Herbs That Improve Your Soil and Heal Your Body


Holly K. Ross

Seven Herbs That Will Improve Your Soil and Heal Your Body

We frequently hear about herbs that will help your body heal and protect you from various ailments, but we rarely think about how herbs can impact your soil for the better.

Herbs have many health benefits for our bodies.  But, there are herbs that are especially good for your soil.  These herbs can be used to increase soil health and boost your compost pile.

Legumes are a group of plants that produce seed pods. These plants also have the ability to fix nitrogen into the soil. Many legumes are used as cover crops and can be chopped and left to decompose on the soil. This will add nitrogen as well as other nutrients to the soil. But, this is not the only way these plants add nitrogen to the soil. Legumes pull nitrogen from the air and fix it in the soil via their root systems. This form of nitrogen is readily available to other plants around the legumes.

Tap rooted plants will also feed the soil by bringing nutrients up from deep below the surface.





This herb likes to grow in the sun but will also handle partial shade.  This is a semi-vine with pea-like blossoms. This plant also has a tap root that will burrow down into the soil.  The root is what you would harvest for use as an herb.

Health benefits of astragalus: Powerful immune booster, protects the body from stress.  Studies are also showing it to help buffer the body from the effects of chemotherapy.

Red Clover

Not to be confused with crimson clover, red clover is a great cover crop for any garden and will fix nitrogen into the soil.  This herb loves a sunny meadow and will reseed itself.  The blossoms are harvested for herbal applications.  Red Clover usually blooms in the spring but can be planted anytime between September and early spring.

Red clover is used to treat women’s health concerns and winter illnesses.


Tap Rooted Herbs- “Miners” of the Soil

comfrey- growing- in -the- garden


Comfrey grows in a variety of soils and is happy in sun to partial shade.  This lovely plant has wide green leaves and pretty purple blooms.  The variety of comfrey to be used for medicinal purposes is sterile, so you must have a root cutting for propagation.  Comfrey pulls so many minerals and nutrients from the soil, it is considered a compost activator.  The foliage can be chopped and left to compost on the ground or added to a compost pile.

Comfrey is excellent for bones, muscles, and joints.  Topical wounds and relieving pain are also properties of comfrey.


Burdock likes partial shade and moist soil, it’s good for boggy areas.  The roots and seeds are the parts used.  This tap root is excellent for breaking up dense soil and can be eaten like any other root vegetable.  As with other taproot herbs, minerals are brought from the deep soil to the surface.

Burdock is excellent for helping the liver, urinary tract, and skin.



Also known as coneflower, echinacea loves a meadow in the wide open sunshine.  It needs very little care and prefers to be left to its own devices.  E.purpurea has a tap root.  The other varieties have a fibrous root system.  Regardless of the type, the roots are primarily used, but the entire plant can be used.

Echinacea is used for treating colds, flus, and immune support.  It is also great for the skin.


This spicy herb prefers full sun but will tolerate partial shade.  It also prefers moist soil.  Use the leaves and roots.

Horseradish is full of antioxidants and helps prevent cancers of the colon, lung, and stomach.  It will also treat urinary tract infections and promote digestion.



This happy yellow flower will grow just about anywhere.  Only use dandelions that have been harvested from organic gardens and farms.  Primarily a cool season bloomer, all parts of the plant can be used.

Dandelion impacts all systems in the body but is especially helpful to the immune system and the liver.  It is a powerful herb for detoxing the liver.

Obviously, I am not a doctor and I am not diagnosing or treating any sickness or illness.  I am simply sharing information I have found.


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