Gardening is a great hobby!
It provides you with homegrown, organic produce and adds greenery to your surroundings. It is also considered a form of exercise, which provides physical and psychological benefits. Moreover, it gives you immense pleasure and satisfaction once you get the fruits of your hard labor.
Well, the benefits do not end there.
Many herbs and flowers have medicinal properties that can have a major impact on your health and well-being. You can use them to treat many health problems.
Nature provides so much of the medicine people need that you will be simply amazed.
In fact, herbalists across the globe are using several common plants and herbs that you may have in your garden to treat different health issues. These natural remedies provide you with a safe and cost-free alternative to commercial medicines.
Here are 10 natural home remedies you can get right from your garden.
1. Aloe Vera for Minor Burns
When working in the kitchen, we often encounter minor burns. To deal with such minor problems, the aloe vera plant from your garden is one of the best options.
Loaded with anti-inflammatory compounds, aloe vera gel soothes minor burns. In addition to reducing inflammation, it can prevent infection and promote healing of the damaged skin.
A 2007 study published in the journal Burns notes that aloe vera might be an effective treatment for burn wound healing for first to second degree burns.
- Cut open a leaf of an aloe vera plant and remove the gel.
- Apply this pure gel on the burned skin.
- Do it twice daily for 1 week.
2. Sage for a Cough
Got a cough that won’t quit? Go to your garden and grab some sage.
It has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antifungal properties that can help relieve symptoms associated with a persistent cough as well as whopping cough that make people very tired and fatigued.
Sage not only helps soothe coughs, it also treats sore throats, lowers fevers, reduces irritation and inflammation in the respiratory system, and eases other symptoms associated with a cough.
It can also fight the infection and speed up the healing process.
- Heat 1 teaspoon of dried or 2 teaspoons of fresh sage leaves in 1 cup of water. Boil and allow it to steep for 10 minutes after turning off the heat. Strain the tea and sweeten with honey. Drink this tea 2 or 3 times a day.
- Put 1 cup of fresh sage leaves (thoroughly washed) in a glass jar in 1 cup of local honey. Stir, put the lid on the jar and let it sit for about 1 week. Mix 1 tablespoon of it into 1 cup of warm water. Add a little honey for taste and additional soothing properties. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day.
Note: If you are pregnant, do not use sage in large amounts.
3. Thyme for a Sore Throat
A sore throat can be very uncomfortable and painful. Just a few days of suffering with a sore throat can take a toll on your energy level.
To alleviate your symptoms and boost your immunity, the herb thyme from your garden is just the right ingredient.
Thyme’s antimicrobial properties make it a great remedy when you have a cold, cough or sore throat. It fights the microbes that cause a sore throat, bronchitis and similar illnesses, while also helping to quell a spasmodic cough. Being an expectorant, it even aids the body in eliminating accumulated mucus.
Furthermore, it supports the immune, respiratory, digestive, nervous and other body systems.
When you have sore throat or any kind of respiratory problem, drink a few cups of warm thyme tea to get instant relief. To make the tea:
- Add 2 teaspoons of crushed thyme leaves (fresh or dried) to 1 cup of boiling water.
- Cover, let it steep for 10 minutes and strain it.
- Drink the tea while it is still warm.
4. Peppermint for Headaches
Headaches are a very common problem. Whether it is tension headache or migraine headache, peppermint can help treat it.
Peppermint has analgesic effects that help reduce sensitivity to pain. Also, the menthol in it helps open up clogged blood vessels that cause headaches.
It can also improve blood circulation throughout your body and help relax tense muscles.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint to a cup of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and add some honey to sweeten it. Sip the tea slowly to combat a headache.
- Also, you can put some fresh peppermint leaves in a pan of water and bring it to a boil. Then, inhale the steam to ease your headache.
5. Chamomile for Diarrhea
You know what diarrhea or an upset stomach means – endless trips to the bathroom! It’s very exhausting, as it causes loss of nutrients and water from the body.
