Herbs for Health

Acerola Cherry flowersAcerola Cherry flowers

Acerola Cherry flowers (Malphigia glabra) Hardy fruiting plant 2-5 meters tall. Can be trimmed to keep smaller. Tolerates light frosts. Red cherries 3000mg of Vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. Use fresh, juiced, jams, etc.


Bananas (Musa paradisiaca) For warm to sub-tropical to tropical climates, 3-4 meters tall, producing large bunches of tasty bananas. For eating fresh, made into smoothies, or for drying.

Bitter melonBitter melon

Bitter melon
plant and flowers.


Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri) A very special Australian native, shade-loving perennial ground cover; very small fleshy, oval-shaped leaves 1-2 cm long, and dainty white flowers. Valuable therapeutic properties which are revered for enhancing mental alertness, long and short term memory, concentration and learning and reducing stress and anxiety. Plant contains Bacoside A which assists in the release of nitric oxide, a substance that aids in the relaxation of the aorta and veins, and for blood to flow more freely through the body. Bacoside B in brahmi is a protein valued for nourishing and rejuvenating nerve and brain cells. Brahmi has strong antioxidants that help negate toxins, strengthen the immune system and build energy and vitality.

Broad Leaf PlantainBroad Leaf Plantain

Broad Leaf Plantain (Plantago major) Very hardy perennial to 40cm tall. Many medicinal uses; actions include digestive, laxative, diuretic, expectorant antiseptic, vulnerary and demulcent. Use the seeds and husks similarly to psyllium. Plantain has been revered for any internal and external bleeding. Chop leaves in salads or add to cooked dishes, and to smoothies.

Buckshorn PlantainBuckshorn Plantain

Buckshorn Plantain (Plantago coroncopus) The attractive lobed leaves look like buckshorns. Add leaves to salad and use as a garnish. Similar medicinal uses to other plantain species.

Narrow Leafed PlantainNarrow Leafed Plantain

Narrow Leafed Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) Hardy perennial to 40cm. Here in this photo the long flower stems have set seed heads. Leaves of this species are 1-2cm wide. Highly valued for internal and external bleeding; also for inflammatory conditions, candida, thrush, stomach upsets, menopause, malignant growths, and respiratory conditions.

Calabash TreeCalabash Tree

Calabash Tree (Crescenta cujete) A very hardy tree that can grow to 4 metres or taller, with spreading branches. Fruit is eaten. If fruit is left to dry out, the shell of the fruit can be cut to make into bowls (as it dried out like a gourd). Leaves of tree are attractive for pressing for crafts and card making.


Cassava (Manihot esculenta) A source of Vitamin B17. Perennial bush 1-3 meters for warm and sub-tropical to tropical climates. Valuable as a survival food, as the plant can be harvested any time of year.

Cassava leavesCassava leaves

Cassava leaves are 26-34% protein; use cooked or can be dried for later use in meals. Tubers are up to 7% protein. Vitamin A 10,000 IU per 100g leaves, must also be cooked to prepare for eating. Refer to Herb Book for more info.

Cedar Bay CherryCedar Bay Cherry

Cedar Bay Cherry (Eugenia reinwardtiana) 1-3 meters. Tolerates light frosts. Australian native producing one of the tastiest of all native fruits. Showy white flowers and red cherries over many months of the year.


Centuary (Centaurium vulgare) Very hardy annual to 30cm, bright pink star-like flowers. Leaf tea used as an antiseptic wash of wounds, sores, and as a mouth wash.

Chinese Sacred LotusChinese Sacred Lotus

Chinese Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera) an edible aquatic for small pond or dam. Large leaves stand on long stems up above the water, and also the magnificent large flowers (like a giant water-lily). Every part of the plant is edible, leaves, flowers, root and seeds. Medicinal uses too.


Chokos (Sechium edule) Hardy perennial vine which likes to climb on fence or trellis. The vegetable sets over many months of the year, and can be eaten raw or cooked, and when picked keeps a number of weeks, which makes it a good survival food.

