Top 16 Herbs to Grow for an Endless Survival Supply

Preppers consider growing their own groceries and stockpiling long-term storage food one of the cornerstones of a living a self-reliant lifestyle. And… they are right. But these survival tactics alone will not be enough to sustain the family during a long-term survival situation. Growing and preserving edible and medicinal herbs is just as vital to any well-rounded survival plan.

Herbs generally take little space to grow, and can be cultivated indoor year-round. Once the healing and edible herbs are harvested, they can be dehydrated to preserve them for use in the months or years to come.

If you powder the herbs or purchase a manual gel cap pill making machine, you can conserve and even pre-mix natural home remedies to use both now and when you can’t call a doctor for help.

In this article we’ll be focusing on the most potent and easy to grow herbs for your survival stockpile. We made a separate list of anti-viral herbs here.


1. Calendula

The petals of a calendula plant are edible, and the entire flower is often used in natural home remedies. It is a common base ingredient in a plethora of commercially manufactured creams, ointments, and salves – especially in diaper rash creams.

The vibrant flower petals on a calendula plant readily attract honey bees to your apothecary patch or garden. This herbal edible and medicinal plant boasts antibacterial, anti inflammatory properties.

Calendula can help treat digestive problems, ulcers, acid reflux, oral health, sore throat, and skin rashes. This healing plant is also commonly referred to as a pot marigold.

Wowbobwow12 at English Wikipedia [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2. Ashwagandha

Even though ashwagandha is often heralded for its ability to increase sex drive and increase fertility, it has many other benefits as well. Consumption of this herb may also provide a substantial energy boost, decrease both anxiety and stress, as well as boost memory.

During a long-term survival situation, increasing your sex drive likely will not be a priority, but enhancing and maintaining an optimal energy level surely will be.

Both the root and the berries from this anti-inflammatory herb is used to make natural medicine. Conditions ashwagandha is routinely used to treat include: hemiplegia (one-sided paralysis, back pain, OCD, ADHD, bipolar disorder, balance problems, fibromyalgia, leukoderma, tuberculosis, high blood pressure, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, anxiety, menstrual issues, hiccups, liver disease, sugar and fat levels in the blood, as well as various tumors.

Read more about this plant here.

cayenne plant

3. Cayenne

Cayenne can add robust flavor to drag survival meals and help heal the body of various ailments. If you run out of the quikclot style bandages you have stockpiled, having ample cayenne pepper on hand might just save your life. Pouring cayenne onto a wound, even a severe one, may help stem blood flow dramatically.

Bleeding should stop or vastly reduce less than 30 seconds after pouring about 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper onto the wound. Cayenne pepper is often praised for its antiseptic properties, as well.

Cayenne is often a base ingredient in natural home remedies designed to treat fever, rheumatism, kidney issues, arthritis, heart problems, spleen issues, stomach ailments, and headache.

black cohosh

4. Black Cohosh

Black Cohosh boasts immune system boosting and anti-inflammatory properties. a member of the buttercup family, is a plant native to North America.

Both Native Americans and Chinese herbalists used this herb to treat insect bites and as a repellent, for menopause symptoms like hot flashes, and to reduce swelling after sustaining an injury.

aloe plant

5. Aloe Vera

Many folks keep an aloe vera plant on hand to treat minor burns, but this hardy herb offers far more natural medicinal properties.

Aloe vera has been used to treat stomach aches, general wound healing, and as a laxative. It is also a superb active natural healing ingredient to use in oral care home remedies. Aloe vera boasts antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, and antifungal properties.


6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon is a great immune system booster in both humans and animals. Keeping your livestock alive and healthy during a long-term is essential to maintaining a sustainable food supply.

This delicious herb is heralded for its anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Like aloe vera, cinnamon is also a robust and commonly used ingredients in natural oral care remedies. Cinnamon can also help lower blood sugar levels thanks to its ability to foster insulin resistance.


7. Basil

This herb’s antiviral properties enable it to be a potent stomach ache natural treatment aid. Basil boasts intense antispasmodic properties as well.

Some of the most common uses for this seasoning and medicinal herb include use in the treatment of intestinal problems like diarrhea, constipation, and gas, loss of appetite, stomach aches, muscle spasms, and to boost the immune system.

Basil has also been taken as a natural remedy or sprinkled onto food to help alleviate kidney problems, to promote a more natural blood flow after childbirth, facilitate the flow of breast milk, and to topically treat insect bites.

purple coneflower

8. Echinacea

Echinacea should be a part of your natural common cold and flu remedy survival stockpiles. This flowering herb boosts the immune system, and may increase is thought to increase the production of white blood cells.

It boasts both antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties. Conditions and ailments echinacea is often used in natural home remedies to treat includes: ulcer, acid indigestion, diphtheria, fatigue, ADHD, yeast infections, malaria, migraines, rattlesnake bites, gum disease, syphilis, typhoid, tonsillitis, and urinary tract infections.

