Called Kalmegh in Ayurveda and Chuan-xin-lian in Chinese medicine, andrographis is an intensely bitter herb with diminutive but beautiful flowers. It is an annual that matures in 160 days and is self-seeding for the next season in warmer climates. The herb is non-toxic but being bitter, it stimulates the flow of bile so when harvested for medicinal use, consider small doses. This herb is being used extensively by people with Lyme disease as well as digestive complaints. The seed is a slow germinator so scarify the seeds on fine sandpaper before planting. If the growing season is short, start the plants indoors or in a greenhouse.
Angelica, Official, organic, 100 seeds
Angelica is native to Europe, the Himalayas, and Siberia and is very cold tolerant. The seeds are fragile and need light to germinate. It has only leaves in the first year and then has greenish-yellow flowers the second year. It has been cultivated in Scandinavia for a thousand years and Laplanders often add it to reindeer milk. The stems and seeds are used as flavoring in many liqueurs, such as Chartreuse and Benedictine. The dried leaves are used with hops in making beer. It is very aromatic and the essential oil is expensive! The roots are used in medicine, particularly for typhoid but also for colds and congestion. The other plant parts are carminative and aid digestion.
Arugula, Wild Roquette, organic, 200 seeds
Arugula is a culinary green, usually eaten raw in salads, but it can be cooked and used in the same manner as spinach. It is a digestive stimulant and has a strong taste so it is usually just one of many ingredients in a dish. It is a Mediterranean herb and is used in liqueurs and beers as well as cuisine. The leaves are high in calcium but quite perishable so, once harvested, arugula should be consumed quickly.
Ashwagandha, certified organic, 100 seeds
Ashwagandha is a nightshade that is easy to grow in the right climate. It is native to Africa and Asia and is intolerant of moist soil. It is a perennial in zone 8 and above and an annual in colder climates. One can harvest roots for medicinal use after 100 days. This is one of the most important rasayana herbs and is used to increase stamina, improve the capacity to manage stress, and regenerate worn out tissues, including those associated with neurological conditions. The seeds take 15 days to germinate and can be started indoors or in a greenhouse. Plant in well-drained soil.
Astragalus, 50 seeds
Astragalus is a major tonic herb that is native to North China and Mongolia. It is hardy to zone 5 and requires three weeks of cold to germinate. It is nourishing and immune enhancing. As a member of the pea family, it is edible. The roots can be used fresh or dried and added to anything that is cooked with moisture for a long time such as soups and casseroles. It has a pleasant taste and in non-toxic. The seeds should be lightly scarified and planted after the first frost. Germination is fast and the plants will grow to about four feet in height. Plant lots because the roots should not be harvested for 3-4 years. Astragalus is very safe for pets as well as people.
Bearsfoot, organic, 20 seeds
Bearsfoot is a Native American remedy, used sometimes as a hair tonic or ointment for swollen glands, including complications of malaria. The root can also be taken internally for mastitis and other non-malignant growths. The plants flower in September and are pollinated by insects. It is a good "seva" plant because butterflies love it and birds eat the seeds. Bearsfoot is a perennial and though usually smaller can grow to 8-9 feet in height.
Camas, Blue, 50 seeds
Blue camas or Indian hyacinth is a perennial that is native to the Pacific Northwest. The roasted bulbs were a staple in the diet of the Nez Perce, Cree, and other tribes living in this region. The taste of camas is a bit sweeter than chestnuts or sweet potatoes. The seeds are planted in fall for spring germination. Camas is very high in inulin but this converts to fructose with slow cooking. Eventually, the bulbs caramelize. After baking, they can be fried like potatoes or simply eaten as they are. There is a lot of history here since they were used on the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Cancer Bush is native to the southern parts of Africa where it is a perennial. Though often used as a panacea for everything from the common cold to AIDS and cancer, it is actually a tonic herb, albeit one with antitumoral properties. The dried leaves and stems are used internally. This plant is very drought tolerant and requires little care; it does not however like frost. Scarify the seeds with medium sandpaper and sow in warm soil 3 feet apart in sunny area.
Carob is Mediterranean plant that likes full sun and fast draining soil. It is not very frost tolerant, but does well in the right place. The seeds should be deeply scarified and dropped in boiled water and then left overnight or longer. The seed needs the water before it will germinate. Plant the seeds 1-2 inches deep. The trees take a long time to mature and one needs both male and female plants so several trees should be planted. Years from planting, the pods can be eaten raw or cooked as a chocolate substitute or as animal fodder.
Chervil, Brussels Winter, organic, 200 seeds
Chervil is native to Europe and this variety has an anise-like taste. It is often planted to repel slugs! It attracts desirable insects and pollinators so is very garden friendly. The plants are small and as delicate as the flavor. It has some medicinal properties. It is carminative and diuretic as well as blood purifying. If the leaves are cut, they will keep coming back. The seeds should be planted directly into the ground rather than in pots for future transplanting.
