Ouch! I was out working in the yard when I got stung on my ankle by an angry hornet.
Unfortunately, we didn’t have any sting remedy on hand, so I had to improvise. I looked at the medicinal herbs I was growing in the yard and found a few plantain leaves, chewed them up, and applied them to my ankle then covered it with a little bit of gauze. The plantain seemed to reduce the pain, swelling, and the redness. It wasn’t long before I was back outside. Plantain is one of my favorite herbal remedies, but there are other great herbal remedies that work for common ailments.
So what are the 10 best herbal remedies for common ailments? In my opinion they are ginger, aloe, toothache plant, plantain, echinacea, lavender, mint, mullein, chamomile, and calendula. Many of these can be used as teas or poultices to treat headaches, nausea, stress, minor wounds, and of course, insect stings.
In this article, we’re going to talk about my ten favorite herbal remedies for common ailments. We’ll tell you what it is, how it grows, and how to use it. Keep in mind that I’m not a doctor. Before trying any herbal remedy, consult your doctors and medical health professionals. Do your research to find out if these remedies are safe for you and your family to use. But I’ll tell you my favorites to give you a starting point.
Ginger is well-known for its culinary delights, especially in Asian cooking, where the plant originated. Today, you can purchase fresh ginger root in just about any grocery store. In addition, the roots can be cultivated and grown so that you can use them both in your cooking and for its medicinal purposes.
It is pretty widely accepted that ginger helps to prevent and treat nausea. Gingerol, the medicinal substance in ginger, can not only help with nausea, but it can also be an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant
Boil ginger for several minutes and then strain it to make a tea. Serve over ice or hot to soothe nausea and even a sore throat. Consider making ginger a regular addition to your cooking to make use of the antioxidant properties that may help keep you healthier.
Aloe Vera plants are succulents that are easy to grow. They love bright indirect light and only need to be watered every few weeks. As a result, they practically thrive on neglect!
These plants are great to have on hand for their skin-healing properties. The gel inside of an aloe leaf can be used topically on minor burns, sunburns, bug bites, and small scrapes or cuts. According to WebMD, Aloe Vera is also used in treatments for psoriasis, dandruff, and even acne.
3. Toothache Plant
The toothache plant, also known as Acmella oleracea, is a flowering plant originally from Brazil. The toothache plant is in the daisy family. It has round yellow flowers with red spots in the middle. Sometimes it’s called an electric daisy or a buzz button.
The toothache plant has unique properties. If you have a toothache or mouth pain, you can chew on a flower of the toothache plant. It will cause a numbing sensation and might also make you drool! On the other hand, it will temporarily ease the mouth pain (although this is not a substitute for dental care).
I’ve never actually used the toothache plant for a real toothache, but I have given it a taste test. At first bite, you might think nothing is happening, but after a few minutes, I felt a strange buzzy sensation and then numbness in my mouth.
Broadleaf plantain is a common weed that you shouldn’t confuse with plantain fruit. The weed is often found in lawns across the United States and can be used to treat bug bites and stings.
If you are outside and find you’ve gotten stung by a bee or bit by a mosquito, you can make a quick spit poultice. Chew on a clean plantain leaf until it gets sort of gummy. Then, apply it to your bee sting, and it will soothe the pain and itch. Plantain is my go-to remedy for any kind of bug bite relief.
If you are at home, you can dry plantain and store it. Then, make a tea from the dried leaves. Then, soak a cloth in the tea and apply it to the bee sting.
Echinacea is a pretty flower in the sunflower family. It is also known as coneflower and is commonly found in flowerbeds. It is often used for its immune system-boosting benefits.
You can purchase echinacea as a supplement or tea, but you can also brew your own. You can use fresh echinacea – either the roots, leaves, or flowers – or you can use it dried. The newest leaves and flowers will be the most bitter, while the roots will be the most potent part of the plant. Put your echinacea leaves or flowers in a cup, and pour boiling water over the top. Allow the tea to brew for as long as desired, then strain and drink.
Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant flowering herb that is easy to grow. It is thought to treat minor skin wounds, hair loss, and fungal infections, but it excels in treating anxiety and sleeplessness.
Lavender is both soothing and calming when used as aromatherapy. You can also use it in a tea to treat stress and anxiety. It may also help with stress, headaches, and nausea.
I personally enjoy the soothing properties of lavender both as a tea and as aromatherapy. If nothing else, it’s a great way to relax after a hard day.
Mint is an easy-to-grow perennial that can really take over your garden! There are many varieties of mint, from peppermint to spearmint, chocolate mint, and even pineapple mint. It is typically used in cooking and flavoring foods such as ice cream, drinks, and even toothpaste. But it also has medicinal benefits, as well.
Mint tea can be used to soothe indigestion and upset stomachs. In addition, mint can increase focus and decrease stress, which may help soothe headaches, as well.
You can make mint tea by pouring boiling water over fresh or dried leaves and then straining it.
I have several different types of mint growing around my home. I love to add fresh mint leaves to drinks and make my own mint tea when I have a headache.
Mullein is an herby weed with bright yellow flowers. It originated from Europe and Asia but is now naturalized in the United States.
Traditionally, mullein had a number of medicinal uses. It was most often used to treat upper respiratory conditions such as bronchitis or sore throats. In addition, it may be considered an expectorant, which helps your body expel mucus.
You can prepare a tea from mullein leaves for upper respiratory conditions. Or you can use the tea on a cloth to make a poultice for minor wounds and skin infections.
Chamomile isn’t just for the flower garden. It’s also a potent herbal remedy from the daisy family.
Chamomile has been used in traditional medicine for many years. However, it is most often used as a tea.
One of the most common uses for chamomile is to treat stress and insomnia – a cup of tea before bed is thought to help you sleep. However, according to Very Well Health, it is believed that chamomile compresses may speed wound healing and improve skin conditions.
You might be surprised to discover that calendula – a popular herbal remedy – is also a popular summer plant, the pot marigold or Calendula officinalis.
Tinctures and ointments made with calendula are used to treat conditions such as burns, cuts, and bruises. It is even found in baby shampoo to treat cradle cap.
Final thoughts on Herbal Remedies
These are some of my most favorite herbal remedies for common ailments and troubles. Remember to do your own research and talk to your doctor before trying any of these remedies. Keep in mind that many of these herbal remedies have been used in traditional medicines for many, many years.
How do I make herbal tea?
You can make an herbal tea from many of these plants. For some, you’ll want to dry the leaves or flowers in a dehydrator first. For other plants, you can use the leaves or fresh flowers. Finally, for some plants, such as ginger, you’ll want to use the roots.
Place the fresh or dried parts of your plant into a cup and pour 8 ounces of boiling water over the top. Allow the tea to steep for about five minutes, then strain it. Drink when it reaches a comfortable temperature. You may want to add honey or lemon to improve the taste.
Are herbal remedies dangerous?
The FDA does not regulate herbal remedies, and many do not have scientific studies to back them up. However, many have been passed down for generations, which provides some evidence to their worth.
You do need to be careful with herbal remedies because there may be unknown side effects, some herbs may interact with prescription drugs, and some may be unsafe for pregnant and nursing women. If you are unsure, ask your doctor or pharmacist.