What herbal plants to you grow

Discussion in 'General Food and Foraging Discussion' started by bunkerbob, May 17, 2010.

  1. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Let me know what herbal plants you grow for general health or medicinal use. Where do you get the seeds, do you save the seeds from last year. How well do they grow, not only in just your area but elsewhere, if you know.
    I'm going to start a list here for these because there are so many in the books I have its hard to decide which are the most important to concentrate on.
    You can also tell us how you prepare them.
    I know we have discussed this before in other threads, but want to have its own. It would be great if you can included a PDF file for general download.
  2. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    I grow about 20 some odd herbs ... so I will start here and see if this is what you are looking for. :D

    Hens & Chicks - (common houseleek) Easy to grow (zone 5-10) Used much like Aloe ... used to heal skin ailments, such as sunburn, bites, stings and itchy skin complaints.

    Propagation - Sow seeds in spring or do as I did ... Take offsets from established clumps in spring. You may be able to find offsets for sale at farmers markets or local garden store.

    Leaves are halved and applied direcctly to bites or sores.

    History, Uses, and Planting of the Herb Sempervivum Tectorum (Houseleek)

  3. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    Give me a little time on this one, busy at work.
  4. gypsysue

    gypsysue The wanderer

    I grow the following:

    Lemon Balm, which among other things makes a nice aroma when tied in bunches to hang and dry in the house!

    Comfrey, a good all-around healing herb. We use it only externally, since there's disagreement on whether it's safe for internal use. We steep the leaves in a small amount of hot water to make a poultice, sometimes adding a drop or two of extra virgin olive oil.
    It comes up on it's own each year and spreads out by root. To start it, you just need a piece of the root. Bury and water it. It's easy to start and hard to kill once you get it established. We're zone 4 now (Montana), but I also grew it in Missouri and Kentucky when we lived there.

    Those are the only medicinal ones I grow. We gather many more from the wild.
  5. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Hops - Easy to grow ...hardy to zone 3. Used to treat nerous tension, irritability and insomnia.

    Propagation - Sow seeds at 59 - 64 in spring or take softwood cutting in spring. I used the cutting to start mine, you need female plants for the cones so it is best to buy a female cutting.

    Cut and dry flower heads (cones) and I use them for dream pillows (hop pillows)

    dream pillow mixture - hops, mint, lavender, rose petals. Mix them together, put them into individual sachets and place in pillows or cushions.
  6. marlas1too

    marlas1too Well-Known Member

    i don't grow any herbal plants i go out and get my herbal medicines in the wild as my ancestors did as I've said in other posts i have a very huge library of herbal books for reference and am learning everyday about our wild medicines and how to store and dry them and the combo,s for different ails ------remember its better to have and not need than need and not have
  7. TechAdmin

    TechAdmin Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not growing it right now, but I use a lot of peppermint for my stomach ailments.
  8. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    My next project is to get a terracotta strawberry pot and grow some herbs year round. I am leaning more toward cooking herbs. Foxfire has alot of interesting herbs in it. The claims the contributors make about them make me wonder a little though. I'm sure that some of them do work for the ailments described though.:confused:
  9. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    Anise Hyssop and Chamomile

    I started my herb garden with over 50 medicinal herbs from seed. I tried most of them and have settled on the ones that do something for me.

    Anise Hyssop. Great in tea or tincture. This is my general feel a cold coming on tea or just need to relax. Mixes great with chamomile, lemon balm (only a dash or you’ll overpower it), catmint (again just a pinch) and skullcap. You can also add a pinch or three to other teas for the flavoring. I’ve heard you can use it in cooking, it has a nice licorice like flavor and smell. I would think the tincture would be better for flavoring in cooking, much stronger, like an extract. The tincture I do for when the cold is set in. I’ll dilute my required dosage with water and honey and slug it back, following with many sips of tea to help it down.

    A word on tinctures, this is from personal experience and not meant to be the end all of knowledge or to use as a bible! Each year is different, each crop is different and each person is different. What works for me, and the dosage, might not work for you. One year ¼ oz of one tincture will be equal to 1 full oz from a past year or vice versa. I would recommend first starting with a few drops of any new herb tincture, mainly to make sure you are not allergic! Up the dosage to maybe a dropper full to verify your body likes it, then go and find out what your dosage is; two drops, one dropper full, ¼ oz, ½ oz… Depending on the toxicity of the herb in question I go up to one ounce at a time. Also make sure you label everything as you are making them, what it is, date harvested, date tinctured, % alcohol…

    Back to Anise Hysop. I started from seed and had a good crop the first year. I leave some to re-seed but it seems to grow from the roots each year, my plot is 6 years old this year. It grows about 3’ tall with bluish purple flower heads that last a long time in the garden. Would make a great dried flower, keeps its color and stink. It has not spread wildly, easy to keep in its place. Actually I do not believe it has wanted to spread at all. Mine is next to the bee balm so hard to say which attracts all the bees but they like it. My 3’ x 3’ plot gives me two quart jars of flowers and 2 to 3 jars of leaves at harvest time. Here in NC, I can get 2 flower/leaf harvests if I cut them back before they go to seed. My needs require just the one harvest.

