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rosemaryFresh herbs are not just for adding flavor to dishes. In fact, many herbs have a long history of providing medicinal properties long before drugs were available. Planting herbs in a survival garden should be based on how beneficial they can be in times of first-aid and illness.

When I am figuring out which herbs to plant, I like to check any recipes I may be making – such as salves or tinctures.  Are there specific herbs needed for your recipes that you can put in your survival herb garden?

The following herbs are easy to grow and prepare for a variety of ills.


In addition to treating fungal infections of the skin, thyme has also been found to kill off tiger mosquito larvae. Also, by treating food with thyme, common food borne bacteria, such as Staphylococcus, is reduced.


Basil is naturally antiseptic and also has some powerful anti-inflammatory properties. By making into a lotion, it can treat scrapes and cuts from getting infected. The dried leaves can be used as a tea for stomach ills and digestive problems.


Mix feverfew tonic with honey and you have an excellent cough suppressant. Used as a drink, feverfew works on the nervous system and has been found to have a calming effect.  Taken regularly as a tea, it is known to help keep headaches at bay.


Parsley is high in iron content and can quickly calm a queasy stomach by chewing the leaves. It reduces fatigue and gets rid of bad breath. It is also an excellent source for treating kidney and bladder infections.


Rosemary will loosen phlegm due to colds and increase overall blood circulation. This can be helpful in reducing headache pain and improve memory. It can also settle an upset tummy when used as a tea.


Sage has powerful astringent and antibacterial properties. It is very good
for soothing inflammation of the mouth, gums and throat. Drinking a cup of sage
tea can help soothe mouth ulcers.

Lemon Balm

Containing polyphenols, lemon balm combats the herpes virus, shingles and other viral afflictions. Chronic fatigue is also minimized when using lemon balm leaves in a tea. 2,000 years ago, this herb was used to treat bronchial inflammation, earache, fever, flatulence, headaches, high blood pressure, influenza, mood disorders, palpitations, toothache and vomiting.

There are many more herbs that have been found to have medicinal properties. However, these can give you a start on treating the most basic ills when planning on survival.