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A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Blood Flower Plant. Photo Credit: Jarun Tedjaem/Shutterstock

31. Blood Flower (Asclepias curassavica)

  • Medicinal Use: Bleeding, Skin Troubles

Often referred to as the milkweed plant, the Blood Flower has many names. It is found throughout the American tropics, but it can grow outside of this area in some proper greenhouses. It is likely that various tropical tribes used the plant for centuries, as it has multiple medicinal uses. The main medicinal use revolves around skin issues like warts, corns, or ringworms.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Little bee on asclepias curassavica flower. Photo Credit: Passakorn Umpornmaha/Shutterstock

However, it has also been shown that it can help people with their acne and even helps fight symptoms of Measles. The root of the plant allows for Hemostasis or stopping one from bleeding. The plant also can help with blood circulation. What did you expect from a plant literally nicknamed the “Blood Flower?”

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Cat Eating Catnip Plant. Photo Credit: Yusia/Shutterstock

30. Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

  • Medicinal Use: Anxiety, Sleep Disorders

While not the stuff you may feed your cat, the actual Catnip plant can still be eaten too. The name was given to the plant when people began to notice that cats seemed to love the plant. It is one of the few medicinal plants that can grow outdoors just about anywhere in the world too.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Catnip leaves. Photo Credit: JoannaTkaczuk/Shutterstock

It has been seen in multiple European countries as well as places like Australia and New Zealand. The plant is extremely useful when added to things like teas. People seem to love it due to working similarly to a muscle relaxer, so it can obviously help people get some rest or calm down. This also allows it to somewhat treat anxiety, as it simply helps people relax.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Evening Primrose & Oil. Photo Credit: Madeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock

29. Evening Primrose (Oenothera)

  • Medicinal Use: Skin Issues, Coughing, Depression, GI Issues

Evening Primrose is yet again one of the medicinal plants that are claimed to help just about everything. Although some of the rumors are true. The biggest of these is that it can help with coughs from things like colds. It has shown that it can help some people. The entire plant is edible, so medicinally, it is all put to use.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
A bottle of evening primrose oil with fresh evening primrose flowers. Photo Credit: Madeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock

It has a stimulating effect when used in teas, allowing it to help with low energy/depression. Yet the oil from the plant can be used to treat rashes, and skin irritations and even help reduce bleeding. If that’s not enough, it has also been proven to help digestive issues as well as asthma and whooping cough.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Marshmallow Plants. Photo Credit: LianeM/Shutterstock

28. Marshmallow Plant (Althaea Officinalis)

  • Medicinal Use: Gastric and Mouth Ulcers

Yes, marshmallows were made from the root of this plant dating back to Ancient Egypt. Sadly, modern marshmallows don’t use the plant to make them any longer. Yet due to growing in multiple places all over the world, it remains a medicinal plant in use to this day.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Closeup of Marshmallow flower. Photo Credit: Konevi/Shutterstock

The original use for the plant was to use for throat and gastric ulcers. One would either gargle some tea of sorts with it and spit it out or people may swallow to help with the GI issue. Syrup from the root of the plant was made for helping some respiratory issues too.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Ginkgo Plant Leaves. Photo Credit: Damian Lugowski/Shutterstock

27. Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

  • Medicinal Use: Sexual Dysfunction, Headaches, Asthma, Inflammation

After nearly going extinct millions of years ago, the Ginkgo somehow made it through. Although cultivated all around the world, it only grows in the wild in China. It is said that Ginkgo has several medicinal uses, but what are they? First off, it is known to help treat Sexual Dysfunction like low libidos and erectile dysfunction.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Fresh bright green leaves of ginkgo biloba. Photo Credit: Antares_NS/Shutterstock

It has also shown to be useful for symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). The Chinese have used it to help with headaches and migraines for centuries as well as treatment for Asthma and some COPD issues. It can also help with blood circulation and inflammation. However, numerous brain-related diseases or disorders it is said to be useful for are debatable.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Chamomile Tea. Photo Credit: George Dolgikh/Shutterstock

26. Chamomile (Chamomilla)

  • Medicinal Use: Inflammation, Ulcers, Acne, GI Disorders

Chamomile is one of the world’s most notable herbal ingredients, especially in North America. Historically speaking, Chamomile has been used by people often for beer and tea. Yet people eventually found that it can help fight fever, ulcers, inflammation, and some gastrointestinal disorders. It helps as a soap as well as mouthwash.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Herbal chamomile tea and chamomile flowers near teapot and tea glass. Photo Credit: Valentyn Volkov/Shutterstock

