Growing Medicinal Herbs in Pots: 10 Healing Plants for Your Container Garden

By Juliet Blankespoor and Meghan Gemma
Photography by Juliet Blankespoor

You can grow a respectable herbal apothecary in pots. In fact, some of the most beneficial medicinal herbs will positively thrive in containers placed right on your porch or patio.

Many can even double as attractive houseplants, the likes of which may arouse the botanical curiosity of friends and neighbors.

These ten hand-picked herbs will round out any medicine chest and add beauty to your home. Adaptogens, first-aid herbs, digestives, and relaxing remedies are all represented.

We’ve included hearty medicinal tidbits for each plant, alongside the “green thumb” information you need to shower your medicinal herbs with proper TLC.

Need more guidance? For a fleshed-out primer on selecting containers and understanding the sensitivities unique to potted medicinals, visit our blog on Growing Medicinal Herbs in Containers.

Curious where to find herb starts and seedlings? Take a wink at our catalog of Herbal Seed Suppliers and Nurseries.

*Please note that this article’s discussion of medicinal uses is introductory in scope. We’ve provided safety guidelines for each plant, but we recommend that you research any new herb and consult your health care providers for possible drug/herb contraindications and precautions before ingesting.

Gotu kola (Centella asiatica) receiving a harvesting "haircut"

1. Gotu kola (Centella asiatica, Apiaceae)

Parts Used:  Primarily leaves, may include small amounts of stem, flowers, and fruit

Medicinal Preparations: Tea, tincture, infused oil, nibble, infused ghee, milk decoction, powder, broth, poultice, compress, green smoothie, and fresh juice

Herbal Actions:

  • Vulnerary (wound healing)
  • Diuretic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antioxidant
  • Anxiolytic (anti-anxiety)
  • Nervine
  • Antibacterial
  • Alterative
  • Secondary adaptogen*

View remainder of article at: Growing Medicinal Herbs in Pots:
10 Healing Plants for Your Container Garden

Children’s Garden opens at Kew Gardens helping kids to learn about what plants need to grow

Life & Soul Magazine

A new Children’s Garden, which provides an interactive space for kids to learn about the elements and everything a plant needs to grow, is opening at Kew Gardens this weekend [Saturday 18 May].

The garden, set in a natural setting the size of 40 tennis courts wrapped around a 200-year-old oak in the centre, is a space for kids aged 2-12 to learn about the things that plants need to grow – essentially the elements: earth, air, sun and water.

In the Earth Garden children can weave through a living bamboo tunnel, explore a jungle of large leafed palms and slide down ‘worm-hole’ tubes. Through this experience, there’s opportunities to learn about earth science, from germination to plants with interesting roots.

Through a ring of sunflowers and pink candy floss grass, sits the Sun Garden with its windy and twisted paths. Cherry blossoms from a row of cherry trees and hoop frames…

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Let Us Stroll the Primrose Path of Dalliance

The Herb Society of America Blog

By Kathleen M Hale, Western Reserve Herb Society

20190505_163700The botanical family name of the common or English primrose, Primula, comes from the diminutive of the Latin word for “first.” And the common name “primrose,” derived from prima rosa (“first rose”), is also a reference to the primrose being one of the first flowers of spring. This is not the evening primrose (Oenethera), or any of the other, more ornate, forms of Primula. This is the quintessentially English cottage garden flower.

Of course, it is then described as “vulgaris.” Sounds harsh. But this is not a matter of judgment of the primrose’s character. It’s just that, where the primrose is happy, it is very happy. It grows and spreads in abundance in cool, moist places.

This does not describe the micro-climate in most of our homes when primroses beckon so invitingly from the grocery store aisles shortly after the winter holiday…

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Herbs for Your Windowsill

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Like the idea of growing your own medicinal plants? Look no further than your windowsill or patio garden for these four standbys of ours: lemon balm, sage thyme, and peppermint. These herbs are familiar to us from grandma’s recipes and as lyrics in songs, but they may be less familiar as medicine. Lemon balm, also known as “hearts delight” and the “gladdening” herb, has long been treasured for its ability to soothe the nerves and uplift the spirit. An old Arabian proverb says that “balm makes the heart merry and joyful.” From ancient times, though, sage was used for digestive troubles, heartburn, depression, and even dementia. Thyme is excellent for treating sore throats and bronchitis. Make thyme tea with honey to soothe those colds and coughs. And women listen up, for bloating and digestive issues associated with our monthly cycle thyme is an excellent soother and diuretic. Another great herb for digestion…

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Herbal Bouquets for Mother’s Day – Traditional Medicinals

Good Witches Homestead

In the English and European Victorian era, gifting herbs and flowers were used to relay secret messages. When you received a flower bouquet, you would sit down with your dictionary and try to decipher what it meant; honeysuckle for devotion, aster for patience, and roses for love.  Fast forward to modern times, important life milestones like births, graduations, buying a new home, and career changes are almost always accompanied by flower gifts. While today it’s not our first choice of communication, a flower bouquet can make a lovely homemade and eco-friendly gift for just about anyone in your life, and can certainly contain an intention.

