Since time immemorial, man has been tapping the medicinal capabilities of plants. In fact, most conventional medicines being used today were derived from plants. They provide the richest source of compounds for nearly 70% of modern medicines. In addition, at the beginning of the 21st century, 11 percent of the 252 drugs considered “basic and essential” by the World Health Organization were based on flowering plants. In this article, we will take a look at 5 medicinal plants you should keep in your garden.
1. Aloe Vera
Known as the “Plant of Immortality” by early Egyptians, aloe vera has long been used in mainstream health and beauty wellness. It is often used for after-sun skin care products or in a trendy water in health food stores. Aloe vera is ideal to grow in the garden as it requires low maintenance and only needs watering every three weeks. Aloe vera is used for treating damaged and inflamed skin. It also helps relieve digestive disorders like ulcerative colitis. The plant is also great for curing disorders like chronic constipation and helps lower blood sugar levels. In addition, it is great for reducing dental plaque.
Gingko is one of the oldest homeopathic plants and is a key herb in Chinese medicine. Its leaves can be used for creating capsules, tablets, and extracts. Its dried leaves can be consumed as a tea. The gingko tree is considered as a living fossil, which dates back to 270 million years ago. The tree can live up to 3,000 years. Gingko is best known for its ability to boost brain health. Studies have revealed that gingko can help with the treatment of patients with mild to moderate dementia. It also helps slow down cognition decline in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
3. Lemon Grass
Lemon grass is an aromatic tropical perennial healing plant known for its potential health benefits. The plant helps fight against respiratory issues like laryngitis and sore throat. Lemon grass possesses anti-cancer properties and is used for adjuvant therapy combined with chemotherapy. In addition, the plant is used as detox tea for weight loss. Lemon grass is also great for reducing abdominal pain, headaches, and others. It has antipyretic properties which makes it ideal for controlling fever. Lemon grass can be administered in different ways- orally, topical, or inhaled as aroma therapy. However, there is limited scientific research supporting these uses.
Ginger can be consumed in a variety of ways—fresh, powdered, or as an oil or juice. This flowering plant can be used in treating digestion problems as well as nausea. Ginger contains anti-inflammatory properties known as gingerols and shaogals. It is also great for fighting the common colds. Ginger is commonly sold in health food stores or juice bars. To fight nausea, sea sickness, or from eating food that does not agree with your stomach using ginger, make a tea from the roots. Ginger is also great for relieving sore throat quickly` by killing rhinoviruses, the cause of the common colds. It also makes a great addition to a healthy diet.
Tracing its origin from India, turmeric has been used as a medicinal herb for 4,000 years. It is hard to miss a bottle of turmeric because it is easily recognizable with its brilliant orange hue. It is rich in anti-oxidants which makes it a great cooking ingredient. Turmeric is believed to have anticancer properties and helps prevent DNA mutations. It has long been used by people with arthritis who wish to relieve discomfort. Recent research has revealed that turmeric has shown promise in treating various dermatologic diseases and joint arthritis.