Medicinal herbal garden seeds include seeds of many different plants to grow for medicinal teas, tinctures and culinary use. You can purchase seed kits, which contain seeds for various plants, or purchase medicinal herbal seeds separately.
The Importance of Medicinal Herbs
According to the National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), 38 percent of all adults in the United States have used or are using alternative medicine in 2007, the year the survey was conducted. Herbal medicine is a part of that number. It's no wonder that people turn to herbs for relief. For centuries, the village herbalist doubled as apothecary and physician, and many modern medications including aspirin and digitalis were originally derived from plant sources, the willow tree and the foxglove respectively.
There are many herbs you can grow in the home garden that have medicinal properties. Culinary herbs are a great place to start. Mint, for example, may be brewed into a tasty tea that also settles stomach upset. Garlic provides antimicrobial properties and is thought to lower cholesterol levels when eaten regularly. Oregano, thyme, basil and lemon balm all have qualities useful in cooking as well as herbal remedies.
Shop for Medicinal Herbal Seed Collections
With hundreds of different herbs to choose among, what do you select for a medicinal herbal garden? One way to make the choice easy is to select a kit or package containing many different kinds of seeds with medicinal properties.
- Mountain Rose Herbs offers a collection online or you can choose individual seed packages from the list. All herbs are certified organic except for some that are collected in the wild.
- Horizon Herbs offers one complete kit with 18 different seed packages.
- Garden of Cures offers collections suitable for teas, aromatherapy and more.
- Richter's Herbal Seeds offers a small, affordable collection of basic herbs.
Easy-to-Grow, Dual Use Herbs
If you prefer to buy and plant individual varieties of herbs, there are many that are easy to grow and do double duty as both culinary and healing herbs. You should be able to find the following herb plants or seeds easily at the garden center in the spring.
- Catnip: Yes, you can dry the leaves and share them with your kitty, but you can also brew a tea from catnip that's said to help with indigestion. Plant catnip well away from other plants. It can be terribly invasive in the garden.
- Chamomile: Beautiful, nodding white flowers belie its ability to induce calm and restful sleep.
- Garlic: The edible bulbs provide antimicrobial action in the body and also may help to reduce cholesterol. Simply use it as a cooking agent to spice and season food.
- Lemon balm: Lemon balm may be used in cooking to create a simple lemon-flavored syrup. Medicinally, teas made from lemon balm help reduce fevers associated with colds and flu.
- Parsley: Garnish your plate and use in salads. It acts as a diuretic.
Whenever you use herbal remedies, please use care and common sense. Always tell your doctor about any herbal remedies you're taking and be sure to consult a doctor for any serious medical conditions.
Herb Gardening Tips
- Grow herbs in a sunny spot in the garden or in containers outside or on a windowsill. Herbs need full sun, defined as six or more hours per day.
- Soil requirements vary according to the herb seeds you plant. Many herbs are not fussy about soil. Mint, catnip, and oregano thrive in moderate garden soil and need no special fertilizer or care. Some, such as rosemary and lavender, prefer drier conditions that mimic their natural Mediterranean habitat.
- If you don't have a lot of space, consider purchasing an herbal seed kit at the garden center. While they may be more suited to culinary pursuits than herbal medicine, they can still give you the satisfaction of growing herbs from seeds.
Explore the World of Medicinal Herbs
There's a large selection of medicinal herbal garden seeds available as collections or individual packets. Be sure to learn how to dry herbs too for future use, and explore the wide world of herbal teas and tinctures also made from herbs grown in your garden.