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30 Medicinal Herbs and Common Uses

Look at any list of medicinal herbs and you're likely to see some familiar plants. Below are a few examples of common herbs and conditions they might be used to treat. (For more on growing and using medicinal herbs, read Homegrown Medicine.)

*Plants designed at risk for overharvesting by United Plant Savers. 


Blackberry (Rubus villosus) Treat sore throat
*Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa) Treat premenstrual discomfort
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) Heal wounds
Cayenne (Capsicum annuum) Prevent peptic ulcers
Chamomile, German (Matricaria recutita) Encourage digestion
Cleavers (Galium aparine) Reduce inflammation
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) Treat bruises, sprains
Crampbark (Viburnum opulus) Relax muscles
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Diuretic
*Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea) Stimulate immune system
Elder (Sambucus nigra) Treat cold symptoms
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) Encourage digestion
Ginger (Zingiber officinalis) Treat motion sickness
*Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) Reduce inflammation
Gumweed (Grindelia spp.) Treat cold symptoms
Hawthorn (Crataegus oxyacanthus) Promote heart health
Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) Treat sore throat
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) Stimulate digestion
Mullein (Verbascum spp.) Treat sore throat
Nettle (Urtica spp.) Diuretic
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) Stimulate digestion
*Pipsissewa (Chimaphila umbellata) Treat urinary track infections
Plantain (Plantago lanceolata or P. major) Heal wounds
St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) Treat depression
Scullcap (Scutellaria spp.) Ease muscle tension
Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Sleeping disorders
Vitex (Vitex agnus-castus) Treat prementrual discomfort
Willow Bark (Salix alba) Treat osteoarthritis
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) Reduce inflammation
Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus) Stimulate digestion
























Post a comment below.


7/2/2013 3:52:24 PM

I have had customers take these and ferment them with EM-1 to make different concotions/ healing tonics.

Lorraine Houchin
4/21/2013 1:59:47 PM

12/24/2010 7:14:09 AM
black cohosh is a very renewable herb.I harvested a spot to teach my son how to harvest it and make some money. When I returned a couple years later visiting I walked to the spot where I taught him, almost a rocks throw from the porch,and their was twice or more growing there as there was before. I think the root hairs that broke off in the ground regrew. Now being out of work for a couple years, and broke, I'm digging it again and saving money to get to a job when my work comes back. Which will be in feb building a data center. And the first place I started digging was the same spot. I worked about 3 weeks in sight of the back porch. It was so thick that I was on my butt for hours without standing up. about a 30 by 30 foot section was all I could get dug in one day.I'm not making a lot of money but am making the money to start me back working.When the snow covered the ground so I couldn't dig, I walked through the woods and marked spots where I seen some sticking up through the snow with toilet paper to mark the spots and I didn't go far before I ran out of paper. I would be glad to share any info to anyone to help them also. and when I take the roots out of the ground I know their going to help someone.

Michelle Welty Moore
12/5/2010 11:57:55 AM
My parents retired from a stressful city life in Norfolk, Virginia in the early 70's and started living a rural farm life in the mountains of WV where Mother Earth News and the Farmers Almanac became the guiding foundation for a new life style for our family. I was 17 years old at the time, and still fondly remember my years living on a farm. It is a testament to the impact those years had upon me that I am now living in Panama, developing an organic farm, with an organic/sustainable eco-retreat. I am looking forward to perusing your articles in pursuit of essential oils and natural medicines which I can produce organically in the jungle of Central America. Thank you, Mother Earth News Staff!

9/2/2008 7:39:30 AM
I've been fascinated with wild growing plant life since I was a child. When we moved to this 10 acres of woodland/swamp/meadow area of northwestern MN, I sought out ladies who could help me identify this new foliage. Here we found dozens (literally) of herbs, medicinal and edible. I bought books with pictures and noted each one so that I would have the correct name and usage for when I ever would need them. I believe that there is at least one person per community who has knowledge of the local flora/fauna and I recommend that you ask for help when you first become involved with the identification practice. One lady who is also a registerd midwife, has given much practical advice which I as a novice tend to "listen to" more than other folks as she has the medical education behind her wisdom. And for those of you who share my belief in a Creator, the peace you find while meandering among the 'weeds' and woods, is far more spiritually uplifting and satisfying to me than an hour a week in a church. Like "they" say - take time to smell the roses (or the anise hyssop)!! :)

Linda McParland_1
9/2/2008 6:07:55 AM
Thank you for continuing to send the Mother Earth Newsletters. Each week I read through everything in the Newsletter, and find exactly what I need to know regarding renewable resources that reaffirm my commitment to preserving our natural world. The herbalist in me loved your latest article on homegrown medicine, and reminded me to plant some additional indoor and outdoor herbs before the weather changes. Thank you for your comprehensive and diverse subject matters, and for sharing Mother Earth's pure, uncorrupted, organic, naturalistic, and nurturing views that lead us toward a balanced and healthy way of living. Linda McParland

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