In case you thought I was about to limit myself to culinary herbs in my garden, I’m not. You can bet I’ll be also planting several medicinal herbs for the shade garden!
Dear me, I think my oldest would have my head! It doesn’t surprise me I suppose. After all, this is the boy I remember posting about long, long ago and his eating of corn silk, pine needles, and all manner of odd backyard edibles. He has a well-worn copy of this book. And he is adamant that I incorporate plenty of medicinal herbs into our gardens. (Forget the fact that in two years he’ll be emancipated. Perhaps he’s looking forward to taking splits?)
If you’re thinking about starting your first herb garden one of the things that can help you decide what to plant in an herb garden is the sunlight on your location. Just because a site is shady, doesn’t mean you can’t plant any beautiful herbal plants with medicinal benefits there!
There are several, beautiful, easy-to-grow medicinal herbs that can be grown in the shade garden. These top 8 are among my favorite herbs to plant in shade.
8 Medicinal Herbs for the Shade Garden
Common Uses of Feverfew:
In herbal medicine, feverfew is typically used to treat the following:
- Menstrual cramps
- Skin conditions
- This is a great remedy for children and is safe for them.
- It reduces fevers, alleviates colic, it is a mild sedative, helps with teething, improves irritability, helps with colds/ flu, great for digestive bloating, good for nausea and cramps, helps with stress.
- It contains vitamin C.
- You can mash the leaves and flowers for a poultice for external bruises
- Soothes headaches and scalp irritations –Source
Excellent sedative action. Widely used to allay pain, nervous unrest, migraine, and insomnia. –Source
I use valerian as one of the ingredients in my Sleepytime Tea herbal tea blend.
Hyssop is probably most famously known as an herb for helping with symptoms of a cold or flu. It is often used for children, but is very appropriate for adults as well.
As a stimulating diaphoretic it warms the body, pushing out coldness and opening the pores. This is especially ideal for when a person feels cold and is shivering with a slight fever. –Source
Meadowsweet is used for colds, bronchitis, upset stomach, heartburn, peptic ulcerdisease, and joint disorders including gout. It is also used to increase urine output and kill germs in the urine of people with bladder infections. –Source
I love using peppermint in my herbal Pregnancy Tea because it makes the flavor of the red raspberry leave a whole lot more bearable! I’ll add a pinch to any tea my children complain about drinking and suddenly there are no more complaints. In fact, they love to go out and harvest a handful of their own peppermint and make tea for themselves. I love that because it is a great way to get them comfortable with the process of creating herbal infusions.
Betony is used for digestion problems including heartburn, diarrhea, and intestinal gas; for breathing problems including bronchitis and asthma; for painful conditions includinggout, headache, and facial pain; and for urinary tract conditions including bladder andkidney stones (nephrolithiasis) and bladder pain and swelling (inflammation). It is also used to treat stress and tension, nervousness, and epilepsy. –Source
Lemon balm, which is also known by the pharmacopoeial name Melissae folium, has a long history of medicinal use for a variety of ailments. The plant was believed to remedy so many different conditions that it was once considered “an herbal cure-all”. Although it has been used primarily for depression/anxiety, insomnia and dyspepsia, the long list of maladies for which lemon balm has traditionally been used also include bronchitis, asthma, coughs, fever, menstrual problems, hypertension, migraines, shock, vertigo, eczema/skin problems, gout, insect bites/stings , snake bites and skin infections. Some even believed the plant would remedy baldness.
What are your favorite medicinal herbs you grow in your garden?
Michelle Marasciullo says
Hello Quinn! Love the new blog set up ;o) I really enjoy my herbs! ALL of them!!! But, we do have some favorites. I started all kinds of mint several years ago…they have basically grown themseves…they do take over! The girls love to just go pluck themselves some and gnaw on it, just about every time they go out the door. Peppermint and spearimint are the favs. I have used lemon balm for viruses by brewing a tea and I made several batches of an olive oil infusion to treat my husband’s cold sores. He hasn’t had one in over a year! But, at the first tingle, he would begin annointing his lips with the oil…I can testify that it does work! I use most of my dried herbs to make a blend that we use with olive oil at just about every eveningtime meal, and I give some away as gifts to friends and family. Everyone requests it when they have dinner with us :o) which is encouraging to those who make it. Chock full of healthful benifits and tastes amazing! It is really fun for the girls and I to harvest, dry, and prepare the herbs. I try to teach them all along the way, what each is good for and how to use it. Andrew also has a copy of that book that you mentioned above. Well broken in, I might add. I would so love to see one of the children go on to become an herbalist or naturopath…or something like that. LOVE!!!
ME TOO! I so thought Jared was going to go that way- he seems my most promising, but right now is leaning towards woodworking. He bought himself a lathe and he’s going to make me legs for a new farmhouse table! But I haven’t given up on him being an herbalist of some sort. I heard a talk once where it was discussed how we as Christians need to take over the field of alternative medicines and therapies for the kingdom of Christ and out of the hands of pagan & eastern religions. I couldn’t agree more! These are the ways the Lord (and not man) has created for us to heal and care for our bodies. Well, for now all I can do is grow my own medicines in the garden and have a heavily marked & dog-eared Richter’s catalogue laying around and waiting for the $ to be able to buy just about everything that will grow in our zone 😉
I know this is a very, very old comment, but it completely turned me off from your site. I consider myself non-religious, and I guess according to you, I shouldn’t be in the field of alternative medicines.
Hi Caitlin, I’m sorry, but you’re interjecting things I didn’t say.
