So, over that last few months, I have discovered three plants that have amazing medicinal and health benefits. Two of the plant types were naturally growing on our property without the need for us to plant them. The other we grew from seed and is thriving in our garden.
As I am an engineer and not a doctor, I won’t go into too much detail here, but will share several links that do. I encourage you to dig into these plants a bit, I think you will be surprised! As these are free, pick at your own convenience plants, don’t expect much official research on them by any major medical and pharma group. As they are freely and commonly available, there is little money to be made on them. No money, no incentive for research.
Comfrey – This plant is known to stimulate cell growth and repair, among other things, when used topically. We grew this from seed as we are located in USDA Zone 3B. Our zone gets a bit cold for it to grow natively (I think it will do well as a perennial in zones 4-8). I will attempt to cover it with straw and see if we can get it to over-winter. Worst case, I have more seed in the freezer and will grow it as an annual.
Plantain – This is a plant that I remember seeing every summer since I was a child. It was easy to spot on most gravel driveways or along a sidewalk. Never did I know it was a plant that actually had usefulness! I always thought of it as a weed. Turns out, it is actually quite useful! It is edible and can be added to your salad! It is also know to provide natural bug/bee sting relief.
UPDATE 2017.08.21: I received my first bee sting while checking bee hives the other weekend. First thing I did after getting my suit off was to rub the sting with a plantain leaf. Any sign of the bee sting was gone after about 15-20 minutes!
Stinging Nettle – I will admit, this one caught me by surprise! Stinging nettle?! Good for you? Actually, yes! Besides being used in oil infusions and salves, it can also be brewed as a tea or added to a smoothie. Don’t have stinging nettle plants, you can actually buy stinging nettle seeds on Amazon! Who would have thought??
Last week, Shelly made up a comfrey and plantain oil infusion. I use it on my knees as I am an avid cyclist and want to encourage cell growth and prevent knee injuries. I have heard amazing stories about how it has helped people out. It can’t hurt. Now that we have bees wax, we were also able to make up the salve version.
Stinging nettle?? God’s creation never ceases to amaze!