Updated: Apr 11, 2021
Mother Nature indeed has everything we need. For over 60,000 years, plant and herbal medicines have been used to improve health conditions, heal wounds, and nourish the body. Plant medicine also supplemented sacred ceremonies.
Over the last few decades, society has been experiencing an awakening with plant medicine. Today, awakened ones seek to live a natural life that aligns with the mind, body, and spirit. With over 350,000 species of plants and medicinal herbs, natural medicine has become more in demand to heal physical and mental ailments, naturally.
Although there are thousands of healing plants and herbs, below are some of my favorite herbs that I regularly turn to for nourishment and support.
Passion flower (Passiflora)
Passionflowers are perennial woody vines from Tropical America, Asia, and Australia. This family of plants is also known as Passiflora; there are over 5,000 species.
Passionflowers have been used by Native Americans to treat wounds, anxiety, restlessness, and high blood pressure.
• Used to treat anxiety before surgery
• Used to reduce symptoms of ADHD
• Assists with withdrawal from opioid drugs
• Can be used as a supplement or in tea blends
• Reduces indigestion
• Calms the mind and body
• Reduces menstrual cramps
• Fights anxiety and depression
• Reduces asthma symptoms
• Helps manage stress
• Supports the heart chakra
Passionflower has a mild, grassy, and earthy taste. It is best combined with honey and/or lemon.
Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis)
Native to Europe, Iran, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean Basin, lemon balm belongs to the mint family. Used over 2,000 years ago, this medicinal herb was used by the Greeks and Romans.
• Serves as a sleep aid
• Lemon balm can be used as a supplement or extract
• Used to treat insect bites
• Can be used in tea blends
• This medicinal herb can be used to support Alzheimer’s patients
• Relieves insomnia and other sleep disorders
• Reduces stress and anxiety
• Boosts cognitive function
• Treats nausea
• Minimizes menstrual cramps
• Balances the solar plexus chakra
Lemon balm has bright citrus notes, subtle hints of mint and lemon. This herb blends well with honey and/or lemon.
Ashwagandha (Withania Somnifera)
Prominent in Ayurveda medicine, Ashwagandha is an ancient evergreen shrub that grows in India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. Over 6,000 years, Ashwagandha was used as a tonic to reduce constipation, insomnia and support the nervous system.
• Ashwagandha can be consumed in tea blends
• Ashwagnada is usually consumed as a supplement
• Sometimes it is combined with smoothies or in warm beverages in powdered form
• This herb is also added to beauty products to help fight acne and free radicals
• Helps to manage stress
• Supports the nervous system while fighting anxiety and depression
• Ashwagandha can boost brain function
• This herb lowers blood sugar and balances thyroid and adrenals
• Ashwagandha reduces inflammation and fights cancer
• Supports and cleanses the root chakra
Ashwagandha has a bitter, earthy, creamy, and pungent taste. This medicinal herb is best combined with other herbal blends or as an encapsulated supplement.
Oat straw (Avena sativa)
Also called Avena sativa or common oat, Oatstraw is a nourishing herb derived from the grasses that produce oatmeal. Native to warm Mediterranean regions, this herb is packed with an abundance of vitamins and minerals. Oat straw has the highest magnesium levels of any plant on earth.
• Oat straw can be consumed as a tea or in pill form
• Can be made into a liquid extract
• Oat straw powder can be added to oatmeal or energy drinks
• Used as a mood enhancer
• Can be used to formulate bath and body formulations
• Calms and strengthens the nervous system
• Relieves stress
• Reduces depression
• Aids indigestion
• Stabilizes the blood sugar
• Reduces inflammation
• Supports brain function
• Reduces insomnia
• Supports the root chakra
Oat straw has a soft and mellow taste with hints of sweetness. This herb pairs well with honey.
Dandelion Leaf (Taraxacum officinale)
Dandelions date back to 30 million years ago in Eurasia. This medicinal herb has been used by humans for centuries to treat digestive issues. Dandelion is also used in Chinese Medicine and traditional Arabian Medicine.
• Dandelion leaf can be consumed as a stand-alone tea or in tea blends
• Fresh dandelion leaves can be eaten in salads or steamed
• Used to treat eczema, arthritis, and infections
• Perfect for an upset or gassy stomach
• Promotes a healthy liver
• Fights inflammation
• Aids in weight loss
• Promotes healthy digestion
• Treats constipation
• Boosts the immune system
• Promotes healthy bones
• Contains cancer-fighting properties
• Rich in antioxidants
• Supports the root chakra
Dandelion has a bitter, earthy, nutty, and bold taste.
Nettle (Urtica Dioica)
Nettle is an herbaceous perennial flowering plant that has been used for centuries. It is native to Northern Africa, North America, Europe, and Asia.
• Nettle can be consumed as a stand-alone tea or within a tea blend
• It can be used as a seasoning over food
• Nettle makes a delicious soup broth
• This herb has been used for hundreds of years to treat skin conditions such as eczema
• Nettle is also used to treat urinary issues.
• Reduces inflammation
• Heals the root chakra
• Contains all essential amino acids
• Contains calcium, iron magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium
• Packed with vitamins A, C, K, and B
• Flushes toxins from the body
• Treats gout and arthritis
Nettle has a rich, earthy, and grassy taste with hints of spinach. When consumed as a stand-alone beverage, the peppery and bright green notes of this herb stand out.
Chickweed (Stellaria media)
With over 25 species, Chickweed is native to Europe and North America and has been used for centuries. In European folklore, chickweed was used to attract fidelity and love. Also known as Stellaria media, this herb has been used in Chinese Medicine for centuries.
• Reduces cold and flu symptoms
• Used to heal wounds
• Can be used to support muscle and joint pain
• Used to treat asthma, blood disorders, and skill ailments
• Soothes itching and a sore throat
• Used in tea blends
• Weight loss aid
• Packed with vitamins A, B, and C
• Balances gut bacteria
• Relieves pain and inflammation
• Treats constipation
• Reduces phlegm build-up
• Fights germs
• Supports the sacral chakra
Chickweed has a fresh and earthy taste with hints of corn silk.
Turmeric Root (Curcuma longa)
Kin to the ginger family, turmeric is native to Southeast Asia and is grown primarily in India. With a history of over 4,000 years, turmeric was used in Ayurveda and Chinese Medicine to heal skin, digestive, and joint disorders.
• Can be used to season a variety of foods
• Used to treat respiratory infections and a variety of conditions
• Turmeric can be taken as a dietary supplement
• Used as a coloring agent in food and cosmetics
• Turmeric is a potent anti-inflammatory agent and antioxidant
• Has the potential to prevent heart disease and Alzheimer’s
• Contains cancer-fighting agents
• Fights depression symptoms
• Reduces arthritis symptoms
• Linked to improved brain function
• May help delay aging and age-related chronic diseases
• Effective for cleansing all chakras
Turmeric has a pungent, earthy, and bitter taste with hints of pepper.
These gifts from Mother Nature have supported me through anxiety, stress, and sickness. I hope that you find an herb that resonates with you and take advantage of its healing and supportive benefits!