Not everyone has access to a potion or healing spell in your game or story, unless they do, so they’re going to need their own way of dealing with injuries and disease. In most fantasy games and stories, modern medicine isn’t really a thing, so let’s use some real world medicinal plants as a basis for our fantasy versions.
I’ve got three examples here, but I feel like I should start with a warning. I believe all of their counterparts in our world are toxic, so don’t go seeking them out. I don’t want your hospitalization or death on my hands. As always, feel free to use these in your own works.
Cultivated and harvested by Mountain Dwarves and Rock Gnomes, mountain tobacco, if the name didn’t clue you in, grows at higher altitudes, typically between 3,000 and 9,000 feet. It’s use as an analgesic (pain killer) and anti-inflammatory is famous among Dwarven clerics, medics, and other healers and the demand for it far outstretches the supply.
Extremely toxic in large quantities, mountain tobacco is dried and eaten, or used in poultices, and can cause diarrhea, intestinal bleeding, coma, and even death if too much is ingested. It is typically found wild in nutrient-poor soil, allowing Dwarves to appraise potential farm lands easily.
Kratom, or Wizard’s Aid
Everyone knows that wizard, you know, the one who’s always a little jittery, paranoid, and doesn’t seem to have slept in years? Well, then you probably know a Kratom user. Chewing freshly cut leaves, or drying them and making tea is the most common method of ingestion, with effects ranging from added energy to outright mania. The side-effects, however, aren’t great. Itching, nausea, loss of appetite, constipation, insomnia, and even seizure and death if overly abused.
Its benefits and drawbacks are why it’s so heavily guarded by the Wood Elves that cultivate it, selling it rarely and at a high price to desperate wizards. There are rumors that cuttings and even whole plants have been smuggled out and are in the hands of those with less hesitation to sell.
The King’s Flower
Are you a king, queen, or just royally inclined? You’re going to want to prolong your health, both mental and physical, and there’s a flower just for you. The King’s Flower is used in a potion called Vitae Regulus, its namesake, that is said to keep the mind fresh and the body fit, no matter how long you sit on your throne, or how many feasts you attend.
It’s not known just who cultivates this plant, at least not publicly, and a large enough stockpile of The King’s Flower is purchased and stored after an heir’s christening. The flower doesn’t come cheap, but its mysterious seller’s biggest customers are also its richest.