Plants are Medicine, Food is Medicine Too


This is week 27 of our yearlong #freepermaculture course

Disclaimer: nothing on this website is presented as any sort of medical advice, and if you’re bleeding, in intense pain, or otherwise concerned about an undiagnosed set of symptoms, for cryin’ out loud, go to a doctor! The internet is a place to learn and interact, not to replace the help of a qualified professional. Same goes for herbalism. You can learn a lot of basic skills on your own, but to truly unveil the magic of plants, you’ll do well to find qualified experts to work with, who will help you make informed choices about your own healing and/or teaching journeys.

All plants are medicinal, in some way, to some one.

This is a pharmacy, an apothecary:

AND SO IS THIS:

AND SO IS THIS:

BUT ALSO THIS:

AND FOR SURE THIS TOO:

​All plants are medicine, all food is medicine. Your food is either healing you, or it’s making you sick. There is no neutral. That being said, some plants are more medicinal than others, especially when it comes to establishing your own herbal apothecary for home remedies, nourishing teas, and first aid. Here are my own “Top 10” medicinal plants I ALWAYS grow, no matter where I am living.


And here’s an excellent guide to common medicinal plants.

Valeriana Officinalis, easy to grow almost anywhere and useful for many types of medicine.

Harvesting and processing medicinal plants

Crystal Stevens is an herbalist, a teacher, a farmer and homesteading mama, author of Grow, Create, Inspire, and a member of the PWG faculty. She writes about a wide range of topics associated with using plants and food as medicine. 

​Here are some of the articles she’s published on our blog, about how to process your medicinal herb harvest:

Every village needs a witch...

Sarah Wu, also on the PWG faculty, runs the Village Witch Project, which offers teachings in deep ecology, herbalism, and permaculture, from an ecofeminist perspective.

VICE did a recent feature about Sarah and her projects, and in this podcast, she discusses her work with herbs, community, and the Envision festival she organizes at her permaculture center in Costa Rica.

By way of review...

So many of the classes in our yearlong #freepermaculture adventure have crossover with this topic! Here’s a quick reference list of links you can use to circle back around:

Hands-On


  • Research the medicinal uses of your 3 favorite flowers.
  • Research the medicinal uses of your 10 favorite foods.
  • Attend a local herb walk and/or herbal medicine workshop.
  • Create a plant press to document and learn about the plants around you.

art by Jackie Holmstrom

Relevant Links and Resources​


Check out this Fascinating Tedx talk about flavor, bitterness, medicine, and poison:

For folks who have a harder time getting outside, for whatever reason, about Bringing Nature Inside

Grow sprouts anywhere

Here's a lovely article, focused on providing useful information all about Herbs and Flowers for Aging

Evening Primrose

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