements correlate with various health uses, most of which focus on the central nervous and circulatory systems and can assist a spiritual approach to mental health.

There are two key components of the herb that show therapeutic effects. Flavonoids, which have antioxidant properties and terpenoids, which help blood vessel dilatation and reduce the aggregation of platelets.

Studies show that Ginkgo may aid patients with mild-to-moderate dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. 

Potential benefits of Ginkgo biloba on:

  • Diabetes
  • Anxiety
  • Eye health
  • Dementia
  • Inflammation
  • Bone healing
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression
  • Memory enhancement

Things to consider

  • Long-term use may increase the chance of liver and thyroid cancer. 
  • A high dosage may cause liver deficiency, so a doctor must monitor the corresponding enzymes.
  • Ginkgo seeds are poisonous if directly ingested.
  • Side effects that may occur are headache, dizziness, diarrhea, nausea, weakness, allergic reactions, and more.
  • Before you use the herb, you must discuss it with your doctor because of the various drug interactions.

Turmeric

Turmeric is also known as Indian saffron or the golden spice

It’s a plant that grows in Asia and Central America and is also known as Indian saffron or the golden spice.

Except for its culinary use, turmeric is famous for its biological properties. The herb lies in the foundation of Ayurvedic medicine, and it is beneficial for various health conditions. These include inflammation, and chronic pain. 

Potential benefits of Turmeric on:

  • Arthritis
  • Cancer prevention
  • Liver disease
  • Metabolic disorders
  • Obesity
  • Skin diseases

Things to consider

  • Ingested turmeric lowers the testosterone levels and sperm motility in men, hence it may cause fertility problems.
  • Long-term use may lead to stomach problems.
  • If used during pregnancy, the plant may cause uterine bleeding or contractions.

Related: Joint Anti-Inflammatory Foods You Can Grow At Home. 

Evening Primrose Oil (EPO)

Evening Primrose Oil (EPO) contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid

It is an extract of the seeds of a flower native to Europe and North America. In the past, Native Americans used its leaves, roots, and seeds to deal with hemorrhoids, wounds, bruises, and skin irritation. 

EPO contains gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. In the body, GLA is a precursor of prostaglandins. The human body releases these to confront infection or injury. Their role is to mediate inflammation and pain as part of the healing process.

Potential benefits of Evening Primrose oil on:

  • Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Eczema or atopic dermatitis
  • Breast pain during menstruation
  • Inflammation
  • Menopause
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Attention deficit disorder (ADD)

Things to consider

  • Interacts with some blood-clotting medications.
  • Risks during pregnancy. 
  • Interacts with medication used for schizophrenia and other psychotic disorders.
  • Various side effects – headache, upset stomach, nausea, rash, dizziness, etc.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed is one of the safer choices among dietary supplements

Also available as an oil, flaxseed is one of the safer choices among dietary supplements. Flax is a crop that grows in Europe, Asia, and the Mediterranean. The remedial effect of flaxseed is due to the essential omega-3 fatty acid, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which seeds contain. 

ALA is popular for its therapeutic effect on the heart and circulatory systems. People harvested flaxseed for thousands of years, nowadays we recognize it for its antioxidant effect and anti-inflammatory use.

Potential benefits of Flaxseed on:

  • Obesity
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Lupus
  • Diabetes
  • Crohn disease
  • preventing colon cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Menopause

Things to consider

  • Flaxseeds contain phytoestrogen, which is similar to the hormone estrogen. They may cause estrogen production dis-balance in women, especially if they are pregnant or taking oral contraceptives.
  • Raw or unripe flaxseeds are toxic.
  • There are some side effects such as bloating, diarrhea, gas, hormonal dis-balance, etc.
  • Possible drug interactions: anti-coagulant, blood pressure, or diabetes medicine.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is popular for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties

Source: commons.wikimedia.org

It is an essential oil that derives from the leaves of the native Australian plant – Melaleuca alternifolia. Tea tree oil is popular for its antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal properties. 

Some people add it to bathwater in hopes to treat cough, bronchial congestion, and pulmonary inflammation.

Potential benefits of Tea tree oil on:

  • Acne
  • Athlete’s foot
  • Contact dermatitis
  • Ear infections
  • Dandruff
  • Cuts and burns
  • Sore throat
  • Insect bites

Things to consider

  • Tea tree oil is toxic when ingested.
  • It may cause an allergic reaction.
  • One study shows that long-term use of tea tree oil might cause gynecomastia in adolescent boys.

Echinacea

Echinacea has a remedial effect on the common cold and other infections

The herb is native to areas east of the Rocky Mountains in the United States. Echinacea has a remedial effect on the common cold and other infections. 