Allowing it to be used in numerous cosmetics and commercial soap products. Camomile is also used in topical skin creams that fight acne too. Since it is used in drinks to help with numerous different issues, there are some drug interactions to look out for. Therefore, it is advised to ask your doctor before consuming it while pregnant or on other medications.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Meadowsweet in Jar. Photo Credit: Madeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock

25. Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

  • Medicinal Use: Inflammation, Gout, Fever

Meadowsweet Plants have tremendous taste and smell. This has allowed it to become a popular ingredient in certain foods as well as aromatic products. It tastes so good that several wines and beers added it on top of a number of jam products. While it’s used a lot for taste reasons, Meadowsweet is a notable medicinal plant.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
The meadowsweet. Photo Credit: Irina Borsuchenko/Shutterstock

Felix Hoffman is a notable Bayer company chemist who introduced heroin to the masses. Bayer marketed itself as a pain relief company, but they eventually moved from heroin to Aspirin. Funny enough, Meadowsweet used to have another botanical name, Spiraea ulmaria. Yes, Meadowsweet is basically modern-day Aspirin. It sparked the invention of several non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications we see today.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
St John’s Wort w/herbal pills. Photo Credit: ArtCookStudio/Shutterstock

24. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

  • Medicinal Use: Depression, OCD, ADHD

St. John’s Wort is a bit different than some from the similar Hypericaceae family. There have been numerous tests and trials with the use of the plant. Most of them revolve around seeing if it truly helps with depression at all. Sadly, depression can have multiple causes with several great medications not helping certain individuals.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
St. John’s Wort flowering plant. Photo Credit: Alexander Raths/Shutterstock

Therefore, it’s truly tough to know if St. John’s Wort actually helps. This plant seems to be linked to helping a lot of different brain-related disorders. In fact, some claim it helps with OCD and ADHD. Like depression, both can be helped by some pharmaceutical medications. Yet others may not work, so it is possible that this plant can help some with these disorders.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Common Basil Plants. Photo Credit: huntz/Shutterstock

23. Common Basil (Ocimum basilicum)

  • Medicinal Use: Colds, Kidney Issues, GI Trouble

Basil, specifically the Common Basil, may very well be in your kitchen cabinet right now. People have known of its medical properties for years. Several Essential Oils use Basil, but these do not always work as some claim. However, Basil itself is pretty useful.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Bunch of fresh basil on a wooden background. Photo Credit: Gita Kulinitch Studio/Shutterstock

We also now know it helps multiple gastrointestinal issues such as stomach spasms, loss of appetite, and intestinal gas. Yet has also proven to help with kidney problems and colds. It has also been able to help warts and treat some snake and insect bites. Although if the latter two do occur, more than just Basil should be used if possible.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Lady Ferns. Photo Credit: Marian Uradnik/Shutterstock

22. Lady Ferns (Athyrium filix-femina)

  • Medicinal Use: Intestinal Issues, Menstrual Problems

One can find Lady Ferns in countries within the Northern Hemisphere. The most common areas to see them in are, obviously, highly woodland sections of land. Think about your average forest. We know them as “Lady Ferns” due to their reproductive structures being hidden or hard to see. Keep in mind that the rhizomes of the plant make it poisonous to humans if eaten raw.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Athyrium filix-femina; Wild female fern. Photo Credit: Vankich1/Shutterstock

However, once you cook the ferns, they’ll be safe to eat. For its medicinal use, it mostly helps a lot of female issues. It has been useful in preventing water from breaking in pregnant women as well as menstrual problems. Yet they also can help with intestinal issues, weak blood, and partially even things like gonorrhea.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Grapes, Seeds, & Oil. Photo Credit: Joanna Wnuk/Shutterstock

21. Grape Seed

  • Medicinal Use: Swelling Problems, Bad Blood Circulation

Grape Seed is as it sounds, it is the seed of what you can plant in order to make actual grapes. There are several grapes that have seeds within them that can easily be removed and replanted. Meanwhile, others do not possess any seeds inside. Specifically, we’d like to highlight grape seed extract.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Grape seed oil in a glass jar and fresh grapes on an old wooden table. Photo Credit: Photo Credit: svf74/Shutterstock

