Growing a food garden for survival is important if you plan to live off-grid–or just think that you might end up there one day when SHTF. But in addition to food crops, you should consider growing medicinal plants, too. Here are 6 common varieties and their uses.
Now, these plants won’t splint a broken bone or cure the measles. But they can ease minor injuries, soothe your mind, or energize your spirit. Plenty of old folk remedies–the stuff that existed way before Big Pharma–relied on medicinal plants just like these.
If you only grow one medicinal plant, let it be aloe. This hardy cactus needs very little water to survive. In return, it provides leaves filled with gel that can work wonders for sunburns, bug bites, and other skin irritations. Make sure that the soil dries out completely before you water aloe, or else it will rot.
Garlic is good for more than just flavor. Garlic will help clear your sinuses if you have a cold–and some medical research suggests it can lower blood pressure, too. Grow garlic in your garden and add it to your meals for a one-two punch of flavor and healing.
Lavender–it’s not just for candles. This medicinal herb can help you sleep more soundly, relax after a tough day, and even ease dandruff and headaches. Lavender likes sandy soil and lots of sunlight. Once the flowers bloom, harvest the stalks and let the plants dry in bunches.
If you’re living off the grid, you probably won’t have access to processed white sugar. The good news is that you can easily grow a crop of stevia in your home garden. This herb packs more sweetness in its leaves than sugar–and it doesn’t have nearly the same amount of calories.
If you can get your hands on a live ginger root–or try soaking one from the grocery store to re-hydrate it–you can start growing this delicious and useful tropical plant indoors. The roots grow like potatoes, producing ginger root that can be harvested without killing the entire plant. Ginger is great for digestive issues and heath tonics.
Also called pot marigold, calendula can be used to make herbal salves and soaks for sore muscles. It’s also totally edible and can be added fresh to salads or dried to teas. Calendula is very easy to grow outdoors in pots or flowerbeds. Harvest the flowers as soon as they bloom–the plant will continue to produce more flowers if it isn’t trying to grow seeds.