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There's no doubt that plants improve the wellbeing of all who care to interact with them. Just half an hour spent in the garden or park has a positive effect. A lunch-break wandering through the local park or countryside can restore nerves and sooth the soul. Even house plants at home and in the office have a healing and beneficial effect. They increase humidity and absorb certain polluting gases including formaldehyde in addition to mopping up airborne dust particles.
How do we know?
Studies into psychology and interior design have arrived at a shocking comparison. They discover that office workers who are unlucky enough to work within lean offices with little natural light; carpeting; fluorescent lighting and air conditioning can be likened to lions. Not lions out on the African plain, however. But those living in concrete, caged enclosures. Add a few plants to the office, however, and the enrichment has been shown to improve mood, health, productivity and capability. Plants are healing!
Of course we all know that plants have amazing healing powers. People have been using them for centuries, as can be seen in Greek frescos dating back to 1600 BC showing saffron flowers, myrtle, lilies and poppies. There are many useful plants growing in our gardens. But, of course, care should always be taken when considering using plants for health. Medical advice sought where necessary.
Popular healing herbs for use in cooking or infused to make a tea include mint, which stimulates the production of bile as well as helping digestion. Lemon balm calms the central nervous system. Sage helps combat hot flushes and night sweats. Thyme is used for its antiseptic, antibiotic and anti fungal properties. Rosemary has excellent antioxidant properties and oregano is used for its antibiotic healing powers. Then there is lavender which can be used as a tea or infusion or fresh to make a room fragrance ideal under the pillow to aid a good night's sleep; valerian which helps calm the nerves and aloe vera, an African native which is popular as a houseplant, the juice of which can be used as a soothing remedy for minor cuts and burns.
Aren't plants amazing? Have a look at these house plants for inspiration: