8 Of The Best Medicinal Herbs For Beginners

Medicinal herbs are plants that are used for the treatment of various ailments. The herbs can be fresh, dried, or ground into a powder to form a medicine.

The herbs discussed below have helped treat pain relief from arthritis and other medical conditions. In some cases, they can also help regulate blood sugar levels among people with type 2 diabetes.

Check out our guide on Medicinal Herbs and the fantastic things they can do.

These eight medicinal herbs below are for beginners interested in learning more about herbs and herbal medicine.

Let’s get started.

1. Basil ( Ocimum Basilicum )

Basil is the world-famous aromatic herb that grows wild in Asia and parts of Southern Europe. The dried leaves of Basil have a distinct, pungent smell.

The famous plant has been used for centuries to treat upset stomachs, diarrhea, pain relief from arthritis, and much more. In addition, the leaves can be crushed and consumed or used to make a relaxing cup of tea.

basil in a planpot is one of the most common medicinal herbs
Basil is one of the most common herbs in the world.

2. Chamomile ( Matricaria Recutita )

Chamomile is an annual herb that grows wild in Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America. It can be dried or fresh and is safe for consumption by infants as well as adults alike.

The flowers make chamomile tea which has soothing properties for upset tummies. For the best results, use the flowers immediately after picking them – the longer they sit dryer they will become!

Good-quality chamomile tea can help treat diarrhea and nervous stomach problems like nausea and indigestion without interfering with any medications you may already be on.

Chamomile white flower with yellow center is a medicinal herb that allows you to relax
Chamomile helps you to relax.

3. Elder ( Sambucus Nigra )

Native to northern Europe, this herb is common in many UK gardens. They can grow in both wet and dry conditions and are remarkably resilient.

The leaves can be used fresh or dried to treat diarrhea and upset stomach conditions such as stomach pain, nausea, and occasionally vomiting. 

Like Chamomile, the dried leaves should be crushed and made into tea to get the full effects of this remarkable herb.

The clinical evidence for the Elder’s medicinal properties is limited, but many herbalists believe they have a favorable impact.

Elder ( Sambucus Nigra ) with white flower
Elder ( Sambucus Nigra )

4. Fennel seeds ( Foeniculum Vulgare )

Fennel seeds are a chef’s favorite for their flavor and aroma. It grows wild in parts of southern Europe, Asia, Africa, and Northern America. The seeds contain dextrin glycoside, which has been found helpful in treating digestive issues while also aiding in calming muscles and stimulating circulation to the brain in cases of headaches.

You can take fennel seeds by themselves unless you are on medications. Make sure you talk to your doctor about this herb before using it!

Fennel seeds ( Foeniculum Vulgare )
Fennel seeds ( Foeniculum Vulgare ).

5. Fenugreek Seeds/Beans ( Trigonella Foenum Graecum )

Fenugreek is a small greenish-brown habituated herb that grows wild in parts of Asia and Africa, especially in India and Sri Lanka. They also benefit those with digestive issues as they make diarrhea less severe and help the digestive system work properly.

Fenugreek seeds can benefit those with type 2 diabetes, as a study analyzing their impact found evidence that they reduce blood sugar levels 4 hours after intake.

Fenugreek seeds can be simmered in water if consuming them directly.  Another way to eat them is to grind them up and add them to your salad or meal as a seasoning. 

Fenugreek seeds can be made into a tea that acts as a relaxant while also helping reduce blood sugar levels.

Fenugreek Seeds/Beans ( Trigonella Foenum Graecum )
Fenugreek Seeds/Beans ( Trigonella Foenum Graecum ).

6. Ginger ( Zingiber Officinale )

Also called the yellow ginger or ginger root, this herb is most commonly used as a tea to treat nausea and an upset stomach while aiding indigestion.

The unique taste and smell of ginger come from a compound known as gingerol, which has anti-inflammatory properties.

Ginger is an herb that contains essential oils called zingiberene which has been found helpful in treating nausea and morning sickness for pregnancy-related illnesses. The root can also be drunk as a tea to treat headaches and nausea. In addition, by drinking it as tea, you can help fight potential infections of the gums in the mouth, such as gingivitis.

Ginger ( Zingiber Officinale )
Ginger ( Zingiber Officinale ).

7. Ginseng ( Panax Ginseng )

Ginseng is an herb from the same family of plants known as ginseng root or Korean ginseng. The long greenish sprouts mature into flat thin leaves that grow on different plants, with one being taller than the other.

This particular herb can be found growing wild or planted indoors in many parts of Asia and China but is also cultivated by humans in southern parts of North America and Europe for use in modern-day medicine.

Ginseng acts as a tonic, energizer, nutritive, stimulant, diuretic, and relaxant. It does this by aiding in increasing bone density, tissue growth, and general well-being and helping cure various physical and mental problems.

The powerful herb not only aids the body but also helps to strengthen the mind – a great herb to use if you struggle with a lack of concentration or focus. Ginseng can be consumed as a tea or even as a tincture and will still be effective.

Ginseng ( Panax Ginseng )
Ginseng ( Panax Ginseng ) .

8. Milk Thistle ( Silybum Marianum )

Milk thistle is cultivated on a large scale, primarily for medicinal purposes. However, it is also used as an ornamental plant in gardens worldwide – primarily for its pretty pink/purple flowers that emerge from around midsummer until early autumn.

The medicinal properties of this herb are derived from its seeds containing Silymarin. This active compound has been found helpful in treating liver diseases, digestive problems, and skin conditions such as psoriasis, herpes zoster, and shingles.Children often eat the milk thistle seed straight from their hands without ill effects. Less than 1% of people who consume milk thistle experience any side effects, but when they do, it is usually stomach related, such as diarrhea and bloating.

Milk Thistle ( Silybum Marianum )
Milk Thistle ( Silybum Marianum )

Final Thoughts On Medicinal Herbs

While most of these herbs have a common place in cooking, you may not have heard of their potentially powerful medicinal properties.

Herbs have played an essential role in medicine for centuries. They have the potential to fix several ailments and conditions passed down to generations.

Want to grow some of these herbs yourself? Take a look at our guide here.

What do you think of this list of medicinal herbs? Then, in the comments section below, let us know if you have any others to add to the list.

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