This is the same stuff you get several wines and juices from, funny enough. This is truly one of the best medicinal plants that science loves. It can help with swelling problems, poor blood circulation, and can even help with some eye diseases if caused by diabetes.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Passion Flowers. Photo Credit: R. Maximiliane/Shutterstock

20. Passion Flowers (Passiflora)

  • Medicinal Use: Anxiety, Sleep Issues

Passion Flowers are part of a huge family of around 550 species. Since there are so many of these medicinal plants out there, you’ll likely see them pretty much anywhere. People can use these flowers as a small sedative. We can technically call dried extract from the plant a dietary supplement in some countries.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Close up Passion Flower leaf in tropical garden. Photo Credit: Esin Deniz/Shutterstock

One can use this to help slightly with anxiety and hyperactivity issues due to their sedative effect. However, pregnant women need to be careful when using them because they apparently can induce contractions. Despite this, they can also cause some nausea, dizziness, and abnormal heart rhythms among other things.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Echinacea Tea. Photo Credit: Nataliia Kuznetcova/Shutterstock

19. Coneflowers (Echinacea)

  • Medicinal Use: Excessive Coughing, Sore Throat, Headaches

Most know Coneflowers by their botany name of Echinacea. There are ten species in the fami ly still living today but two are endangered. The entire family can be terrific medicinally. While there is no true evidence that they can treat the Common Cold or Cancer like some claim, they are still very useful.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Purple Echinacea Flower. Photo Credit: DMC-13/Shutterstock

The rumor of helping colds possibly began because Echinacea plants have helped with sore throats and coughs. Some people also see some headache relief from them as well. Native Americans loved the plant for its medicinal value, so it’s likely it can help with a lot of random issues.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Valerian Plant Oil. Photo Credit: Madeleine Steinbach/Shutterstock

18. Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)

  • Medicinal Use: Sleep Problems, Stress, Anxiety

The Valerian plant grows all over Europe and Asia. This plant is actually within the same family as the honeysuckle plant. However, the medicinal use of the Valerian plant isn’t going to be in the honeysuckle. Several places in Europe and Asia sell extracts from the Valerian root.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Pink flowers of valerian plant. Photo Credit: Esin Deniz/Shutterstock

This extract can supposedly treat anxiety, sleep issues, and even act as a dietary supplement. While there needs to be more research to prove its success in handling anything brain-related, it’s pretty much proven to be useful as a sedative. This may be why some assume it helps with stress and anxiety.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Holy Basil Tea. Photo Credit: SiNeeKan/Shutterstock

17. Holy Basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

  • Medicinal Use: GI Issues, Respiratory Problems, Insect Bites

The reason this version of Basil stands out is due to its connection to Hinduism. The Holy Basil is essentially worshipped as the earthly avatar of the Hindu Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi. Due to this, many treat Holy Basil as a healing agent. However, it cannot quite do as much as some claim.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
African Blue magic Basil Flowers. Photo Credit: nnattalli/Shutterstock

For centuries, however, it has been a truly proven insect repellant. It has also shown some signs of helping people deal with symptoms of respiratory issues, as well as GI problems. However, Holy Basil cannot, in any way, help against the flu, diabetes, the common cold, or cancer as some tend to claim. Although it may help with some symptoms from them.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Bowl Of Dried Lavender Blossoms. Photo Credit: Cora Mueller/Shutterstock

16. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

  • Medicinal Use: Digestive Issues, Some Respiratory Issues, Minor Pain

Although there are multiple Lavender plants, we simply are highlighting the most common among them. While some assume that the color of Lavender resulted in the name of the plant, it’s actually the other way around. Several Essential Oils use Lavender as well as some traditional medications. You can even find it in quite a few cosmetics.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Herbal oil and lavender flowers. Photo Credit: grafvision/Shutterstock

Lavender can help with some respiratory sicknesses. It has a great scent, allowing it to be a popular addition to some soaps and perfumes. This also could be the reason for its success with respiratory problems. It has also shown signs of helping with digestive trouble. You can even use it for some minor pains.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Greater Burdock Plant. Photo Credit: Wagner Campelo/Shutterstock

15. Greater Burdock (Arctium lappa)

  • Medicinal Use: Joint Pain, Fevers, High Blood Pressure, Bladder Infections

The Greater Burdock Plant tends to do most of what people claim it can do. At least, as long as it is used correctly. Several Eurasian and even the Chinese used this medicinal plant to help with symptoms from colds and other viruses.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Burdock thorny purple flower. Photo Credit: kizuuuneko/Shutterstock

