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How to Grow Professional Medicinal Herbs | Guide to Growing Professional Medicinal Herbs

Starting Soil Treatment Transplanting

The growing of herbs for use in tinctures, salves, infusions, poultices and other traditional preparations is an art form handed down through the ages. This is perhaps the simplest and truest way to reconnect to our medicinal heritage, and is the foundation of nearly every system of healing. While it may seem daunting at first due to the special needs of some medicinal herbs, with patience and persistence you will be able to generate your own remedies for use at home or in the field, and work towards a life of greater self-sufficiency.

     
   
 
Guide to Growing Agrimony   Guide to Growing Artichoke   Guide to Growing Ashwagandha
How to Grow Agrimony | Guide to Growing Agrimony

Agrimony was introduced to the Americas from Europe, alleviating symptoms of fever with native peoples.

  How to Grow Artichoke | Guide to Growing Artichoke

Artichoke has enjoyed a long tradition of medicinal use extending back to the early Greek cultures.

  How to Grow Ashwagandha | Guide to Growing Ashwagandha

Ashwagandha is regarded
as one of the great
rejuvenative herbs of India.

 
Guide to Growing Astragalus   Guide to Growing Borage   Guide to Growing Burdock
How to Grow Astragalus | Guide to Growing Astragalus

Astragalus is revered in Chinese medicine for its reputation as an immune strengthening tonic.

  How to Grow Borage | Guide to Growing Borage

Once known as the "herb of courage", Borage was used to decorate the vestaments of departing crusaders.

  How to Grow Burdock | Guide to Growing Burdock

Burdock has a long history
of use as a detoxifying herb, and is said to have a strong affinity for the blood.

 
Guide to Growing Catnip   Guide to Growing Chillies   Guide to Growing Codonopsis
How to Grow Catnip | Guide to Growing Catnip

Catnip is valued for its healing properties. The aromatic herb is a member of the mint family.

  How to Grow Chili | Guide to Growing Chillies

The many varieties of sweet and hot peppers thrive on full sun, warm weather and well-drained soil.

  How to Grow Codonopsis | Guide to Growing Codonopsis

Codonopsis root is rapidly gaining popularity for its reputation as "poor man's Ginseng".

 
Guide to Growing Dandelion   Guide to Growing Holy Basil   Guide to Growing Hyssop
How to Grow Dandelion | Guide to Growing Dandelion

Dandelion has long been recognized for its myriad applications in medical herbalism.

  How to Grow Holy Basil | Guide to Growing Holy Basil

Holy Basil is believed to help bring purity and serenity to the heart and mind.

  How to Grow Hyssop | Guide to Growing Hyssop

Today Hyssop is sometimes used to comfort the upper respiratory system & soothe the sore throat.

 
Guide to Growing Lavender   Guide to Growing Marsh Mallow   Guide to Growing Oat
How to Grow Lavender | Guide to Growing Lavender

Lavender is prized worldwide for the gentle and soothing therapeutic properties.

  How to Grow Marsh Mallow | Guide to Growing Marsh Mallow

Marsh Mallow is said to be anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial and wound-healing.

  How to Grow Oat | Guide to Growing Oat

The common oat plant is a species of cereal grain
grown for its seed, which is known by the same name.

 
Guide to Growing Plantain   Guide to Growing Solomon's Seal   Guide to Growing Valerian
How to Grow Plantain | Guide to Growing Plantain

Plantain is classified as a diuretic, astringent and is commonly used topically to assist with burns & cuts.

  How to Grow Solomon's Seal | Guide to Growing Solomon's Seal

Solomon's Seal has been said to have efficacy in treating a wide range of conditions.

  How to Grow Valerian | Guide to Growing Valerian

Popular problems relating to anxiety & insomnia, Valerian has been used in Europe for 1000s of years.

 
Guide to Growing Vervain   Guide to Growing Violet   Guide to Growing Wood Betony
How to Grow Vervain | Guide to Growing Vervain

Blue Vervain has traditionally been used for a wide range of imbalances, including colds, coughs, flus and more.

  How to Grow Violet | Guide to Growing Violet

Though largely forgotten in modern herbalism, the use of Violet extends back hundreds of years, if not longer.

  How to Grow Wood Betony | Guide to Growing Wood Betony

Wood Betony is sometimes used to relieve headaches, neuralgia, stomach and abdominal problems.


   
 

Some tips on medicinal herbs:

Medicinal Herbs

Starting Herb Seeds

Herb seeds, and many medicinal herb seeds in particular, require considerably more care and patience than other types of seeds. We recommend starting all medicinal herbs indoors in flats or small containers some weeks prior to the final frost of spring to make best use of sometimes rare and often expensive seeds. When sowing, use between 1-3 seeds per hole unless seeds are prone to low germination rates. Too many starts growing together can be difficult to separate later and both may show impaired development. If you do have 2 or more starts growing in close together, thin down to one and replant (or comsume) extra sprouts. After sowing cover flat (or container) with clear plastic lid or plastic wrap to retain moisture until seeds have started to germinate and poke through the soil-medium.

 

Soil for Herb Seeds

Do not use garden soil or other soil from your yard to start medicinal herbs. Such mediums may not be sterile & can be often contain mold or fungus which can be detrimental to germination seeds & young starts. Common soil may also contain excessive amounts of clay, which will not allow for proper drainage.

Always use a sterilized, organic potting medium that is rich in nutrient content yet offers good drainage. Your medium should be of a fine, rather than a coarse consistency, to ensure good seed-soil contact that will deliver the necessary moisture for germination. Keep your soil moist, especially prior to germination, and be gentle when watering so as not to disturb your seeds, especially tiny seeds which may be sown at a very shallow depth or on top of the soil. A spray bottle, saturated paper towel, or very gentle water can may be the best bet in such cases.

 

Herb Seed Treatment

Many medicinal herb seeds require special treatment such as stratification or scarification for germination. Such requirement may seem daunting, but do not be discouraged! Such treatments are necessary to simulate the natural conditions needed for development, and effectively prevent such seeds from germinating until conditions are ideal.

Seed StratificationStratification is used to simulate the cold, moist springtime conditions certain temperate seeds encounter in nature. This can be done in your refrigerator with a resealable baggie and either a paper towel or a small quantity of pearlite. The time needed for stratification varies slightly among those that require this process, but all will require more time and planning than other seeds. In some cases, beginning your stratification in late or even mid winter may be necessary to produce sizable starts at the appropriate time for transplanting.




Seed ScarificationScarification is required less frequently among herb seeds than stratification, and is accomplished my inflicting minor abrasion to the seed coat with a spoon or other object. This is to simulate the digestive process of birds and mammals that consume such seeds and pass them under natural conditions.

 

Transplanting your Herbs

Transplant outdoors once the average date of the final frost of the spring has passed. Most starts will be ready for transplanting with the appearance of their first (or second) set of true leaves, not to be confused with cotyledons, the first leaf-like structures to appear. If starting in flats or shallow containers, do not wait too long to transplant as the roots can become stifled in the bottom of your container and inhibit development and growth later on.

For best results, gradually 'harden' plants for outdoor transplanting by exposing in increasing amounts of sunlight and outdoor conditions, but do not leave containers outdoors overnight if concerned about spring freeze. Try to transplant on a cloudy overcast day to minimize the possibility of immediate shock from sunlight and heat.

 

Professional Medicine Pack

 

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