With Alaska midnight sun upon us for the next few weeks, make the most of it by planting these five plants that have been known to have medicinal properties.
- Aloe Vera- This pretty plant can be grown year round in Alaska if you have a good space inside near a window that gets some sun in the summer, and maybe a small light near it during the winter. Although it is widely considered an ornamental plant, there are known medicinal properties found in Aloe Vera as well. It has been known for aiding in the healing of burns, as well as having some antioxidant properties.
- Basil- While it is super easy to grow, the basil plant has many medicinal properties in addition to its uses in food. Steep some basil leaves into a tea to help soothe an upset stomach, indigestion, anxiety, headache and PMS related fatigue. Basil has been known to be an anti-inflammatory and to help with blemishes because of some of its anti-bacterial properties. Used as oil or sipped in the form of hot tasty tea, basil is a great natural herb to grow in your garden and use for some of its many benefits.
- Peppermint- In addition to flavoring our gum, toothpaste and holiday treats – peppermint can be used for many other purposes as well. This plant can grow well during the Alaska summers, and unfortunately does not serve well as an indoor plant mainly because of its large and ever growing size. Peppermint can be used to help alleviate stress, congestion, headaches and muscle pain when either rubbed on in oil form or added to a hot bath. Additionally, peppermint is known to help with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other stomach and digestion issues such as upset stomach, indigestion and more.
- Lavender- Pretty to look at and smell, this lovely plant can grow well in the summertime in Alaska leaving you with a large crop for all your medicinal and personal needs. It can also be easily dried and stored. From helping relieve stress, anxiety and depression to aiding with bug bites, burns and insomnia, this plant is wonderful to have on hand at all times; so why not grow your own! Turn the extras in to potpourri to help keep your linens and house smelling fresh.
- Echinacea- While a beautiful flower to watch grow and have in your garden, it is an even better herb to have on hand for this falls cold and flu season. Combat annual and harmful infections and illnesses by taking Echinacea supplements or adding the oils to your foods or drinks. Echinacea may have other helpful medicinal properties that will make you feel better too, such as aiding with inflammation, skin infections, bee stings and headaches.