I've found that most of the herbs we grow for medicinal use are best started then transplanted out once they are up about 3 inches tall.
I planted Echinacea in ground with little success, but if I start the seeds in a flat I get almost 100% germination, same goes for nettle, lavender, and others.
White sage is probably my hardest to start herb.
Hello Anne, I have farmed medicinal herbs and found the following to volunteer easily from seed or from seed I plant.
Marshmallow, Yarrow, Burdock, Pleurisy root, Oats, Borage, Calendula, Hawthorne, Echinacea (plant in fall for spring emergence) California poppy, Boneset, Meadowsweet, Fennel, Geranium, Gumweed, St. John's Wort, Hyssop, Elecampane, Motherwort, Horehound, Chamomile, Poke root, Milk thistle, Feverfew, Dandelion, Red clover, Mullein. There are many other herbs that are also easy to grow as long as you give them what they need, be it a chilling time in the freezer or over winter, or they may take a couple years to actually germinate etc. You might want to check out the book "The Medicinal Herb Grower" by Richo Cech.
May You Walk in Beauty,
Sharol Tilgner ND
Sharol's books available at website
Easy to start from seed is thyme and lemonbalm pops up everywhere in my garden. Shame i’m in europe. Would have sent you seeds, because the stuff you buy online and in gardencenters is really not always on point. Calendula is easy as well and beautiful to make a salve is very nice. Mint is easy from rootcuttings/divisions. Rosemary is easy for wintercuttings. Marjoram is quite easy from seedbut not really medicinal, better do oregano. Tiny seeds. Comfrey is better to do by rootdivision because if you get the seeding kind it is extremely hard to control. I got one sageplant years ago and that is easy to multiply by putting a rock on a fresh branch and bury it a bit. Roots form and in three month at least you can cut it loose from the motherplant and keep it shaded and moist in a pot and when it perks up plant it. Lavender i can’t get going from seed either nor from cuttings or layering. It’s disastrous but i am confident that if i don’t give up my quest i will manage to find one that has seeds that will give plants that will give seeds that will give etc.
I managed to grow thyme, basil, oregano, chives, chamomile and parsley from seed.... I found them easier to start in pots and then transfer to the garden, that way I could make sure nothing ate them or outgrew them. Most of my herbs, though, I purchased as starts, because it was a lot easier! It's hard to find some of them as starts, though...