Discover 40 Must-Have Medicinal Plants and Learn How to Grow Them

24. Barberry Have you ever heard of this herbal plant? Barberry has a few benefits to offer as well. This medicinal plant helps fight infection and… Trista - April 13, 2022

24. Barberry

Have you ever heard of this herbal plant? Barberry has a few benefits to offer as well. This medicinal plant helps fight infection and improves heart health, and it also relieves symptoms of diabetes and prevents diabetes. Barberry also aids the GI tract, combats metabolic syndrome, and can even be used to help cleanse the liver and gallbladder. 

Barberry shrubs are pretty easy to grow and care for when planted in the right spot correctly. This type of medicinal plant isn’t too picky about the kind of dirt, but well-drained soil is essential. These herbal plants grow best in full sun but can tolerate a little shade. Experts recommend a minimum of 7 hours in direct sunlight for the best density and color. Keep reading for more medicinal plants with natural health benefits


23. Sage

You can use sage as a natural antiseptic and preservative for meat. If you put sage in a drink, it has shown promising results in treating Alzheimer’s patients and symptoms of depression. This medicinal plant can help eliminate hot flashes in women undergoing menopause. You can use sage for oral health, soothing a sore throat and canker sores, and treating gum disease. Rinse your skin, hair, and nails with sage if you want. It works great as a facial toner that controls oil skin when steeped in water. 

When you plant sage, make sure it’s in full sun. It should also be in well-draining soil because this plant won’t tolerate sitting on wet ground. The earth should be between 60- and 70-degrees Fahrenheit and set 2 feet apart. They should grow between 12 and 30 inches in height, as well. You can plant sage near cabbage, carrots, and rosemary, but keep it away from cucumbers. 


22. Jiaogulan

Wildcrafter Jiaogulan acts as an adaptogen, improving both physical and psychological conditions. It also helps to maintain body weight, and it does this by balancing the energy it expends. This medicinal plant also improves the digestive tract and balances the whole system. It also aids in the treatment of cholesterol and promotes brain and heart health. Jiaogulan also has antioxidant anti-cancer properties. Since it also improves insulin resistance, people with diabetes benefit from this herbal plant when consumed as a tea. 

It’s better to grow jiaogulan indoors as a houseplant. Why? Because this herbal plant is most prone to insect damage. Ensure you water these plants every 3-5 days because this plant doesn’t like to be dry. Give jiaogulan plants plenty of natural light by keeping it on a windowsill or in a sunroom is ideal. Feed it weekly with liquid kelp or compost tea. When the vines get too long, be sure to trim them, then you can make tea with the vines instead of throwing them out. 


21. Belladonna

You can use belladonna as a sedative and anticholinergic. Why? Because it works as an agent that blocks parasympathetic nerve impulses. Furthermore, it provides spasmolytic effects on the gastrointestinal tract. This medicinal plant also treats nervous congestion and suppresses the action of smooth muscles. People use belladonna to treat pain from the kidneys and colitis. Belladonna can also dilate the pupils of the eyes in ophthalmology. Both Western herbalists and Chinese folk medicine, this medicinal plant may treat and possibly cure cancer

Also known as deadly nightshade, belladonna is easy to grow from seed. You can allow the berries to ripen and fall from the plant to the ground, where the seeds will flourish into new plants. Or, you can plant the seeds yourself. However, the seed coats are hard, and the seeds need cold stratification to germinate. So soaking the seeds in water that is changed daily for two weeks in your refrigerator before planting them is crucial. Plant them immediately before they dry out. You can plant belladonna indoors or outdoors in your garden in the partial shade after the season’s last frost. 


20. St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort has many health benefits, including working as a nervous system trophorestorative. A term given to herbs that provide nutrients, substances, and actions, trophorestorative restores or corrects the weakness of a depleted organ or system. You can use this medicinal plant to treat cold sores, herpes, and other viruses. St John’s Wort benefits as a diuretic, and people have used it as a hepatic herb for years. Many herbalists use oil infused with St John’s Wort to protect their skin from the sun, using it as a mild sunscreen. This protective action is possibly a result of the excellent anti-inflammatory and vulnerary effects it has to offer. 

It can also be a powerful remedy for nerve pain. Some herbalists recommend that those who experience depression due to Seasonal Affective Disorder could benefit from this plant. Easy to grow, St John’s Wort can tolerate many challenging conditions. Because of this reason, many gardeners have referred to this medicinal plant as a weed. The main maintenance chore you will need to do while growing these plants is to keep them in check. 


