What the Heck Am I Doing?


Lacey ThackerAs I’ve mentioned, when I was a teeny little toddler, my mother first became interested in herbs and plant-based supplements. As a result, my entire childhood was filled with learning about natural health and wellness. At this point, I’ve had nearly thirty years of experience with medicinal plants. It’s so ingrained in me I almost forget sometimes it’s not second nature to everyone else. I write this not to discourage you if you’re just beginning, but to encourage! The reality is, it’s going to take a little time to develop a working knowledge of medicinal plants, and that’s if you’re well and truly interested. If it’s a hobby you enjoy, you can just learn and learn, and then, when you need the information, you’ll have the knowledge. If you wait until you need it to learn anything, it will feel like a lot of work to find what you’re looking for. So, with that, I’ve written a brief getting-started guide below to give a little perspective on how medicinal plants fit into taking care of general health.


The first thing to realize, as you start learning more about medicinal plants, is that each one will typically have one of a couple of uses. The first use, as with Echinacea purpurea last week, is to boost the immune system to give the body a stronger chance of fighting illness on its own. In regard to the second use, some plants have anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and/or anti-fungal properties. These are reserved for acute situations. If you have a couple of each of these on hand — an immune booster and an anti-viral/fungal/bacterial — you’ll be well-prepared for most situations appropriate to handle for yourself.

Next, we have the specialists. While some specialist plants have more than one use, many of them have one area of use they are particularly famous for. Ginger, for example, is known by many to be useful in aiding in digestion, settling the stomach, and relieving gas. That’s not its exclusive use, but its primary use.

Cloves are another example of a specialist — the extract of the unopened flower bud can be topically applied on gums to address a sore tooth. That, again, is its primary use. Some other uses include using the extract in combination with ginger in a bit of water for nausea, and some report clove extract to be useful in killing internal parasites.

Now, this is where it can start getting complicated. Are you ready?

Become a Preferred Subscriber and start enjoying the benefits today!

Fall in love with the flavor, versatility, and beauty of Mother Earth Gardener

Mother Earth GardenerDelight your taste buds, mind and eyes with beautiful photos and inspirational techniques on everything you need to know to grow, preserve and cook your own heirloom fruits and vegetables. You won’t want to miss the stories about plants passed down from generation to generation.

Don’t miss a single issue of Mother Earth Gardener. Published by the editors of MOTHER EARTH NEWS, Mother Earth Gardener provides decades of organic gardening experience from the most trusted voices in the field. Join today and save off the newsstand price! Get one year (4 issues) for only $24.95! (USA only)

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube