11 Medicinal Herbs to Grow in Your Backyard
Growing medicinal herbs in your backyard is easy and increases your self-sufficiency.
We love herbal remedies, and if you do as well, you’ll want to try growing some different medicinal herbs in your backyard. Having the herbs in your backyard not only saves you money, but these plants also attract all sorts of pollinators to your garden.
If I feel a cold coming on, I prefer not to turn to over-the-counter medicine. Instead, I pick out one of my several dried herbs I keep in our home. Along with dried herbs, we keep infused oils, herbal teas, and herbal bath satchels prepared and ready to go.
You could dedicate a huge space in your garden to medicinal herbs. We grow around ten, but some double as medicinal and herbal, such as basil. I can use rosemary for medicinal and culinary purposes.
If you’re wondering which medicinal herbs you should grow in your backyard, here are a few of my absolute favorites.
Medicinal Herbs for Your Backyard Garden
Here are all of my favorite medicinal herbs to grow. I also linked where I grab them in bulk if I don’t grow enough for the season – trust me; it happens all the time!
Everyone likes that minty flavor, and mint has many different medicinal uses. I use it regularly, especially when my kids have stuffy noses.
If you have nausea, upset stomachs, motion sickness, or morning sickness, mint is your friend. I used to suck on peppermint candy when I was pregnant with my kids; it really helped to calm my nausea.
One thing to note about growing peppermint is that these plants are known for being invasive, spreading all over your garden. That’s why it’s recommended to grow mint – all types – in pots rather than in your garden.
I grow my mint in my garden, but I make sure to harvest it regularly and divide up the plants whenever needed.
Medicinal Uses for Peppermint
- Stomach Issues
- Stuffy Noses
- Cooling Down
- Motion and Morning Sickness
Grab peppermint in bulk!
Everyone has heard of chamomile. It is a famed herb, known for helping adults and children get a peaceful night’s sleep. The reputation is true; chamomile is perfect as a sleep aid.
Medicinal Uses for Chamomile
- Fever reducer
- Treating colds
- Stomach illnesses and morning sickness
- Reduce inflammation
- Antibacterial and antifungal
- Relieve teething problems
- Reduce colic
- Stress reliever
There are several ways to use chamomile!
Most of all, I use chamomile as an herbal tea, but you can create salves, vapors and as a wash or compress. You could also add dried chamomile to your bath water. That is an easy way to use the benefits for children.
Grab chamomile in bulk.
Calendula produces a beautiful orange flower that will brighten up your flower garden. I grow calendula right amongst my flowers and vegetables; it blends in perfectly. The petals are edible; toss some in your salads!
Related: 10 Beautiful Flowers to Plant with Vegetables in Your Garden
Medicinal Uses for Calendula
For centuries, people used calendula for a variety of purposes. You can use it to treat:
- minor wounds
- cuts and scrapes
- heal burn
- bee stings,
- Soothe rashes or skin irritation
If you want to have a medicinal herb around to use for your kids, calendula is perfect. Trust me; you will find ways to use it! Calendula is versatile, and you can use it in several methods.
My favorite way is to make homemade diaper rash creams, but you can use calendula in your bath water, as a cream or salve, compresses or washes, ointments, massage oils, teas, tinctures and more! Best of all, calendula is so gentle, perfect for children.
Buy calendula in bulk for all your herbal remedies.
If there is one herb you want to have in your garden for flu, it has to be Echinacea. Native Americans first discovered the medicinal benefits of Echinacea. It is a coneflower that is native to many areas in the continental United States.
Medicinal Uses for Echinacea
- Heals wounds
- Kills off infections
- Treatment for the flu
- Reduces upper respiratory infections
- Kills the common cold
Echinacea is a powerful, immune-boosting herb that you need to grow. Don’t be afraid of its strength; Echinacea is truly easy to grow. The plant grows to 36 inches tall and is often an ornamental flower in gardens, attracting bees and butterflies.
Try planting Echinacea near other plants that require pollination.
You can use Echinacea in several ways. Infusions, decoctions, herbal teas and capsules are a few of the common ways. If you go into the herbal supplement section in any supermarket, you will find Echinacea pills. You can grab bulk echinacea if you want to fill a lot of capsules.
Related: How to Use Echinacea: A Potent Medicinal Herb
Most people think of oregano and pizza; this combination is divine. When I make homemade pizza sauce, I include plenty of oregano. That’s why I have several plants throughout my garden.
Oregano is also one of the powerhouse medicinal herbs that you can grow in your garden. It’s known for being antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral, and anti fungal. Taking this helps to fight off fungi, bacteria, and viruses that might attack your body.
It’s also an herb that many people use to treat chickens and keep their flock healthy! Get a big bag of oregano and use it for all sorts of things around your home.
Related: 10 Easy Herbs to Grow for Chickens to Keep Your Flock Healthy
Medicinal Uses for Oregano
- Treats Colds and the Flu
6. Bee Balm
Sometimes called bergamot, bee balm is a wonderful medicinal plant that is beloved for its antimicrobial properties. It is antiviral, antibacterial, and anti fungal.
That’s a powerful medicinal herb!
Not only does bee balm have many different medicinal uses, but, as you might guess from its name, bees love it. Planting bee balm around your vegetable garden is a fantastic way to encourage honey bees and other pollinators to stop by. We all know how important pollinators are in your garden.
