HobbyFarms.com


Your E-mail:
Hobby Farms - Current Issue
Hobby Farm Home Magazine
Urban Farm Magazine

Printer Friendly

8 Healing Uses for Farm-grown Herbs

Put away the first-aid kit. Your farmland is home to a number of medicinal herbs that can be used to treat what ails you.

By Rachael Brugger, Sr. Associate Web Editor


Living in the country, the nearest drugstore can be quite a haul and might not be open when you need it. The beauty of living on a farm surrounded by land untouched by buildings or roads is that you have some of the best medicines right outside your doorstep. Whether you planted them intentionally or they sprung up on their own accord, they can be used to treat bumps, bruises, upset stomachs, bug bites and more—Mother Nature’s own first-aid kit.

When choosing herbs or weeds for medicinal purposes, be sure you know how the plants were grown. Avoid those contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals, and never pick from roadsides. If foraging forests or pastures, take along a trusted guidebook or foraging friend—never ingest a plant unless you’re absolutely sure of its I.D.

Below is a list of readily available plants that can be helpful in treating minor ailments—consult your doctor before continued use of any of these herbs.

1. Chamomile: Stop Indigestion
 8 Healing Herbs - Photo by Rachael Brugger (HobbyFarms.com)

Commonly known for its calming properties, chamomile is a gentle-action herb that can be used to treat stomach-related woes in people of all ages, including infants. Also apply as a warm compress or soak in a chamomile-steeped bath to relieve pain and swelling.

2. Comfrey: Stop Pain
 8 Healing Herbs - Photo by Rachael Brugger (HobbyFarms.com) If you have an accident-prone family member, comfrey root can be used to treat a number of ailments. Perhaps most fascinating is its ability to expedite the healing process when its roots are used as a decoction (i.e., tea). Also apply leaves to fresh cuts to stop bleeding and reduce pain.
3. Echinacea: Reduce Inflammation
8 Healing Herbs - Photo courtesy iStock/Thinkstock (HobbyFarms.com) No matter your source of swelling—be it poison ivy, spider bites, burns, cold or flu—purple coneflower can help. Drink 1/2 cup tea every two hours for acute conditions until symptoms decrease or three times per day for chronic conditions. 
4. Lavender: Relieve Stiffness
8 Healing Herbs - Photo by Rachael Brugger (HobbyFarms.com) Steep lavender buds in a tea with other calming herbs, such as lemon balm or chamomile, or alone to treat sunstroke, weakness, swelling and vomiting. Use in a hot compress to relieve pain and stiffness.
5. Plantain: Remove Splinters
 8 Healing Herbs - Photo by Rachael Brugger (HobbyFarms.com) Other than dandelions, plantain might be the most common weed in your lawn. Chew the leaves and use as a poultice to draw out splinters, stingers, venom and other foreign skin irritants. 
6. Purslane: Relieve Headaches
 8 Healing Herbs - Photo courtesy iStock/Thinkstock (HobbyFarms.com) Once regarded as a weed, purslane’s medicinal properties shouldn’t be overlooked. Bruise purslane leaves and place on your forehead to treat headaches caused by dehydration or lack of sleep, or chew a sprig of leaves to quench your thirst while working in the fields.
7. Stinging Nettle: Treat Pain and Burns
 8 Healing Herbs - Photo courtesy iStock/Thinkstock Another miracle worker in nature’s medicine cabinet, nettles can be found in abundance on the farm. Wear gloves when harvesting—they call it "stinging” nettle for a reason—and apply the raw leaves, preceded by oil, to areas affected by rheumatism or sciatica to increase circulation and decrease pain. You can also make a standard tea to treat burns or a diluted tea as an astringent gargle.
8. Yarrow: Stop Bleeding
 8 Healing Herbs - Photo by Rachael Brugger (HobbyFarms.com) There’s no shortage of things on the farm that cut and scrape, so when you have a gash that won’t stop bleeding, reach for yarrow. Once used to treat bleeding soldiers, the fresh flowers will stop the blood flow almost immediately. You can also mash or chew the leaves into a poultice to treat rashes or keep a yarrow salve in the medicine cabinet to soothe skin irritations and itchy scabs.

Check out these other herb articles from HobbyFarms.com:

 

 Give us your opinion on
8 Healing Uses for Farm-grown Herbs

Submit a Comment

Name:
Address:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email:

Product Spotlight
>
Hobby Farm Rewards 
Member Login »

facebook


Information on over 200 horse breeds