19. Cayenne

In Mayan herbal medicine, people used cayenne peppers to counter microbial infections. The herbs’ heating qualities make it a good remedy for poor circulation, improving blood flow to the hands, feet, and central organs. You can take cayenne to relieve gas and colic, stimulating the secretion of digestive issues. It’s also helpful in relieving diarrhea. You can apply cayenne to the skin because it’s mildly analgesic. Use it on unbroken chilblains. 

If you live in a cool climate, you will need to start your cayenne seeds indoors with a potting mix. These pepper seedlings are susceptible to transplant shock, which means you will need to harden them off gradually before transplanting them into your yard. Make the holes with your finger, about one-quarter of an inch deep in the soil. After planting the seeds, backfill them with soil, watering them thoroughly. 


18. Chamomile

People use chamomile as a sedative to treat anxiety and promote sleepiness. You can benefit from its anti-allergy action and antimicrobial properties. Chamomile works as an anti-inflammatory as well as treats digestive issues. It relieves restlessness, promotes relaxation, induces sleep. You can gargle it to treat gingivitis and mouth sores. Alternatively, you can drink chamomile tea to relax the uterus muscles. You can apply this medicinal plant topically to help heal wounds, skin sores, and burns. It soothes inflammation and itchiness caused by eczema, skin rashes, and sunburns. 

When planting chamomile, put it entirely in sunlight if possible; partial shade is okay, too, though. Prepare your garden bed by adding compost and other organic material to the soil. This plant needs about an inch of water per week when starting. When it’s grown, it’s more tolerant of drought. You should feed your plant regularly because the stems grow about 2 feet high and will get floppy in poor nutrient-deprived soil. 


17. Echinacea

Echinacea has many benefits to offer, including having positive effects on the immune system, high antioxidants, may lower blood sugar levels, and reducing feelings of anxiety. This medicinal plant also has anti-inflammatory properties, may treat problems with the skin, and may even offer protection against some cancers. 

Are you ready to grow echinacea as a houseplant? It is better outside. This medicinal plant needs time to put down its roots before its first winter, so make sure to plant echinacea in spring or early fall, as long as the plants are water during any dry spells. 


16. California Poppy

California poppies may have sedative and anti-anxiety properties that promote sleep when combined with other herbs. However, this medicinal plant is not safe or effective when treating any health condition. Why? Because they need to do more studies on California poppies. 

These perennials love warm climates that self-seed easily. Plant the seeds into rich soil, ensuring they are in direct sun. They don’t need fertilizer and don’t take much watering. They bloom in the early summer until early fall. Keep reading for more herbal plants that have amazing medicinal uses. 


15. Stevia

Stevia offers benefits such as curing allergies, regulating blood pressure, controlling diabetes, and helping with weight control. You can add stevia to mouthwashes and toothpaste to help improve oral health, and it may even help improve bone health. You could also incorporate stevia into your skincare routine. The wide range of antioxidant compounds in stevia makes it an excellent dietary supplement for cancer prevention.

The best location to plant stevia is in full sun. Grow stevia in dappled sunlight if you are in a hot, dry region. Make sure the soil is in a well-drained area and loamy. Start the plants indoors 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost in the spring, then transplant them outdoors after the last frost, when warm weather has settled in, and the soil is warm. When planting stevia plants, sow them a quarter of an inch deep, and keep them 10 to 12 inches apart. 


14. Common Daisy

The common daisy has medicinal properties, and people often use it as an anti-inflammatory and astringent for digestive purposes, as a laxative, and emollient. It can also aid in healing, purgative, antitussive, demulcent, tonic, expectorant, and antispasmodic. 

Daisies are easy to grow from seed, decision, or nursery stock. Plant them directly into the soil about ⅛ inch deep when there is still a possibility for a light frost. The daisy seeds will germinate from 10 to 20 days, and plants will blood the following year, after one season of growth. To promote sturdy and robust growth, apply an all-purpose organic fertilizer early in the season. Before the flowers bloom, switch to a bud and bloom booster that is high in phosphorus to promote spectacular-looking flowers, too.


13. Sea Buckthorn

Sea buckthorn can dramatically improve digestion; it does so by normalizing gastric acid output, reducing inflammation, and lubricating the bowel. It can also help prevent and reverse GERD and ulcers. Sea buckthorn has tons of antioxidants that help protect and strengthen the immune system, and thanks to the antioxidants and phytonutrients, sea buckthorn can reduce the risk of diseases. The medicinal plant supports overall brain health and improves mental clarity through the healthy fats and vitamins it provides. That includes an array of omega fatty acids. 

