|Aloe Vera - Excellent indoor
or outdoor container plant. Well-known and
well-researched medicinal plant.
Arugula - Mustard-like green. Grow in salad
gardens and use in salads and stir-fries for a
peppery, pungent taste reminiscent of
Basil - Popular, attractive plant with many
color variations. No herb garden is complete
without it. Excellent in salads and as a
garnish. Medicinally used mainly for its stomach
Cayenne - Attractive shrub-like plant with
fruits that start green and then turn fiery red.
Very hot, but nutritional powerhouses. Used
medicinally for a variety of ailments.
Chamomile - Member of the daisy family with
daisy-like flowers. Bitter taste and not usually
used in cooking. Medicinal properties are
well-known and include many common ailments.
Chervil - Close relative of Parsley, used mostly
for flavoring other foods. Some medicinal uses,
most notably for high blood pressure.
Coriander - Another member of the Parsley
family. Entirely edible plant with a strong
taste often used in Indian and Asian foods.
Medicinally used mostly as a flavoring agent.
Dill - Popular garden herb with feathery silver
green leaves. Nice addition to the herb garden.
Used as a flavoring for many dishes and in
pickling. Not a major medicinal herb, but often
used for its stomach-soothing qualities.
Garlic - Onion-like plant with beautiful
flowers. Well-known in cooking. Medicinally
important herb that is completely safe. Widely
available in many forms.
Savory (Summer) - Attractive trailing plant.
Nice in containers. Mostly a culinary herb used
in a wide variety of dishes. Tastes like peppery
Thyme. Minor medicinal herb.
||Aloe - Wonderfully easy
plant to grow with amazing skin-soothing and healing
properties right off the plant. Grows with little care
and needs only infrequent watering. A must for every
windowsill gardener and a welcome addition to the
backyard herb garden. Must be brought in when the
weather turns cold.
Catnip - Scraggly looking plant with pretty pink
flowers that attract bees. Mostly used as a recreational
substance for pet cats but the leaves can be used
sparingly in salads an a tea can also be made for its
soothing and calming effects. Easy to grow and good
companion plant for other herbs and vegetables.
Chicory - Cool weather plant with rather scraggly
overall habit, but attractive blue flowers. The ground
root is a well-known coffee additive, but the roots can
also be harvested and cooked like parsnips. It has a
tart, bitter taste the leaves can be used in salads.
Easily started from seed. Medicinally, can be used as a
digestive aid and topically as a soothing eye wash.
Chives - Charming and useful member of the onion and
garlic family. Cheery flowers borne on hollow,
cylindrical stems. Wonderful addition to baked potatoes
and many other vegetables. Good companion plant for
other herbs and vegetables and a must for the windowsill
herb garden. Medicinally have the same properties as
onions and garlic.
Dandelion - Largely considered a weed by homeowners,
this much maligned plant has remarkable nutritional
value and is safe for consumption from root to flower.
Can be gathered and cooked like any other green such as
turnip for a tasty, healthy addition to meals.
Medicinally effective both internally and externally for
a variety of ailments.
Echinacea - Hardy, easy to grow, extremely useful
plant with delightful flowers on long, sturdy stems.
Though it has no uses in the kitchen, it is a
well-studied medicinal herb that can be safely used for
a variety of ailments. A must for any serious herb
garden, and a welcome addition to both formal and
informal flower gardens.
Fennel - Close relative of Dill, this tall (6 foot)
plant makes a nice, feathery back of border plant. It is
drought-hardy and needs little care once established,
and has a myriad of uses in the kitchen. Ecologically,
it is a host for swallowtail butterflies, and as such
should definitely be a part of any habitat-type
situation. Medicinally, Fennel is well known and
completely safe, and can be used in a variety of ways
for relief of multiple complaints.
Ginkgo - The Ginkgo is an amazing medium to large
specimen tree that has survived since the dinosaur age.
It grows into stately shade tree with distinctive
fan-shaped leaves that turn a showy yellow in the fall.
Ginkgo has no uses in the kitchen but is an extensively
studied medicinal herb that appears to be something of
an anti-aging agent, improving mood, mental alertness,
memory, and stamina.
Ginseng - Tough to grow and not an ideal landscape
plant, Ginseng has been over-harvested in the wild and
is an endangered plant in most areas today. Most of the
prepared Ginseng in the stores is commercially
cultivated currently. Valued for centuries for the root
that often takes on vague human shapes, the sweet-bitter
taste of Ginseng is used in many oriental dishes and is
considered medicinally valuable in a variety of ways,
but is probably best known for its purported aphrodisiac
Green Tea (Camellia Sinensis) - A true heavyweight in
the herbal world, it's hard to say enough about this
shrub and its medicinal qualities in such a small space.
The sinensis variety is the type used for green tea, and
there is a remarkable list of ailments that this tea is
believed to alleviate. Even if you don't grow your own
plants, green tea is readily available on grocery store
shelves, and virtually everyone without
contraindications should at least try this amazing and
easy herbal remedy at some point in their lives for the
overall health benefits.
