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Plants Used for Medicine

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In a survival situation, where medical help is not available, knowing medicinal plants can be vitally important.

In a survival situation it’s a good idea to know the plants used for for health and healing. Even if one is not in a survival situation medicinal plants are often the best choice. Currently of the 250,000 identified categories of plants, only about 2% are used medicinally.

Some of the most common plants used for medicine, often available in the supermarket, drug store and even convenience store are: ginseng, Echinacea, and gingko. These plants target energy, brain health and immunity.


There are a number of plants used for medicine that specifically target the area of pain relief. Giant hyssop (Agastache urticifolia) is an analgesic that grows in the sandy soil of the American West where it can get lots of sun. An infusion or tea made of the dried leaves will provide relief from pain, such as that with rheumatism. It can also be used to treat colds and measles.

Another pain relieving analgesic is creeping dogwood (Cornus Canadensis). Create a decoction or tea using the stems and leaves to treat a variety of ailments besides pain, such as: colds, congestion, coughs and fever, as well as kidney problems.

There are some plants used for medicine that may surprise you, and which you may already have in your pantry. A popular snack and baking plant product is the walnut (Juglans regia) and while the nut or fruit isn’t the medicinal part, the leaves, bark and root bark can be used medicinally. Walnut leaves treat constipation and diarrhea, as well as coughing and asthma. The tree bark or root bark is especially useful for removal of diseased or dead skin tissue when cleaning wounds.

It is very possible that you have Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) in your cupboard. A simple tea made from thyme leaves has antiseptic and antibacterial properties. It can also be used to treat coughs and as an expectorant.

parsleyParsley (Petroselinum crispum) has a variety of uses, although it should be avoided during pregnancy as it is an abortificant; causing uterine contractions, possibly leading to miscarriage. Aside from that precaution, a tea made from the leaves is a diuretic, and is useful for kidney stones, jaundice and cystitis. Not only does it flush toxins from the blood, but a poultice or wash of the tea provides relief for bug bites and stings.

As a child I remember hearing about the wart treating properties of this common plant that grew near the railroad tracks. The milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) has a milky sap that with daily application has been known to cause a wart to disappear.

burdockThere are a few other common plants used for medicine, such as the great burdock (Arctium lappa). A poultice of the crushed seeds has successfully been used on bruises and skin ulcers. Great burdock is also an anti-bacterial.

This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to common plants used for medicine to be found in the United States. I recommend that you get a book that specifically tells about the medicinal plants that grow in your region. After all, if you live in the Southwest you won’t find many of the medicinal plants that are native to the New England states. Study, take notes, take a class, and practice now, so that when the time comes you will know exactly which plants are medicinal or have healing properties.

Useful Wild Trees - There are many useful wild trees that are either edible or medicinal, or both.

Coniferous Forest Plants - Coniferous forest plants may be useful in herbal plants, wild edible plants, and medicinal plants.

Plants Used For Medicine - In a survival situation it’s a good idea to know the plants used for medicine...

Medicinal Plants - You need to give medicinal plants time to work. In other words, these are not miracle plants...

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