Medicinal Uses for Bee Balm
- Soothes Coughs
- Soothes Skin Irritation
- Heals Skin
- Relieves Stomach Cramps
If you are lucky, Feverfew might grow wild near to your home. Originally from the Balkan Peninsula, Feverfew now grows wild and in flower gardens around the world. The plant produces dozens of small, daisy-like flowers with white petals and yellow centers. You might confuse it with chamomile.
Historically, Feverfew treats several ailments. While the most obvious might be reducing fevers (due to the name), you can use Feverfew to treat:
- Most noteworthy – treat headaches
- Relieve toothaches
- Helps with menstruation and labor during childbirth
- Treats digestive problems
- Heals insect bites
- Treats arthritis pain
You can use Feverfew in a variety of ways. Our favorite method is to make an herbal bath. We fill a satchel with dried flowers and leaves.
Then, I place it directly into their bathwater. It is a fantastic way to help reduce a child’s fever. You can get feverfew in bulk to make up a bunch of bath satchels.
8. Lemon Balm
A member of the mint family, lemon balm is a famed essential oil and medicinal herb. While it is not native to North America, you can find lemon balm in most nurseries and backyard gardens.
Be careful when you grow this medicinal herb because they’re just as invasive as other members of the mint family!
Medicinal Uses of Lemon Balm
Herbalists rely on lemon balm to treat a variety of illnesses and ailments, such as:
- Reduce fevers
- Treat colds
- Reduce stomach aches
- Cure headaches
- Calm anxiety
Growing lemon balm is easy! You can start the plants with seeds indoors, or you can sow seeds late in the fall for a spring sprouting. The plant can spread out, reaching almost two feet tall. However, it doesn’t prefer full sun so keep it in an area that reduces shade, especially during the summer.
How can you use lemon balm? There are so many ways!
One of my favorite ways is to make an herbal tea by pouring boiling water on top of fresh leaves. You can use dried lemon balm, but it does lose its scent faster. Just like other herbs, you can make herbal baths, tinctures and more; I buy my lemon balm from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Not only is sage one of my favorite culinary herbs to grow, but it also has medicinal properties. It treats a variety of ailments like sore throats and cold sores.
I make an awesome sage sore throat spray that my kids love and I feel like works better than some things you get in the store.
The leaves of the sage plant is what you use the most. It’s also what you will harvest and save for culinary dishes. Sage and chicken go together so well, and I also include it in our homemade sausage seasoning mix so I always need to have bulk sage on hand.
Related: 9 Culinary Herbs Even Black Thumbs Can Grow
Medicinal Uses for Sage
- Sore Throat
- Menopause Issues
- Tooth Whitening
- Enhances Memory
Rosemary is undoubtedly one of the best medicinal herbs. The leaves look like little pine needles. Rosemary is a culinary and medicinal herb. We love to cook lemon and rosemary chicken or rosemary garlic bread! Delicious!
Medicinal Uses for Rosemary
- Aids indigestion
- Helps digest starchy food
- Relieves mental fatigue and forgetfulness
- Cures colds and chills
- Relieves flatulence
- Heart stimulant
- Reduces dandruff
- Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
I typically drink rosemary tea if I notice I have indigestion. Most of all, rosemary shampoo is wonderful for your scalp health! If you feel as if you are in a daze and need more clarity, rosemary is for you.
Many people don’t realize that rosemary is actually a perennial herb. If you plant a few rosemary plants around your garden, they’ll return year after year.
Related: 11 Perennial Vegetables & Herbs for Your Garden
In many areas, yarrow grows wild. Depending on where you live, you might be able to find and harvest wild yarrow rather than growing this in your backyard.
Yarrow is known for its ability to stop bleeding. With four kids underfoot, you know someone always has a cut or scrape that needs to be treated with an easy yarrow salve. I get yarrow in bulk because I use it so much I often don’t grow enough for a year.
Not only is it one of the most useful medicinal herbs, but it also produces beautiful blooms that look gorgeous in your garden. The plant will grow back every year, inviting pollinators to your garden and putting on a beautiful show.
Medicinal Uses for Yarrow
- Treats the Flu
- Reduces Fevers
- Stops Bleeding
Grow Some Medicinal Herbs
Of course, there are tons more medicinal herbs you can grow in your garden like lavender, motherwort, and thyme. Start small and try growing a few herbs each year, gradually extending your herb garden.
Thank you. Very informative. Hope to be have a garden soon to grow these herbs.
Do you have a recommendation for where to buy seeds or plants to get started??
I buy all of my seeds from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds!
I grow most herbs in containers as I live in a townhouse with very limited outdoor space
I have been reading about comfrey, its also called “knit bone” because of its healing qualities. I have manage to grow one from seed. I love all the ones you mentioned also, I have some rosemary and echinacea growing now and plan on adding more herbs. Thanks for the info:)
I am growing chamomile and have a cup every night at bedtime, it really makes a difference. Also good with a dash of lemon and honey when you have a cold. Also have rosemary and lemon balm and waiting on some echinacea. I love having multi use herbs in my garden.
Herbs are so amazing aren’t they! I grow several of these too!!
nice post, natural herb are very important for our life and life is depending on the herb we have to understand and accept it.