Healing herbs are every prepper’s go-to medicines when SHTF. These natural medicines have been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments, such as wounds, fever and constipation. On top of that, many medicinal herbs are quite easy to grow and require very little maintenance. Watering them every now and then and ensuring that they receive enough sunlight are often all it takes to successfully grow these medicines.
Here are 10 medicinal herbs to plant in your garden before SHTF: (h/t to SurvivalSullivan.com):
Chamomile is well-known for its medicinal properties. It is used to treat indigestion, ear and eye infections, an upset stomach, insomnia and morning sickness. Chamomile-infused water can also be used as a mouth and hair rinse. This wonderful herb grows easily without much looking after.
Burdock is commonly used to treat rheumatism, scurvy and indigestion. When turned into a poultice and applied topically, it can soothe boils, bruises and inflamed skin. All parts of the plant, from its roots to its leaves, can be used medicinally.
3. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is found in many homes as a decorative plant, which is proof of how easy it is to grow. The gel of this popular succulent is commonly used to treat skin ailments, such as burns and eczema. Drinking aloe vera juice also helps support liver function and relieves heartburn and constipation.
Peppermint is widely used today as a flavoring herb, but it can also hold its own when used medicinally. Thanks to its high menthol content, it helps relieve sore muscles, cramps and headaches caused by stress. Some people also apply peppermint products on acne and dark spots. Peppermint is a vigorous spreader and thrives even with little maintenance.
Dandelion is a prized medicinal herb and food source for Native Americans. As an excellent diuretic (something that makes you pass urine often), it helps detoxify the gallbladder and liver and boosts kidney function. The plant’s leaves can also stimulate the appetite and soothe digestive problems.
6. Stinging nettle
The fine hairs on the leaves and stems of stinging nettles are painful to the touch. But when applied to burns and cuts, they can actually reduce the pain caused by these skin abrasions. Experts attribute this effect to stinging nettles’ ability to reduce inflammation and interfere with the way the body transmits pain signals.
Besides skin ailments, stinging nettles have also been used to treat allergies, anemia, fatigue, arthritis, lung and urinary tract infections and internal bleeding. They also help rid the body of kidney stones and parasites.
Echinacea is known for its beautiful bright-purple flowers. But more than just an ornamental, this flowering plant is also a potent medicinal herb. Echinacea can help detoxify the liver, lower blood pressure and reduce the symptoms of various mental disorders, such as anxiety and depression. Native Americans also use echinacea to boost the immune system and treat the common cold.
Rosemary is a both popular culinary and medicinal herb. People often use hair products that contain rosemary or rub their the head with rosemary oil to lessen chronic migraines. On top of that, this herb is also an excellent air disinfectant and was used by early settlers to repel snakes. Rosemary is quite easy to grow and thrives indoors too. (Related: Shake up your indoor gardening by planting these 8 fruits and vegetables in buckets.)
Yarrow is a flowering plant with edible flowers and leaves. The ancient Greeks used yarrow to treat battle wounds and stop excessive bleeding. Nowadays, dried yarrow flowers and leaves are used to relieve digestive problems, improve blood circulation, reduce menstrual bleeding and bring down fever. Yarrow care is easy and requires little maintenance.
Having a herbal garden at home will be useful in an SHTF scenario. If you feel constipated or are nursing a wound, you can simply pluck a leaf or two from your survival garden and concoct an herbal mix. If you worry that growing your own medicine will be hard, the herbs listed here are easy to take care of and fun to tend to.