Plants That Heal

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Has your mother ever treated your cough with something from the spice rack? For thousands of years, people from all corners of the globe have used herbs and plants to cure or prevent disease. There are several terms for this form of medicine: aromatherapy, homeopathy, floratherapy, alternative medicine, and herbal therapy.

Before using any of these remedies, you should check with your parents or a doctor. You never know if you might have an allergic reaction.

Type of Herb or Plant Type of Use
Aloe External—burns, bites, cuts, or scrapes
Chamomile External—bites, stings, skin irritations
Internal—soothes stress and relaxes
Cranberries Internal—Helps in the cure of urinary tract infections, heart disease cancer, gum disease, or ulcers.
Echinacea Internal—Strengthens immune system
Fennel External—Relaxant when used in a bath
Internal—Helps indigestion, cramps, asthma
Feverfew Internal—Soothes migraine headaches and upset stomachs
Garlic External—Skin irritations, fungal infections, acne, earaches, bites, and stings
Internal—Reduces cholesterol, wards off colds and flu, lowers blood sugar in diabetics, protects liver from toxins, kills intestinal parasites
Ginger External—Soothes toothaches
Internal— Lessens against dizziness and nausea, lowers cholesterol, keeps blood from clotting, prevents heart disease and strokes
Ginseng Internal—Stimulates immune system, lowers high blood pressure and raises low blood pressure, increases ability to handle stress
Lavender External—Used as a massage oil for headaches, tense muscles, sunburn, or insomnia
Internal—Relaxant, relieves tension
Mint External—Decongestant when added to bath water, soothes bites and stings, acts as an anesthetic and a muscle relaxant
Internal—Relieves nausea or cramping
Sage External—Soothes sore throat, gum disease, canker sores
Internal—Helps improve memory and aging
St. John’s Wort External—Can be used for bruises and sores
Internal—Helps depression
Thyme External—Eases pain relief, can be used as an antiseptic and antidepressant
Internal—Digestive aid and cough suppressant
Witch Hazel External—Reduces swelling and relieves body aches and pains

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