We know there’s no replacement for modern medicine, but natural remedies also have a place in our lives, especially on the homestead. Stings, scrapes, mild headaches, and sniffles are daily annoyances that over the counter medicines don’t always treat quickly. Fortunately, homesteaders can grow their own medicine to ward off minor maladies. Check out these common medicinal herbs that will keep you (and even your animals!) in tip-top shape.
This plant is a must-have in every home. Use it topically to treat burns from the beach or your kitchen. People also swear by aloe vera’s benefits when consumed as a juice, helping with digestion and acne. It’s also a fantastic makeup remover! (more ways to use aloe vera)
Horseradish is more than a sandwich condiment. Use horseradish root to open up congested sinuses in a flash. The best part? You don’t need to eat a huge chunk of the root. Simply include it in your meals for quick and easy congestion relief, with no pill bottles required.
In addition to making tasty treats in the kitchen, peppermint can also be used to soothe stomach troubles and headaches. Gather a fistful of leaves and brew them in a tea for quick relief. If you have a ton of peppermint growing, consider drying the leaves to preserve the harvest for year-round use.
If you’re looking for the plant kingdom’s equivalent of Tylenol, look no further than echinacea. This complex herb contains compounds that improve immune function, relieve pain, and reduce inflammation, both in humans and animals (but consult with a vet before giving herbs to your livestock). To use echinacea, you can make a tea with its dried leaves or roots.
Having trouble sleeping? A soothing tea made of chamomile flowers will set you right again. Chamomile tea also provides quick relief for stress and anxiety. (see how it helps with depression)
The bottom line
There’s no replacement for a doctor’s advice, so remember to consult with your physician before consuming homemade medicines. If you want quick relief for minor ailments without a trip to the pharmacy, consider growing your own medicine.