Edible Plants – 7 Landscape Plants with Medicinal Benefits


Why Grow Your Own Plants?

Rabbiteye blueberries, an edible plant with medicinal properties. {Image credit: Apalachee Hills Landscapes}

We are all looking for safe, healthier ways to live a more productive life. Gardening not only provides vegetables, herbs and medicinally beneficial, edible plants, but also provides great exercise, because growing a good, sustainable garden requires a fair bit of calorie burning labor.

Many plants have medicinal benefits nature has provided since the Indians lived off the land. Horticulture researchers have found some plants to contain healing properties, which help prevent health problems from occurring by working gradually to increase general energy levels, allowing your body to fight more serious potential problems itself.

Your body is an incredible organism capable of immense feats of self-repair and renewal, yet it needs help to keep doing all of this. As a first line therapy, don’t reach for sugar, caffeine, artificially flavored foods, or chemical drugs for pain relief, they will only mask the problem for a while and could make an underlying situation worse. A more beneficial option is a gradual change in your lifestyle towards more natural foods, simpler eating patterns and a closer relationship with the bounty nature has given us.

This is where edible plants come in, not only can you use them for landscaping, you can also reap the medicinal benefits.

Before Getting Started

It is important to be aware of your own body and its symptoms. If you feel unwell or have pain, are pregnant or have a serious condition, you should always consult your physician, who will provide you with conventional treatment for your condition.

If you decide to pursue a permaculture lifestyle, you could consult a wellknown Permaculture expert like Chuck Marsh who is located in North Carolina.

7 Edible Plants and Their Medicinal Benefits

The following are 7 edible plants, each with a rich medicinal profile, as an introduction to how plants can provide balance and a new level of focus to your health.

1. Gooseberries

Gooseberry - an edible medicinal plantGooseberries contain flavones & anthocyanins, which have numerous desirable effects such as protecting against cancer, ageing, inflammation, and neurological diseases.

Amongst their many benefits is the fact that gooseberries contain 25% of the daily fibre requirement, and 69% of the daily recommended vitamin C dosage.
Although they have a sour taste, eating clean, rinsed gooseberries increases iron in the bloodstream which boosts circulation, and as a bonus, they pack a highly nutritious punch.

2. Mulberry

Mulberries are rich in Vitamin C, iron, riboflavin, calcium and potassium, to name just a few of the nutrients found in the fruit. They are also fiber rich and contain various phytonutrients.

In addition, mulberry leaf tea can help fight diabetes and is antioxidant rich. Not only does it control cholesterol and triglyceride levels, it also is useful as an antiinflammatory tea. Mulberries can be rinsed, cleaned and consumed raw.

3. Rabbiteye Blueberries

Rabbiteye Blueberries can live to be 75 years old. They are a brilliant low calorie, antioxidant rich snacking option, and regular intake can prevent various infections, cancer and degenerative diseases. The berries can slow brain aging & improve balance. Blueberries can be rinsed, cleaned and consumed raw.

4. Sage

sage is another medicinal and edible plantSage has high antioxidant properties, contains iron, folate, magnesium, calcium and B vitamins (to mention just a few), making it a greatly nutritional herb.

Researchers have tested Alzheimer’s patients by giving them sage extract. The results showed an increase in cognition, as well as less agitation, compared to those patients who did not receive any sage.
Fresh sage-leaf tea with 1 teaspoon of honey is very helpful for sore throats. Leaves can also be chopped and added to almost any culinary dish.

5. Elderberry

Elderberry is a great immunity booster and is effective in preventing colds and flu. Adults can take 2 teaspoons of elderberry syrup in ¼ cup of hot water, up to three times a day.

To make the syrup:
2 lbs ripe elderberries
1 cup soft brown sugar
In a large, heavy bottom pan, put in the ripe elderberries, washed and stems removed.
Crush the berries with a potato masher.
Add the brown sugar, stir and simmer until the juice is thick.
Let it cool and pour into a dark colored glass bottle.
Securely seal. Keep in a cold, dark, dry place.

Additionally, it is also beneficial in improving vision, boosting heart health and lowering cholesterol levels.

6. Thyme

Thyme is very easy to grow. It is an easy homemade remedy for respiratory or asthma relief. It is also useful for menstrual cramps and PMS relief.

How to make thyme tea:

Chop a tablespoon of leaves.
Infuse into 1 cup of hot water.
Add 1 tablespoon of good honey.
Mix and allow to cool.
Drink one cup per day.

7. Lemon Verbena

Lemon Verbena is a shrub providing some of most well documented health benefits. The essential oil of lemon verbena contains a high concentration of powerful antioxidant compounds which help protect against cancers, infections and degenerative conditions. The leaves can be dried & steeped and drank in tea form to help with inflammation, muscle aches and weight loss.

For an excellent hair treatment:
Boil 1 cup of water.
Remove water from heat.
Steep 3 tablespoons of fresh leaves in the boiling water.
Remove leaves.
Rinse your hair using the remaining water.

In conclusion…

This is just a snippet of the many benefits of using plants in your diet. Edible plants provide an aesthetically pleasing environment as well as numerous health benefits, allowing you to elevate your well being naturally. None of these are a replacement for traditional medical advice. These are just ideas to help balance your over-all health and feeling of well-being.

myavatar-jpgAUTHOR BIO: JoAnn is a food enthusiast, who strives to educate others with insightful food information, gardening sustainability, and to encourage support for local farmers. You can read more of her writing over at JoAnn’s Food Bites.
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JoAnn is a food enthusiast, who strives to educate others with insightful food information, gardening sustainability, and encourages support for our local farmers. Drop by & read her latest posts: http://joannsfoodbites.com/

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2 Comment

  1. Mecala says: Reply

    Very informative article, Joann. Great site Hina! I love the values you stand for and the much-needed information you are and will be sharing here. As someone who believes very much that traditional medicine needs to make room for holistic as well (they should always work hand in hand), I will be visiting often. Also, as the daughter of a pharmacist mom who is turning 89 today…Thank you!

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Mecala 🙂 I agree with you 100%, I always recommend natural alternatives before conventional drugs and ensure I give full counseling to my patients. Thank you once again for the read and I hope to keep you content with my future posts 🙂

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