According to the University of Connecticut School of Pharmacy’s scientists, who reviewed a plethora of echinacea studies, taking the herb can reduce the chances of contracting the common cold by as much as 58%. Consuming the herb after catching a cold can also reduce the number of days afflicted with symptoms.


9. Cloves

As many folks already know, cloves are a powerful natural remedy for alleviating toothache pain. This herb also boast antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antioxidant properties that can significantly bolster the immune system.

Cloves can also bolster strong bones and help the body ward off bacteria. Taking cloves might help naturally fight or prevent various types of cancer.

If a member of your family or prepper tribe is stricken with ulcers, blood sugar problems, or liver issues, growing or stockpiling cloves as a part of your survival apothecary plan could be highly beneficial.


10. Eucalyptus

This herb is rich in antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-infectious, and antiviral properties. Eucalyptus has been used for thousands of years in natural Chinese, Greek, Indian, and eastern European natural medicines. In fact, hospitals in Europe used eucalyptus to clean urinary catheters into the 19th century.

Eucalyptus is often used as a base ingredient in natural remedies and homemade medications for respiratory illnesses, the common cold, to make inhalants to relieve congestion and to create cough lozenges to relieve sore throats.

Gargling with eucalyptus leaves can help alleviate the scratching and soreness often associated with bronchitis, a sore throat, and sinusitis. The herb is a quality natural expectorant, as well.

11. Lavender

This antiseptic herb is good for far more than aromatherapy oils and wax melts. Lavender is often used in natural remedies for minor burns, rashes, and abrasions. It has also been part of natural medicines designed to treat depression, insect bites, headache pain, digestive issues, toothaches, hair loss prevention, and sprains.

Lavender is also a common ingredient in commercially manufactured beauty and skin health products.

is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites. … In addition to helping with digestive problems, lavender is used to help relieve pain from headaches, sprains, toothaches, and sores. It can also be used to prevent hair loss.


12. Chamomile

Chamomile, either the German variety or the type that grows wild, has been used for centuries to relieve anxiety, stress, and insomnia.

Chamomile is typically brewed into a tea to be consumed for its natural healing properties. A tea cooled to at least room temperature can be applied to skin rashes and blisters to help soothe them and promote healing.

This beautiful little flowering herb is also commonly used in natural home remedies to treat colitis, as a blood cleanser, to treat digestives issues, enhance pancreatic health, and to improve liver function.


13. Garlic

Garlic is as powerful in the natural healing process as it is, well…. stinky. It is a superb detoxifying agent that also helps to combat infection, enhance the immune system, reduce fat in the blood, and improve blood circulation.

This herb may help prevent and treat a myriad of heart conditions, including hardening of the arteries. Garlic is also taken either alone or as an active ingredient in herbal remedies to treat sinusitis, yeast infections, high cholesterol, and asthma.


14. Marjoram

The leaves, oil, and flowers from the marjoram herb area all used in natural medicines. Common ailments treated with this herb include the common cold, general runny noses and coughs, and to aid digestive troubles.

This is a wonderfully tasting herb that can enhance a plethora of both hot and cold dishes – as well as salads. Marjoram may also help dilate blood vessels, soothe sore muscles, and regulate blood pressure.

Marjoram boasts antibacterial and anti-infectious properties.

ginger root

15. Ginger

Ginger, is an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant herb. It offers a sweet flavor when candied or used in recipes, making it a wonderful potential moral booster during a long-term disaster. It has been used for centuries to treat circulatory system issues, nausea, as an indigestion aid, and to combat motion sickness.

To harness its substantial healing properties, you can simply chew on a piece of ginger root or brew it into a tea. Steepling about 30 grams of ginger root into hot water to make a tea is generally the recommended way to consume the herb for medicinal reasons.

Marshmallow plant

16. Marshmallow

This herb does not at all resemble the marshmallows we toast over open flames. Both the roots and leaves of this herb are often used in natural medicines.

The herb can help naturally alleviate fluid retention, fight kidney issues, treat sore throats, and heal bladder infections.

Marshmallow is often ingested to treat sore throats, general indigestion, and to promote the healing of wounds. The herb boasts both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Chewing on the roots or leaves can create a protective lining in the stomach to soothe ulcers, heartburn, and related problems.

This is not an exhaustive list of all the medicinal herbs that I grow and that you should too, fellow prepper. But, by cultivating these 16 healing herbs, preserving them, as well as storing them properly, you will have the means at your disposal to treat nearly every common medical issue your family could face during a SHTF disaster.

Disclaimer. I am not a medical professional. The advice given here is for information purposes only. Before putting anything into practice from what is written here, consult your doctor.

herbs pinterest image

About Tara Dodrill

Tara Dodrill
Tara Dodrill is a homesteading and survival journalist and author. She lives on a small ranch with her family in Appalachia. She has been both a host and frequent guest on preparedness radio shows. In addition to the publication of her first book, 'Power Grid Down: How to Prepare, Survive, and Thrive after the Lights go Out', Dodrill also travels to offer prepping tips and hands-on training and survival camps and expos.

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