    That’s about it on that one, highly recommended for teas regardless of for medicinal or not. Easy to grow and tasty.

    Chamomile. I believe I bought the Roman chamomile, smaller bushes and smaller flowers but more medicinal qualities. It is low growing, maybe a foot tall and spreads a foot or so. I started from seed and it took a while for them to germinate, be patient. A nice relaxing tea and great to add a pinch of catmint, anise hyssop or really anything else to for a change. In the winter I like to hang my nose into the cup as it steeps, inhaling slowly while I get as close to the fire as possible. Reminds me of the sunny summer days harvesting. I do not have a harvesting rake so a bit time consuming to harvest. My 2’ x 3’ plot is harvested every day, picking each flower individually. I get from ¼ cup to 1 cup a day while it flowers. Enough to usually get 3 quart jars of dried flowers. I did have one year when only three or four plants flowered and still got a jar.

    Speaking of drying. I went to the dollar store and bought a bunch of plastic trays, with lots of slots in them. Like draining trays or something. Size will depend on what your needs are. Mine are about 8” by 12” x 2” tall, enough to fill with a days harvest for each thing harvested. I have a bunch of no-seeum material (those in the NE will know what they are) and lined the insides of the containers with it. It is like a fine nylon mosquito netting. I used a hot glue gun and stretched and cut to fit the inside as I went. Nice and tight to the plastic and even smaller things do not fall out while drying. I can stack them at 90 degree angles to several high and still get great circulation. I never tried a dehydrator so can’t compare the difference between slow drying and fast.

    I have a tincture of chamomile but really have not used it, I think the tea does a perfect job. And I love the taste too.

    I forgot to mention care! We have red clay soil and rocky. I tilled the piss out of the herb garden area and mixed in a foot or so of composted leaves and six inches of manure composted. ( I can highly recommend BCS tillers) I laid out the garden itself and put a couple inches of triple shredded hardwood mulch on the pathways. For the Hyssop, the first year I watered the seeds and babied them along until harvest. Well, I babied the whole herb garden the first year actually, watering most likely more than needed. Since, I have never watered the garden and everything does well. I’ve moved some things around to where they are happier but that is about all the care it gets, aside from weeding that is.

    Alright, back to projects. I’ll try and add a few more as I have time.
  10. Littlebit

    Littlebit Well-Known Member

    I tried starting one of those kits you get from Lowes. It started out ok, but quickly turned into a nightmare. To much sun for one, not enough for the other same with water. To make a long story short they died:cry: I tried everything to save them short of cpr.:eek:
  11. Dutchess

    Dutchess Dutchess

    These are the herbs that I grow. They have the most uses and can be made into 100's of herbal remedies.

    Chamomile Slippery Elem Red Clover
    Thyme Comfrey Burdock
    Chickweed Rosemary Mint
    Winter Green Plantain Elder
    Calendula Mistletoe Hyssop
    Cramp Bark Cleavers Yarrow
    Hawthorn Linden Ginsing
    Ginger Peppermint Anise
    Carrowway Enchinacea Flax
    Licorice Acacia Adder's Tounge
    Chastberry Mullein Cinnamon
    Horehound Marshmallow Witch Hazel
    Coltsfoot Elecampane St. John's Wort Prickly Ash
    Lobelia Wormwood Valerian
    Mugwort Shave Grass Dandelion
    Sage Pansy
    Myrrh Dill Chicory
    Milfoil Lavender Black Elder
    Blackhorn Hops Lady's Mantle
    Shepard's Purse Bayberry Golden Rod
    Blind Nettle Rue Speedwell
    Angelica Primrose Hemp Nettle
    Soloman's Seal Blackberry Tee Tree
    Skullcap Yellow Gentian Boneset
    Althea Cloves Juniper
    Witch Grass Hazelnut Woodruff
    Violets Oat Straw Milk Thistle
    Black Cohosh Cleavers
  12. OldFashionedMama

    OldFashionedMama Partyin' like it's 1699

    Comfrey-Good for wounds, AND DONT PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE BS ABOUT IT BEING POISONOUS! Grandma Little made a special tea with the main ingredient being comfrey. It saved her from a bout of pneumonia when she had lung cancer, and probably added another 10 years to her life! Comfrey CAN be used internally-when the situation is dire enough!

    Lemon Balm- good for tummy aches, smells good, overall "happy" herb! My kids pick the leaves straight from the plant and eat them when they're not feeling well.

    Bee Balm/Monarda/Wild Bergamot- another smells good thing, good in teas, not sure what else it does because I just planted it this year.

    Yarrow-I would place this herb in the "must have" category. It grows wild everywhere, but there are commercial varieties too. I transplanted the native version into my garden. Some folks call it the bandage plant. Soldiers in WW1 who were out in the field used yarrow to pack wounds and stop bleeding.

