Garden

How to Grow a Medicinal Tea Garden (Plus over 40 Plants!)

There is nothing like a hot cup of tea to cure what ails you! Herb gardens are an incredible resource for making herbal tea and medicines at home. Buying bulk herbs can be quite expensive, whereas garden plants and seeds are a one time purchase that will keep producing for years to come.

Medicinal gardens are often created by grouping herbs with the same action or that treat the same ailment, rather than aesthetics. Many medicinal herbs can become weedy and invasive, especially those in the mint family. You may want to keep them contained in small beds or containers. There are many herbs with showy flowers that would do well in a standard flower bed, just be sure you are able to identify them confidently.

Herbalism today is often viewed as a subcategory of medicine, however it is the compounds extracted from plants that served as the basis for nearly all modern medications. Many believe that these beneficial constituents in plant medicine are safer when taken as whole plants and herb combinations to reduce the risk of drug side effects and toxicity.

Herbal tea, also known as a tisane, is one of the oldest forms of medicine, dating back thousands years. Herbal tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine since as early as 2737BC and today is consumed worldwide. For a more detailed overview of herbal medicine and plants read “The Complete Medicinal Herbal”.

Herbal Tea

How to Brew Herbal Tea

There are two methods for brewing herbal tea:

  • Infusion – Typically used for more delicate material such as flowers and leaves. To prepare a hot infusion, pour boiling water over plant material in either a cup or teapot and let steep for 10-15 minutes. To make a cold infusion, allow plant material to soak in cold water in a refrigerated infusion pitcher for 24-48 hours. Strain and drink.
  • Decoction – Required method for tough plant material like stems, fruits, seeds, roots and bark. Add approximately 1TBS plant material per cup of water and boil for 20-40 minutes. Strain and drink.
tea

How to Create a Tea Blend

Plant material for tea can be used fresh or dried. If you are growing medicinal plants in your garden, you can dry them for later use with a dehydrator or by tying the stems together and hanging them for 4-6 weeks. Roots or bark may need to be roasted in a 200 degree oven to achieve complete drying.

Different herbs can be mixed into tea blends for flavor or medicinal goals. A good rule of thumb is to blend three herbs:

  • Base (3 parts) – performs the most important action for healing.
  • Support (1-2 parts) – assists and compliments the base herb, improves flavor, or addresses a secondary medicinal goal.
  • Accent (1/4-1 part) – typically a stronger flavor added for balance and palatability, can aid in supporting medicinal goals.

You could also add rooibos, mushroom powder, green, white, or black tea leaves to your herbal blends. To learn more recipes for creating your own herbal tea blends check out the book “Healing Herbal Teas: Learn to Blend 101 Specially Formulated Teas for Stress Management, Common Ailments, Seasonal Health, and Immune Support

Want to try some medicinal blends before you decide which herbs to grow? Here are some of my favorite brands of medicinal tea:

40 Herbs for a Tea Garden
Disclaimer: Always consult a medical professional, pharmacist or herbalist when adding medicinal herbs to your routine. Take extra caution during pregnancy. The following information is for educational purposes and not intended as a treatment plan for any specific medical conditions.

Plants Used for Herbal Tea

Lavender

1. Lavender

Aka: Lavendula spp.

Flavor Profile: cooling, dry, bitter

Parts Used: flowers

Medicinal Qualities: sedative and relaxing nerve tonic to relieve headaches, anxiety and sleeplessness, relieves indigestion, stimulates bile production, relieves flatulence.

Caution: uterine stimulant, high doses should be avoided during pregnancy.

Chamomile

2. Chamomile

Aka: Chamaemelum nobile (Roman), Chamomilla recutita (German), Ground Apple

Flavor Profile: bitter, warm, moist, subtle

Parts Used: flowers

Medicinal Qualities: slightly sedative to promote sleep and relieve anxiety and stress, anti-inflammatory, bitter, prevents vomiting, indigestion, irritable bowels and increases appetite.

