30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine

by | Sep 8, 2011 | Emergency Preparedness | 48 comments

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    The article has been generously contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready NutritionAfter joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999 Tess worked as an  Armed Forces Emergency Services Center  specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management & response. You can follow her regular updates on PreparednessHomesteading, and a host of other topics at www.readynutrition.com .

    Editor’s Note: In the following article, Tess Pennington outlines the most critical herbs and natural botanicals you can store and grow for hard times. Given the direction our health care system is heading, chances are strong that five to ten years from now you’ll be waiting weeks and months to visit a health care specialist for any serious medical needs that arise. That being said, now is a great time to start learning more about complementary and alternative medicines. As Tess points out, God has provided us with everything we could ever need, and centuries of history and natural healing prove that alternative (or, shall we say, ‘traditional’) medicine works. Even modern day clinical studies have shown natural medicines to have surprising success rates for people with conditions such as cancer, high blood pressure, cognitive deficiencies and emotional imbalance. The right combination of diet, physical activity, mental and psychological focus, and understanding of natural medicinal properties is all we might ever need to cure the majority of disease and sickness.

    The following is a list of nature’s medicines. You don’t have to just add them to a supply storage. You can start using them regularly in your daily life to live longer, happier and healthier.

    30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine

    We tend to look to God as a source of all healing. It is said that He has provided all that we will ever need:

    “the fruit of it shall be for eating and leaf of it for healing…” (Ezekiel 47:12)

    Herbs are a wondrous thing. They not only assist in flavoring dishes and filling the air with delightful aromas, but they also hold medicinal properties that promote healing. Those of you who have herbal gardens of your own, no doubt have a few of these herbal friends already planted. Many of the plants listed below are also listed in my Top 10 Medicinal Herbs that should be in every garden. However, it seems that there are a few more worth mentioning.

    Our Herbal Friends

    1. Aloe Vera – Antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral, wound and burn healer, natural laxative, soothes stomach, helps skin disorders.
    2. Basil – Powerful antispasmodic, antiviral, anti-infectious, antibacterial, soothes stomach.
    3. Black Cohosh – Relieves menopausal hot flashes, relieves menstrual cramps, helps circulatory and cardiovascular disorders, lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, useful for nervousness and stress. Note: Do not use during pregnancy.
    4. Black Walnut – Good for eliminating parasites, good for fungal infections, good for warts and poison ivy, aids digestion.
    5. Cinnamon – It has been proven that 99.9% of viruses and bacteria can not live in the presence of cinnamon. So it makes a great antibacterial and antiviral weapon.
    6. Cayenne– Catalyst for other herbs, useful for arthritis and rheumatism (topically and internally), good for colds, flu viruses, sinus infection and sore throat, useful for headache and fever, aids organs (kidneys, heart, lungs, pancreas, spleen and stomach, increase thermogenesis for weight loss.
    7. Clove Bud – Improves the immune system, they are also an antioxidant and doubles as an antibacterial and antimicrobial fighter.
    8. Cypress – The therapeutic properties of cypress oil are astringent, antiseptic, antispasmodic, deodorant, diuretic, haemostatic, hepatic, styptic, sudorific, vasoconstrictor, respiratory tonic and sedative.
    9. Dandelion – Helpful for PMS, good for menopause, increases ovarian hormones.
    10. Echinacea (coneflower) – Boosts white blood cell production, immune system support, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, good for colds, flu and infection. Note: Use no more than two weeks at a time. Do not use if you are allergic to sunflowers or related species.
    11. Eucalyptus – Anti-infectious, antibacterial and antiviral.
    12. Garlic – Helps fight infection, detoxifies the body, enhances immunity, lowers blood fats, assists yeast infections, helps asthma, cancer, sinusitis, circulatory problems and heart conditions.
    13. German Chamomile – Helps stress, anxiety and insomnia, good for indigestion, useful for colitis and most digestive problems, effective blood cleanser and helps increase liver function and supports the pancreas. Improves bile flow from the liver, it is good for healing of the skin that might come from a blistering chemical agent.
    14. Geranium – Dilates bile ducts for liver detoxification, antispasmodic, stops bleeding, anti-infectious, antibacterial.
    15. Ginger – Helps nausea, motion sickness and vomiting, useful for circulatory problems, good for indigestion, and is also an effective antioxidant.
    16. Lavender – Assists with burns, antiseptic, used as a stress reliever, good for depression, aids skin health and beauty.
    17. Lemon – Is known for its antiseptic properties, Essential Science Publishing says that: According to Jean Valnet, M.D. the vaporized essence of lemon can kill meningococcal bacteria in 15 minutes, typhoid bacilli in one hour, Staphylococcus aureus in two hours and Pneumococcus bacteria within three hours. Lemon also improves micro-circulation, promotes white blood cell formation, and improves immune function.
    18. Marjoram – Anti-infectious, antibacterial, dilates blood vessels, regulates blood pressure, soothes muscles.
    19. Marshmallow – Aids bladder infections, diuretic (helps fluid retention), helps kidney problems, soothes coughs, sore throats, indigestion, and as a topical agent it is said to be anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and wound-healing.
    20. Melissa – Assists in issues with the nervous system, blisters, and has antimicrobial properties.
    21. Mullein – Can be used as a laxative, good for asthma and bronchitis, useful for difficulty breathing, helps hay fever.
    22. Myrrh – Anti-infectious, antiviral, soothes skin conditions and supports immune system. Also an antispasmodic that helps to reduce spasming due to spasms caused by nerve agents.
    23. Oregano – is a powerful antibiotic and has been proven to be more effective in neutralizing germs than some chemical antibiotics. It has been effective against germs like Staphylococcus aureas, Escherichia coli, Yersinia enterocolitica and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
    24. PineAntidiabetic, cortisone-like, severe infections, hypertensive
    25. Rosemary – Antiseptic, Antibacterial, Cleansing and detoxes the body. Supports the liver and combats cirrhosis.
    26. Rosewood – Anti-infectious, antibacterial, and antiviral.
    27. Sage – Used in anxiety, nervous disorders, as astringent, in abdominal disorders, anti inflammatory.
    28. Spearmint – To calm the Nervous System, aide with Nerve Agents.
    29. Tea Tree – Disinfectant, antibacterial, anti-fungal, burns, good for all skin conditions.
    30. Thyme – Effective against Anthrax and Tuberculosis