Derris Tree flowersDerris Tree flowers

Derris Tree flowers (Derris robusta) Hardy legume shade tree, used as soil improver and for mulch. Very dainty pale pink flowers cover the tree in Spring.

Desmanthus virgatusDesmanthus virgatus

Desmanthus virgatus The legume Desmanthus virgatus, fast growing perennial legume bush 1 to 3 metres. 22% protein, good for poultry and stock fodder.  Good source nitrogen, and mulch (stems easily cut or snapped to provide mulch, and then the plant quickly re-grows.

Drumstick TreeDrumstick Tree

Drumstick Tree (Moringa oleifera) The tree can be trimmed to keep to bush size for small gardens. An amazing food plant for warm and sub-tropical to tropical climates. Leaves are 38% protein with all essential amino acids. Use leaves fresh, cooked or dried for a protein survival food. Calcium is 297mg per 100 grams of leaves, and vitamin A 8855 IU per 100 grams of leaves. Plant has many medicinal benefits.

Drumstick tree flowersDrumstick tree flowers

Drumstick tree, Drumstick tree flowers can be eaten in salads and used as a garnish.

Elderberry flowersElderberry flowers

Elderberry flowers, can be made as tea, champagne, and other recipes;  and if not used, black elderberries will then form, which can be eaten raw, or made into pies etc.

Globe ArtichokeGlobe Artichoke

Globe Artichoke (Cynara scolymus) forming flower heads. Hardy perennial 1-2 meters tall. Large deeply indented leaves with prickly margins. Purple thistle flowers. Plant is valued as a food, and for medicinal uses. It is a valuable blood cleanser and alkaliser.

Gotu KolaGotu Kola

Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica) Australian native ground cover, loves shade or semi-shade. This plant is also native to India and Asia and have many folklore uses, and highly valued as a body and brain food, and for mental focus. Refer to Isabell’s Herb Book for the many uses of Gotu Kola. It is a valuable herb for every garden.

Greater CelandineGreater Celandine

Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus) 40-50cm tall perennial, shade lover. A traditional herb for the eyes, blood and liver tonic. Orange sap from the cut stem is applied to warts, corns, planter’s wart, sun spots, etc.


Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) Very hardy perennial to 30cm high. A traditional herb for respiratory complaints, and has been revered as a cough remedy, and for sore throats. Horehound’s bitter taste has been valued as a digestive aid.

Icecream bean flowers and pod,Icecream bean flowers and pod,

Icecream bean flowers and pod, belongs to a large shady legume tree. The pulp inside the pod around the seed is white and has a sweet flavour, and no doubt for this reason it has been called the Icecream Bean Tree.

Jaboticaba stem with flowers and a fruit.Jaboticaba stem with flowers and a fruit.

Jaboticaba stem with flowers and a fruit. Notice how the flowers and fruit set close to the stem, and may also set on the main trunk of the tree. Flesh of the fruit is white, soft and sweet.

Jaboticaba flowersJaboticaba flowers

Jaboticaba flowers

Japanese PassionfruitJapanese Passionfruit

Japanese Passionfruit (Passiflora maliformis) Very hardy vine, producing an abundance of hard shelled fruit with a sweet flavour.

Japanese Passionfruit flowerJapanese Passionfruit flower

Japanese Passionfruit flower.

Jasmine Tea, also called Arabian JasmineJasmine Tea, also called Arabian Jasmine

Jasmine Tea, also called Arabian Jasmine (Jasminum sambac) Hardy bush 70cm high, delightful aromatic white flowers. This is the jasmine that is used in perfumes and Chinese teas. It is the flowers that are infused for the refreshing tea, which is also a digestive aid.

Lemon MyrtleLemon Myrtle

Lemon Myrtle (Backhousia citriodora) A delightful Australian native, leaves are rich in lemon aroma and Vitamin C, malic and citric acid. Many medicinal benefits. Research has shown that the high citral content has a remarkable effect in relieving cramps, spasms, rheumatism, headaches, fevers and an anti-carcinogenic action. Studies have shown that citral inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori, the pathogen that can be the cause of ulcers and other gastro-duodenal disease. Use leaves in salads (very finely cut), cooked dishes, and as tea, hot of chilled.