St. John's Wort

3. St. John’s Wort

Aka: Hypericum perforatum, Heal All

Flavor Profile: bitter-sweet, cool, drying

Parts Used: leaves, flowers

Medicinal Qualities: uplifting and restorative nerve tonic combats depression, anxiety, tension, irritability, nerve pain and menopausal symptoms.

Caution: can cause dermatitis, avoid prolonged sun exposure after taking.

Bergamot

4. Bergamot

Aka: Monarda spp., Bee Balm,

Flavor Profile: warming, dry

Parts Used: petals

Medicinal Qualities: anti microbial soothes sore throats, cold symptoms and the digestive tract, sedative nerve tonic for depression and anxiety.

Echinacea

5. Echinacea

Aka: Echinacea spp., E. Purpurea, E. Angustifolia, Purple Coneflower

Flavor Profile: pungent, cool, dry

Parts Used: root

Medicinal Qualities: Antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties aid in reducing inflammation, infections, coughs and colds. Tonic for the lymphatic system as well as an immune booster.

Caution: high doses can cause nausea

Lemon Balm

6. Lemon Balm

Aka: Melissa officinalis

Flavor Profile: sour, slightly bitter, cooling, dry

Parts Used: leaves

Medicinal Qualities: sedative and restorative nerve tonic relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety, antiviral, antibacterial, stimulates digestive system and relieves flatulence.

Catmint

7. Catmint

Aka: Nepta Cataria, Catnip

Flavor Profile: bitter, slightly salty, cooling

Parts Used: flowers, leaves

Medicinal Qualities: sedative properties promotes sleep and reduce anxiety, increases appetites, soothes indigestion and promotes healthy menstruation.

Valerian

8. Valerian

Aka: Valeriana officinalis

Flavor Profile: cool, bitter, pungent

Parts Used: roots

Medicinal Qualities: extremely strong sedative that is used for insomnia, anxiety and tension, expectorant properties can assist as a cough remedy.

Caution: avoid mixing with other sleep medications, meant for occasional use (no more than 3 weeks at a time).

Lemongrass

9. Lemongrass

Aka: Cymbopogon, Citronella

Flavor Profile: pungent, sour

Parts Used: leaves

Medicinal Qualities: high in antioxidants, aids in healthy digestion and boosts metabolism and immune system, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, diuretic properties help cleanse urinary system and relieve bloating, uplifting mood booster can help relieve anxiety.

Mint

10. Mint

Aka: Mentha spp., M. piperita, Peppermint, M. arvensis, M. spicata, Spearmint

Flavor Profile: cool, pungent, dry

Parts Used: leaves, stem

Medicinal Qualities: digestive tonic soothes nausea and indigestion, stimulates bile flow and relieves flatulence, promotes sweating to reduce fevers.

Caution: can reduce milk flow.

Mullein

11. Mullein

Aka: Verbascum thapsus

Flavor Profile: slightly sweet, cool

Parts Used: flowers, leaves

Medicinal Qualities: expectorant remedy for asthma, bronchitis, coughs and sore throats, promotes sweating to reduce fevers, slightly sedative, anti-inflammatory, astringent.

Raspberry

12. Raspberry

Flavor Profile: cooling, dry astringent

Parts Used: leaves, berries

Medicinal Qualities: raspberry leaf tea is recommended during last trimester of pregnancy to stimulate the uterus and prepare for childbirth, eases diarrhea and soothes sore throats.

Caution: uterine stimulant should be avoided during early pregnancy.

Ginger

13. Ginger

Aka: Zingiber officinalis

Flavor Profile: warm, pungent, dry

Parts Used: Roots

Medicinal Qualities: prevents vomiting and is used for morning sickness in pregnancy, nausea and motion sickness, stimulates circulatory system to promote sweating and reduce fevers, expectorant used for colds and sore throats.

Yarrow

14. Yarrow

Aka: Achillea millefolium, Nosebleed

Flavor Profile: cool, sweet, slightly bitter.

Parts Used: flowers and leaves.

