What is plant medicine? The basics. Mortar and pestle, with glass bottles of herbal preparation and fresh herb leaves.

What is Plant Medicine? The Basics.

What is Plant Medicine? The Basics.

Plant medicine is using plants in healing preparations to support the body. Plant medicines are also known as herbal remedies. These remedies have been around for many years, probably even centuries.

Our ancestors knew of the healing power of plants.  They knew which plants were used for what ailment and the many benefits of using them. At one time, plant medicine knowledge was passed down through the generations mostly as an oral tradition. Much of this ancestral tradition of passing along herbal knowledge had been lost over time.  

However, today, there’s a growing interest in these plant medicines and their benefits, creating a whole new generation of folks who want to know about these plant allies.  Fortunately, there’s many resources, training opportunities, books, podcasts and websites dedicated to reviving this plant medicine knowledge.  I think this knowledge will again begin to be passed along from generation to generation.  

This is the first post in a series on plant medicine. (You can check here for other posts in this series.)  Here, we’ll look at the basics of plant medicine.  

What does it do?

 Many herbs are known for their natural healing properties. They’re healing to the body and provide nutrients at the same time. Many common herbs double as food.  You probably have some culinary herbs in your kitchen right now.  Many of those kitchen herbs have properties that make them useful to the body, even though they’re typically used in small amounts to accent your cooking, baking and food preserving.  Turmeric is a great example of a culinary herb with medicinal uses.   

Plant medicine is a very natural way to treat the body.  Our body is amazing and is always repairing itself when we’re sick or hurt. When we eat good quality, clean food, we are supporting our bodies through the intake of nutrients.  These nutrients both nourish us and support the bodies’ ability to heal itself.   

When we use an herbal remedy, it starts working to heal us from the inside out right away. Then, we continue using it until we are better or the issue is gone. Our bodies take the plant and use it where it needs it to go. Some herbs are good for many things and therefore benefit the body in many ways which means that a single plant can have many uses.  

Consulting your doctor or a qualified herbalist is always recommended before beginning to use any type of plant medicine.  

How can it be used?

These can be used in many ways, here are just a few:  

  • Plant medicines can fight off infection 
  • They can help support our immune system when we start feeling like we’re getting a cold. Many herbs are antibacterial and antiseptic.
  • Help us with our digestive system 
  • Herbs can be a laxative 
  • Clear up our head when those spring and summer flowers start to  bloom and make our heads stuffy
  • They can help us relax and get a good night’s sleep 
  •  Help us calm down when we’re stressed out
What is plant medicine? The basics. Bottle surrounded by plant material.

Is it Safe To Use?

Plant medicine is safe to use when used appropriately and wisely. Plants nourish our body naturally, giving us vitamins, minerals and other constituents that have beneficial healing properties to them. 


Not every plant has medicinal qualities. Some are toxic and others are deadly.  Not all plant medicines will be appropriate for all people, so it’s important to consult your doctor, health provider or a qualified herbalist before using any plant (herbal) medicines. 

What is plant medicine? The basics. Glass tea pot surrounded by a few blossoms.

What does it do for us?

Plant medicine works with the body to help it repair itself. It goes after the problem and fights off infections. Helping support your immune system, and  working to raise your energy level while moving toxins out of the body. 

With plant medicine, we’re helping give our body the tools it needs to heal itself.  

When used wisely and safely, plant medicines heal the body by giving us nutrients that we need to heal naturally, not artificially.  

What Are The Benefits?

  • It’s completely natural. 
  • It helps your body by going after the main issue rather than just covering up a symptom.
  • When using plant medicine, you can feel confident that you’ll be treating the problem itself, rather than treating just the symptom.  
  • Plants give nourishment to the body. 
  • They’re working to clean the toxins out of your body. These toxins are just from the simple things you come in contact with, like the air you breathe, heavy metals in the environment and the junk food you sometimes enjoy. 

Is plant medicine right for you?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer for this question. 

Deciding whether or not plant medicine is right for you requires careful thought and consultation with your doctor, since everyone’s situation is unique. 


What is plant medicine? The basics. Mortar and pestle, with glass bottles of herbal preparation and fresh herb leaves.

In summary:

Plant medicines (herbs) are simply amazing when used appropriately and safely. Working with our bodies, like old friends. 

As with most everything, if you are considering using plant medicine, do your homework.  Educate yourself on the benefits and drawbacks of using it with your specific needs.  Ask a lot of questions, read everything you can.  Seek out different opinions and viewpoints.  Find out if there’s a place for plant medicine in your unique situation.  Be your own health and wellness advocate.  

Here’s to your health! 

  See you next time.  


Disclaimer:  I’m not a medical doctor or an herbalist.  This article isn’t intended to be medical advice. Not all plants are safe to use. Some are toxic and can be deadly.  Other herbs may cause an allergic reaction in some people.  Always consult your doctor, healthcare provider or a qualified herbalist before using any type of plant medicine.