7 Edible Landscape Plants with Medicinal Benefits
Why Grow Your Own Plants?
We are all looking for safe, healthier ways to live a more productive life. Gardening not only provides vegetables, herbs and beneficial plants, but also provides great exercise, because growing a good, sustainable garden requires a bit of calorie burning labor.
Many plants have medicinal benefits nature has provided since our Indian, original homesteaders, lived off the land. Horticulture researchers have found some plants to contain healing properties, to prevent health problems from occurring by working gradually to increase general energy levels, allowing your body to fight more serious potential problems itself.
Your body is an incredible organism capable of immense feats of self-repair and renewal, yet it needs help to keep doing all of this. Don’t reach for sugar, caffeine, artificially flavored foods, or chemical drugs for pain relief, they will only mask the problem for a while and could make an underlying situation worse. A more beneficial option is a gradual change in your lifestyle towards more natural foods, simpler eating patterns and a closer relationship with the bounty nature has given us.
Before Getting Started
It is important to be aware of your own body and its symptoms. If you feel unwell or have pain, are pregnant or have a serious condition, you should always consult your physician, who will provide you with conventional treatment for your condition.
If you decide to pursue a permaculture ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permaculture) lifestyle, you could consult a Permaculture expert like, Chuck Marsh of http://www.usefulplants.org/ located in North Carolina.
Plants and Their Medicinal Benefits
The following are 7 plants as an introduction on how plants can provide balance and a new level of focus to your health.
Gooseberries contain flavones & anthocyanins, which have numerous health-benefiting effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases. Contains 25% of the daily recommended vitamin C dosage.
Although a sour taste, eating clean, rinsed gooseberries increases iron in the bloodstream immediately.
Mulberries can be rinsed, cleaned and consumed raw.
Blueberries can be rinsed, cleaned and consumed raw.
Sage has high antioxidant properties. Researchers have tested Alzheimer’s patients by giving them sage extract. The results showed an increase in cognition, as well as less agitation, compared to those patients who did not receive any sage.
Fresh sage-leaf tea with 1 teaspoon of honey is very helpful for sore throats.
Leaves can also be chopped and added to almost any culinary dish.
Elderberry is good for preventing colds and flu. Adults can take 2 teaspoons of elderberry syrup in ¼ cup of hot water, up to three times a day. To make the syrup:
2 lbs ripe elderberries
1 cup soft brown sugar
In a large, heavy bottom pan, put in the ripe elderberries, washed and stems removed.
Crush the berries with a potato masher.
Add the brown sugar, stir and simmer until the juice is thick.
Let it cool and pour into a dark colored glass bottle.
Securely seal. Keep in a cold, dark, dry place.
Thyme is very east to grow. It is an easy homemade remedy for respiratory or asthma relief. It is also useful for menstrual cramps and PMS relief.
Chop a tablespoon of leaves
Infuse into 1 cup of hot water.
Add 1 tablespoon of good honey.
Mix and allow to cool.
Drink one cup per day.
Lemon Verbena is a shrub providing some of most documented health benefits. The essential oil of lemon verbena, when extracted, contains a high concentration of powerful antioxidant compounds. The leaves can be dried and then steeped for a powerful boost to many of your organ systems and metabolic processes, include weight loss.
For an excellent hair treatment:
Boil 1 cup of water.
Remove water from heat.
Steep 3 tablespoons of fresh leaves in the boiling water.
Rinse your hair using the remaining water.
This is just a snippet of the many benefits using plants in your diet. None of these are a replacement for traditional medical advice. These are just ideas to help balance your over-all health and feeling of well-being.
JoAnn is a food enthusiast, who strives to educate others with insightful food information, gardening sustainability, and encourage support for our local farmers.