The Best States in America to Find Crucial Medicinal Plants And How to Use Them

In an age where holistic health and natural remedies are gaining traction, many are turning to the rich, botanical resources that the United States has to offer. From the dense forests of the Pacific Northwest to the sunny landscapes of the Southeast, America is home to a diverse array of medicinal plants and herbs. If you’re a natural health enthusiast or simply curious about where to find the best natural remedies, here’s a guide to the top states that should be on your radar.

1. Oregon: The Herbalist’s Paradise

Oregon is a haven for those interested in natural remedies. The state’s lush forests and temperate climate create the perfect environment for a variety of medicinal plants. Ginseng, echinacea, and Oregon grape root are just a few examples of the powerful herbs you can find here.

Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

Energy Boost, Mental Clarity, Endurance Enhancer

The rugged terrain of the Appalachian Mountains harbors a true gem of herbal medicine – Ginseng. This revered root is prized for its ability to enhance energy levels, sharpen mental focus, and increase endurance, making it a natural choice for those seeking a sustained vitality boost to power through their day.

Ginseng Energy Tonic


– 1-2 tablespoons dried ginseng root

– 2 cups water


1. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.

2. Add the dried ginseng root to the boiling water.

3. Reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

4. Strain the mixture and discard the ginseng root.

5. Drink the ginseng tonic warm or cold to boost energy levels.

Echinacea (Echinacea purpurea)

 Immune Support, Cold & Flu Fighter, Wellness Booster

Nestled in the heart of the Midwest, Echinacea stands as a stalwart guardian of immune health. With its immune-boosting properties and cold-fighting prowess, this vibrant purple flower is a go-to herb for fortifying the body’s defenses and maintaining overall wellness, especially during the change of seasons.

Echinacea Immune-Boosting Tincture


– Dried echinacea flowers

– High-proof alcohol (such as vodka or brandy)


1. Fill a glass jar halfway with dried echinacea flowers.

2. Pour the alcohol over the flowers, covering them completely.

3. Seal the jar and store it in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking it occasionally.

4. Strain the tincture through cheesecloth or a fine mesh strainer.

5. Store the tincture in a dark glass bottle and take a few drops daily to support your immune system.

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2. California: The Golden State of Wellness

California’s diverse ecosystems, ranging from coastal areas to inland deserts, support a wide array of medicinal plants. The state is particularly known for its native Californian poppy, which is used for its calming properties. Additionally, the wellness culture in California is robust, with numerous farmers’ markets, herbal shops, and wellness retreats.

California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Relaxation, Stress Relief, Natural Sleep Aid, Anxiety Support

– Description: The iconic California Poppy, with its golden blooms and soothing properties, is a symbol of relaxation and tranquility. This gentle herb is renowned for its ability to ease stress, promote restful sleep, and provide relief from anxiety, making it a valuable ally for those seeking a calmer, more balanced life.

California Poppy Relaxing Tea


– 1 tablespoon dried California poppy flowers

– 1 cup hot water


1. Place the dried California poppy flowers in a tea infuser or teapot.

2. Pour hot water over the flowers and steep for 5-10 minutes.

3. Strain and drink the tea before bedtime to promote relaxation and better sleep.

3. Vermont: The Green Mountain State’s Healing Herbs

In Vermont, the focus is on sustainable living and natural health. The state is rich in wild medicinal plants such as goldenseal and black cohosh. Vermont’s commitment to organic farming and preservation of natural habitats makes it a perfect place for foraging and herbal medicine.

Goldenseal Antibacterial Mouthwash


– 1 teaspoon goldenseal powder

– 1 cup warm water


1. Mix the goldenseal powder with warm water in a glass.

2. Stir well until the powder is dissolved.

3. Rinse your mouth with the solution to help fight bacteria and promote oral health.

Black Cohosh Tea Recipe


– 1 teaspoon dried black cohosh root

– 1 cup water

– Honey or lemon (optional, for taste)


Bring 1 cup of water to a boil. 