Clover, Medium Red, certified organic, 500 seeds
Red clover is a medicinal herb, native to Europe and Asia but is found worldwide. It is hardy to -40 degrees. It germinates very quickly, often in three days, and can be used as a cover crop to fix nitrogen and to replace unwanted weeds. Red clover is the primary ingredient in the famous Hoxsey tonic which we provide under the name of Sundance since Dr. Christopher said that his Dogwood formula was the same as that of Chief Sundance (and we determined it is the same as that of Hoxsey.) Red clover blossoms are also made into herbal teas and ointments.
Dan Shen, organic, 30 seeds
This red sage is a perennial native to Manchuria and Japan where its medicinal value is much appreciated. It is hardy to zone 7. The flowers are bluish-lavender but the roots are very red which is how the plant got its botanical name. As one might expect, Dan Shen improves blood flow, but what is important is that it does this without stimulating the adrenals. It is also used to prevent strokes. The chemical constituent that is believed to explain this action is an antioxidant called salvianolic acid. Dan shen seeds should be planted in spring in full sun in temperate zones. The root is harvested in autumn and is the part that is used medicinally.
Dong Quai, certified organic, 50 seeds
Dong quai has a global reputation as one of the most valued herbs for women. As with all adaptogenic herbs, this member of the angelica family strengthens at the same time that it regulates hormones. The seeds can be sown directly onto the soil and then gently pressed in a bit. They should be sown either in early spring or late fall when it is still cold. It likes partial shade. The leaves are edible and have a celery-like flavor. The stems are also edible and taste a bit like licorice. It is the roots that are used medicinally. These are harvested in fall and can be added to soups and casseroles. They have a slight hint of a sweet potato taste. It has lovely flowers late in the season that are attractive to bees and butterflies. Because of the long taproot, think about where you want this planted before you put the seeds into the soil! It can go near a fence or behind other plants. It takes three years for the plant to mature so do not harvest the root until autumn when the roots are 3-4 years old.
Echinacea, organic, 100 seeds
Echinacea or purple cone flower is prairie flower native to North American. It is relatively easy to grow in zones 4-9, even 3-10. It likes cold winters and high elevation, but does all right at sea level also. The plant can reach 4-5 feet in height and flowers from June to October, attracting lots of pollinators. The roots are a famous immune herb and can be harvested in Autumn. These are usually processed into tinctures while fresh. It the tincture does not tingle, the potency is suspect. Echinacea is commonly taken due cold and flu season or at the first sign of infection. Native Americans used it for insect and snake bites as well as on open sores, wounds, and burns. It is antiseptic and many herbalists consider it to be an adaptogen.
Eleuthero, 100 seeds
Eleuthero was previously known as Siberian ginseng, but this was never appropriate and is no longer permitted on supplement labels. It is native to North China, North Korea, and Siberia and is very frost tolerant, hardy to zone 3, but not so comfortable with heat. Germination can take up to two years since the plant is waiting for the right conditions. Then, of course, the plant is perennial and strong and can grow to 12 feet in height. It is a woodland shrub that prefers some shade. Eleuthero is a major adaptogenic herb that is used to improve stamina and the ability to cope with stress. The root is used in China for those with bone marrow suppression caused by chemotherapy and radiation.
Epazote, certified organic, 300 seeds
Epazote resembles wormwood and the seeds are a potent vermifuge and anti-malarial herb. It can be used to treat hookworm in both people and animals. The leaf is used in cooking, especially of beans, to reduce flatulence. Dried leaves can be used to make a tea. The fresh leaves are a bit resinous but can be added to salads. The plant grows well in waste soil but needs to be kept moist until germination. It grows in zones 4-12 and is perennial in warmer climates. If using in cooking, only a few leaves are required. When used medicinally, do not take in high amounts over a prolonged period of time.
Gotu Kola, organic, 50 seeds
Gotu kola is a tropical herb but can be grown in temperate climates. It is a ground cover and once established spreads by runners. The germination rate is quite long in temperate climates, but it can be grown in zones 7-11. Known as Brahmi in Ayurvedic medicine, gotu kola holds a place of great honor among the rasayana herbs. It is used to improve memory. It is calming and aids sleep. The leaves can be used in salads or taken medicinally.
Jerusalem Sage, 20 seeds
This beautiful pink sage is native to the Eastern Mediterranean and hardy to 10° F. This sage is for those who really love sage, especially rare varieties. It mounds to about two feet and the middle leaves are evergreen. The flowers are white to wine red with many shades of red leading to the intense color. Though several sources state that this salvia has no known medicinal uses, recent studies suggest it has valuable anti-inflammatory properties.
