Growing Medicinal Herbs


Growing your own medicinal garden is a great way to make sure you have the herbs on hand that you may need. Start with a few simple herbs that can serve as a healing tonic to prevent health problems. Echinacea supports the immune system and is an essential herb to add to your medicinal garden. The leaves and roots of burdock and dandelion work together as a tonic and supportive herb for the liver. They are also cleansing for the digestive system. Catnip supports the nervous system and helps alleviate stress or anxiety. Urtica, also known as stinging nettles, provides vitamin C and can help relieve stomach problems and rheumatism.

Step 1

Select a spot in your yard for your medicinal herb garden. The best spot is in an area that gets full sun to partial shade.

Step 2

Dig a foot deep into the soil, breaking up clods with your shovel. Use a rake to thin the soil.

Step 3

Apply a general purpose fertilizer to the soil evenly.

Step 4

Sow your echinacea seeds by pressing them a half-inch deep into the soil. Space each seed 1 foot apart. Sow your echinacea seeds right before the last frost. Water immediately with enough water to moisten the soil.

Step 5

Direct sow your nettle seeds in the early spring after the last danger of frost. Space each seed 8 inches apart by laying the seed on the soil. Add just enough soil to cover the seeds.

Step 6

Sow your dandelion seeds by spacing them a foot apart. Press each seed a half-inch deep into the soil.

Step 7

Plant your catnip seeds a foot apart and use just enough dirt to cover them.

Step 8

Press your burdock seeds a quarter-inch into the soil so that each plant is spaced 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart.

Step 9

Water your medicinal herbs immediately after sowing the seeds. Water daily to keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

Step 10

Harvest your dandelion leaves while they are young and before flowers appear. Leave the crown intact to promote further leaf growth.

Step 11

Use gloves to harvest your nettle leaves as they appear. Harvest the burdock leaves throughout the growing season. Wait to harvest the catnip when the flowers begin to appear.

Step 12

In the fall, dig carefully around your burdock and dandelion roots until you are able to pull them up. Cut the echinacea down to the ground. Dry your roots and herbs by hanging them upside down in the sun. Store your dried herbs in a sealed container.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Rake
  • General-purpose fertilizer
  • Echinacea seeds
  • Dandelion seeds
  • Catnip seeds
  • Burdock seeds
  • Gloves


  • Planet Natural
  • Alchemy Works
  • Farm Info

Who Can Help

  • Burdock seeds
  • Catnip seeds
Keywords: burdock, dandelion, echinacea

About this Author

Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., Robin Coe has reported on a variety of subjects for more than 15 years. Coe has worked on environmental health and safety issues in communities across Ohio and Michigan. Coe holds a Bachelor of Science in journalism with a double-major in international politics from Bowling Green State University. She has also received training and experience as a nurse aide.