Genovese Basil The classic Italian basil. Sweet, spicy flavor. Plants can reach 5 feet
Italian Large Leaf Basil A sweeter, pesto-type basil. High yield.
Lime Basil Basil flavor with a hint of lime. Great on fish or salads.
Thai Basil Anise-flavored basil that dresses up Asian dishes, poultry, fish and just about anything with rice.
Siam Queen Basil Licorice/spice basil. Great with Asian dishes, particularly curries.
Cinnamon Basil Basil with a little cinnamon kick.
Opal Basil Sweet basil with delicate lavender and green leaves.
Red Rubin Basil Italian large leaf basil size and taste, but with beautiful dark purple leaves.
Rosemary Great spice with meat dishes and Italian sauces. Medicinal uses include tea for headache. Rosemary oil also has antimicrobial/antifungal properties and is used in hair rinses to promote scalp health.
Thyme Classic culinary and ornamental herb commonly used with fish and vegetable dishes. Some varieties used as ground cover. Medicinal: contains thymol, which is used in popular mouthwashes. Leaves used in tea used to treat sore throats and cough
Greek Oregano Used in pizza and other Italian dishes. Medicinal uses: tea for indigestion Marjoram Used in Mediterranean dishes. Cilantro Popular culinary herb used in Mexican and Asian dishes. Medicinal properties: fungicidal and antibacterial. Used to remove heavy metals from the body. Dill Seeds used to flavor sauces and pickles. Medicinal - said to relieve flatulence
Medicinal Herbs (description of uses for historical and educational purposes only - not intended as a guide for medicinal use)
Aloe Vera The “burn plant,” a cactus-like desert plant 0without the thorns. Pulp soothes and heals burns and other wounds. Also used as a skin conditioner and moisturizer. Can be taken internally for esophageal and stomach irritations.
Arnica (Arnica Montana) Yellow daisy-like flowers are used in salves, liniments, creams or other topical applications to ease pain and speed healing of bruises, sprains, wounds, muscle aches, swelling due to fractures, phlebitis, insect bites or rheumatic pain. Should not be used internally.
Ashwagandha (Withania somniferum) Hardy annual or tender perennial, zones 7-10. Multiple benefits, considered similar to ginseng. Anti-stress tonic, sleep aid, general health promotion, believed helpful in combating aging, anemia, general debility and symptoms of AIDS and cancer.
Astralagus (Chinese Milkvetch) (Astragalus membranaceus) Root extract used as tonic, immune stimulant, antiviral, also used for asthma, infections, and to normalize sugar levels in diabetes.
Bee Balm (Monarda Didyma or Monarda Fistulosa) Long-stemmed plant topped with showy pink, red or lilac flowers. Flowers and leaves are used in tea as an antiseptic, diuretic or stimulant. Helps relieve colds, excess mucus, headache, menstrual pain and nausea.
Borage Borago Offinalis Lovely blue edible flowers that are often used in candies, increases honey yield in beehives, easy to grow. Leaves are used as a diuretic, and have been used to combat emotional stress and burnout. Tops of plants are used as a pot herb for stew. Borage oil reduces cholesterol level when combined with evening primrose, reduces cardiovascular reaction to stress.
Butterfly Weed (Pleurisy root) Asclepias tuberosa Thick dark green foliage topped with clusters of bright orange flowers. Used in cut flower arrangements. Repels deer, butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees love it. Aphids love butterfly weed as well. It will draw them away from other garden plants (so makes a good companion plant). Native Americans chewed the fresh roots for pleurisy or other chest pain. Drought tolerant.
Calendula Calendula Officianalis Useful for healing skin irritations, inflammations or wounds. Helps relieve mouth sores, gum or tooth infections. Tea helps heal bladder infections and ulcers.
German Chamomile Matricaria recutita Small, pretty plant, grows well in containers, fern-like leaves and small yellow flowers. Flowers make a tasty sleep aid and help with digestive discomforts. Generally regarded as safe, even for youngsters, but should not be used with blood-thinning medications.
Roman Chamomile Chamaemelum nobilis Similar to German chamomile but has a stronger and more bitter action on the human body. Used for nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite, is a mild sedative and relieves pain, including cramping muscular pains and migraine headache. Roman chamomile also possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic properties, and effectively relieves irritated skin
Comfrey Large broad leaves, lovely drooping blue-purple flowers. Leaves were used to ease pain and speed healing for injuries such as bruises, sprains and bone breaks.
Echinacea (Narrow-Leaf Coneflower) Echinacea angustifolia Echinacea is typically used to stimulate immune strength and particularly to combat infections such as cold and flu. It is also believed to be helpful in treating skin infections like acne or boils. May cause reactions in people allergic to ragweed, and can cause symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease to worsen.
Feverfew Tanacetum parthenium Feverfew has been used to reduce fever, and to treat headaches, arthritis and digestive problems. Regular use of feverfew over time is believed to reduce the frequency and intensity of migraine headaches. It is not an effective remedy during a migraine attack. It also has been used topically to soothe red, irritated skin.
Hyssop Hyssopus officialis Stimulant, aromatic, expectorant and tonic helpful in asthma and coughs. A gargle of hyssop and sage helps relieve sore-throats. When applied as a poultice made with leaves to bruises, hyssop relieves pain and removes the discoloration.
