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At times it is easy to turn to your garden for herbs and vegetables, but have you ever thought of growing plants for medicinal purposes? Take a look at these two medicinal plants which are easy to grow in your garden. Some of them are very well known, but some of them may surprise you.
2 Pretty Attractive Medicinal Plants to grow in your garden
There are over 560 species of flowering succulents of which the most common for medicinal use are Aloe Vera and Aloe Ferox.
Description: A rosette of large thick fleshy leaves, with tubular flowers that can be red, orange, yellow or pink in colour.
Habitat: Growing throughout Southern Africa and in tropical areas, including the Arabian Peninsula, Madagascar and the Indian Ocean Islands.
Soil Type: Open areas with sandy-loamy soils, with good drainage are the order of the day here. Full sun is a must as well as moderate watering will keep your aloes happy and healthy.
Medicinal Uses: While not all Aloes are used for medicinal purposes these two are:
Aloe Vera – two products are cultivated from the Aloe Vera leaves – the gel which is used for skin conditions and is said to be able to cure anything from burns and wounds to psoriasis and cold sores as well as everything in between.
Then there is the latex, also extracted from the leaves which is used in making laxative products. Overuse of Aloe Vera can be toxic.
Aloe Ferox – is said to improve skin texture and assist with hydration and to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, it is a great for sensitive skin and helps reduce inflammation. It is used to make tea and juice which is said to assist with constipation as well as assisting in lowering cholesterol. It also has antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
There are about 280 species, and are often called geraniums. They are most often found as shrubs.
Description: Due to the number of different species they vary greatly in size, leaf colour, form and scent and the flower colour.
Habitat: Warm and temperate tropical regions with many species in Southern Africa.
Soil: Does not like to be waterlogged
Propagation: Simply take a cutting or slip and place it in water when the roots appear then plant it into the soil.
While not all Pelargoniums are suited for medicinal purposes these are:
Pelargonium graveolens (Rose Geranium) – Sotho people make a paste from the leaves so as to treat wounds or abscesses. It is also said to assist in balancing hormones and frequently used in the treatment of PMS, menopause and depression. It is widely used in perfume and cosmetics and also in the food industry for flavouring. The essential oil is much loved for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and the fact that it contains geraniol and citronellol it can be used to repel insects.
Pelargonium sidoides (African Geranium) – In Europe the root extract is used to treat bronchitis and the common cold, it is known to kill bacteria and viruses while stimulating the immune system.
Pelargonium odoratissimum (Apple Geranium) – It has a distinct apple scent and is mostly used as a tonic because of its antiseptic and astringent effects. It is taken internally for gastro enteritis, hemorrhages, throat infections and to clear the body of toxins. Externally for skin irritations and injury. In Cyprus it is used for flavouring cake and pastry syrups or preserved and eaten as a spoon sweet.
Information may not be construed as medical advice; it is for education and informative purposes only. Always seek medical advice or treatment offered by healthcare professionals.