The list of wild plants with healing properties is long and varied. From chickweed to yarrow to Korean mint, there are literally hundreds of curative plant types growing wild across the globe. These healing plants and herbs, some of which produce flowers, berries, etc., can help ease pain, reduce inflammation and stem allergy symptoms. Some assist in ridding bacteria and fungus in the body, while others can be used to reduce body temperature (fever), clear mucus from sinus and nasal passages, and detoxify the body’s organs and tissues. In fact, all of the plants on this long list offer some type of comfort and relief.
In the following article we will highlight a wide range of wild plants with healing properties—plants that can be found growing around the world—and discuss the type of cure and/or easing each plant can provide.
The leaves of the Chickweed plant are not only delicious; they are simply loaded with vitamins, particularly Vitamin C. A natural anti-inflammatory, Chickweed is very effective as a topical treatment for the skin rashes and irritation associated with Psoriasis. Scientists have also shown that the plant/weed may be helpful in treating one of the biggest health threats in the United States—obesity—as it has been shown to control the condition in laboratory rats. Learn more about chickweed benefits here.
The roots and flowers of the Wild Quinine plant are oft-mentioned for their wide assortment of healing properties. According to many homeopathic healers, the strong herb that is Wild Quinine can be used to treat mobility problems caused by any number of debilitating conditions. It can also be used in the treatment of many sexually-transmitted diseases, and has shown some effectiveness in warding off and even healing some infections of the respiratory and gastrointestinal systems. Learn more about its benefits here.
Known for its effectiveness in treating irritating cold symptoms such as coughs and sore throats, Red Clover is native to the regions of Western Asia, Northern Africa and Europe. Indigenous cultures in these regions have also lauded the plant as a helpful blood cleanser and detoxifier, helping to rid toxins from the body’s blood and organs. Red clover is commonly used as a tea. Learn more about its benefits here.
Found throughout the continent of Europe, Tansy is not a plant you would want to ingest—at least not a lot of it. A natural poison in large quantities, Tansy was traditionally used to repel worms from the body. Sufferers could ingest a small (non-toxic amount for people) amount of the leaves to get rid of ring worms and tape worms. More recently, Tansy has been used throughout the mountains and forests of Europe as an insect repellant. The leaves, when rubbed on the skin, seem to repel a wide variety of stinging and biting bugs, making it a must-have for hikers who forget to bring their OFF spray. Learn more about its benefits here.
Are you feeling nervous, anxious or tension-ridden? If so, you may want to sip some California Poppy Tea. A member of the opioid family of plants, this plant variety is known for being an effective treatment against anxiety and agitation. Simply make a hot, yet fairly weak tea concoction using all the “safe” parts of the poppy plant, including the roots and stem (avoid the seeds) if you’d like. After a few long sips, you are bound to start feeling a bit more relaxed and in control. As you might expect, a stronger concoction can also be an effective treatment against pain. Note: Be careful not to abuse the properties of this plant. Like all opioids, certain parts of the California Poppy can be highly addictive. Learn more about its benefits here.
Although mostly still illegal in the United States for recreational purposes (states such as Colorado, Washington, California and others now have legal recreational sales of the plant), there are many states that allow the use of drug for medicinal purposes—of which there are many.
A mostly legal plant/drug until 1970 when the U.S. government began cracking down on—and criminalizing—its use, Marijuana, or Cannabis as it is known scientifically, has been around for centuries. It was grown by many of the Founding Fathers, such as Washington and Jefferson, on their large plantations, right alongside tobacco, cotton and other crops. Known mostly by the name of “hemp” in those days, marijuana was a very popular crop because it was easy to grow, very renewable, and in high demand. It was—and continues to be—used to treat pain caused by a variety of underlying conditions, including Cancer, arthritis and other chronic conditions. Cancer patients who find it difficult to eat and get nourishment during and after chemotherapy treatment have successfully used marijuana as a way to stimulate the appetite. It is also prescribed by medical doctors and psychiatrists as an effective treatment for anxiety, panic attacks and depression. And many epilepsy sufferers have found that a small dose of THC every day, the active ingredient in marijuana, greatly reduces the number of seizures they experience each year.
