Mind & Body

Sage, lemon balm and 8 other common plants with amazing healing benefits

Stacey Demarco & Miranda Mueller have written the book on plants for power, so which ones do you need to know about? We have the list.

Many people visit a plant nursery and don’t really know which plants to buy. We often go for the most common, the ones we know and yet you can choose commonly known plants that have an extra superpower – one that can assist your wellbeing.

You might also be walking around your local neighbourhood and not realise there are ‘weeds’ right there under your feet* worth foraging for to help your health and healing too.

Let’s take a look at some plants that you might think are common, but also useful when it comes to boosting your general health, vitality and promote healing.

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Commonly used for oral health, Sage has anti-inflammatory compounds that have been found to help with gum disease and even a nasty toothache. In tea form sage can soothe a sore throat, is full of antioxidants and is also antimicrobial, so a good one at this time of the year to keep the cold bugs at bay.

Herb Robert

Full of vitamins and minerals, it’s known to boost the immune system and promote healthy blood. It helps increase oxygen at a cellular level allows us to better fight disease.


Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, Mullein is commonly used for respiratory issues. It can be sipped in tea, is great used fresh in boiling water as a face steam when a chesty cough hits.


Calendula is soothing, with calming anti inflammatory properties. Even holding fresh blooms in your hands can help soothe dry skin. Perfect for gardeners that have sore hands after a day of hard toil.

Lemon verbena

A digestive aid, with antioxidant properties that help treat the common cold and fight against winter illness. It’s a great sleepytime tea too. The smell alone of the verbena fresh is sure to lift even the darkest of moods!


Mugwort is protective, healing to the feminine, encourages focus and flow and is anti-fungal. Hang dried branches in windows to ward off pests and nasty energy. It’s also used in tea and baths.


This is a common cool area weed- it’s probably in your garden right now and you don’t know. Chickweed is anti-inflammatory, gentle on sore skin and excellent on bites like those from mosquitoes and ticks. It’s also very nutritious to eat – high in calcium, iron and magnesium. Yummy to eat in salads too!

Lemon Balm

Calming for mind and body, Lemon Balm relieves anxiety and is brilliant in a bath or tea. Add to lavender in a sleep pillow for a calm sleep. It’s also a friend of bees.


Fantastic for the skin. It’s got calming, anti-inflammatory, clarifying qualities. Awesome for irritable skin and pimples. Pop on some eye pads and it takes down bags and helps soothe tired eyes.


The ancient Greeks considered this plant the ‘heal all’. It’s Anti-inflammatory, soothes a sore throat, and relieves bladder pain and diarrhoea. Full of iron and vitamin C, and can be used to make an iced tea. It’s also calming in a sleep pillow.

Stacey Demarco & Miranda Mueller are co-authors of Plants of Power: Cultivate your garden apothecary and transform your life (Rockpool Publishing, $39.99). Visit www.rockpoolpublishing.com.au

*Note: foraging can be extremely dangerous if you are not an expert, use caution.