It is commonly known that plants can be used for medicinal purposes.  Folk may have a few plants dotted around the garden that can be picked to make a quick tea or a culinary herb garden that doubles up as a natural apothecary.  Others might even have a full medicinal herb garden for all their herbalism needs.

There are several reasons why someone might not be able to have a full garden.  It might be a matter of space, time, or ability.  However, that needn’t be a reason not to grow your medicinal herb garden in containers.  Those with a small sunny porch or windowsill can still enjoy all of the benefits of some amazing plants right on their doorstep.

Growing Medicinal Plants in Pots

Growing plants in containers means that not only do you have the plants close at hand when you want to harvest them, but you can also enjoy their beauty, the aromas that are released when they are passed by, or the insect repelling properties that many medicinal plants have.

You could opt for several different pots, each containing a separate plant, or you could fill a window box or hanging basket with a mix of complementary herbs.  Even think about recycling old containers to make quirky plant homes.

Which Medicinal Plants Grow Well in Containers?

1. Aloe Vera

Source: The Aloe Vera Garden/YouTube

  • How to grow-  Aloe vera works very well when grown in pots.  It is a succulent-like plant that looks quite like a cactus.  These plants do not like too much water though they mustn’t be neglected.  Water very well, but allow the soil to dry out between waterings.  You will need to keep this potted plant indoors during the winter.
  • Medicinal uses-  It is the slimy, fleshy innards of the spiky leaves that you want.  Carefully cut a leaf open and remove the flesh.  This can be rubbed directly onto minor burns, sunburns, or acne.   Aloe is also good for rehydrating dry skin and is said to help calm an itchy scalp and reduce dandruff.
  • Recipes- Check out this Superfood Green Smoothie by Kibby Miller. Or, if you’re in the mood for something sweet, check out these Raw Aloe Vera Brownies by Kyra Howearth.

2. Lemon Verbena

  • How to grow- Lemon verbena (Aloysia citriodora) is a heavenly, lemony-scented shrub that, like aloe, is also drought tolerant. It is a perennial in warmer climates, but it will need to be cut back and brought indoors during cold winters.
  • Medicinal uses-  Lemon verbena makes a wonderfully refreshing tea and has anti-bacterial properties.  Its lemony scent and flavor are both uplifting and calming at the same time.  It is a tea that can be sipped throughout the day, as it is very gentle.  A lemon verbena, peppermint, and ginger tea work well for upset stomachs and nausea.
  • Recipes- Check out these Lemon Verbena Shortbread Sandwich Cookies by Betsy DiJulio: Blogger, The Blooming Platter.

3. Ginger

Source: Epic Gardening/YouTube

4. Thyme

Source: Go Locavore/YouTube

5. Lavender

Here is a little sample of some plants that can work to beautify your porch, help deter pests, and provide you with some gentle and soothing medicinal remedies.  A few other notable medicinal herbs that are excellent container dwellers are mint, lemon balm, and oregano.

This is for informational and educational purposes only.  Always consult a medical professional before using any herbal remedy.

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