You can use sea buckthorn to keep your skin vibrant and healthy from the inside out. Sea buckthorn does best in well-drained soil in direct sunlight to grow, and it’s intolerant of standing water and will not fruit if it’s in the shade. Plant them in early spring, and water and mulch them immediately. You don’t need much fertilizer because sea buckthorn makes its own nitrogen. 


12. Alfalfa

Did you know you can use alfalfa to treat diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, detoxify the liver, and work as an anti-inflammatory when drinking it as a tea? It also treats heart disease and helps to relieve stress and pain. Alfalfa can also help prevent cancer and treat stomach problems, osteoporosis, anorexia, anemia, hair loss, and skin pigmentation. This medicinal plant can also treat high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, urinary issues, hematoma, is a general health tonic, and has antibacterial and antifungal activity. 

When growing alfalfa, keep the beds free of weeds until the plants are at least 4 to 5 inches tall. When shorter, it’s easy for weeds to take over. Remember that even though these legumes are drought resistant, they will grow more steadily with ample water, so be sure they are getting enough. 


11. Motherwort

Motherwort has much to offer for medicinal purposes; that includes treating painful or delayed menstruation, delayed labor, and delayed after birth. You can also use it as a women’s tonic. This medicinal plant can also help treat fevers, respiratory ailments, edema, kidney stagnation, and increased appetite. Motherwort can also calm the heart and help relieve anxiety, as well. 

Motherwort will indeed grow almost anywhere, which is good to know. Plant the seeds in the latter part of spring, but you can also have the option of planting motherwort in your garden in late fall. Keep reading for more medicinal plants that have amazing health benefits. Learn how to grow them so you can use them, too!


10. Winter Savory

Winter savory contains aromatic, carminative, antiseptic, and digestive properties. You can use it as an expectorant and used to treat stings. This medicinal plant reduces and cures flatulence, cystitis, gastroenteritis, bronchial congestion, diarrhea, menstrual disorders, and even sore throats. 

This herb prefers to grow in moderately fertile soil and drains well. Make sure to only water winter savory lightly and provide regular moisture until the plant grows enough. Once settled in 4 to 6 weeks, this plant’s dry to moderate moisture levels are sufficient. Allow for the soil to dry out between watering deeply every other week. 


9. Spinach

Popeye was thinking when he popped open that can of spinach to reap its natural health benefits. If you don’t know who Popeye is, please look it up. More importantly, learn about why spinach is a medicinal plant. Spinach protects eye health, supports brain health, and can help with managing blood pressure. The herb is also high in antioxidants and filled with nutrients, and research reveals that not cooking greens is the best way to preserve their lutein content. 

One of the most satisfying cool weather crops to grow, spinach produces large yields of vitamin-rich dark green leaves that are great for salads and cooking. Hot weather and long days trigger spinach to bolt quickly; the secret to success with this plant is to start sowing seeds as soon as possible in the spring. Suppose you want to make small and frequent plantings, plant spinach in the late spring and summer. Moreover, concentrate on fall as the season for the main crop. 


8. Cat’s Claw

Unlike some of the more popular medicinal plants on this list, you might not understand the health benefits of cat’s claw. Not the plant directly, but cat’s claw extract has many benefits for those who use it for medicinal purposes. These benefits include digestive support, help treat blood pressure, work as an anti-inflammatory, support the immune system, and help fight against certain types of cancer. 

Caring for a cat’s claw is pretty straightforward. The vines on this plant tend to prefer moil and well-drained soil but will do well in anything as long as it’s not soggy. They like partial or full sun, so you’re not as limited on where to plant them in your yard or garden. This plant takes care of itself, besides the occasional watering. Just be sure to prune it up every so often to help with keeping it more manageable. 


7. Moringa Trees 

Moringa is a plant with anti-inflammatory properties that may effectively prevent edema from developing. The seed oil is also beneficial in protecting hair against free radicals and keeps it healthy and clean. This plant also helps protect the liver and can be used to treat and even prevent some cancers, asthma, diabetes, stomach complaints, and mood disorders. It can fight against bacterial diseases, makes bones healthier, protects the cardiovascular system, and helps wounds heal. Moringa also protects against kidney disorders, improves eye health, reduces high blood pressure, and can be used to treat anemia and sickle cell disease. 

Like most other medicinal plants, you may stunt the growth if it does not receive enough light, so be sure to plant moringa trees in a bright and sunny location. This plant benefits from a light application of a general, all-purpose fertilizer to help support its growth. They can, however, survive in poor soils if needed. Keep the ground for the moringa plants consistently moist but not wet. They are sensitive to overwatering. 