Plants and floral bouquets have a long-standing tradition as Mother’s Day gifts, and with good reason. There’s a simple and well-understood joy that comes from a vibrant and beautiful bouquet on the kitchen table. We have all felt it, botanical bliss; it’s like a type…

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Dandelion Lotion Bars

Wylde and Green

I have used a recipe from The Nerdy Farm Wife and adapted slightly to suit me.

Dandelion lotion bars, are good for very dry, chapped skin, and can be used on hands, knees, elbows or anywhere that needs some serious love.

This is the perfect time of year to make Dandelion infused oil. Our gardens and countryside are full of them, but when collecting please do leave some for the bees. For every 1 dandelion you pick, leave 2 or 3 behind.

Making the infused Oil;

With proper storage this oil will be good for 9-12 months. Gather flowers from places that haven’t been sprayed with chemicals or used as a bathroom site for your pets. Dandelions often have bugs or ants on them, so let the container sit outside for a few hours before bringing in.

Dandelions have a high water content, so let them dry out for 2-3…

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Happy Spring

Good Witches Homestead

Plants are expressing their life force as they emerge from the soil to meet the light.

Aphrodisiac Honey – to give you Spring Fever!
Honey – 1 quart, local raw wildflower or buckwheat honey
Red Roses – 1/2 cup
Orange blossoms – 1/2 cup
Blood Orange peels – 1/4 cup
Tangerine peels – 1/4 cup
Vanilla bean – 1 bean cut open and scraped, include all parts
Dark Cacao powder – 2 tablespoons, sweetened or unsweetened
Cinnamon powder – 1 teaspoon
*Red Pepper flakes – a pinch
*optional
These amounts are approximate suggestions, adjust to suit your taste.
Put all (or some if you can’t get all) of the dried herbs into a quart jar and cover with the honey.
Stir and wait as long as you can! It will be good in a day, and get even better as it ages!
Six weeks? Six months? Your call! You can…

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Drinking in Spring: Red Flowering Currant Elixir — Gather Victoria

Right now in my back garden, a Red Flowering Currant Bush (Ribes sanguineum) is in full radiant bloom. Her drooping clusters of “soul-piercing pink flowers” are sending out an entrancing floral, fruity and spicy perfume. Which is probably one reason ethnobotanist and author Abe Lloyd describes the blossoms as “capable of transforming winter sodden pessimists…

via Drinking in Spring: Red Flowering Currant Elixir — Gather Victoria

Benefits of Organic Blue Tea – Butterfly Pea or Asian Pigeonwing

Good Witches Homestead

Native to South-East Asia and India is the butterfly blue pea, a beautiful cerulean floral creation, which has been an important ingredient of traditional medicine in this part of the world since the era of ancient civilizations. For a flower, to have endured through several centuries is indeed credible and what is more noteworthy is the fact that its importance remains undiminished and unaffected by the passage of time. There could only one explanation for this continued sustenance – the natural presence of curative and therapeutic attributes that easily transit into lukewarm water like its color and can be consumed as such.Blue tea in a white teacup and loose leaf tea surrounding the cup from top view

Amongst the several exotic beverages that are prepared with the butterfly blue pea flowers, one of the simplest as also the most appealing is organic blue tea. In the phrase ‘organic blue tea’, while the word ‘blue’ owes its presence to the color that is typical of the…

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WILDCRAFTING: GETTING TO THE ROOT OF OUR ETHOS

Good Witches Homestead

Botany & Wildcrafting Course by Herbal Academy

We use the terms “wildcrafted” and “wild-harvested” when describing products. Specifically, this term refers to the aromatics – the essential oil scent blends that transport you to another place, another time and bring the mountains into your home.

Wildcrafting is not some trendy thing. In fact, humans have been wildcrafting since we could walk. The term, however, is new to our industry and to the vocabulary of consumers. Let’s explore what wildcrafting means to us.

Wildcrafting is the practice of harvesting things in the wild for our use. Whether that comes in the form of decorative art (think bones, branches, grasses), wild foods (think mushrooms, berries, nuts), medicinal herbs, or aromatics, wildcrafting is done for pleasure, necessity and tradition by some peoples and to our great benefit.

In our case, we harvest aromatic ingredients to scent our bath, body and home products. Wildcrafting helps us absorb the beauty of nature…

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