Published: 09/08/2013 - Updated: 11/24/2016
Author: Miriam Reyes
Plants have been used since ancient times to treat various ailments, the knowledge that was generated around these through experimentation led to the initiative to conserve these plants close to home and to grow them in our gardens.
Recent studies have also shown that having these plants in your garden and close to you can help improve your state of health, without necessarily eating them. Here are some examples of medicinal plants which are easy to grow:
Good for both the skin and hair, there are many remedies that can be made with aloe vera and are very useful. A study has shown that wounds heal 8 times faster when treated with this plant and you can get good results by simply cutting a piece of aloe vera from the plant, removing the pulp and applying directly on the skin .
To grow: This plant requires a mild climate, however it is completely undemanding as it resists very well to other plants and does not require much watering. Try to grow the aloe vera plant in sand or sandy soil, preferably in a clay pot with deep drainage and placed in two inches of gravel. You must plant the roots well until shoots begin to show. Finally, seek to maintain it exposed to the sun as it requires a lot of sun. Remember to protect from the cold during the winter.
Primarily used in the kitchen, sage also has medicinal properties: Sage mouthwash can be effective against a sore throat and tonsillitis. To prepare this remedy, you only need to add a teaspoon of chopped fresh sage plant to a cup of hot water and let stand for 10 minutes. Rinse your mouth with the resulting liquid.
To grow: You can plant sage in a pot in your garden. However, although it requires sun, if it is in your garden too much sun can damage it so it is important that is situated i partial shade. If you decide to place it inside, leave it near a window. Try to water it frequently but lightly.
An infusion of thyme serves very well for chest congestion. It is rich in thymol and carvacrol, two substances that help lessen the discomfort, helping to minimise the contractions of the bronchi, prepare a cup of hot water with a tablespoon of thyme, strain and drink.
To grow: This plant does not require much care and grows easily in dry and rocky places. Thyme requires sunshine, so it is advisable to leave it in direct sunlight or partial shade. Try to prevent it from becoming overly wet or waterlogged.
Peppermint or spearmint
An aromatic plant renowned for its digestive benefits, extract of peppermint or spearment can be used to combat the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome. An infusion of fresh Peppermint can help you recover from a stomachache or indigestion.
To prepare, place 6 fresh mint leaves in a cup of boiling water and let stand for ten minutes, then drink the resulting tea.
To grow: You can grow it in your garden or in a pot. This plant requires sun, so place it in a sunny spot or partial shade. Although it is necessary to water it regularly, avoid waterlogged soils. You can cut some of its leaves to control its growth and this will make it easy to maintain.
Melissa or Lemon Balm
This plant is part of the mint family, which possess antiviral properties and may be useful in the treatment of cold sores. To prepare an infusion with melissa, steep some leaves in hot water and leave to stand. Later, wet a cotton swab in the cooled liquid and bathe the affected area.
To grow: Try to cultivate in a pot so you can control its growth, as it adapts well to any type of soil. It also requires enough sunlight, but it is best to place it in partial shade since the strong light may damage it.
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