It has proven to be useful in increasing the flow of urine, helping with bladder infections, and assisting with complications of syphilis. Due to being capable of killing several germs, it can even help with some fevers and joint pain. It acts somewhat like an NSAID, which is likely why people find it can also help with blood pressure issues and treat acne.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Marigold Blooms. Photo Credit: Otar Gujejiani/Shutterstock

14. Marigold (Calendula officinalis)

  • Medicinal Use: Pain Relief, Viral Issues, Fungal Problems

Marigold Plants are in gardens all over the world, likely due to their beauty. They grow in the wild too, but usually only in areas where the temperature is typically warmer. The plant is edible and therefore used in several salads across Europe, Asia, and even North America. They are one of the most effective medicinal plants we know of today.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Yellow and orange marigold flowers. Photo Credit: EQRoy/Shutterstock

The extract from Marigold plants has some anti-viral and anti-genotoxic properties when in vitro. We also know it to have several anti-inflammatory properties. This is likely due to the extract having methanol and ethanol. Marigolds even can be labeled as astringent in spite of the fact that they are not high in tannins.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Golden Root From Rhodiola rosea Plant. Photo Credit: Kostrez/Shutterstock

13. Golden Root (Rhodiola rosea)

  • Medicinal Use: High-Altitude Sickness

The Golden Root of the Rhodiola Rosea plant actually grows in the wild within colder environments. This includes several arctic areas, which can come as a surprise. We should mention that some wild claims have been made about the plant that is debatable. It has shown no true signs of treating cancer, depression, or anything similar to this.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Medicinal plant Golden root. Photo Credit: Lehrer/Shutterstock

The U.S. FDA to send warnings to manufacturers to stop making such claims in 2019. However, while the wild claims of the Golden Root are quite overboard, some medicinal properties hold up well. The plant has been used for centuries to help with high-altitude sickness and endurance within colder environments.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Candyleaf Powder. Photo Credit: Luis Echeverri Urrea/Shutterstock

12. Candyleaf (Stevia rebaudiana)

  • Medicinal Use: Cavities, High Blood Pressure

You can find the Candyleaf plant in South America, usually in Brazil and Paraguay. People often call it the Candyleaf due to some of the properties being in alternative sweeteners. In fact, one can buy several sweetener products under the name “Stevia” all over the world.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Stevia rebaudiana sprigs. Photo Credit: Scisetti Alfio/Shutterstock

Due to being a great sugar substitute, it’s likely helpful in weight loss as people switch from sugar. It also does not possess Streptococcus mutans bacteria, which is a major cause of tooth cavities. Thereby using it over sugar can prevent cavities. Certain glycosides within the plant dilate blood vessels and cause more urine flow, making it useful for high blood pressure.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Vegetable smoothie made of celery leaf and broccoli. Photo Credit: Maxim Khytra/Shutterstock

11. Celery (Apium graveolens)

  • Medicinal Use: Digestive Issues, Pain Relief

Celery is incredibly popular, so we see it all over the world today. The cultivation of the plant is pretty massive. It is obviously a popular ingredient for salads, wild rice, soups, and so much more. Due to its antioxidants and nutrients, it can be very useful for digestive problems.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Sliced fresh celery or Celery stalk on cutting wooden board. Photo Credit: Sakoodter Stocker/Shutterstock

On top of this, it can help reduce inflammation in the body too. Although studies are ongoing regarding how effective it can be there. Since it is part of the same plant family as carrots, celery also possesses tons of great vitamins. You can get Vitamins A, B, and C from celery along with potassium, folate, and molybdenum.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Parsley On Cutting Board. Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

10. Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

  • Medicinal Use: High Blood Pressure, Bladder Infections, Asthma, GI Issues

Parsley looks good and decorative, so restaurants love using it to “dress up” a plate. Parsley is a Biennal Plant, this is a type of plant that takes two years for it to completely grow once someone plants it. The Leaf, Seed, and Root are all used to make herbal medicines.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Fresh parsley bunch. Photo Credit: pahaphotos/Shutterstock

All three help to treat different issues. On one side, the treatment can be for gastrointestinal issues, while another side is helpful for problems with coughing or asthma. Yet the biggest one that people love is that it can help with bladder infections, high blood pressure, and even some kidney stones. Parsley is truly one of the best medicinal plants we have today.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Ashwagandha & Powder. Photo Credit: Eskymaks/Shutterstock

9. Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

  • Medicinal Use: High Blood Pressure, Low Testosterone

People can see Ashwagandha in the wilds of India. However, people cultivate it all over the world. It is one of the most popular herbal medicines within the Ayurvedic Medicine world. This is basically Ancient Indian medicine. We have seen it remain popular for hundreds of years in the herbal community. Therefore, one assumed Ashwagandha has some true medicinal use.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Ashwagandha root and powder. Photo Credit: Eskymaks/Shutterstock

Although there is not really enough evidence to prove it can reduce stress, anxiety, or depression; it depends on who you ask about it. The plant has shown that it can lower blood pressure and has helped some men boost testosterone and thus boost fertility. If this is the case, and one has stress or depression due to problems in these areas, then they would no longer deal with this if those problems can be helped.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Turmeric & Powder. Photo Credit: tarapong srichaiyos/Shutterstock

8. Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

  • Medicinal Use: Inflammation

Turmeric Plant can be hard to grow with several other plant species in the same garden. Yet when you use it medicinally or in food, it’s well worth all the trouble it puts people through. First and foremost, the root of this plant is what people can use for things like cooking.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Turmeric root and powder. Photo Credit: Alexander Ruiz Acevedo/Shutterstock

Today, you can find Turmeric Supplements sold in some pharmacies and stores around the world. The real thing that may help the plant stand out is its Curcumin properties. While hard to study, there has been some proof that it can help with inflammation. However, there is no real proof behind claims that Turmeric or Curcumin can help with any brain disorders.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Alfalfa Plants. Photo Credit: Michael G McKinne/Shutterstock

7. Alfalfa (Medicago sativa)

  • Medicinal Use: Auto-Immune Diseases, Female Hormone Issues, High Blood Sugar

The Alfalfa plant is yet another popular addition to our list of the best medicinal plants. While North Americans call it the Alfalfa Plant, the rest of the world often calls it the Lucerne Plant. It’s a popular addition to certain cuisines in Southeast Asia. However, one must be careful with it. Unsprouted, raw Alfalfa can be poisonous.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Medicago sativa, alfalfa. Photo Credit: Snehaaaa Patel/Shutterstock

In the herbal world, if used correctly, there has been some success with using Alfalfa. When used for auto-immune diseases, it can make the immune system more active and cause some improvement. It has also shown some success in helping women with estrogen levels, and it has been shown to help some with lowering blood sugar levels.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Rosemary & Liquid Medicinal Rosemary. Photo Credit: Tatjana Baibakova/Shutterstock

6. Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus)

  • Medicinal Use: Minor Muscle Pains, Poor Blood Circulation

People love Rosemary, as you can add it to just about any food. Heck, people serve some burgers and steaks with it! People have been using it since ancient times when they felt it was a tremendous help medicinally. Of course, Medicinal Plants from those periods do not always do as they claim.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Fresh rosemary. Photo Credit: Barbara Gorecka/Shutterstock

However, Rosemary has held up in some of the claims made about it. It’s said that Rosemary can assist with everything from helping with hair growth to improving memory. While these are debatable, a lot of people have claimed it assisted with muscle pains and boosted the immune and blood circulatory systems. Depending on the person and what they deal with, as well as how much they used, this is plausible.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Thyme Herbal Tea. Photo Credit: Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

5. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

  • Medicinal Use: GI Issues, Sinus Congestion

Thyme happens to be a relative of Oregano. They both come from the massive Lamiaceae family. Of course, Thyme is a popular addition to foods, resulting in several having some of it in their kitchen right now. Yet before this, people used Thyme medicinally quite often.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Bundle of raw fresh organic thyme on sackcloth. Photo Credit: nblx/Shutterstock

In fact, before we had antibiotics, people would use “oil of thyme” to medicate bandages. When used in food, Thyme can help with stomach pains or intestinal gas. Due to being in the Lamiaceae family, there has been some proof behind it clearing up some allergy issues. This is likely why some have seen success when using Thyme for bronchitis or sore throat problems.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Ginseng Plant. Photo Credit: Jinning Li/Shutterstock

4. Ginseng (Panax)

  • Medicinal Use: High Blood Sugar, High Cholesterol, Lack Of Energy

Ginseng is actually in the root of the Panax plant species. There are multiple different types of Ginseng you can find, but each roughly has the same benefits. Ginseng is a popular part of certain energy drinks and even some soaps. The smell it has can open people up a bit, causing it to help with some sinus and respiratory trouble.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Ginseng. Photo Credit: jazz3311/Shutterstock