Loofah plant growing over a fence,  with set loofah fruit and flowers.

Licorice patchLicorice patch

Licorice patch

Midyim Stem with flowersMidyim Stem with flowers

Midyim Stem with flowers (Austromyrtus dulcis) bush. A hardy perennial, Australian native 40-50cm. Petite white flowers followed by soft, sweet tasty fruit 1cm diameter.

Mitcham LavenderMitcham Lavender

Mitcham Lavender (Lavendula allardii) A very hardy lavender for a wide rang of climates (particularly cold climates), to 60cm high. Small lavender flowers. Leaves are very aromatic, and have medicinal uses, and dried to add to pot- pourri, bath bags, etc.


Monsterio (Monstera deliciosa) 1 meter, enjoys a shady position, large lobed leaves. 25 cm long, sweet flavoured fruit – it is often referred to as fruit salad fruit.


Mugwort (Artemisia verlotorum) Very hardy herb 1 to 4 meters high. Can be grown as a wind break or hedge, and trimmed occasionally. Medicinal uses. Also used for worming grazing animals.

Native AmaranthNative Amaranth

Native Amaranth (Amaranthus viridis) Native edible to 1 meter high, that we need to get to know as a food source. The plant has lush green leaves, and upright flower spikes. And if you have more in your garden than you can eat, I have found hens enjoy the leaves when I toss plants in their yard together with other greens each day.

Native RaspberryNative Raspberry

Native Raspberry (Rubus moluccanus) Hardy perennial to 1 meter high. Leaves are used as a tea. Tasty sweet red fruit.

Native VioletNative Violet

Native Violet (Viola hederacea) Perennial ground cover with a scalloped leaf and lavender/white non-fragrant flowers. Likes a shady position. Edible flowers and leaves.


Nettle (Urtica dioica) Hardy perennial to 1 meter high. Protein 21%, polysaccharides, Vitamins A, B complex, C, D, E and K; and minerals, iron 41.8mg per 100 grams leaves, calcium (2,900mg), magnesium (860mg), potassium 1.750mg, chromiun, iodine, silica, silicon, selenium and sulphur. Plant has many medicinal benefits (refer to many uses given in Herb Book). Herb is a valuable survival food. When leaves are dried, they can be stored for later use, as food or for making tea. Leaves make excellent liquid fertiliser for the garden.

Oca or New Zealand YamsOca or New Zealand Yams

Oca or New Zealand Yams (Oxalis tuberosa) To 30cm, goes dormant in winter. Propagated from the edible tubers and also from cuttings. Leaves and tubers eaten raw and cooked. Leaves have a mild sour taste, so, a leaf at the beginning of a meal, is good for stimulating the digestive juices in the mouth. Cooked tubers have a flavour similar to parsnip and sweet potato.

Persimmons filling outPersimmons filling out

Persimmons filling out. Fruit ripens February to April on the Sunshine Coast. A very tasty fruit – orange sweet, soft, jelly-like pulp. Any excess fruit, dries well, and so can be part of self-sufficiency/survival stores.


Pigface (Carpobrotus glaucescens) Carpbobrotus comes from the Greek language and means  edible . A hardy, Australian native succulent, ground sprawling, perennial plant, with edible, fleshy, opposite-forming leaves, triangular in section, and sometimes turning red with age. Purple daisy like flowers, followed by purple fruit with a pleasant and refreshing flavour.

Powder puff lily pillyPowder puff lily pilly

Powder puff lily pilly Native bush tucker plant,  Powder puff lily pilly  (Syzygium wilsonii)  1-3 metres high, all new growth foliage turns from cream to pink and red.

Powder puff lily pilly fruitPowder puff lily pilly fruit

Powder puff lily pilly fruit,   white when ripe, and generally not as tart in flavour as other lily pillies.

Purple sweet potatoPurple sweet potato

Purple sweet potato (Ipomea batatas) All sweet potato varieties are very hardy, and make excellent self-sufficiency and survival foods for your garden. Tubers can be harvested all through the year, and eaten raw or cooked. Leaves also are prepared in many cooked dishes. For information on growing and using, refer to the Self-sufficiency Book.


