Plant a Pharmacy in Your Backyard

It’s finally spring! For my family, that means we’re outside from dawn until dusk, or even later when we have an evening softball game. My girls are always looking for fun things to do outside, so this spring we’re planting a pharmacy in our backyard.

Did you know that common, easy-to-grow herbs can be helpful for anxiety, sunburns, and other minor illnesses? Talk to your doctor before treating yourself or your children, then head out back and get gardening! You may just be able to make some simple swaps in your medicine cabinet to help when needed.

If you live in an apartment, or just don’t want to dig up your yard, these plants will also grow perfectly well in a container garden. Plus, you can move the containers inside this fall when it starts to cool off at night. Here’s what I’m planting in my garden this year.

For Sleep … Lavender 

Plant a Pharmacy in Your Backyard, LavenderBig deadlines, insomnia, and sick kiddos regularly keep me up at night, so when the chance for an uninterrupted night of sleep presents itself, I’ll do everything I can do make sure it happens! Grow lavender, then dry it to make sachets to keep in your bedroom. Lavender is known to encourage sleep; you can even drink it in tea form.  I like to keep it in my bathroom for nights when I can soak in the tub.

For a Memory Boost … Sage

Plant a Pharmacy in Your Backyard, SageSage can be powerful in recipes, so I like to use it sparingly in the kitchen, but it’s also known for helping with inflammation and memory issues. Plus, it’s easy to grow, so my not-so-green thumb can keep it alive for months.

For Sunburns … Aloe Vera

Plant a Pharmacy in Your Backyard, Aloe VeraIf you think Band-Aids have super powers to heal boo-boos, you’ve got to plant some aloe vera. There’s something about snipping the end off the large leaf and putting the aloe vera on a sunburn that makes it feel like magic to my girls. It grows best in desert climates, so I’m growing mine indoors from a pre-potted plant (not a seed) thanks to my local gardening shop!

For a Pick-Me-Up … Peppermint

Plant a Pharmacy in Your Backyard, PeppermintIf you have little kids at home, cook frequently, or struggle with digestion, you need some peppermint. The strong fragrance and flavor not only keeps unwelcome bugs out of your kitchen, it also covers you when you burn the popcorn, or are dealing with the after effects of a sick kiddo. Peppermint tea has been known to help with sluggish digestion and bloating, and can be picked up at your local grocery store if you’d rather smell your mint plant than dry it.

For Low Blood Sugar … Basil

Plant a Pharmacy in Your Backyard, BasilThere’s no reason not to grow basil. It’s hard to kill, delicious on everything, and makes amazing homemade pesto. (Psst…ideal for my Pesto Grilled Cheese Roll-Ups!) Plus, studies have shown that the plant contributes to fighting low blood sugar. Don’t skimp on this one!

Limit your garden to what you know you’ll use so that you’ll look forward to caring for it all summer long. Happy planting!

Plant a Pharmacy in Your Backyard, Medicinal table with herbs and oils


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Plant a Pharmacy in Your Backyard, from Holley Grainger