Lantana - Lantana is a well-known landscape plant
with easy culture and reliable bloom all summer long. It
mingles well in flower beds and works well in containers
and even on slopes for erosion control. Bees and
butterflies love it, making another good addition to
habitat gardens. It has no uses in the kitchen and the
green berries are toxic and should be avoided. The
medicinal properties are not well researched and are
conflicting, however, a tea can be made from the leaves
that some report is of benefit for joint pain and some
Lavender - What can one say about Lavender? It's
arguably one of the best known flower, herb, craft, and
aromatherapy plants on the planet. It is versatile,
relatively easy to grow, and fits into almost any garden
scheme. It does equally well in containers and in the
ground, and the fragrance evokes fond memories in almost
everyone. It has limited use in the kitchen, but is
medicinally reported to have antiseptic, anti-bacterial,
anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, and
anti-depressant properties, making it a valuable
medicinal herb in addition to it's place in the flower
and fragrance gardens.
Lemon Balm - Easy to grow, attractive, low-growing
plant with a lemony-minty taste that lends itself well
to many drinks and dishes. Medicinally safe and mild,
usually taken in a tea for the calming and overall
health benefits. Great starter plant for beginning herb
gardeners and a mainstay in culinary gardens.
Marjoram - An excellent culinary herb with a
cascading, mounding habit, making it a nice addition to
any herb garden. Marjoram tastes like mild oregano, and
can be used as an oregano substitute in any dish.
Medicinally, this is a safe plant to use both internally
for a variety of problems, and externally as a wash and
mild pain reliever.
Mint - The mints we are most familiar with are only a
small part of a huge family of plants, many of which are
quite invasive. An important source of menthol and
flavoring in industry, mint is also a delight in the
home garden when grown in pots or otherwise contained in
the garden. This rampant grower comes in a variety of
flavors from strong to mild, and lends itself well to
many uses in the kitchen. Medicinally, the plant is
completely safe and is best known as a digestive aid.
Don't forget to pick a leaf and crush it between your
fingers for some of the best aromatherapy around!
Oregano - This is a nice plant with either low,
sprawling growth or an upright habit, depending on the
type. The hot, peppery taste lends itself to many foods
beyond the obvious Italian dishes it is best known for.
Oregano has not been extensively studied medicinally,
but is safe for consumption and is reported to be
effective in a variety of minor medical complaints, such
as digestion, bloating, flatulence, coughs, and
headaches, to name a few.
Poppy - This time tested gardening favorite provides
interesting flower buds, showy blooms, fascinating seed
pods, and incredibly easy care, with many varieties and
colors to choose from. With such virtues, it's a wonder
we don't see this plant in every home landscape.
Medicinally, the Opium Poppy is an important medicinal
herb commercially, but is a controlled plant because it
is the source of - well - opium. However, it takes so
many plants to make just a tiny bit of opium, that you
probably won't have the plant police knocking at your
door if you grow just a few plants mixed in with your
other perennials. Other poppy types are also great
garden plants but are only minor medicinal plants that
are perfectly legal and can be used for a few common
Rosemary - Top of the line aromatherapy herb, that
can grow into a 6 foot aromatic shrub or be contained to
fit proportionately in any size container. Very amenable
to topiary techniques and a popular plant at
Christmastime shaped like a Christmas tree and
decorated. Excellent companion plant. Valuable in the
kitchen for its piney-minty-ginger combination of
flavors that lends itself well to meats, fish, cheese,
eggs, and vegetables. Medicinally safe and can be used
to treat many common ailments and also as a general
Sage - Nice looking plant with gray-green leaves that
are slightly hairy. Welcome addition to herb or
ornamental gardens, as the leaf color compliments other
plants, especially those that are red and orange in
color. Very attractive to bees, and as such a good
addition to habitat-type situations.
Lemony-camphor-bitter taste that is well known in the
kitchen as an ingredient in poultry stuffings, but also
makes a nice addition to meats, poultry, and vegetables.
Medicinally safe herb for a variety of medical
conditions. Top notch aromatherapy herb - pick a leaf
and roll it between your fingers for a remarkable
St. John's Wort - Short-lived, opportunistic plant
that has naturalized virtually all over the world. 3
foot bushy growth type with cheery bright yellow flowers
that bloom in the heat of the summer while other plants
are on the decline. Very easy culture, with bluish green
leaves with a turpentine-like smell. Bitter taste and of
no real use in the kitchen, but well-known for its
anti-depressant properties medicinally.
Savory (Winter) - Woody shrub with bright green
leaves and a piney flavor. Quite winter hardy and
tolerates less than perfect soil. Good windowsill herb.
Used mainly for seasoning game meats and in stews.
Especially good for seasoning dried beans. Not currently
Tarragon - Tarragon is not one of the more beautiful
herbs, but for those who relish the anise-like flavor,
it is a good addition in the herb garden nonetheless. It
is a delightful enhancement to many meats and
vegetables, in addition to cream sauces, vinegars,
herbed butters, and yogurt. Medicinally, it can be made
into a tea or dried and used in capsules for a variety
of common ailments.
Thyme - Thyme is an incredible culinary herb that
should be present in every garden. There are multiple
varieties, from tiny plants that will fit between brick
pavers to cascading types that are perfect for
containers or windowsills. In cooking, it blends well
with dozens of foods and other herbs. If there is a
perfect culinary herb, Thyme is that herb. Medicinally,
it is believed to work as an antiseptic, antifungal, and