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Health and wellbeing is important and plants can be our stress-busting friends
We all know that plants are good for us, but some are even better than others. Both indoors and out, there are plants that aid health and wellbeing. Indeed, the act of caring for plants also has a positive, stress busting effect on the soul.
Here’s five plant favourites for your good health:
This remarkable plant can be treated as a house plant here in the UK. It likes access to natural light and appreciates regular water. In common with many indoor plants, however, it should never sit in soggy compost. Allow it to dry out before it is watered again. The secret healing that this plant possesses is all inside the foliage. It contains a gloopy sap which is said to contain a mixture of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It can also be used topically as it’s a natural moisturiser with anti-inflammatory qualities. The gel is often applied as a soothing salve for sunburn and other skin problems such as psoriasis. Many health companies extract juices that are used in drinks. The gel is said to aid digestion and improve conditions such as heartburn. It can also be used on the gums to deter plaque and improve gum disease.
Many different studies of Aloe have taken place. They generally find that both fruit which has been coated with aloe gel suffer far less from attack by harmful bacteria. The picture above shows bacteria cultures growing on agar jelly. It would point towards the possibility that Aloe could help produce retain freshness. It could make perfect sense to keep one of these plants to hand and remember to use it in times of need. But, of course, check with a medical professional first if you are intending to ingest this plant.
Your granny could tell you how beneficial this plant can be. But did you know that different types of this plant are used for various purposes? Lavandula angustifolia, the English lavender, produces a pretty amazing essential oil that promotes good sleep. There have been numerous trials to show that it does actually work as a stress-busting aid. Take heed, however, some types of lavender are said to perk you up and make you buzz. Lavender is also said to be an ‘endocrine disruptor’ which means it can affect hormones.
Most types of lavender are considered to have healing properties as the oil acts as an antiseptic. Back in Roman times it was used as a washing fluid that made clothes smell fresh. The word ‘lavare’ means ‘to wash’ in Latin. In addition, lavender can be taken (under medical supervision) to treat depression, anxiety and even physical pain including headache and toothache.
Next, we have rosemary
This popular plant is botanically known as Rosmarinus officinalis. A pretty remarkable perennial herb, it is said to boost the memory, reduce inflammation, act as a pain reliever, detox the organs and boost the immune system. It can, apparently, help fight bacterial infections and heal the skin. As if that isn’t enough, the Mediterranean marvel contains vitamins including vitamins A, C, B6, plus thiamine, folate and many minerals including magnesium, copper, iron and calcium. Oh, and it helps to stop baldness too. No wonder it’s so popular as a kitchen herb. Plant rosemary outside the door and you will also enjoy the aromatic foliage and blue spring flowers.
An aromatic plant that is best known as an ingredient for sleep-inducing tea, but it has many other stress busting benefits too. The herby perennial, Chamaemelum, can easily be grown from seed, and it produces white, daisy-like flowers which can be used along with the foliage. It is said to offer an effective remedy for anxiety, insomnia, digestion problems and stress. It might also promote the healing of wounds. Even the smell of the foliage seems to be calming.
If you want to create a Chamomile lawn you would be best to seek out the low-growing, non-flowering variety called Chamomile nobile 'Treneague'. This grows only to a height of around 20cms and it doesn't produce flowers.
Then there’s marvellous mint
A plant that comes in so many different varieties from banana and chocolate mint through to apple mint, spearmint and peppermint. It’s another plant with great immune-boosting powers. It is said to calm the stomach, protect against bacteria and reduce inflammation. It makes a stress-busting tea that helps to calm the nerves. A bonus is the fact that it’s an insect repellent too.
Happiness is just a leaf away. These are just five stress busting plants that are good for you, but there are hundreds more. Not only can they aid with physical and mental illness but they can help to improve your entire lifestyle. Fill your own world with plants and see how much better you feel.