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4 Easy Medicinal Plants To Start In 2024 (And What To Do With Them)

Medicinal plants and natural home remedies is something that I want to learn more about as we slowly become more self-sufficient on our homestead. Relying on pharmaceuticals for every simple ailment – while they do have their place, is not what I want for my health or for my family’s health.

The more we can use naturally occurring medicinal properties, the better our health should be.

In this 2024 growing season I’m going to start taking back my family’s health and dive into medicinal plant gardening and start building my own little apothecary.

However with two tiny homesteaders at home I’m being realistic on what my limits are on starting a brand new facet of our garden. As much as I’d love to go big (as we gardeners always tend to do), I’m really forcing myself to scale back, and ensure I’m setting reasonable goals for myself to not end the season disappointed.

So here’s a list of the 4 easy medicinal plants I’m going to start growing and how I intend to use them to build our apothecary.

#1 Chamomile

Chamomile Plant with Flowers

This one is so simple, easy and beneficial. It makes me sad that I haven’t grown this herb before. There are two major varieties of chamomile, an annual and a perennial. I’ll be growing the Roman variety which is a perennial. It’s not as potent as the annual, but I’ve always wanted to grow chamomile and will eventually grow both varieties once we have the space and time to do so.

I’m growing this herb this season mainly for the tea. I love chamomile tea whenever I’m sick or need a way to relax during a busy workday. There’s also a lot of added health benefits to consuming chamomile in the dehydrated tea form.

It’s a powerful antioxidant which is what makes it known for its relaxing qualities. Because of it’s calming effects, it helps reduce cortisol levels in the body and can help with blood-pressure. Another great benefit is his ability to help an upset stomach due to it’s anti-inflammatory properties.

Additionally, I’ll make some chamomile infused oil and use that to make a salve. Chamomile salves can be used topically to treat a wide array of ailments.

#2 Calendula

Calendula Flower

Calendula is a beautiful flower that is well known for its medicinal purposes. Its anti-inflammatory properties that help with skin conditions and wound healing. It can work for large scars healing time (like c-sections for women), and small wounds like blisters and bug bites. It’s gentle, all natural and also moisturizes the skin.

The flower can be consumed raw, and is very commonly added to body products and foods, like salads. I’ll be dehydrating the flower to make tea, but mainly focusing on salves for diaper rashes, wounds and other skin conditions.

Between my chamomile and calendula salves we should have enough to treat many common external ailments. here’s how to make the salves.

#3 Ginger

Ginger plant root

Ginger is a common spice in baking and cooking – but it also has a plethora of medicinal benefits that are particularly good in the cold winter months! Ginger is known for helping digestive track issues, such as nausea and bloating. It also has antioxidants which help the body treat infections – hence the benefits of ginger when you’re under the weather.

I’ll be using fresh ginger for teas and cooking as often as possible. To preserve it I’ll be drying it and grinding it into a powder.

Additionally, a very healthy cold and flu tea mixture includes ginger, honey and lemon. This concoction is delicious and has lots of medical benefits – but the best part is it tastes delicious.

Ginger Honey Lemon Tea

Ginger is known for it’s anti-inflammatory properties and it’s ability to fight colds and other viruses. Honey is well known to soothe sore throats and lemon is filled with Vitamin C. These ingredients combined make a fabulous tea to help ease your way back to health.

It’s very simple to put together. Using a sterilized jar (I use mason jars with snap lid), fill it with cut up lemon pieces (any size you would like in your tea), finely chopped ginger and then fill with honey. Place in fridge to use over the next few weeks.

#4 Turmeric

Turmeric plant root

Turmeric is very similar to ginger in how it grows, it’s actually in the same family. That also means it has the same amount of health benefits but also some unique benefits. We’ve been starting to use dried turmeric in our home cooking: ground beef seasoning, soups, rice and much more.

I’m not going to list all the benefits of turmeric, because there are too many. It helps with inflammation, has antioxidants, helps protect your heart, brain, cells, and body from almost everything.

Together, all these plants will help boost our health naturally.

How To Make Infused Oil

Infused oil is needed to make salve, it’s very easy to make!

Infused Oil

Once the flowers or leaves are completely dehydrated, place them in an airtight container (such as these mason jars with snap lid) and fill the container with olive oil leaving one inch of oil covering. Let this sit and infuse in a pantry for 4-6 weeks. It will need to be shaken daily. After that time, strain out the flower petals and there you have infused oil that can be used for anything.

This method is used for any type of infused oil, rosemary herb infused oil, basil herb infused oil, etc.

How to Make Salve

This is the fun step. With the infused oil made from above, add one cup of infused oil to 3-4 tablespoons for beeswax and melt into a double broiler. Once the mixture is in a liquid form, pour it into salve tin containers and it will quickly solidify. That’s it!

Beeswax is a lot easier to come by than you would think. You can buy beeswax pellets on Amazon. It’s recommended to use the beeswax pellets because it’s easier to portion out your mixture and add more pellets as needed if you want your salve thicker.

I’m going to ask our local honey farm if they have any beeswax they want to part with. I would always recommend this method first. It’s healthier and you’re assisting a local small business as opposed to the Amazon conglomerate.

Lastly is getting the salve tins. I would just suggest getting from Amazon too as it’s the easiest place to find them in the biggest quantity. Follow the salve tins link.

Why Go Homeopathic?

There’s absolutely no harm in consuming it, so why not add it in your daily diet. Same principle with the salves. Using a lotion that you created all by yourself to help ease skin ailments (when the ones from the store have those exact ingredients on them), will save you money while also taking back your own health. Instead of using whatever toxic ingredients are in bug-bite sprays, try using a home-remedy.

All these plants are low-maintenance and they produce a big bounty, which is exactly what I need. As the year comes to a close I’ll evaluate my medicinal apothecary and see what else I’ll expand on for next year.

We hope you enjoyed this article about easy medicinal plants to grow. If you did make sure you check out the other growing guides that we have, including our seed saving guides. We are growing our website with more articles all the time, and we invite you to grow with us. If you have any questions about medicinal plants or would like to share some of your knowledge with us please leave a comment below.

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