Once the water is boiling, reduce the heat to low and add 1 teaspoon of dried black cohosh root.

Let the mixture simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

This helps to extract the beneficial compounds from the black cohosh root. After simmering, strain the tea to remove the black cohosh root pieces.

 Pour the tea into a cup. You can add honey or lemon to taste if desired. Drink the tea once or twice a day, as needed.

*Note: Black cohosh should be used with caution. It’s important to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any new herbal remedy, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have any pre-existing health conditions. Long-term use of black cohosh is not generally recommended, and it should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment.

4. Colorado: Rocky Mountain Remedies

Colorado’s varied topography, from high plains to rugged mountains, provides a unique environment for medicinal plants. Yarrow, valerian, and wild cherry are just some of the botanical treasures you can find here. Colorado’s progressive approach to natural health and wellness, including a strong community of herbalists and naturopaths, makes it a prime location for those seeking natural remedies.

Yarrow Wound Healing Poultice


– Fresh yarrow leaves

– Water


1. Crush fresh yarrow leaves to release their natural oils.

2. Apply the crushed leaves directly to minor wounds or insect bites.

3. Cover the area with a clean bandage and leave on for a few hours to promote healing.

Wild Cherry Bark Syrup Recipe


– 1/4 cup dried wild cherry bark

– 1 cup water

– 1 cup honey or maple syrup


1. Prepare the Wild Cherry Bark:

   Measure out 1/4 cup of dried wild cherry bark.

2. Make a Decoction:

   In a small saucepan, add 1 cup of water and the wild cherry bark. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. This process extracts the beneficial compounds from the bark.

3. Strain the Liquid:

   After simmering, strain the liquid to remove the wild cherry bark pieces. You should be left with a dark, cherry-flavored liquid.

4. Add Sweetener:

   While the liquid is still warm (but not boiling), stir in 1 cup of honey or maple syrup. Mix well until the sweetener is fully dissolved.

5. Store the Syrup:

   Pour the syrup into a clean glass jar or container with a lid. You can store it in the refrigerator for up to a few weeks.


– Adults: Take 1-2 teaspoons of the wild cherry bark syrup as needed to help soothe coughs and respiratory discomfort.

– Children: Adjust the dosage based on age and weight, and consult with a healthcare provider before giving wild cherry bark syrup to children.

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5. North Carolina: The Herbal Heartland

The warm, humid climate of North Carolina is ideal for a variety of medicinal plants. Echinacea, goldenseal, and bloodroot are among the many herbs that thrive in this state. North Carolina is also home to several herbal schools and natural health practitioners, making it a dynamic hub for those interested in herbal medicine.

Bloodroot Paste Recipe


– Bloodroot powder (available at some health food stores or online)

– Water or apple cider vinegar


1. Mixing the Ingredients:

   – Start by mixing bloodroot powder with a small amount of water or apple cider vinegar to form a paste-like consistency. Use caution and start with a small amount of bloodroot powder to avoid making the paste too strong.

2. Application:

   – Apply a small amount of the bloodroot paste to the affected area, such as a skin growth or blemish. Be very careful with the application and avoid healthy skin as bloodroot paste can be strong and may cause irritation.

3. Covering the Area:

   – Cover the area with a clean bandage or cloth to keep the paste in place.

4. Timing and Removal:

   – Leave the paste on for a short period of time (e.g., 1-2 hours), then carefully remove it and clean the area with mild soap and water.

Important Notes:

– Bloodroot paste is a potent substance and should be used with caution. It is important to perform a patch test on a small area of skin before applying it more extensively.

– Bloodroot paste should not be ingested or used on open wounds.