It possesses two natural and useful chemical compounds, ginsenosides and gintonin. Ginsenosides are steroidal glycosides that connect sugar to another functional group. This is why they can help in treating diseases that revolve around high sugar intake. Essentially, ginseng can help boost energy, and lower both blood sugar and cholesterol levels due to this. Gintonin has shown some ability in promoting hair growth as well.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Peppermint Plant & Oil. Photo Credit: Tatevosian Yana/Shutterstock

3. Peppermint (Mentha × Piperita)

  • Medicinal Use: Minor Pain, Itching, IBS

Peppermint is incredibly popular among medicinal plants and is obviously something we have all used at some point. Yet Peppermint kind of surprises people with its medicinal uses. Peppermint actually began as a hybrid plant. It’s a cross between the spearmint and watermint plants. Both have medicinal properties too.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Natural mint tea and fresh mint leaves. Photo Credit: colnihko/Shutterstock

Peppermint has been shown to be useful in treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS). However, it is in several topical creams for minor muscle pains. On top of this, Peppermint is terrific for itching problems. It can even help somewhat with heartburn when used orally. Outside of this, you can find it in multiple products beyond the medicinal.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Ginger Root. Photo Credit: Pilipphoto/Shutterstock

2. Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

  • Medicinal Use: GI Issues, Minor Inflammation, Minor Muscle Pain

It’s likely that most of us used medicinal plants like Ginger when we were sick and did not even know it. Do you remember drinking Ginger Ale when you were sick as a kid? Clearly, Ginger can help with nausea and soreness as well as some muscle pain and inflammation. It can even help with indigestion and other minor gastrointestinal ailments.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Ginger in a wooden spoon. Photo Credit: Tatjana Baibakova/Shutterstock

A major bioactive substance in Ginger, known as Gingerol, has been shown to be effective at fighting some infections. There has been evidence to support that it stops some bacteria, especially when it comes to the gums. Fresh Ginger has also shown some success in fighting the RSV Virus too. However, there is no proof that it can help with any brain disorders or diseases.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Aloe Vera Plant & Cream. Photo Credit: Songdech Kothmongkol/Shutterstock

1. Aloe Vera

  • Medicinal Use: Itching, Burns, Skin Irritation, Constipation

Aloe Vera is likely the most difficult to argue against when it comes to medicinal plants. For centuries, humans have used it to treat minor cuts. It has a calming effect on our skin, allowing it to be useful in treating itching problems and some irritation or inflammation of the skin. This may be why several lotions and cosmetics use Aloe Vera so often.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Sliced green aloe vera. Photo Credit: banu sevim/Shutterstock

While okay to eat, it depends on where it’s from and the colorization. Non-colorized Aloe Vera is considered toxic to humans. Of course, Aloe Vera has been known to help with constipation for centuries, so the toxicity is likely what allows it to be useful for that. Treat it like what your parents might have used Epsom Salts for, except this won’t completely blow your colon off.

EVEN MORE MEDICINAL PLANTS

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
The Tea Tree Plant. Photo Credit: Chen Liang-Dao/Shutterstock

Tea Tree

  • Medicinal Use: Athlete’s Foot, Acne, Skin Fungal & Bacteria Infections

You might have heard of the Tea Tree, but more than likely you know it for its oil. Tea Tree Oil is a notable member of those Essential Oils you hear about all the time. While a lot of those can be considered okay at best, Tea Tree Oil has proven to be pretty effective. The oil is used exclusively as a topical ointment or cream that can treat a variety of issues. When discovered in the 1920s, commercial use of the oil by Arthur Penfold turned into big business.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
The Tea Tree Essential Oil. Photo Credit: Ronstik/Shutterstock

Low concentrations of the oil can be used to treat numerous skin-related conditions. This can include little things like acne and insect bites all the way to skin fungal infections and bacterial infections. It has also been known to assist in the removal of dandruff and lice! Like with a lot of oils, Tea Tree Oil is not an approved American FDA product. You cannot eat or drink this stuff as it’s pretty poisonous, making it a bad product to use for children. But it’s still one of the most popular medicinal plants.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
The Lemon Balm Plant. Photo Credit: HandmadePictures/Shutterstock

Lemon Balm (Melissa officinalis)