    Mullein- another "must have". Grows everywhere, you've seen it along roadsides with its big tall spike of creamy yellow flowers. The fuzzy leaves are filled with mucilage. Mullein taken either as a tea or dried and smoked in a pipe is a powerful expectorant. I have also heard reports that mullein tea is useful for relieving back pain and joint pain, again the mucilage at work lubricating the joints.

    Elderberry (Sambucus Nigra, or American Black Elderberry) Flowers can be tinctured and used as a treatment for fever and pain relief. Juice and jelly made from the RIPE, COOKED berries (raw are poisonous) provides a tonic that boosts immunity and has strong anti-viral properties.

    Boneset- Fever reduction

    Joe-Pye Weed- Another member of the Eupatorium family, like its cousin Boneset, this herb can also be used to reduce fevers and derives its name from an Indian named Joe-Pye, who allegedly used a formulation of the ROOT to cure Typhoid Fever. It was also used in the South along with Boneset to alleviate Dengue Fever and malaria.
  13. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Hey guys and gals, thanks for they great response to my question. Fantastic info, keep it up.
  14. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Oswego tea

    perennial zone 4 - 6

    easy to grow ... some say it came be invasive, but I have not had that problem.

    propagation - by division in the srping.

    From wiki ...

    (Oswego tea) Bee balm, scarlet bee balm ... has a long history of use as a medicinal plant by many Native Americans, including the Blackfeet. The Blackfeet Indians recognized this plant's strong antiseptic action, and used poultices of the plant for skin infections and minor wounds. A tea made from the plant was also used to treat mouth and throat infections caused by dental caries and gingivitis. Beebalm is the natural source of the antiseptic thymol, the primary active ingredient in modern commercial mouthwash formulas. The Winnebago used a tea made from beebalm as a general stimulant. It was also used as a carminative herb by Native Americans to treat excessive flatulence
  15. Centraltn

    Centraltn Well-Known Member

    I'm in zone 6B so I am ideally situated to grow both zones 6 and 7. I collect Mullien (pronounced mullen by the locals). It grows in every state and is EXCELLENT for bronchitis, astham coughs and colds as a hot tea, so it is breathed in as well as ingested. Can only be used 3 weeks - with a week break then 3 weeks again cause the body will build an immunity to its effects.

    Blackberries are considered a weed here. The berries are a good food source, juice and wine source. The leaves stay green all yrs and are fantastic for diarhea.

    Echinacea is great for a restful herb for sleeping and nervousness, also for a specific antibiotic and immune builder (the flower of it is gorgeous and is also known as monarda). Both leaves and root are used.

    Comfrey is great for external bruises and even broken bones as a poultice

    Gensing.. also grows wild here- is good to build up the immune system and for general feeling of well being.

    There are many more but that'll get ya started. I suggest you get a good medicinal herb book, it'll be a reference book you will go back to again and again.
  16. Woody

    Woody Woodchuck

    Bee Balm is a perennial here also in zone 7a/b. I’d say it not invasive but will spread by seed wherever it falls. Easy enough to keep under control and grows like the dickens with no care! Living up to its name it attracts tons of bees and butterflies so plant close to the garden. Very mellow tasting tea, highly recommended.

    I use the Mullein flowers in a tincture for ear issues. My black lab has never had ear troubles and we use it regularly. Maybe she is the exception to the floppy ear water dog or maybe it is because of the Mullein, I don’t know. Kind of a pain to pick flowers daily as they flower for weeks and weeks with only 5 to 30 a day on each spike. I pick just before they open (and after they open also) and make sure to pinch off the green… whatever-ya-call-it below the flower also. One book recommended doing that and who am I to question as it seems to be working great.
  17. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

    I grow comfy, fennel, aloe, sage, dill, cilantro, oregano, parsley, chives, lavender, basil and several more I just can't remember at this time.
  18. HozayBuck

    HozayBuck Well-Known Member

    Right...uh huh....

  19. Herbalpagan

    Herbalpagan Well-Known Member

    Bee balm (tea), lemon balm (tea, medical, fragrance), penny royal (flea balm), spearmint (culinary,medical, tea), peppermint (tea,medicinal, culinary), chocolate mint (culinary, frangrance), thyme (medicinal, culinary), oregano (culinary, medicinal), sage (culinary, medicinal), wormwood (insects,medicinal), St Johns wort (med.), elderberry (medicinal, tea, culinary), tooth ache plant (med), echinacea (med), valarian (med), elecampane (med), fever few (med), catnip (tea, med), chamomile (med, tea), ...there are more, but I can't remember them all. One other great thing to grow is Rosa Rugusa. Wild shrub rose, it's a great shrub for borders and can make a dense hedge against invaders, great for looking at, good for the birds and the hips are a fantastic source of vitamin C.
  20. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    Alight I give up ...

    What did I miss? :confused: