Plants That Heal

Updated June 26, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

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.

Type of Herb or Plant Type of Use
AloeExternal—burns, bites, cuts, or scrapes
ChamomileExternal—bites, stings, skin irritations
Internal—soothes stress and relaxes
CranberriesInternal—Helps in the cure of urinary tract infections, heart disease cancer, gum disease, or ulcers.
EchinaceaInternal—Strengthens immune system
FennelExternal—Relaxant when used in a bath
Internal—Helps indigestion, cramps, asthma
FeverfewInternal—Soothes migraine headaches and upset stomachs
GarlicExternal—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
GingerExternal—Soothes toothaches
Internal— Lessens against dizziness and nausea, lowers cholesterol, keeps blood from clotting, prevents heart disease and strokes
GinsengInternal—Stimulates immune system, lowers high blood pressure and raises low blood pressure, increases ability to handle stress
LavenderExternal—Used as a massage oil for headaches, tense muscles, sunburn, or insomnia
Internal—Relaxant, relieves tension
MintExternal—Decongestant when added to bath water, soothes bites and stings, acts as an anesthetic and a muscle relaxant
Internal—Relieves nausea or cramping
SageExternal—Soothes sore throat, gum disease, canker sores
Internal—Helps improve memory and aging
St. John’s WortExternal—Can be used for bruises and sores
Internal—Helps depression
ThymeExternal—Eases pain relief, can be used as an antiseptic and antidepressant
Internal—Digestive aid and cough suppressant
Witch HazelExternal—Reduces swelling and relieves body aches and pains

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