If you’re non-religious you’re not only not a Christian, but not practicing pagan or eastern religions. Let’s suppose the Christian community embraced alternatives to western medicine, the tables turned, and the field became inundated with Christian practitioners. Would you be any less likely to enter the field than you would be now when it is inundated with other religious beliefs?
You also wouldn’t know that because of the religious influences found in many alternative medicines, the vast majority of Christians throw the baby out with the bathwater and reject medicine that isn’t western. My point is that (as a Christian who was speaking to a Christian) I love my brothers and sisters in Christ and believe it would do them well to sift out those other religious influences (that you can’t deny exist) and reclaim this area of medicine for an entire sector of the population who is denying their ability to heal and create wellness.
While I’d agree that often alternative medicine is more embraced by pagan and Eastern religions, and that that Christians should take a more active role in their advancement… There are many fields of alternative medicine which do not involve those.
We can agree that some such as TCM and Ayurveda are influenced, however there’s still Homeopathy, Naturopathy, Herbalism, Hydrotherapy, Aromatherapy, Kinesiology, Iridology, Rolfing Therapy, Chiropractic Medicine, Chelation Therapy, Osteopathy, and many others to look at which aren’t. You’d be entirely wrong to equate everything alternative to the east/pagan, and ignore all western alternatives.
I too was shocked to read that. Certainly no longer interested in this “exclusive” blog.
Not sure what on earth you’re talking about…. But, I realize, this space isn’t for everyone. So I hope you find what you’re looking for!
Old post, but it raised my eyebrows too. I believe God put these healing elements into our lives. I don’t see it written anywhere that any of them are only for Christians.
Good riddance. Part of being a healer is accepting. NOT EXCEPTING!!!!!!!!!!
Catnip is also a natural sedative. It makes a great night-time tea if you’re feeling overanxious or having trouble sleeping. You can really feel it take effect, like weights on your eyelids.
Wonderful! Thanks for sharing this tidbit Sarah 🙂 I love hearing how these things have worked for other people.
I don’t know how you have time to homeschool and blog like this! Wowsers! (…and with a newborn!) I only have 5 littles and we’re done with garden season here in Florida. Anyway, thank you always for sharing your learnings with us, inspiring us to branch out in our homesteading endeavors. Blessings sweet girl!
Hi Kelli 🙂 Done with gardening season!? I can hardly imagine at this point! It won’t stop raining long enough for me to get peas in the ground, let alone anything else. And here I was thinking the ground would be drier moving up to a hill instead of the wet low-lying area we used to be in. I’m so eager to get some fresh green food on the plate! Hearing about others growing seasons who are ahead of us give me a bit of hope! Anyway, remember, I consider myself to only have 3-4 littles. My biggest baby is going to be 16 in a week or so! And the 3 that follow him are pretty competent and able to pull a lot of weight around here 🙂 It’s a big fear of mine that I’ll discourage other people… and all the time I pray that isn’t the case.
Yeah, I know that one day, my littles will be bigs and then, oh then, I’ll miss my littles and wish to go back in time. 🙂 Such pressures of transferring what’s done in a traditional school to home education. Such pressures for homeschooling AND homesteading mamas! To do one or the other is one thing, but to combine these “out-of-the-box-ways-of-living” together, is just out right crazy to some! Sometimes, I milk our Jersey in my jammies. Sometimes I garden by car headlights at night. Sometimes, I plan school lessons into the wee hours of the night. Sigh. But I love it. Discouraging at times (like any job), but I LOVE it. Thanks for sharing about that homesteading devotional (can’t remember the name). I bought it, printed it out and refer to it often. Blessings!!!
Heather Z. says
I love my shade herb garden! Feverfew looks like chamomile, which is very hard to come by at the local garden centers. My husband is always asking me which herb I want to get next and I draw a blank….now I have some herbs to hunt for besides the illusive Roman chamomile! After reading about the info on anise hyssop it seems to be contradictory though. As I understand it a diaphoretic is something that makes you sweat, and if it gives the sensation of “heat” then it may be like the effect of drinking alcohol. But rather than actually warming you up in fact, it is really cooling your body down by expanding blood vessels and making you sweat. So it would be really good for a fever, but not so much for chills I guess. = )
Carol K. says
The photo labeled “Catnip” actually is a photo of Catmint (probably Nepeta x faassenii), a close relative, but different species. Catnip is N. cataria. My cats all knew the difference; they cared much less for catmint. Catnip smells a lot like skunk to me, but I do use it in cold remedies! Lemon catnip is less skunky but seems to have the same medicinal properties.
I would not consider many of these truly shade lovers. Some I’d add are dandelion, sweet cicely, nettle, Solomon seal, and these are truly shade lovers.
Polly Blackburn says
oh my gosh i love this site!. is there a way i can subscribe to get weekly readings?
Barbara Kelly says
For ne in New Mexico, Lemon Balm grows crazy,
I have a shady corner in my yard. So, if I plant several of these plants in the corner, do you think the light will be a problem? I would love to use that corner. Thank you!
Go for it! Worst case, some of them might not get to be as large or prolific as they would if there was some sun, but you should be good to tuck these away in your corner 🙂
Found your blog this morning, in search of medicinal herbs for shade, but sadly, only two are showing for me, and for the life of me, I can’t find a “page 2” or similar to see more? Can you help? (showing are feverfew and catnip) Love your blog – looking forward to a wander through when I get a chance!
Sorry about the troubles! This is happening to me where I shared photos from Flickr under a creative commons license. I think they must have changed their coding and the old way doesn’t work anymore or something. Wish there was an easy way to figure out which posts I used their photos in! I’ll be updating this today so check back later 😀