Medicinal Qualities: astringent, digestive tonic for GI problems, promotes sweating to reduce fevers, helps clear upper respiratory system for asthma or colds, restorative for menstrual system.

Caution: uterine stimulant should be avoided during pregnancy.

Lemon Verbena

15. Lemon Verbena

Aka: Aloysia citrodora, Lemon Beebrush

Flavor Profile: pungent, sour, slightly sweet

Parts Used: leaves

Medicinal Qualities: digestive remedy for upset stomach, diarrhea and constipation, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, sedative used for insomnia and anxiety, promotes sweating to reduce fevers, expectorant boosts immune system and is used for congestion, colds and asthma.

Caution: avoid use with kidney disorders.

Stevia

16. Stevia

Aka: Stevia rebaudiana

Flavor Profile: very sweet

Parts Used: leaves

Medicinal Qualities: can help lower cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar, protects teeth against cavity causing bacteria, can help prevent ear and respiratory infections.

Caution: do not mix with medications that lower blood pressure or blood sugar.

Fennel

17. Fennel

Aka: Foeniculum officinalis

Flavor Profile: sweet, warming, pungent, dry

Parts Used: seeds, roots

Medicinal Qualities: soothes digestive system to relieve flatulence and colic, promotes milk flow in nursing mothers, anti-inflammatory, mild expectorant.

Caution: uterine stimulant should be avoided during pregnancy.

Sage

18. Sage

Aka: Salvia officinalis, S. miltiorrhiza, dan shen

Flavor Profile: cool, pungent, bitter

Parts Used: leaves, roots

Medicinal Qualities: reduces lactation and night sweats during hormonal changes, cleansing mouthwash which reduces saliva production, liver tonic which improves digestion and bile flow, relaxes blood vessels and stimulates circulatory system while lowering blood sugar.

Caution: uterine stimulant, avoid large doses in pregnancy. Large doses can trigger seizures in patients with epilepsy.

Elder

19. Elder

Aka: Sambucus nigra, Elderberry, Elderflower

Flavor Profile: sweet, drying, cool

Parts Used: flowers, berries, bark

Medicinal Qualities: expectorant used for cold and flu symptoms, stimulates circulatory system and promotes sweating to reduce fevers, diuretic and laxative properties.

Caution:can exacerbate dehydration.

Borage

20. Borage

Aka: Borago officinalis

Flavor Profile: slightly sweet, moist, cooling

Parts Used: leaves, flowers.

Medicinal Qualities: adrenal tonic for stress, expectorant and soothing for dry coughs or colds, promotes lactation in nursing mothers, promotes sweating to reduce fevers.

Hibiscus

21. Hibiscus

Aka: Hibiscus sabdariffa

Flavor Profile: bitter-sweet, astringent

Parts Used: calyx (sepals)

Medicinal Qualities: high in antioxidants, liver tonic used to lower pressure and cholesterol to promote weight loss, soothes sore throats

Rose

22. Rose

Aka: Rosa spp., R. Canina, R. Laevigata, R. Rugosa, R. Gallica, mei gui hua, jin ying zi

Flavor Profile: sweet, astringent, cooling

Parts Used: rose hips (berries), petals

Medicinal Qualities: high in vitamin C and antioxidants, cleansing, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties stimulate the digestive system and regulate mensuration.

Licorice Root

23. Licorice

Aka: Glycyrrhiza spp., G. Glabra, G. Uralensis

Flavor Profile: very sweet, moist, cooling

Parts Used: roots

Medicinal Qualities: soothes mucous membranes in the stomach and digestive tract which relieves symptoms of sore throat and gastric ulcers, expectorant for asthma and bronchitis.

Caution: do not mix with digoxin-based medication.

Hyssop

24. Hyssop

Aka: Hyssopus officinalis

Flavor Profile: pungent, warming, bitter, dry

Parts Used: leaves, flowers

Medicinal Qualities: expectorant used to treat colds, asthma and bronchitis, promotes sweating to reduce fevers, soothes stomach and digestive system.