Lemongrass, 50 seeds
Lemongrass is a multipurpose plant. It stalks can be eaten, such as in tom kha gai, a delicious Thai soup made with coconut milk and galangal. The stalks can also be dried and used to make tea. The stalks should be whitish at the lower part of the stalk and greener at the top. Lemongrass can also be steam distilled to make essential oil. It is an insect repellent but can be taken internally to aid digestion and relieve jetlag. It is also antifungal and can be applied externally for conditions such as athlete's foot as well as rheumatic complaints. It is hardy to zone 10 but can be brought indoors in the winter in cold climates.
Ma-huang, 50 seeds
Ma huang is native to the steppes of Northern China and is suitable for planting even to zone 3! It likes full sun and dry, sandy soil. Do not water often once the plants are established. They are not very flowery but the fruit is colorful. While easy enough to grow, caution is advised when using the plant. It has a stimulating action on the heart and lungs which can be useful for asthmatics but dangerous if abused. Note: this is not the same species used for Mormon tea though it has been proposed by some authors that it is the soma plant (which seems highly unlikely to most critics of this theory.) The young stems and branchlets are used to make tea or dried and powdered. The berries are poisonous!
Rosemary, organic, 100 seeds
Rosemary is a Mediterranean herb and the variety here is the one preferred for medicinal use. It is also more frost tolerant than the cultivars usually found in nurseries. You can estimate that this will thrive up to zone 6. Birds love rosemary as do chefs and distillers. Use the young leaves and flowers in cooking. The leaves are a bit tough so chop finely. Medicinally, rosemary is considered a sort of mood elevator and is used by those who are prone to depression as well as mental fatigue. It is also used for toxic shock syndrome. The flowers can be used as an eyewash. Rosemary likes full sun and dryish soil. The seeds can be sown directly onto the soil with a light covering of a planting medium. The germination rate is not great so plant more seeds than you expect to see growing. Later you can propagate with cuttings.
Please download pdf with additional information on planting and using rosemary.
Savory, Winter, organic, 100 seeds
Winter savory is a valuable medicinal as well as culinary herb. It is an evergreen shrub, perennial, that is native to Europe, from the Mediterranean to Russia. The plant is high in thymol (the same as found in thyme) and has a nice aroma. Its leaves can be harvested all summer long and used in cooking or eaten raw in salads.
Sea Kale, organic, 5 seeds
Sea kale is native to Europe and hardy to -30 degrees. It grows naturally in coastal areas but can be cultivated in a garden. The plant grows slowly and mounds. In the second to third year, the spring shoots can be eaten like asparagus. Later, the flower buds can be eaten like broccoli. The plant can live for a decade but wants full sun and ample watering. The seeds are large and can be planted directly into the soil.
She-chuang-zi, organic, 100 seeds
This plant is common in China and attracts lots of pollinators. It is a perennial. Plant the seed in spring in moist soil where there is full sun or partial shade. Barely tap the seeds into the ground. It flowers from May to July and the seeds ripen in July and August. The seeds have been used medicinally for thousands of years, both internally and externally, mainly for itchiness in the genitalia (of both men and women.) It can be used as a wash or lotion. It is a parasiticide and can be used in the treatment of trichonomas infections. It enhances libido by increasing blood flow to the sexual organs, and it is used to treat osteoporosis.
Spilanthes, organic, 100 seeds
Spilanthes is nicknamed the toothache plant. The leaves can be chewed and used for oral hygiene and pain relief. Spilanthes is antifungal and antiparasitic. It has also been used to treat co-infections of Lyme disease. The seeds take 1-2 weeks to germinate and require some warmth. Spilanthes is native to Brazil and Africa. It is easy to grow and non-toxic. Its properties are similar to echinacea. The plant is non-toxic and the leaves can be used sparingly in salads. It is perennial in warm climates and an annual in colder climates. Plant 12 inches apart.
Vetch, Kidney, certified organic, 50 seeds
Kidney vetch is native to Europe and grows easily along rugged coasts, cliffs, and beaches. It is a perennial and likes full sun or partial shade. It is often used in skin ointments. It provides nectar and is also a nitrogen fixer.
Wormwood, Redstem, 200 seeds
This herb can be grown almost anywhere. In Chinese medicine, it is called yin chen and is considered a hepatoprotective herb. It is used to treat jaundice, inflammation of the gall bladder, and infections, especially staphylococcus and streptococcus. It is native to North Africa and tropical Asia, but will grow almost anywhere, even in poor soil, but it does like like shade. It is fragrant and beautiful.
Zaatar, organic, 50 seeds
Zaatar is a Middle Eastern perennial that is used as a sort of condiment, generally mixed with other herbs and spices, such as sesame seeds, black cumin, fennel, onions, and salt, all blended in olive oil and used as a spread, like a nut butter. It has an oregano-like aroma and taste and makes a marvelous dipping sauce for bread. It likes full sun and sandy, quick-draining soil. Its yield is abundant in the first year.