    Perhaps it is time that we begin taking more proactive steps in our physical well being. In the book, Natural Health Remedies: An A-Z Family Guide it states that natural medicine does not simply seek to suppress symptoms with drugs and so forth, but it attempts to discover and eliminate the root cause of disease. Even further, the author suggests that natural medicine teaches not only the treatment of disease but also its prevention by instilling dietary and lifestyle habits that promote health.

    This article has been contributed by Tess Pennington of Ready Nutrition. Subscribe to Tess’ Get Prepped Weekly Newsletter for more emergency preparedness tips, homesteading ideas, and insights. As a subscriber to her free newsletter you’ll receive the latest updates from her 52 Weeks to Preparedness Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Planning Series. It’s well worth your time, and oh, did we mention it’s totally free?

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      1. Now correct me if I’m wrong but garlic, onion, and the other pungent veggies permeate every part of the body as they clean it out, but also slow down one’s thoughts as they permeate the brain.

        • Much to my wife’s chagrin, I love to eat vadalia onions just like you would eat an apple. Well…..hey, Charlie Brown didn’t have too many friends either.

          • as kids in the ozark mountains of missouri we ate sliced onion on biscuits for school lunches all the time..no one stole our lunches.

      2. Oh, my gosh !!! I can’t say enough good things about herbs…….I’ve got them all over my house and use them daily. THEY WORK !!!!
        Wonderful article, thanks …….

        • I agree. Garlic (raw) is a potent natural antibiotic. I remember when researching at a university (medical background), one trip our program took was to a local research hospital studying antibiotics. While I won’t explain the process at length, they determined that just the VAPOR from garlic was as or more (hard to measure vapor exactly) as effective an antibiotic as the medicinal ones like penicillin.

          I routinely used ginger for an uspset stomach and I personal lowered my high blood pressure from 240/140 down to 125/65 or so. I can attest to the power of nature. I don’t believe for half a second that there isn’t a natural cure for any bodily ailment that afflicts humans (obviously disease, not trauma), we just haven’t found them all yet. In fact western “medicine” is finally starting to accept the fact that people are recovering by their use, hence the entire division of the Mayo Clinic devoted to alternative medicine research. My two cents.