Tulsi

25. Tulsi

Aka: Ocimum spp., O. sanctum, O. tenuiflorum, Rama Tulsi, O. tenuiflorum, Krishna Tulsi, O. gratissimum, Vana Tulsi, Holy Basil

Flavor Profile: bitter, cooling, sweet, pungent

Parts Used: leaves, stem

Medicinal Qualities: high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory used to treat anxiety, stress and low energy, boosts immune system, detoxifies liver, and prevents kidney stones.

Caution: large doses can cause liver damage.

Calendula

26. Calendula

Aka: Calendula officinalis, Pot Marigold

Flavor Profile: pungent, slightly bitter, cooling

Parts Used: petals

Medicinal Qualities: aids with menopause and period pain, helps gastritis by stimulating bile production, astringent, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties help heal wounds such as mouth ulcers.

Caution: use only Calendula officinalis, not other marigold cultivars.

Saffron Crocus

27. Saffron Crocus

Aka: Crocus Sativus

Flavor Profile: pungent, warm, slightly sweet

Parts Used: Stamen

Medicinal Qualities: high in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory improves mood and mental clarity to combat depression, irritability and headaches, reduces appetite to aid in weight loss.

Angelica

28. Angelica

Aka: Angelica spp., A. Archangelica, A. Sinensis, dang gui, Wild Celery

Flavor Profile: pungent, sweet, warming

Parts Used: leaves, roots

Medicinal Qualities: leaves are used as an expectorant for bronchial problems, an appetite stimulant and digestive tonic, a diuretic and uterine stimulant. Roots stimulate circulation as a blood tonic and act as a laxative.

Caution: uterine stimulant should be avoided during pregnancy.

Jasmine

29. Jasmine

Aka: Jasminum officinale, Jasminum sambac, Jasminum sampaguita

Flavor Profile: sweet, floral

Parts Used: flowers

Medicinal Qualities: high in antioxidants which promotes healthy digestion, improves mood and boosts energy levels to help combat depression, slightly sedative to reduce anxiety and promote sleep, eases symptoms of menopause.

Eclampane

30. Elecampane

Aka: Insula spp., Yellow Starwort

Flavor Profile: slightly sweet, bitter, warm, dry

Parts Used: flowers, roots

Medicinal Qualities: strong expectorant deeply penetrates lungs to relieve coughs, phlegm and congestion, aids in recovery from the flu, colds and other respiratory conditions. Stimulates liver and digestive system and promotes sweating.

Marshmallow

31. Marshmallow

Aka: Althea officinalis

Flavor Profile: cool, moist, sweet

Parts Used: flowers, leaves, roots

Medicinal Qualities: expectorant to soothe and heal coughs, bronchitis, or throat irritation, diuretic aids in clearing up urinary infections.

Agrimony

32. Agrimony

Aka: Agrimonia spp., A. eupatoria, A. pilosa, xian he cao

Flavor Profile: cool, bitter, astringent.

Part Used: leaves, stem

Medicinal Qualities: stimulates bile flow as a remedy for diarrhea, diuretic which aids in urinary infections, astringent and anti-viral.

Honeysuckle

33. Honeysuckle

Aka: Lonicera spp., L. japonica, L. periclymenum, yin jin,

Flavor Profile: sweet, cool

Parts Used: flowers, stem

Medicinal Qualities: mild expectorant aids in treating coughs or asthma, laxative and diuretic properties help clear toxins from the body, reduces blood pressure.

Caution: can cause vomiting, do not use berries.

Meadowsweet

32. Meadowsweet

Aka: Filipendula ulmaria

Flavor Profile: moist, cool, astringent

Parts Used: leaves, stem

Medicinal Qualities: similar effects to aspirin, promotes sweating to reduce fevers, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic eases pain, digestive remedy for upset stomach.