  • Medicinal Use: Gastrointestinal Disorders, Sleep Problems

Lemon Balm is usually considered to be part of the “Mint Family” of plants. It has become quite a popular product to use in several dishes across Asia and Europe too. A lot of countries where it is locally present have used it as one of their common medicinal plants. While it is becoming more common in the Americas, it was initially only native to South-Central Europe, Central Asia, the Mediterranean Basin, and Iran.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Lemon Balm Tea. Photo Credit: Africa Studio/Shutterstock

These areas were the most common places where medicinal use began for Lemon Balm. Many believe it can be a great aid for nervous system issues. However, this has never been proven completely. Yet it has been considered a useful aid for gastrointestinal disorders and by extension, helpful for liver problems too. It is used in tea and is completely safe to drink. It is also co-distilled in several Essential Oils alongside Lemon and Citronella Oils.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Gotu Kola Leaves Close-Up. Photo Credit: Klahan/Shutterstock

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)

  • Medicinal Use: Treats Minor Wounds

Gotu Kola has been one of the most common Indian medicinal plants for centuries in some form or another. Of course, as referenced earlier in this article, Indian medicine is quite vast. They use a ton of herbs and plants, compared to other nations. Of course, Gota Kola is used as a common culinary vegetable across Asia. Likely, this is just as common as its medicinal use. In medicine, it has been known to be capable of helping with a lot.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Gotu Kola Herbal Medicine. Photo Credit: NIKCOA/Shutterstock

The most common thing it’s known to assist with is helping treat minor wounds. This will need to be applied to a wound and covered. However, topical application of Gotu Kola can result in some skin irritation, so be warned! When consumed, many have become drowsy. Of course, this only happens when a large portion is consumed and not when it is used in normal dishes, of course. It is not recommended to eat a ton of it, however. Many that did complain of adverse liver function.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Artichokes in a Basket. Photo Credit: LM Photos/Shutterstock

Globe Artichoke (Cynara cardunculus var. scolymus)

  • Medicinal Use: Lowers Bad Cholesterol, Regulates Blood Sugar, Improves Digestive Health

While it is mostly referred to by science as the Globe Artichoke, most of us simply refer to it as an artichoke. Of course, not all artichokes are created equal, resulting in this version being called the “Green Artichoke” too. It is important to note that the artichoke itself is not edible, only the flower buds before they bloom are. This artichoke is popular in science too, as it has been experimented with for years. We now know it contains bioactive agents Apigenin and Luteolin.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Artichoke with Beans. Photo Credit: Bildvoll/Shutterstock

We also now know its total antioxidant capacity is the highest of all vegetables recorded. As a result, the medicinal use of artichokes has been praised for years. Not only is it packed with nutrients, we know it can lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good LDL. It also helps regulate blood pressure, improve liver and digestive health, and eases issues one has with IBS. There have even been some cases that show artichokes can lower blood sugar levels.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Bryophyllum pinnatum flowers blooming. Photo Credit: Feng Cheng/Shutterstock

Bryophyllum pinnatum (Kalanchoe pinnata)

  • Medicinal Use: Insect Bites, Burns, Ulcers, Earaches, Urinary infections

Bryophyllum pinnatum has been connected to ethnomedicine for years and obviously, it’s one of the most popular medicinal plants. The studies surrounding it have shown great promise, with many great reports surrounding it. Of course, not all claims about the plant are considered to be true. Those we know to be true more often than not is its treatment for insect bites and burns. Other studies have shown it can be useful in treating earaches, abscesses, and ulcers.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Bryophyllum pinnatum With Leaves. Photo Credit: Nandalal Sarkar/Shutterstock

However, other studies need to be done before they can prove total success in treating diarrhea and hypertension. However, the juice from the leaves of this plant has been a popular treatment for urinary infections and even kidney stones. There could be something to this, as the presence of compounds found in steroids along with several acids has been found in Bryophyllum pinnatum. Some of these have been helpful when used in other medications for treating urinary issues.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Great Yellow Gentian Plant. Photo Credit: Goran_Safarek/Shutterstock

Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea)

  • Medicinal Use: Gastrointestinal Disorders, Heartburn

The Great Yellow Gentian is famous for being what we used for alcohol before the introduction of hops. Gentian overall is, of course, an herb. Due to this, science has agreed on its medicinal properties, making it notable among other medicinal plants. Yet the entire plant itself is not medicinally useful. Only the bark is used to make any sort of medicine. Of course, a lot has been made about Gentian for hundreds of years now.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Great Yellow Gentian Bark. Photo Credit: Heike Rau/Shutterstock