If you have chamomile in your garden, you can use the flowers to soothe an upset digestive system very quickly.
This herb contains anti-inflammatory as well as antispasmodic properties. It relaxes the smooth muscle lining of the digestive tract and stops diarrhea.
It is also beneficial for abdominal cramping, bloating, nausea and gas.
- Add 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to a cup of hot water.
- Cover and steep for 5 minutes, then strain it.
- Add a little raw honey and drink it while it is still warm.
- Drink this chamomile tea 2 or 3 times a day until your symptoms are gone.
6. Holy Basil for Stress
Stress has become a part of life, and it can have a huge impact on your physical and mental health. To fight stress, you can make use of holy basil leaves.
Holy basil is a natural anti-stress agent that improves the body’s natural response to physical and emotional stress. This helps the body function properly during times of stress, which aids in minimizing the negative impacts on the body.
According to a 2014 study published in the Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, holy basil counters metabolic stress through normalization of blood glucose, blood pressure and lipid levels, and psychological stress through positive effects on memory and cognitive function as well as its anxiolytic and antidepressant properties.
- Simply chew 10 to 12 fresh holy basil leaves once or twice daily to combat stress.
- Another option is to drink basil tea. Put 1 tablespoon of fresh basil leaves in a cup of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for 5 minutes. Strain, add some raw honey and sip the tea slowly. Drink 2 or 3 cups a day.
7. Lemon Balm for Sleep
Proper sleep is important for overall health. For any kind of sleep problem, lemon balm from your garden is very helpful.
This herb has been used medicinally for centuries to address sleep disturbances as well as restlessness and anxiety. The key ingredient behind lemon balm’s sleeping-aid properties is eugenol.
It also reduces anxiety and calms the nerves, which in turn helps promote better sleep.
- Mix 2 teaspoons of fresh or 1 teaspoon of dried lemon balm in 1 cup of hot water.
- Let it steep for 5 to 10 minutes, then strain it.
- Drink this tea once in the daytime and once before going to bed for a few weeks to improve your sleep quality.
8. Plantain for Minor Wounds
No matter how careful you are, minor wounds can occur. Instead of visiting your doctor, take a stroll in your garden and collect some plantain leaves.
The tannins in the plantain acts as an antibacterial agent and helps reduce pain and inflammation. It can also reduce associated itching.
- Make a paste of a few plantain leaves.
- Apply the paste to the cut or wound.
- Allow it to dry, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Use this remedy several times a day until the wound gets better.
Plantain can also be made into a poultice to help with skin irritations.
9. Calendula for Insect Bites
Calendula, also known as pot marigold, makes a lovely addition to gardens with full sun.
It is also beneficial for minor skin irritations like insect bites, due to its antifungal, anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic and wound-healing properties.
The petals of these yellow and orange flowers lend skin-soothing properties to provide quick relief from insect bites as well as rashes, eczema, dry skin, wounds and bruises.
- Grind some tender calendula flowers and leaves into a paste.
- Apply the paste on the irritated skin or insect bite.
- Allow it to dry, then rinse it off with warm water.
- Use this remedy several timesa day.
10. Rosemary for Poor Memory
If you have started forgetting things, it’s time to make use of the rosemary plant in your garden.
A little rosemary on a daily basis can boost memory performance as well as stave off neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. This perennial, woody herb sharpens memory and concentration by bringing more oxygen to your brain.
It also helps increase the level of acetylcholine, which is a main transmitter of neural signals that play a key role in memory.
Simply sniffing this aromatic herb daily can help boost your memory and brain power.
This herb is also good for your hair. It improves hair growth and you maintain lustrous black hair.
You can prepare a hair rinse by boiling 10 to 15 rosemary springs in 4 cups of water, then allow it to steep for at least 30 minutes. Strain and use it as a hair rinse after shampooing your hair. Let it sit in your hair for 3 to 5 minutes, then you can either rinse your hair with cold water or just leave it in. Repeat a few times a week.