Marijuana is regularly used by eye doctors as an effective and non-invasive treatment for glaucoma. Some recent studies have also shown the plant’s efficacy in lowering blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and strokes, which kill more Americans every year than any other disease.
Simply put, although abusing marijuana can potentially lead to dependence and impairment, when prescribed carefully this wonder drug can be highly effective in the treatment of pain, depression, and a bevy of other persistent and often dangerous health conditions. Learn more about its benefits here.
The medicinal and healing properties of the Feverfew plant are well-known in many parts of the world. In many cultures, the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties have been used to treat rheumatoid arthritis. It is perhaps best known for its effectiveness against tension headaches and migraine headaches, and its natural ability to inhibit the brain chemical serotonin makes it helpful against anxiety and stress. Bruising and swelling can also be helped by Feverfew. Learn more about its benefits here.
Also known as Leonurus cadiaca, Motherwort is native to Asia and Eastern Europe, but is also found in almost every state in the U.S. A member of the mint family, motherwort offers a lot of health benefits, especially for women. According to Crazy Herbalist, you can use it as a tincture, glycerite, tea or acetum.
So, what’s motherwort good for? Well, for women there are a few benefits that have been reported by people who have used. The uses of motherwort specific to women include helping to induce labor or bring on menses, helping stimulate the uterus, combating PMS symptoms, relieving hot flashes, and helping with pain from cramping.
Other general uses include reducing anger and anxiety, helping with gas and bloating, helping to balance an overactive thyroid, helping regulate an irregular heartbeat, helping with clotting, reducing tension, reducing high blood pressure, calming the mind and body, and increasing appetite where there is a reduced appetite. Learn more about its benefits here.
If you have ever been hiking in the woods and encountered stinging nettle, you know firsthand how much pain and discomfort it can cause. But instead of turning to the first-aid kit to treat this painful nuisance, you may want to find some Lady Ferns instead. Grown primarily in temperate areas with high rainfall, such as the Pacific Northwest, Lady Fern is noted for being a great cure for stinging nettle, insect stings and even minor cuts. Although all ferns can offer some level of relief, Lady Fern is the most effective variety thanks to its soft, almost mossy feel. Just wad some of the Lady Fern up in your palm until it feels like a soft mass, and apply it directly to the affected area. The properties of the fern are very soothing to the skin, and can almost instantly take the ‘sting” out of stinging nettle and other minor scrapes. Learn more about its benefits here.
The Navajo Tea plant, which is often made into a tea or other liquid concoction, is touted by Native American cultures for its ability to stem the pain and inflammation of urinary tract infections. The Navajo Tea plant goes by several different names, including the Coyote Plant, Plains Tea or Greenthread Plant. Learn more about its benefits here .
Also known as the Mexican Butterfly Weed, the ominous-sounding plant known as the Blood Flower is a milkweed that is generally found in tropical climates. Its sap is lightly toxic in small amounts, and has been used for centuries as a natural emetic—a solution that, similar to the well-known “Epicat,” will help you to vomit if you’ve ingested something poisonous or harmful. The toxins of the Blood Flower can also rid the body of worms, and for generations they have been used as a heart stimulant in cultures that rely on all-natural treatments. Although not a pleasant thing to ingest by any definition, the Blood Flower could be very handy in camping and hiking emergencies. Learn more about its benefits here.
For insect stings and bites, it’s nice to have some Winter Savory around. Found near the Mediterranean and throughout Europe, it is one of the best plant-based remedies for nasty bites and insect stings. This is due mainly to its antiseptic properties. Every part of the Winter Savory plant is 100 percent edible, and it is often included as an ingredient in stews for its great flavor. Learn more about its benefits here.
If you’ve ever witnessed the near-euphoric behavior of cats after eating pieces of the catnip plant, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn it has several health benefits for humans. For years, patients who prefer more natural treatments have used Catnip to relieve symptoms from the common cold. The plant, which can induce sweating in most humans, has also been utilized as a fever reducer. And in injuries that involve profuse bleeding or swelling, a topical (non-ingested) form of catnip may just be what the doctor ordered. Considered part of the mint family, Catnip is also useful in treating bloating, gas and stomach discomfort. It can even help minimize the symptoms associated with migraine headaches. Learn more about its benefits here.