          • @DB … What is the herb that you used to lower your BP? Your statement is not clear that it’s cinnamon. I have medium high BP, currently controlled with Prescription meds. I am interested in using herbs to control it instead of meds.

            • Marijuana lowers bp, and has a wealth of other health benefits as well. Look it up.

            • Actually, it was garlic that I used. I was a youth (14) at the time, and had seen 4 doctors about the problem. I was actually pretty scared because they told me I could have a stroke at any time. I had been measured at 265/150 or so one day, which was even higher than normal. The doctors were unable to make a diagnosis (I was not overweight, but they suspected kidneys), so I looked into what I could do naturally. I took many garlic pills a day and I ate raw garlic cloves, chopped up and hidden in other things like a piece of bread, and swallowed with water. My parents said I had bad breath and that I was stinky, but after about 4 months my blood pressure was right on. I don’t know at exactly what point the change occurred, but if I recal correctly, my blood pressure lowered very fast after a couple of weeks, and then little by little for the next few months. I now try and eat garlic in almost everything. In fairness to history, I also took chlorophyll gelcaps to keep me from having a bad smell, and I chewed a lot of gum. The chlorophyll may have done something too, but I feel the majority was accomplished through garlic.

            • Also, I just thought, if you are fighting high blood pressure, often that is correlated with diabetes. I don’t know if that applies to you or not, but I had a feeling to mention that there are some herbs/plants that help with that too. The only one I can think of off the top of my head is the “Jerusalem Artichoke” also known as “Sun chokes” and “Sun roots” which are related to the sunflower, and grow in tubers. I am growing my first set crop this year, and the plants above ground are prolific. I have not been diagnosed with diabetes, but I’m going to incorporate them into my diet anyway to see if I feel any change. Also remember, any change in diet/supplementation should go on for 60-90 days before you make a real determination, because the effects are slow. A lot of people do something for a few days, or even a week or month, and give up. Some things take time, just keep that in mind.


            • What I realy mean – Vasotensin metagenics

            • Olive leaf is very good for treating high blood pressure

          • “While I won’t explain the process at length, they determined that just the VAPOR from garlic was as or more (hard to measure vapor exactly) as effective an antibiotic as the medicinal ones like penicillin.”

            Absolutely true. My daughter’s ear infection would not clear with prescribed antibiotics, but it cleared immediately after I cut half a garlic, wrapped it in a small piece of tissue and put it inside her ear.

      3. Thanks Mac.

      4. Well, everyone better start writing and calling Congress because the FDA is currently making pretty much everything listed above ILLEGAL to sell in America. Go onto http://www.naturalnews.com – they have a list of everyone to contact to fight this government overreach.

      5. Can someone reccommend a good book on how to identify these plants, as well as a little more info on how to use them?

        • @ Eaglescout Prepper

          I have a lot of different herbal remedy books. Two of my favorites are:

          Natural Health Remedies: An A-Z Family Guide
          Herbal Medicine: The Natural Way To Get Well and Stay Well

          As for ways to use the herbs, it is dependent on how you want to use them. You can use them to make essential oils, tinctures, decoctions, teas, syrups, etc. Here is a basic how-to page on the subject that I found very helpful when starting out:


          The best piece of advice I can give on this subject is to start practicing now so that you know what to do in a long-term emergency.

      6. or i could read the whole thing before i jump to the bottom…forgive me, i’m a little slow today, must be all that garlic…

      7. Great article, I love my herbs. The Elderberrys are over laden with berries this year, it will be a bad cold season here. I highly recomend getting to know the herbs in your area you never know when they will save you. We can fix everything from pink eye too athlets foot for a fracktion of the cost of store meds. Be blessed everyone.

        • Bless you jmom.

      8. I will defend Herb until the last drop of his blood! The feds should leave him alone.

      9. in response to KB, Are you really that parinoid?!?!? outlaw Cinnamon, oinion, or garlic? sometimes the comments on this site takes the credabilty down a notch or two

        • You are an idiot, read Codex Alimantarius, your credibility is Zero.

