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Help starting my first medicinal garden  RSS feed

 
Amedean Messan
pollinator
Posts: 928
Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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This will be my first medicinal garden and I am hoping to receive some input. I got about 20 square feet I am going to allocate to it which doesn't sound like a lot, maybe it is but all it's just a 5 foot diameter circle. Also I wish to keep it practical due to its confined spaces.

Growing Environment:
  • Location - U.S. East Coast (Piedmont North Carolina)
  • Zone - Zone 7b
  • Soil - Clay
  • Rainfall Avg - 40 in/year


  • What is on my list already:
  • Comfrey

  • Short list, I know lol! My plans are to do some experimentation on making and testing home grown homeopathic ointments and oral supplements. I will also be testing the effectiveness in limited trials. Some of the equipment I will be using include a vacuum distillery kit (similar to below) in order to create high concentrations. Thanks for any good information.



    EDIT:
    What is added to my list:
  • Damiana
  • Maca (going to try)
  • Milk Thistle
  • Nettle
  •  
    Leila Rich
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    Location: Wellington, New Zealand. Temperate, coastal, sandy, windy,
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    I'd add : wormwood, horehound, all the mints, calendula, hypericum, yarrow, plantain, dock, nettle.
    Actually, most of those don't need a garden
     
    Rick Roman
    pollinator
    Posts: 442
    Location: Pennsylvania Pocono Mt Neutral-Acidic Elv1024ft AYR41in Zone 5b
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    Hi Amedean, leila is right on. It would be helpful to know if you want a "tailored" garden to meet specific health needs. Examples, are First Aid, Cold and Flu, Relaxation, Woman's or Child care, Rejuvenation, or Bath care, etc. Also, Are you interested in a perennial or annual garden? Are you looking for advise on more exotic medicinals like Monkshood / Wolfsbane ? In general, I would like to add Mullein, Calendula, Chamomile, Echinacea, Feverfew, Red Clover, Valerian, Lavender, Chicory, Rosemary, Fennel, Thyme, Parsley, Sage, Bergamot, Cayenne and Garlic, Garlic, Garlic.

    Good luck and please keep permies abreast, post your results.
     
    Judith Browning
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    Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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    bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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    Great list so far. I would add Greek oregano... Origanum vulgare hirtum. I am using it more and more as a medicinal in addition to seasoning. It would not need a special garden though, I just put it at the edges of other beds in good sun.
     
    tel jetson
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    I usually recommend cramp bark (Viburnum opulus). good for menstrual cramps, and bears tasty fruit. that could use up your whole garden, though, so you might want to put that elsewhere.

    I also like elecampane, lobelia, mahonia, and milk thistle. they're all pretty big, too.
     
    tel jetson
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    and where's the vacuum in the pictured kit?
     
    Amedean Messan
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Rick Roman wrote:Hi Amedean, leila is right on. It would be helpful to know if you want a "tailored" garden to meet specific health needs. Examples, are First Aid, Cold and Flu, Relaxation, Woman's or Child care, Rejuvenation, or Bath care, etc. Also, Are you interested in a perennial or annual garden? Are you looking for advise on more exotic medicinals like Monkshood / Wolfsbane ? In general, I would like to add Mullein, Calendula, Chamomile, Echinacea, Feverfew, Red Clover, Valerian, Lavender, Chicory, Rosemary, Fennel, Thyme, Parsley, Sage, Bergamot, Cayenne and Garlic, Garlic, Garlic.

    Good luck and please keep permies abreast, post your results.


    Hmmm, thats a good question. well since we are in the late 20s and my wife has mild eczema in the winter then I suppose functional would be anything for eczema, calming/sleep tonics, flu/colds, topical healing. As for perennial/annual, I am leaning towards mostly perennial.

    Judith Browning wrote:Great list so far. I would add Greek oregano... Origanum vulgare hirtum. I am using it more and more as a medicinal in addition to seasoning. It would not need a special garden though, I just put it at the edges of other beds in good sun.


    Interesting, what do you use oregano for mostly other than cooking?

    tel jetson wrote:and where's the vacuum in the pictured kit?


    This picture does not have the vacuum function, but I did not immediately find one on Google images although this looks similar. I have a picture on my ipad but then I would have to upload the image and it was a bit more extra then I was willing. I may however purchase a regular distill if I am constrained by price.
     
    Amedean Messan
    pollinator
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Come to think of it, is there anything worthy to mention for ADHD?
     
    Judith Browning
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    Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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    bike chicken fungi trees urban woodworking
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    Amedean, We use oregano for coughs and congestion as an expectorant and antispasmodic. Please research and of course draw your own conclusion. I use a very small amount of weak tea along with a saline solution in my netti pot for a sinus infection. We like it as a warm savory tea in the winter. We carefully dry the fresh herb every summer. My original seeds were from Richters...easy to grow from seed and then to divide in a few years....a very hardy perennial.
     