6. Ashwagandha 

People widely believe that Ashwagandha has aphrodisiac properties, and they can use it to help improve vitality and fertility. This medicinal plant can also help boost the immune system, increase blood production, and contain anti-carcinogenic, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and cardo-protective properties. You can use Ashwagandha to treat depression, stress, diabetes and stimulate the thyroid gland. Why? Because Ashwagandha has tons of antioxidants. 

Ashwagandha grows best when the temperature is between 70 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant it in a dry and sunny location. Add manure to enrich the soil if it’s poor, and remove debris and weeds before planting. This plant needs sandy and well-draining soil. It’s important to know that growing Ashwagandha in soil that retains moisture and remains waterlogged is impossible. It only needs to be watered when the plant seems thirsty, so make sure you don’t overwater it. 


5. Lemongrass

Drinking lemongrass tea gives you many health benefits. People use it to aid the digestive system, improve cholesterol levels, enhance the erythropoiesis boost effect, and increase hemoglobin concentration and red blood cell count. It reduces thrust and decreases elevated blood glucose levels. You can chew it to improve dental health. This medicinal plant has diuretic, antibacterial, antifungal, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Lemongrass can help with weight loss, treats high blood pressure, cold, cough, and helps relieve anxiety and stress when inhaled. 

When put in shampoo, lemongrass is also suitable for hair and dandruff and even possesses potent anti-cancer abilities that help fight cancer cell lines. Because lemongrass is a tender perennial, it will die back in colder climates. Make sure to grow it where the plant will receive direct sunlight and is in a well-draining, moist soil that’s right in organic matter. Remember, lemongrass can expand up to four feet in diameter, so keep that in mind when choosing your plant location. 


4. Oregano

You probably have this herbal medicine in your cupboard or pantry right now. Oregano has more to offer everyone than just something you add to your recipe when cooking. It can treat cramping, asthma, aching muscles, indigestion, colds, diarrhea, and skin sores while boosting overall health. Some evidence proves oregano can also help relieve inflammation, regulate blood sugars and lipids, fight bacteria, and even fight cancer. 

Oregano plants prefer to grow in a sunny spot but could benefit from afternoon shade. Plant them in a well-drained area filled with nutrients in the dirt. Over time, you will need to add nutrients to your plant’s soil, though. Keep reading for more medicinal plants that have health benefits. Also, learn how to grow them in your own garden so you can reap the benefits all of the time.


3. Passionflower

Passionflower not only is pretty to look at, but it has a few medicinal benefits to offer. People use it to reduce anxiety and promote sleep. This medicinal plant can help treat epilepsy, relieve menopause symptoms, and provide anti-inflammatory effects. 

Do you want to grow your own passionflower? When planting passion flowers, make sure they will be in direct sun and are in well-drained soil in a warm sheltered spot. To keep the plants neat, cut them back after flowering, or cut away any damaged growth in the spring. Most varieties of passionflower need protection in the winter. Keep reading to learn more about the health benefits of medicinal plants and how to grow them. 


2. Rhodiola Rosea

The health benefits of Rhodiola Rosea, an herbal root, are linked to the anti-inflammatory properties it contains. That includes stress, physical and mental performance, along with depression and anxiety. People also use it to treat stress-induced eating disorders. Rhodiola Rosea, or roseroot, is a hardy perennial that is not frost tender. 

This medicinal plant is not self-fertile, needing help from both male and female plants to propagate via seed, so bees and flies help pollinate the plants in nature. When choosing a spot to plant the roseroot, choose carefully. This plant does not like the shade but will grow in most soil types. It tolerates drought in some areas, as well as salty climates. Water your plant every week and a half with an inch of water at a time. If wilting starts to occur, water every 8 or 9 days instead of every week and a half. 


1. Peppermint

Peppermint isn’t just candy to snack on when you want something sweet and minty. It offers many medicinal benefits as well. It can soothe upset stomachs, helps with headaches, can treat symptoms caused by IBS, and ease stuffy sinuses. Peppermint also kills germs in the mouth, relieves menstrual cramps, boosts energy, curbs appetite, fights foodborne bacteria, sharpens your focus, and calms seasonal allergies. 

Peppermint is pretty easy to grow. As long as you give it enough water, it will be happy and do its thing. This medicinal plant will tolerate sandy or clay soil if you keep it sufficiently moist. Peppermint will thrive in a partly shaded area or direct sunlight, and just know that its flavor noticeably diminishes when the plant is in full shade