Purslane (Portulaca oleracea) Australian native, annual ground sprawler. Purslane grows without any help in sun or shade, in any soil and climate, without fertiliser or water. Leaves, stems and seeds eaten raw and cooked. Plant is an excellent source of omega-3 Essential Fatty Acid.

Queensland Asthma WeedQueensland Asthma Weed

Queensland Asthma Weed (Euphorbia hirta) Hardy ground sprawler, stems have white sap, which has been used on warts, etc. Plant used as a folklore treatment for asthma.


Rejuvelac. Wheat seed soaking water to make rejuvelac. It is the fermented water from the soaking wheat seeds, that is drunk, which is rich in enzymes, vitamins, minerals and lacto-bacillus bacteria. Any proteins present are predigested by the fermentation process, and so are easily assimilated by the body.

Salad mallowSalad mallow

Salad mallow (Corchorus olitorius) is an amazing food plant. Once it has been growing in the garden and seeded, it will pop up every Spring after rain. This hardy annual to 1 meter, provides tasty leaves, with over 20% protein, rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, C; and exceptionally high potassium (3068mg per 100g) making it perhaps the richest plant source of potassium we can grow. Mucin in leaves is valuable for clearing mucus and toxins from the body. Eat leaves raw, cooked, or dry leaves and store for a protein source, to add to other meals, and as a survival food.

Sambu lettuceSambu lettuce

Sambu lettuce (Alternanthera sissoo) Hardy perennial bush to 5ocm; lush crinkly, nutritious leaves. Use young leaves raw in salads, etc; large leaves cooked, tossed in stir-fries etc.


Sambung, a valuable medicinal plant.
Leaves of the plant are also eaten as a vegetable. Leaves have a mild flavour (some people say far better than spinach as a vegetable, while others say the leaves taste like green beans). Use raw in salads, added to soups, stir-fries, casseroles, condiments and sauces, rice dishes and other savoury meals.  And when growing very well, and leaves are in excess, feed some to laying hens, or grow some plants in a poultry forage system. Many people just make it “a way of life”  to eat 2-3 leaves a day, for the many benefits to health, the plant is acknowledged to provide, and the herb is known as the ‘life extender’

Sweet Leaf BushSweet Leaf Bush

Sweet Leaf Bush (Sauropus androgynus) Perennial bush for warm to sub-tropical to tropical climates. Leaves taste like fresh peas, are over 34-39% protein, and an excellent source of calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. Eat leaves as a snack any time, and add to salads, and toss through a stir-fried dish just before serving. This plant is one of my favourite greens, and is popular with people who visit the Herb Farm and taste-test it too.

Tom Thumb TomatoesTom Thumb Tomatoes

Tom Thumb Tomatoes, grow without any attention in our garden. Tomatoes to pick all year around. We eat them fresh or cooked, made into sauce and chutney, and also dried and then adding oil and garlic, to use as a condiment.

Toothache PlantToothache Plant

Toothache Plant (Spilanthes acmella) Annual to 40 cm high, 1 cm yellow flowers. Spilanthol in the plant is a most effective anaesthetic; therefore, rubbing a crushed leaf on teething babies’ gums (or when used for mouth ulcers or toothache), this acts to desensitise the area, and diminish the pain. Eating a few leaves each day, can bring relief for people who suffer with candida, cold sores, fungal infections, acne and hard to heal sores.

Warrigal GreensWarrigal Greens

Warrigal Greens (Tetragonia tetragonoides) Hardy, native ground sprawler, use leaves raw or cooked. Research has found that leaves have high Vitamin A and C content, also high calcium and iron and protein over 28%, and anti-cancer properties.


Watercress is a valuable greens to use regularly.

Wax jambuWax jambu

Wax jambu, every year trees are heavy producers.

Wax jambu fruitWax jambu fruit

Wax jambu fruit, sweet, juicy and crispy. Eat like an apple.

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