    Morgan Morrigan
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    Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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    thymols are gonna be big business at some point because of staph/MRSA

    Dont put mint or belladona in a garden that you want to grow anything else in, they will seriously take over.

    artemisia and bloodroot. dont handle bloodroot without gloves.
    and always add arnica.

    some interesting new stuff on hellbore out there, but not fun to garden with. no chickens near it either.....pretty dang toxic.

    some research out there that charring licorice and horehound significantly improve efficacy. wonder if it is changing sugars.


    check the perfume makers sites, they do a lot of distillation.
     
    tel jetson
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    Amedean Messan wrote:I suppose functional would be anything for eczema


    in some medical traditions, skin and lungs are both closely linked with the liver. so herbs that tonify the liver often help with skin issues (and lung issues).

    passionflower is good for calming. I believe maypop (Passiflora incarnata) should be perennial where you're at. hops and lavender both work fairly well for sleep. put either one in a pillow or sachet. I don't find a mix of those two particularly appealing, so maybe one at a time is best.
     
    Amedean Messan
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    tel jetson wrote:

    in some medical traditions, skin and lungs are both closely linked with the liver.


    Interesting as I have heard of something similar to this in Chinese medicine. I will have to look into this, maybe milk thistle would help or be worth giving a try?
     
    tel jetson
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    Amedean Messan wrote:
    Interesting as I have heard of something similar to this in Chinese medicine. I will have to look into this, maybe milk thistle would help or be worth giving a try?


    I would think so. not the friendliest plant in the world, though, so it might be worth trying out seed or tincture from somebody else for a while before committing to growing it in your own garden. when I was driving smoky diesel tractors, I ground up some seeds and put them in my yogurt and juice every morning. figgered my liver could use all the help it could get clearing toxins out.

    my girlfriend also used milk thistle, along with a couple of other liver medicines, to help with her eczema and asthma. the eczema cleared up pretty quickly and the asthma improved, but more slowly. not a publishable clinical trial by any means, but one positive experience.
     
    Leila Rich
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    I'd look at Meleleuca Alternafolia. Good for eczema, among many other things.
    It's a powerful antiseptic/antiviral/antifungal and doesn't have resistance issues, as Morgan mentions.
    Distil it, chop it into the bath, inhale itt...I find the smell unpleasant, but many people quite like it.
    It's a large, coppicing shrub, so not for the actual garden. Great in the shelterbelt though
    I'll mention calendula again: it's really good for soothing skin. Chickweed too.
    Nearly all the plants we think of as 'herbs' have strong medicinal properties: sage, thyme, mint, oregano, parsley, garlic and so on.
     
    Amedean Messan
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    Location: Melbourne FL, USA - Pine and Palmetto Flatland, Sandy and Acidic
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    Leila Rich wrote:I'd look at Meleleuca AlternafoliaI'd look at Meleleuca Alternafolia. Good for eczema, among many other things.


    This is very true, its what my wife uses now! I rub a balm of tea tree oil and the eczema goes away where it is placed. The only problem is that I cannot grow this here and the ointment has to be applied every night. If you have irritated skin in many parts of the body then this will require quite a bit which gets expensive.

    Well, unless you know a cultivar that is cold hardy please let me know where I can get it.
     
    Leila Rich
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    Amedean Messan wrote: unless you know a cultivar that is cold hardy please let me know where I can get it.

    Sod it, I'm hopeless at remembering that climate stuff
    It's basically a subtropical, so sorry.
     
    Kat deZwart
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    Amedean Messan wrote:Come to think of it, is there anything worthy to mention for ADHD?

    A lot of valuable advise above already.

    On ADHD, herbs may be part of the solution, but are not a miraclecure. The gardening itself might be equally healing.

    Valeriana Officinalis (root), Chamomile (flower), hops (bells), passiflora (flower), gingseng (root) and gingko (leaves) are balancing on the brain and moods and could well help with the improvement of the condition.
     
    Rick Roman
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    Anyone familiar with, growing or may have used Rhodiola rosea or Schizandra berry, Schisandra chinensis (perennial zone 4) as an antidepressant, stress relief, to reduce fatigue?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodiola_rosea

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schisandra_chinensis
     
    Steve Flanagan
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    Location: North Fork, CA. USDA Zone 9a, Heat Zone 8, 37 degrees North, Sunset 7/9, elevation 2600 feet
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    Rick Roman wrote:Anyone familiar with, growing or may have used Rhodiola rosea or Schizandra berry, Schisandra chinensis (perennial zone 4) as an antidepressant, stress relief, to reduce fatigue?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodiola_rosea

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schisandra_chinensis


    When I first moved onto my property I planted schinsandra, it got too much sun and died. I replaced it with two plants under a live oak, they now get filtered sun. I really like the flavor of the berries, reminds me of a cross between lemon and pepper.
     
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