Plants are undoubtedly some of the most important living things on the planet. They filter carbon dioxide into necessary oxygen, provide us food and medicine, add humidity to the air, decorate our surroundings and, studies show, improve our overall mood and wellbeing, along with countless other uses! These magical things are incredibly important to our everyday lives already, but you can see even more benefits from them by growing plants in your own backyard!

Different plants serve different purposes, from repelling or attracting certain types of helpful insects, to healing, to adding flavor to our food. Certain plants even affect the soil, allowing growth of other plants that require a different soil makeup. Here is a list of beneficial plants that you can grow in your backyard!

Catnip

Known mostly as a fun treat for our feline friends, catnip is also useful as a mosquito repellent, it can induce sweating and lower fevers, and be used as a mild sedative. Toothaches can also be eased by chewing on some!

Chamomile

Popularly used in herbal teas, chamomile is known for its ability to promote calmness. It is also a sleep aid, helps lower stress, treat aches and it is very good for the digestive system.

Dandelion

Contrary to the misconception that it is just an annoying weed, dandelion is a incredibly useful plant! It is an aid to digestion and liver health, is high in potassium and calcium, and is highly diuretic by helping eliminate toxicity in the urinary tract and kidneys. It can also assist in regulating blood pressure, preventing anemia and lowering blood sugar levels, along with many other uses!

Globe Artichoke

Artichokes are not only beautiful thistles that are used as tasty vegetables but they are incredibly good for your health! High in fiber and low in fat, they are a great food to ensure a healthy digestive tract, as well as being an amazing source for folic acid. Even the leaves of globe artichokes can improve gallbladder and liver function, and lower blood cholesterol levels.

Lavender

A truly gorgeous and magical plant, lavender looks beautiful, smells fantastic and has countless uses! Known for its ability to soothe, it can help insomnia, depression and anxiety, as well as being a natural aid for migraines. Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a natural antiseptic, assisting with burns, bites and stings. Often an ingredient in many homemade bug repellents, lavender is great at keeping mosquitos at bay. Dried lavender is a fantastic addition to any kitchen, and can be used to make delicious teas and drinks or as an herb for cooking!

Lemongrass

Commonly used in Asian dishes or brewed into a refreshing tea, Lemongrass comes with a delicious citrus aroma and multiple benefits. It’s used to treat everything from symptoms of hay fever and the common cold (such as vomiting, stomach-aches, fever, cough, pain and exhaustion) to assisting with achy joints and high blood pressure. With the ability to kill germs, it is a common ingredient in any homemade household cleaner, as well as being another natural mosquito repellent.

Marsh Mallow

Whether used as remedies internally or externally, marsh mallow is amazingly useful for healing. Internally, it can be eaten to aid against inflammations and irritations of the respiratory and urinary mucous membranes, as well as counteract peptic ulceration, gastritis and excess stomach acid. Externally, it can help with bruises, sprains, muscle aches, skin inflammations, insect bites and splinters.

Peppermint

Used to flavor candies, mints, gum, toothpaste and food and drinks, peppermint is known for its refreshing flavor. You may not realize it but peppermint has multiple medicinal uses as well! It aids indigestion, nausea, diarrhea, pain, flatulence, skin ailments, and chest congestion. Studies have also shown it to have possible antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Pot Marigold

Beautiful and bright, pot marigold (also called Calendula) have been used for herbal medicine for nearly a thousand years. These miraculous plants have been used to aid everything from skin issues to assisting with hemorrhoid pain. Tea from marigold can lessen symptoms caused by inflammatory bowel diseases, ulcers, acid reflux, gastritis and menstrual or stomach cramps. It has antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties, and is able to treat conjunctivitis and other inflammatory conditions of the eyes. Calendula can assist in healing fungal infections, be used as an antiseptic and when mixed with shea butter or coconut oil, it can be applied topically to aid bug bites, burns, varicose veins, eczema and dermatitis, cuts, razor burn, ingrown hairs, diaper rash and more. This incredible plant is also another plant that keeps annoying bugs at bay. This amazing plant has so many uses, too many to even list here!

Rosemary

Commonly used as a tasty herb with a distinct aroma, rosemary has many fantastic properties. The oil is antibacterial and antifungal, improves circulation to the brain, can stimulate cognitive activity in elderly with dementia, and the smell of rosemary can lower stress levels and improve mood. It is anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic, and is used to help constipation, diarrhea, bloating and stomach-aches. Rosemary also freshens breath and aids against migraines and other pains. Truly an extraordinary plant!

Sunflower

A natural diuretic, astringent and expectorant, and sometimes used to extract toxic ingredients in soil, sunflowers are gorgeous plants that are extremely valuable. Sunflower seeds are fantastic for cardiovascular health, and are high in zinc, iron, magnesium and potassium. Be cautious when planting these, sunflowers tend to multiply easily and can take over a garden quickly!

Sweet Basil

Not only is it an incredibly delicious and fragrant herb, but sweet basil is an amazing plant with an incredible number of uses. A natural insect repellent, with high anti-bacterial, anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, basil is extremely beneficial. It can increase immune function, improve circulation, ease stomach cramps and nausea, as well as aid with headaches, uterine cramps, cough, fever and digestive issues. Even the Romans knew of its usefulness, using it to stop flatulence, increase breast milk production and even counteract small poisons!

These astonishing plants are just a tiny number of the many wonderful and incredibly useful plants that you can grow in your garden. Take time to discover the amazing uses the plants you may already have in your garden possess, then find what plants you want to add to your yard and what benefits they can provide!

*Please note that these natural treatments are often used in addition to medical care, and serious ailments or injuries should be taken care of by a medical professional. This article is not intended as medical advice.