Herbs forum: Anyone venturing into medicinal herbs?

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Name: Jill
Weatherby, Missouri (Zone 5a)
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May 16, 2014 1:51 PM CST
I'm starting an herb garden/kitchen garden, and wondering if anyone else grows and saves medicinal herbs? If you have a favorite website/book or other source of info, I'd love to hear about it.

I'm starting with Echinacea purpurea, catmint, lemon balm, peppermint, spearmint, feverfew and elderberry. I splurged on a stevia plant, but I don't know how to use it effectively. I don't know how to use any of them perfectly, but I'm reading and learning. What's in your garden?
Name: Dave Whitinger
Jacksonville, Texas (Zone 8b)
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May 16, 2014 3:03 PM CST

Garden.org Admin

We have a vast array of plants that we grow for medicinal and other purposes. @Trish is our expert on that subject. We grow all the ones you mentioned, plus comfrey and yarrow and quite a number of others. We love them all, and most of them have extra benefits beyond medicinal, especially as plants for the bees.
Name: Trish
Jacksonville, TX (Zone 8a)
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May 16, 2014 3:16 PM CST

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I don't have a specific source of info, but I did just start growing thing that I found myself buying on a regular basis.

In addition to the above, Marsh Mallow is easy to grow and I use it as part of a cough syrup every year. also, German Chamomile is easy, yarrow goes great with Elderberries for fighting colds/flu, and calendula for balms.

Don't forget that the herbs that you are using the roots of need to be at least 3 years old to have the benefits.

It is great fun, and rewarding to see that part of our household budget go down!
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Name: Jill
Weatherby, Missouri (Zone 5a)
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May 16, 2014 7:56 PM CST
I had not yet discovered Marsh Mallow, but I'll look it up to learn about it. I do have German Chamomile and I'm starting Calendula seeds this spring.

Thank you for the information about the plants you grow and use. I have a feeling this area of study will be a great adventure. Smiling
Name: Kristi
east Texas pineywoods (Zone 8a)
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May 19, 2014 6:56 AM CST
I grow an assortment of herbs for medicinal use as well as for my pleasure. There is a wealth of information on the internet for herbal usage but I will suggest looking at the resource links and always cross reference to verify the information. Here is one link... http://www.motherearthnews.com...

The good thing about herbal medicine is it generally does not have the dosage strength so is safer than most meds.

People rarely consider one of the common herbs grown as an herb but it is and is medicinally common ~ Aloe barbadensis. This aloe plant will treat skin issues and help to heal wounds and burns.

Good luck in your quest. It is fun!
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Name: Jill
Weatherby, Missouri (Zone 5a)
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May 19, 2014 9:42 AM CST
Thanks for the link, Kristi. I'll get busy researching!

Name: Toni Melvin
Sherwood Oregon (Zone 8a)
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May 19, 2014 6:22 PM CST
Hi Jill,
I, too grow as many herbs as possible, and especially love the perennial herbs. I have learned most of what I know from Jack Spirko of “The Survival Podcast”. If you go to his site and do a search for medicinal herbs you will find two podcasts he has done that are very informative. Also, he has gotten a lot of his info from “Sand Mountain Herbs. com” They have so much information on their website. Good luck to you, I think you are going to have so much fun and satisfaction.

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Name: Jill
Weatherby, Missouri (Zone 5a)
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May 20, 2014 7:20 AM CST
Thanks, Toni. I know I'll enjoy learning about herbs and natural medicinals. There is a lot to learn so the journey will be fun. I appreciate your links and reference tips.
Name: Kim
Iowa (Zone 5a)
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Oct 21, 2015 10:03 AM CST
I am just barely beginning. I made a salve last year with chickweed in it. I told a friend about it and she said to make it better add Plantain to it. Next time, I 'll do this and also not make so much in one batch. We don't go through it that fast.

For the most part I buy herbal supplements because they are in measured doses. I'm nervous about taking too much of something. We just got in the ground some Black Cohosh that I hope to use medicinally.

Oh, I have to tell a funny story.... I gave some friends a garden tour of my place this spring. I pointed out the Wild Senna and one of them laughed and said, "Laxative Plant?!" She is a nurse and gives Senna to some of her patients. I grew it because it's native, but if it is thriving, I may collect the leaves. Rolling my eyes.

About plantain, I dried some of those leaves to use instead of burdock to put on burns and cuts. It already grows here wild and I do not want to add another non-native to the area. Also, I learned something horrible about burdock recently, the seed heads are the inspiration for Velcro and think about what happens to any birds that land on it.
Name: Margaret
Delta KY
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Oct 21, 2015 3:47 PM CST
I just started using herbs a couple of years ago and am still adding plants to my garden. Some are for my chickens and I don't have near enough of some of them for both of us

Most herbal sites and books tell you how much is enough to use of the herbs you are interested in.
Most reccmend 1 teaspoon to 1 cup of water for teas.

Burdock grows wild here so I use it.
Plantain also grows wild here. I use it in salves for skin issues.
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
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Oct 21, 2015 6:15 PM CST
I add comfrey to just about every lotion and salve I make, along with other herbs. Still learning, still experimenting. I make small batches at a time.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: Linda
Medina Co., TX (Zone 8a)
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Oct 21, 2015 9:13 PM CST
I've got books, first is Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine and the second, Herbal Medicine of the American Southwest, the Definitive Guide. The second one I haven't had very long and seems to have plants that grow wild in the SW, some of which aren't available here, of course. I also have some old issues of The Herb Companion, a magazine which is no longer published. I've used medicinal herbs for quite a few years.
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Name: nell mcguire
north little rock Ar (Zone 7b)
Oct 25, 2015 6:41 AM CST
I have just recently started to learn about the benefits of herbs. I am trying to plant as many as i can . I want to be able to identify each one. I have planted russian comfrey Vitex, also planted several mint varities . I especially like stinging nettle.I made a hair spritzer with nettle and rosemary and it worked really well for me . actually most of what i know about herbs i learned because of ATP
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Oct 26, 2015 9:57 PM CST
if anyone needs some chickweed..... Rolling on the floor laughing (or plaintain, for that matter)
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Delaware (Zone 7b)
Oct 27, 2015 7:44 PM CST
I had received a book called "The Green Witch Herbal" some years ago. It was a great reference book. I haven't looked at herbs for remedies for a few years. But I believe in a lot of tea varieties. Moderate usage, of course.
My husband and I sold a home in upstate N.Y. a couple of years ago. Around the decks we built around the small home, I planted some herbs. I would love to see the home (herbs) now.....?Or not. Lol, you never know.
Delaware (Zone 7b)
Oct 29, 2015 9:03 PM CST
Chickweed is a versatile and very easy to grow herb. That's a good one to have. It's very generous of you to offer.
Another good but endangered plant to have is the striped or spotted wintergreen. Pipsissewa.
I just found out that I have a backyard full of it. (My husband and I are fixing up an old home, set back in a woodsy area. Just the right growing conditions).

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