English lavender (Lady Lavender, Munstead, Hidcote) Lavendula angustifolia or Lavendula x intermedia Oil is used in salves and balms, as is French lavender, lavendula x intermedia. The oil is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. as been used as a disinfectant. Infusions of leaves and flowers are used to sooth and heal insect bites. Drinking a lavender infusion is said to ease headaches, and is used to aid relaxation. Caution: can be an allergen. Should not be used during pregnancy or breastfeeding.
Spanish lavender Lavandula stoechas Not used medicinally but is used mostly for landscaping. A very pretty, frilly leaf, very different from other lavenders in appearance. Bigger, brighter flower. Does have the typical lavender aroma.
Lemon Balm (Melissa) Melissa officinalis Easy to cultivate and cold tolerant (although should be mulched during hard freezes). Antibacterial, antiviral, mild sedative, insect repellant. Pleasant lemon flavor. Effective against herpes simplex. Good muscle relaxant. Should be avoided by people taking thyroid medicine.
Lobelia (Cardinal flower) Lobelia cardinalis Was used by Cherokee Indians as a dewormer. Was historically used to treat syphllis, but primarily this plant is valued more for it's gorgeous scarlet flower than for its medicinal properties
Mountain mint Pycnanthemum virginianum Good cooking additive with meats, makes a great jelly (try it with one or two hot peppers in the mix for a real kick). Benefits similar to peppermint. Infusion helps with coughs, colds, general run-down feeling and flatulence.
Marshmallow Althaea officinalis Marshmallow roots of the herb counteract excess stomach acid, helping heal peptic ulcers as well as gastritis, has moderate laxative properties and can be used to treat colitis, ileitis, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis. A warm infusion of marshmallow may relieve cystitis as well as frequent urination. The demulcent (soothing irritated or inflamed skin or mucous membranes) properties of marshmallow may help dry coughs, bronchial asthma, bronchial congestion or jamming of the bronchioles and even pleurisy. Crushed fresh marshmallow flowers or a warm infusion prepared from the herb's flowers may benefit inflamed skin. Marshmallow roots have been used in ointments or creams used to heal boils and abscesses. The roots are also used in mouthwash for treating inflammation. In addition, peeled fresh roots of marshmallow can be given as a chew stick to teething infants.
Mullein Verbascum thapsus Effective treatment for asthma and respiratory disorders. Historically, Native Americans smoked dried leaves to loosen lung congestion. Infusions using leaves only can be used as a tea or as a steam. Extracts made from the plant's flowers are a very effective treatment for ear infections. CAUTIONS: Coumarin is present in the entire plant, mostly in the seeds. THE SEEDS ARE POISONOUS AND CAN CAUSE INTERNAL HEMORRHAGE.
Peppermint (Blue Balsam variety) Mentha piperata Dark blue-green leaves, intense true peppermint flavor. As a tea, acts as a digestive aid and helps with morning or motion sickness. As an inhalant, breaks up congestion. Pleasant tea for flavor alone.
Pleurisy Root (butterfly milkweed) Asclepias tuberosa Long-stemmed perennial with vibrant lush orange flowers. Bees and butterflies LOVE it, hence it's nickname "Butterfly weed." Used to treat lung ailments, especially pleurisy (pain caused by severe coughing). Often included in butterfly gardens, and attract bees hummingbirds as well.
Primrose (Evening) Oenothera biennis All parts are edible. Leaves may be cooked and eaten as greens, roots can be boiled like potatoes, and flowers are a sweet addition to salads. Young seedpods may be steamed. Seed pods contain an oil with GLA, a fatty acid known to help prevent hardening of the arteries, heart disease, eczema, cirrhosis, rheumatoid arthritis, relieve menopause, PMS, multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure, lowers cholesterol level.
Sage (Clary) Salvia sclarea Anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmotic, astringent, bactericidal. Originally used as an eyewash. Treats digestive problems like gas and indigestion, helps relieve premenstrual problems and stimulates estrogen, thus relieving symptoms of menopause. Essential oil reduces tension, and revitalizes. Useful for stimulating vivid dreams and enhancing dream recall.
Sheep Sorrel Rumex aectosella One of the ingredients of the Essiac anti-cancer formula (along with burdock root, slippery elm bark and turkey rhubarb). Traditionally used as an anti-diarrheal (in low doses), anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, to detoxify and cleanse, as a diuretic, and for vascular disorders. Also has high levels of phytoestrogens that bind estrogen receptors.
Skullcap Scutellaria lateriflora Effective relaxant/sedative. Treats nervous conditions including insomnia, nervous headaches, anxiety, drug withdrawal. Can promote menstruation and should NOT be administered to pregnant women. Is being used to treat ADD - Caution: overdose causes giddiness, stupor, confusion and twitching.
Spearmint (Standard and Scotch) Mentha spicata Used as a flavoring, for digestive discomfort and as a breath sweetener. Similar properties to those of peppermint.
Thistle (Blessed) Cnicus benedictus L. Used to increase appetite, improve digestion and stimulate bile flow. Folk use to promote lactation in nursing mothers not proven. Is used in some cancer remedies. Used as a blood cleanser and liver tonic.
Thyme Thymus vulgaris In addition to culinary and fragrance uses, thyme is one of the most effective anti-infectives available - proven effective against viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Is used commercially in mouthwashes and cleaning agents for its anti-germ/viral properties.
Valerian Valeriana offcinalis Historically used as a sedative, anti-convulsant, pain reliever and migraine treatment.