Commercially available products come in various forms – tablets, juice, and tea.

Potential benefits of Echinacea on:

  • Coughs and colds
  • Upper respiratory infections
  • Gingivitis
  • Ear infections
  • Bronchitis
  • Wounds

According to Findairpurifier.com, “The plant is the first thing a doctor recommends besides mechanical filtration for people unfortunate to suffer from respiratory illness or inflammation.”

Things to consider

  • It may cause digestive issues and upset the stomach.
  • Possible allergic reactions.
  • Echinacea may interfere with medication used for the following conditions: depression, erectile dysfunction, gastric-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn, high blood pressure, and more.

Grape seed extract

Grape seed extract has a wide range of potential medicinal benefits

It is rich in antioxidants and oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes and has a wide range of potential medicinal benefits.

These include the treatment of conditions such as atherosclerosis, poor circulation, high cholesterol, macular degeneration, and poor circulation with some experts mentioning weight loss. Studies are yet to prove most of these health claims, but unorthodox medicine has been long recommending the extract.

However, there is evidence that points to the positive effects of the grape seed extract. It is available as a dietary supplement in liquid form, capsules, or tablets.

Potential benefits of Grapeseed extract on:

  • Cancer prevention
  • LDL (bad) cholesterol decrease
  • Better leg vein circulation
  • Blood pressure regulation

Things to consider

  • Proceed with caution if you take blood thinners or blood pressure medication, or if you have an upcoming surgery.
  • Long-term use may lead to iron deficiency.
  • Doctors do not recommend the use of the extract during pregnancy.

Lavender

Lavender has a remedial effect on anxiety, stress, and insomnia

Lavender has a remedial effect on anxiety, stress, and insomnia. Recent studies show that this herb carries anti-inflammatory benefits, as well. 

Potential benefits of Lavender on:

  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Stress
  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Migraine

Things to consider

  • It may cause skin irritation.
  • Lavender is poisonous if ingested.
  • It may cause a hormonal dis-balance when applied undiluted.
  • Growing Lavender in Florida.

Chamomile

Chamomile is an herb with green feathery leaves and white and yellow flowers

According to experts at Bouqs, it is famous for its calming effect on both the nervous system and the digestive system. Chamomile is an herb with green feathery leaves and white and yellow flowers that humanity used for healing and anti-inflammatory treatments for decades, they add.

Potential benefits of Chamomile on:

  • Anxiety
  • Baby teething
  • Irritable bowels
  • Stress
  • Insomnia

Things to consider

  • It can cause allergic reactions.
  • Chamomile interacts with blood thinners.
  • Do not take this herb during pregnancy.

Garlic

Garlic has various uses both in culinary and medicine

Except for scaring off vampires, garlic has various uses both in culinary and medicine. Studies show that eating garlic regularly benefits your overall health. It helps with heart and metabolic conditions. 

Potential benefits of Garlic on:

  • Heart disease prevention
  • Cholesterol and blood pressure regulation
  • Prevents dementia, Alzheimer’s and similar degenerative diseases
  • Atherosclerosis prevention
  • Helps raise testosterone levels in males.

Things to consider

  • The most common side effects of garlic consumption are bad breath, a burning sensation in the mouth or stomach, heartburn, gas, nausea, and diarrhea. 
  • Garlic may increase the risk of bleeding. 
  • Possible allergic reactions.

Marijuana

Potential benefits of marijuana

Marijuana has divided society for a while for it’s dualistic applications. One, comes to popular THC effects that came to spur an entire culture, and number two, the “high-free” benefits from CBD oils. While marijuana is among plants poisonous for pets, the upwards trend of legislation throughout the world is a sure sign of the many ways it helps.

Potential benefits of marijuana:

  • Aids chronic pain
  • Weight loss
  • Regulate and prevent diabetes
  • Fight forms of cancer
  • Eases depression
  • Aids autism treatment
  • Regulate seizures
  • Mend bones
  • Helps with ADHD/ADD
  • Helps for glaucoma
  • Relieves anxiety
  • Hardens development of Alzheimer
  • Eases arthritis pain
  • Eases PTSD symptoms
  • Relieves multiple sclerosis

Are you looking for more methods to protect your heart? 

Read our guide: CBD Oil Benefits That Are Important For a Healthy Heart 

Wrapping Up Medicinal Plants List To Grow At Home

Plants and herbs form the basis of modern medicine and contribute to the commercial drug manufacturing. About 25% of medication worldwide derives from natural sources.

Some people choose homeopathy as their main method of treatment. Others use herbs and plants as a supplemental therapy to standard pharmaceuticals.

So having a medicinal plants list ready at your home will surely come in handy. To reconnect with nature and look into herbology and gardening is fun. Think about it.