          • +1. Some people are so ignorant, i question if they’re just plain stupid. You must not be aware that there are “Vitamin Safety” and such bills floating around (McCain sponsored one a few years ago IIRC), to make herbs available by prescription only. And that’s in ADDITION to Codex alimentarius.

            • yes, and now we all cant buy marshmellows to roast over a campfire, or LEMONS. I have read it and i dont go by what other biased people tell me it said. Thats only reason i go to ever so many sites to get news, because everyone inculinding this one has a bias just like you.

            • Wow, further ignorance. Marshmallow is a plant/flower, not the candy you are referring to, named after the herb. Lemons are also available, and are not herbs, nor sold as an herb supplement (the word “Herb” is synonymous with “plant”). Unfortunately, although you acknowledge that you are biased, you have to project that onto others. Since you cannot refute facts (and cannot even demonstrate an understanding of the difference between a medicinal herb and a candy confection), I’ll leave you to babble about, without responding.

        • I think he’s referring to the regulation of manufactured health store herbs..and yes, I’ve been reading this for months..it’s coming.

          • Correct, but this poster is trolling and cares nothing for what the truth is, because of his blatant normalcy bias (or hidden agenda).

      10. Great, I was getting tired of putting silver dollars on my eyes. You don’t want to know about the gold watch.

        • Well at least your not putting pennies on our eyes:)

      11. Mac, Great article! 30 Most Popular Herbs for Natural Medicine. “For almost every illness there is a plant to cure it it’s only the lack of Knowledge that we suffer from.”

      12. Great list, I have many of these in my herb garden but need to add a few more. Some of these I’ve never heard of!

        I have printed this out and put it in the “I have no electricity anymore” “shtf” binder.

      13. THanks Mac.. I too printed this list and stuck it with my “stash”

      14. I’ve actually started on the journey of gaining some herbal knowledge. Watched numerous youtube videos and read quiet a few articles. Got a few books at Half-priced books and at Border going-out-of-business sale. Just ordered a “starter kit” from Learningherbs.com (no affiliation) that comes with herbs and supplies to get you going. I’m on a business trip at the moment so hoping my kit is waiting at home for me. I think this is one of those often over looked prep areas. Plus I think natural remedies are much more affective and less harmful to your body. I’ve made a list of herbs to get that cover the most likely aliments (cold, fever, scratches, blister, headaches, etc.) me and my family may encounter and when SHTF may not be able to obtain or afford.

      15. Much appreciated Mac, as I have forgotten about getting the recipes for ailments. I do grow most for cooking so the rest is not a huge step.

      16. What do you use for the chilblains?

      17. very informative…thank you.:)

      18. A good localized field guide can help you find herbs that grow wild in your area. A lot of things we consider weeds have healing powers. Every part of the simple dandelion is edible and most of it has a healing function. T

        • Oops – posted too soon. The roots of the dandelion are diuretic, the leaves are a high source potassium and Vitamin A, the juice from the stem is anti-fungal and can be used to remove warts, and finally a tea from the flowers can relieve headaches, stomach aches and menstrual cramps.

          There are a lot of medinical herbs lurking in a garden near you!

          • My neighbor from Pa. said they had dandelion leaves when she grew up–in their salads.

      19. Great article! Thank you! I have printed this out for my prep. folder.

        KY Mom

      20. Recommendation I found on a previous post on reference books for herbal medicine.

        “Some great books on herbs, anyone looking into this should have these 4 books in their library.”
        Herbal Antibiotics – Stephen Buhner
        The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook – James Duke
        The How to Herb Book – Velma Keith
        Practical Herbalism – Philip Fritchey

      21. #31 – Cannabis – anti-tumor effects, neuro-protectant, nausea suppressant, far too many other uses to list, can be juiced raw and fresh with little to no inebriation, can be vaporized to avoid smoking plant material.

      22. Great article – thanks for posting

      23. If u r not consuming fresh herbs everyday that you grow well You can’t get it in a pill form. Best wake up & get some seed in the ground NOW.

      24. Chinese medicine? LOL

      25. “Most popular herbs…”

        How come cannibus is not mentioned?

        Oh yeah, popular “legal” herbs.

        Got it.

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