Rosemary

35. Rosemary

Aka: Rosmarinus officinalis

Flavor Profile: warm, pungent, dry, sweet

Parts Used: flowers, leaves, stem

Medicinal Qualities: stimulates circulatory system and promotes sweating to reduce fevers, heart and nerve tonic used for exhaustion, fatigue and depression, digestive remedy which stimulates bile flow.

Skullcap

36. Skullcap

Aka: Scutellaria lateriflora, Scutellaria baicalensis, huang qin

Flavor Profile: cool, dry, bitter

Parts Used: leaves, stem, flowers, roots

Medicinal Qualities: relaxing antispasmodic used for anxiety, insomnia and nervous conditions, diuretic properties help cleanse the unirary tract

Thyme

37. Thyme

Aka: Thymus spp., T. vulgaris, T. serpyllum

Flavor Profile: warm, pungent, dry, slightly bitter

Parts Used: leaves, stem

Medicinal Qualities: antiseptic, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, antibiotic, astringent and expectorant properties are used for chest infections and coughs, digestive remedy for stomach cramps, diarrhea and IBS.

Caution: uterine stimulant should be avoided during pregnancy.

Heartsease

38. Heartsease

Aka: Viola spp. V. tricolor, V. odorata, V. yedoensis, Johnny Jump Up, Violet, Pansy, zi hua di ding

Flavor Profile: cool, pungent, slightly bitter

Parts Used: flowers, leaves, stem

Medicinal Qualities: improves quality of skin and combats skin disorders, expectorant used for coughs, anti-inflammatory, stimulates circulatory and immune systems.

Caution: high doses can cause vomiting

Self Heal

39. Self-Heal

Aka: Prunella vulgaris

Flavor Profile: cool, pungent, slightly bitter

Parts Used: flowers, stem, leaves

Medicinal Qualities: reduces blood pressure and heavy menstruation, diuretic and liver stimulant helps flush out blood in urine, antibacterial.

Vervain

40. Vervain

Aka: Verbena officinalis

Flavor Profile: cool, pungent, bitter

Parts Used: flowers, leaves, stem

Medicinal Qualities: relaxing sedative used for insomnia and tension, promotes milk flow in nursing mothers and encourages contractions during labor, stimulates liver and digestive system to increase appetite and bowel function, promotes sweating to reduce fevers.

Caution: uterine stimulant should be avoided during pregnancy.

Primrose

41. Primrose

Aka: Primula spp., P. vulgaris, P. veris, Cowslip

Flavor Profile: sweet, warm, dry

Parts Used: flowers, roots

Medicinal Qualities: strong expectorant helps relieve cold symptoms and congestion, promotes sweating to reduce fevers, anti-inflammatory and sedative to calm headaches.

Caution: uterine stimulant should be avoided during pregnancy. Do not mix with blood thinning drugs.

Wood Betony

42. Wood Betony

Aka: Stachys officinalis

Flavor Profile: bitter sweet, cool, drying

Parts Used: flowers, stem, leaves, root

Medicinal Qualities: sedative properties used for anxiety, circulatory tonic for headaches, period and labor pain, diuretic and digestive stimulant cleanses and detoxifies.

Feverfew

42. Feverfew

Aka: Tanacetum parthenium

Flavor Profile: warm, bitter, dry

Parts Used: flowers, stem, leaves

Medicinal Qualities: anti-inflamatory can relieve headaches, period pain and arthritis, promotes menstruation and cleanses the uterus, acts as a relaxant and digestive stimulant

Caution: do not mix with blood thinning drugs.

Hawthorne

44. Hawthorne

Aka: Crataegus spp., C. oxycantha, C. monogyna, C. pinnatifida

Flavor Profile: cool, astringent

Parts Used: flowers, berries

Medicinal Qualities: a heart tonic that relaxes blood vessels to improve circulation, berries are used to treat diarrhea, indigestion, flatulence and bloating.

More Ideas?

Do you have experience with any other plants for a medicinal herb garden? Share in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “How to Grow a Medicinal Tea Garden (Plus over 40 Plants!)”

I would love to hear your thoughts! Your email wont be public.