Healing herbs

Calendula flowers. The basket was hand woven by Jelina
Just harvested Calendula flowers. The basket was hand woven by Jelina

Often, I see lots of folks forking over their hard earned money to buy exotic, packaged herbs. Many of the folks who live in my area just can’t afford to keep on doing that and in many cases, is just not necessary.

There are so many useful herbs that can be found in the area around Gawler and I’m sure it’s the same where you live.  Many are found along paths and road and already growing in peoples’ gardens. Our local community spaces and gardens can supply a wealth of herbal goodness.

As a herbalist, my take on herbs is to use what is local and in season. I believe that, to some degree, nature provides most of what we need at the time we need it.

Here  in Gawler, we can see Nettles popping up in winter, fortifying us through the cold weather and also peparing us for summer allergies. Chickweed, at the end of winter can help us flush out all that stagnant build up that happens to us while we’re not exercising because of the cold. These are just wo examples of what we can find for free, to help us adjust to the seasons.

I started a Facebook group to discuss local herbs and their uses a while back. It’s called Gawler Kitchen Herbalists.

The list of herbs below is for our locale, but they are all “weeds” of some form or another and are found pretty well world wide.

At the moment, I’m in the middle of transferring info from Gawler Kitchen Herbalists, so it is a little disjointed. If you want to read more info on the herbs, please take a look at that group. It’s a closed group (thanks to some prolific spamming), but send a join request and you’ll be in!

Also, many of our herbal ‘weeds’ are quite tasty and nutritions in themselves. Check out some info on them on our page Edible Weeds‘. There’s also some other plants that you will be suprised to find that you can use on ‘I didn’t know you could use that‘.

You might see omissions from the list of herbs usually covered by many sources. That’s because we’re only writing on what we have and have experience with. There are many other herbs out there and many uses for those that we have. I’ll be adding more herbs as well as more uses for those that we have as we learn, so keep checking these pages – they’re all works in progress.

I’ve roughly divided the herbs we use into two sections based on where we generally get them from, our garden or the wild

Some far too common herbs and their uses:-

Aloe is ready to harvest when the tips turn pink.

Aloe Vera



Borage flowers are loved by beesBorage

The bright yellow and oranges of Calendula are a welcome sightCalendula


Castor Oil Plant leavesCastor Oil Plant

A patch of young ChickweedChickweed


Fumaria officinalisFumitory


Star Jasmine


relaxing LavendarLavender



Mints (still working on this one!)

Nettle seeds and leavesNettles



Petty Spurge



Sage has many cultivars. This one is our favourite.Sage

Shepherd’s Purse

St. John's Wort ( Hypericum perforatum )

St. John’s Wort

A dense tangle of Thyme leaves


Tiny violets



Wild Lettuce


Wild Oats

Tree Wormwood (Artemisia arborescens)