The most common things it is known to help with tend to be mostly in the gastrointestinal field. This includes heartburn, bloating, diarrhea, and even the loss of appetite. There have even been some cases of it being effective along with other medicinal plants in treating fevers as well as muscle spasms. However, the latter material will likely take further study to be confirmed as factual in treatment for such issues.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Chinese Yams. Photo Credit: Jinning Li/Shutterstock

Chinese Yam (Dioscorea polystachya)

  • Medicinal Use: Crohn’s Disease, Whooping Cough, Kidney Issues, Gastrointestinal Problems

The Chinese Yam is very unique as its tubers can be eaten raw, which is rare among most of yam species. It is also a well-known climbing vine in China and other parts of East Asia. However, in Chinese Alternative Medicine, it has been a popular plant species to use for medicinal purposes. In fact, several creams and dietary supplements are made using this very yam inside of them.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Chinese Yams with Chinese Medicinal Herbs. Photo Credit: MeSamong/Shutterstock

It has been said to be a good treatment for Crohn’s Disease and even Whopping Cough. There have even been claims that it can be used to prevent cancer, but the American Cancer Society refutes this heavily. Yet it has also been known to help treat problems in the gastrointestinal tract as well as the lungs and kidneys. A common part of this Yam is Diosgenin, which is used to produce steroids and hormonal material such as estrogen. Therefore, there could be something to it helping a lot of stuff.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
KHUS Grass. Photo Credit: Mirzamlk/Shutterstock

Khus (Chrysopogon zizanioides)

  • Medicinal Use: Acne, Skin Inflammation

It is easy to get Khus and Khus Khus confused. After all, they are the same word with one just using the same word twice. It can even lead to people seeing them as the same thing. However, they ARE NOT the same. We need to make that perfectly clear here. We’re discussing Khus, which is a form of bunchgrass. It has been used for a ton of useful things over the years from being a termite repellant to use in skin products.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
KHUS Essential Oil. Photo Credit: Mirzamlk/Shutterstock

As a result, however, there has been some medicinal success with Khus. It is terrific for skincare products because it allows a person to use it in something like makeup and not have severe skin reactions. In fact, it has a calming, cooling effect to it a lot like Menthol. Plus, Khus treats acne! It also treats inflammation on the skin, allowing it to be a terrific addition to numerous makeup or perfume brands. As it will not harm, but actually help your skin.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
The Crown Flower. Photo Credit: Photo by MHIN/Shutterstock

Crown Flower (Calotropis gigantea)

  • Medicinal Use: Bacterial Infections, Asthma, Snakebites, Possible Cancer-Fighter

The Crown Flower happens to be one of the most popular medicinal plants, but it’s known by other names depending on where you’re from. “The Rui” is one of the common names for it in Asia. It rose to popularity, funny enough, as a great way to poison arrows one would shoot at their enemies. How does poison become a medicinal asset? India began seeing it treat some bacterial infections, mostly respiratory versions. It would even be used to treat asthma.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Crown Flower in Bloom with Beetle. Photo Credit: Prasetyo tiyut/Shutterstock

That allows it to become popular for treating a lot of breathing issues, even shortness of breath and swelling issues. It would even become popular in India for treating snakebites. Of course, significant studies have found the Crown Flower has great cancer-fighting properties, especially in Carcinomas A549, HCT 116, and HEP G2. There is even solid evidence that it can be used as a useful contraceptive as well.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
The Fenugreek Plant. Photo Credit: Rainbow_dazzle/Shutterstock

Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

  • Medicinal Use: Gastritis, Upset Stomach, Cuts Down On Obesity, Potentially Helps Painful Menstruation

Fenugreek has become relatively popular as one of the most common medicinal plants used to treat obesity issues. This has also resulted in the plant getting credit for treating diabetes too. Rather, it helps cut down on overeating by giving people a full feeling. On top of this, it has been shown to be successful in treating an upset stomach as well as Gastritis or inflammation of the stomach. Other stuff is more folklore than proven science.

A Natural Science Enthusiast’s Guide to Medicinal Plants
Fenugreek Seeds & Essential Oil. Photo Credit: Swapan Photography/Shutterstock

For many years, it was claimed Fenugreek treated painful menstruation and what we’d come to call polycystic ovary syndrome as well. It is more than likely that if it helped the former, it also helped the latter. Also, if it does indeed help with inflammation issues in the digestive tract, it might also help to cut down inflammation in the urinary tract areas as well. This could be why it has been given credit for helping with the pain women might face.

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