NC State Extension

Medicinal Herbs for Commerce

The Medicinal Herbs for Commerce project aims to provide North Carolina farmers an opportunity to explore the economic feasibility of medicinal herb production. As conventional crops like tobacco become less viable, our farmers are growing and marketing herbs for the natural products industry, an industry that is expected to reach $200 billion by 2008. Our program enables North Carolina growers to be at the helm of this exciting trend. The project is part of the NC Specialty Crops Program, a cooperative program between the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at NC State University and the Marketing Division of the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. It is operated out of NC State University’s Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center in Fletcher, NC. Dr. Jeanine Davis, Associate Professor of Horticultural Science, Extension Specialist, and N.C. Specialty Crops Program Coordinator, serves as the Project Director.

Learn more about the Medicinal Herbs for Commerce project.


Want to grow medicinal herbs?

STEP 1: Introduction

  • What is a medicinal herb?
  • What is the medicinal herb industry like?

STEP 2: Evaluating Your Resources and Personal Considerations

  • Land and physical resources
  • Other land considerations
  • How do you want to market?
  • Financial considerations

STEP 3: Planning

  • Have a Business Plan
  • Marketing Your Product

STEP 4: How to Grow Medicinal Herbs

  • Do You Want to Grow Organic?
  • Site Selection and Field Preparation
  • Seed and Rootstock Sourcing
  • Planting and Growing
  • Pest Control
  • Harvest the Bounty
  • Post-Harvest Handling
  • Specific Herb Production Information

STEP 5: Growing Your Success

  • Stay Informed
  • Networking

Glossary of Terms


Printable pdf versions:

  1. STEP 1: Introduction
  2. STEP 2: Evaluating Your Resources
  3. STEP 3: Planning
  4. STEP 4: How to grow medicinal herbs
  5. STEP 5: Growing Your Success

Project funders include:

  • NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission
  • Golden Leaf Foundation
  • NC Rural Economic Development Center
  • NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
  • NC State University Extension, Engagement, and Economic Development Grant