Sometimes known as Hyssop, Korean Mint has been proven to have many safe and effective medicinal properties. Like other forms of mint—apple mint, spearmint—the health benefits of Korean Mint are wide and varied. The plant has many soothing qualities. It can be used to garnish food, extracted in a tea, used as topical oil, or even eaten whole. For years people have touted the advantages of Korean Mint in treating nervousness, anxiety and fatigue. It can help soothe the pain of tension of migraine headaches, and even calm a nervous stomach, with all the pain and cramping that can involve. Like other forms of mint, Korean Mint may have some benefits as an antiviral, making it helpful in the treatment and/or the prevention of the flu or the common cold. Learn more about its benefits here.
The bright purple Sweet Violet plant, which can be found growing throughout the world, is hard to miss. As brewed syrup, Sweet Violet is an excellent remedy for the symptoms of the flu and the common cold. When brewed into a tea, it also very helpful in treating muscle pain and tension headaches, thanks in large part to its anti-inflammatory properties. Learn more about its benefits here.
We all know how delicious the berries from the blackberry plant can be—berries that are teeming with vitamins and antioxidants. However, what most people don’t know are the healing properties of its leaves and roots. Effective against dysentery and diarrhea, it has long been used in Native American cultures. The berries are either eaten “as is” or made into a jam, while the stems are enjoyed much like one would eat vegetables, either raw or cooked. The leaves and berries of the blackberry plant are also a great topical treatment for mouth cuts and inflammation. Learn more about its benefits here.
The thistle-like plant known as Burdock Herb (or Cocklebur) can be found growing wildly in many parts of the globe. The plant can get very large in size, and its prickly burs have long been a nuisance for dogs and livestock, as they can become stuck in the fur of these animals. Another handy plant to have around when camping, the Burdock Herb is an effective treatment against poison ivy and poison oak; helping to curb the rash, itching and pain those plants can produce. Learn more about its benefits here.
When most people hear the word “alfalfa” they no doubt think of livestock and farming. Boasting a greenish tint with roots that can dive a whopping 30 feet deep, this nutrient-heavy grain is a staple in the diet of horses and cattle, mostly for the protein it contains and the wide array of vitamins and minerals found in this remarkable plant.
There are many healing properties associated with Alfalfa, which is native to the Middle East and Mediterranean-bound nations. For many generations, people have used the plant to treat a variety of conditions, including water that is retained in the body (Alfalfa is a powerful diuretic); kidney pain, urinary difficulties and kidney stones; nausea and morning sickness in pregnant women; and as a long-term cholesterol-lowering agent. A detoxifier of the liver and a natural stimulant, Alfalfa can help people bounce back after a protracted viral or bacterial illness. The seeds and sprouts of the Alfalfa plant can often be found in health stores, but even the leaves of the plant can be very beneficial when ingested. Learn more about its benefits here.
Used mostly as a cooking spice in the United States, Sage is a valued herb for its taste, but also for its well-known healing properties. Sage has been used as an anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant agent. It is even recognized by the World Health Organization for its amazing healing properties, referred to by its scientific name by that organization: Salvia Officinalis. A useful plant to have handy when roughing it in the woods, Sage is a great meat preservative. It also helps to control stomach acid that can lead to cramping and ingestion—and sometimes diarrhea. In cold and allergy sufferers, Sage can help dry mucus and may minimize the pain from inflamed sinuses and nasal passages. Learn more about its benefits here.
Like Sage, Sweet Marjoram is a staple spice in America, and is often used either in concert with, or in lieu of oregano. Native to the Mediterranean region, mostly Greece, Sweet Marjoram is a great digestive aid. Also known by the nickname “Joy of the Mountain,” Marjoram has additionally been used by earlier cultures to treat fungus and bacteria in the body, and can even be used as a household disinfectant. Learn more about its benefits here.
The Yarrow plant (Achillea millefolium), which is native to Europe but brought to the United States via the early European settlers, has leaves that resemble many fern plants. It has been used to treat insect bites and stings, and its styptic properties make it the perfect plant to turn to when you need to stop bleeding. Yarrow is also known for its antibacterial properties when used topically, and when brewed into a tea can help break a fever due to the sweating it causes. Its antiseptic nature also makes it very effective against cold sores, toothaches and boils. Learn more about its benefits here.