6. New Mexico: Desert’s Healing Oasis

The arid landscapes of New Mexico are surprisingly rich in medicinal plants. Herbs like yucca, sage, and chaparral have been used for centuries by Native American tribes for their healing properties. The state’s rich cultural heritage and emphasis on traditional medicine provide a unique perspective on natural health.

Sage Infused Honey Recipe


– Fresh sage leaves

– Honey (raw, organic honey works well)


1. Prepare the Sage Leaves:

   – Wash and dry fresh sage leaves thoroughly. You can use whole leaves or chop them into smaller pieces for better infusion.

2. Combine Sage and Honey:

   – Fill a clean, dry glass jar with a layer of fresh sage leaves at the bottom.

3. Add Honey:

   – Pour honey over the sage leaves, ensuring that they are completely covered. Use a clean utensil to stir gently and release any air bubbles.

4. Infuse the Mixture:

   – Seal the jar tightly and let the sage infuse in the honey for at least 1-2 weeks. Store the jar in a cool, dark place.

5. Strain the Honey:

   – After the infusion period, strain the honey to remove the sage leaves. You can use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth for this step.

6. Store the Sage Infused Honey:

   – Transfer the strained sage-infused honey back into a clean jar or container. Store it at room temperature for future use.


– Enjoy the sage-infused honey drizzled over yogurt, oatmeal, toast, or as a sweetener in herbal teas.

– You can also use the sage-infused honey in salad dressings or marinades for a touch of herbal flavor.

*Note: Sage-infused honey not only adds a unique flavor to dishes but also provides the potential health benefits of both sage and honey. It’s important to use fresh, high-quality ingredients and store the infused honey properly to maintain its freshness.

Feel free to adjust the amount of sage leaves and infusion time based on your preference for the intensity of sage flavor in the honey. Enjoy experimenting with this simple yet flavorful herbal infusion!

Chaparral Salve Recipe


– 1/2 cup dried chaparral leaves

– 1 cup carrier oil (such as olive oil or coconut oil)

– 2-3 tablespoons beeswax pellets

– Optional: a few drops of essential oils (e.g., lavender, tea tree) for added fragrance and skin benefits


1. Infuse the Carrier Oil:

   – In a clean, dry glass jar, combine the dried chaparral leaves and the carrier oil. Make sure the leaves are fully covered by the oil.

   – Seal the jar tightly and place it in a warm, sunny spot for about 2-4 weeks to allow the oil to infuse with the chaparral. Shake the jar gently every day to help with the infusion process.

2. Strain the Infused Oil:

   – After the infusion period, strain the oil to remove the chaparral leaves. You can use a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to do this.

3. Create the Salve:

   – In a double boiler or a heat-safe bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, combine the infused chaparral oil and beeswax pellets. Heat gently until the beeswax melts and the mixture is well combined.

4. Optional: Add Essential Oils:

   – If desired, add a few drops of essential oils to the mixture for fragrance and additional skin benefits. Stir well to distribute the essential oils evenly.

5. Pour into Containers:

   – Carefully pour the chaparral salve mixture into clean, dry containers or jars. Allow the salve to cool and solidify at room temperature.

6. Usage:

   – Apply the chaparral salve topically to the affected skin areas as needed. It can be used for minor skin irritations, dry skin, insect bites, or other skin issues.

Important Notes:

– Perform a patch test on a small area of skin before using the chaparral salve more extensively to ensure you do not have any adverse reactions.

– Store the chaparral salve in a cool, dark place to maintain its quality and potency.

– Discontinue use if you experience any skin irritation or discomfort and seek medical advice if needed.

This chaparral salve can be a useful natural remedy for promoting skin health and addressing minor skin concerns. As always, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare provider or a professional herbalist before using chaparral or any herbal remedy

Whether you’re a seasoned herbalist or a newcomer to natural remedies, these states offer a bounty of medicinal plants and vibrant communities dedicated to natural health. Exploring these regions not only provides access to nature’s pharmacy but also offers a deeper connection to the land and its ancient healing traditions.

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