8 Plants That Offer Health Benefits
We know that plants add to our wellbeing, but more than that, these 8 plants are also good for our health and our environment.
Not only do plants add colour to a garden and add greenery to our homes, but studies also show that certain plants are beneficial for our wellbeing, health and our environment. In this feature, we look at 8 common plants that you can find at almost every garden centre and how they affect your wellbeing and your environment. Our thanks to Love The Garden for sharing this article.
GOOD TO KNOW: As with all natural remedies, DO consult with a medical practitioner before use.
Grown widely in gardens around the world, this attractive succulent is well-loved as a houseplant because it requires very little maintenance. Plus, Aloe Vera is not fussy about soil conditions or climate, as long as it is warm for most of the year. Well known for its healing properties, Aloe Vera is used to heal burns, soothe insect bites and stinks and is even a popular ingredient in many health and beauty products. A plant that has been studied and used for thousands for years, the sap of the Aloe Vera plant contains antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant elements.
- Using Aloe Vera
If you have an Aloe Vera plant in your garden or home it is easy to use simply by cutting off the end of a leaf. It is the sap - also known as a liquid gel - that brings instant relief.
- Caring for Aloe Vera
Preferring a spot with dappled sunlight and well-drained soil, Aloe Vera only requires watering when the soil becomes dry, which makes it perfect as a houseplant for those who regularly forget to water their plants! To ensure continued health of the plant, fertilize twice a year with suitable plant food.
Despite its delicate appearance, Chamomile is a fairly hardy plant that is excellent for gardens. You can use this plant to fill in between brick or concrete pavers to soften the look and it is a wonderful companion plant in herb and vegetable gardens. It's also easy to propagate Chamomile since it will seed itself in the soil.
- Using Chamomile
Pick a bunch of Chamomile flowers and hang in bunches to dry. Use dried flowers to make a soothing Chamomile tea that calms and relaxes you. Steep the dried flowers in hot water for tea or use to make a rinse for skin inflammation.
- Caring for Chamomile
This hardy garden plant is available in two varieties: English and German Chamomile. The German variety can be used for herbal remedies and grows well in a shady spot in cool conditions. The English variety grows well in warmer climes. Both varieties are drought-tolerant and only require occasional watering.
Well known as a plant used in alternative medicine, Echinacea - also known as Cone Flower - is used in Homeopathy as a remedy for infections such as cold and flu and to treat upper respiratory ailments. Echinacea is a hardy perennial that only needs a sunny spot and soil that drains easily. After a couple of years, this plant will be drought-tolerant.
- Using Echinacea
In Homeopathy, the entire plant is used to make tablets, herbal extracts and teas due to the abundance of compounds that this plant contains. If you grow Echinacea in the garden, dry the flowers and leaves so that you can use these to make Echinacea tea. The dried flowers and leaves are soaked in hot water and left to steep before drinking.
- Caring for Echinacea
Plant seedlings in a sunny spot in the garden, one that drains well. The plant will also grow in partial shade. After a couple of years, this plant becomes fairly drought-tolerant, which is ideal for those areas that have watering regulations in place.
Well-known to every gardener, Marigold in a hardy plant that is fast-growing and self-propagating. Marigold is often used in companion planting due to its ability to be a natural pest repellant. The plant is also said to have healing properties when it comes to minor wounds and skin irritation.
- Using Marigold
The flowers are picked and hung to dry, after which they can be used to make a tea or skin wash. Mix the crushed and dried flowers with aqueous cream for a skin salve.
- Caring for Marigold
Marigold is not a fussy plant and is easy to care for. Plant them in sunny beds or borders within a vegetable or herb garden as a companion plant.
Studies has shown that the Passion Flower can be used to treat anxiety with its anxiolytic properties, and insomnia.
- Using Passion Flower
The flowers of the plant are dried to make a tea or can be used as a tincture taken to relieve insomnia. When making a tea, use less than 2 grams of dried leaves with water.
- Caring for Passion Flower
Preferring a sunny spot, Passion Flower is a vine that creeps quickly up a trellis and can be used on a pergola on to overhang a verandah. Regular watering will ensure good growth, as will application of fertilizer. Control growth with a light pruning.
One of my all-time favourite houseplants, Peace Lily is a low-maintenance plant perfect for any living space. Peace Lily is one of the named plants that help remove VOCs from a home, although only an insubstantial quantity. They are also known for upping humidity levels in rooms to promote breathing and relieve irritated upper respiratory infections.
- Using Peace Lily
While not suitable for those who suffer from hay fever, Peace Lily is suitable for any room where the light is medium to low such as a bathroom or bedroom.
- Caring for Peace Lily
Peace Lily does not enjoy having its roots dry out, so regular watering is necessary. Otherwise, this plant will enjoy a shady environment.
A woody perennial that is not only a herb but a colourful addition to a garden bed or container. Well-known for its culinary uses, Rosemary is also used for soaps, oils and perfumes.
- Using Rosemary
Sprigs of Rosemary are hung in bunches and left to dry before being used to add to recipes and lamb dishes or used to make Rosemary salt or infused oils.
- Caring for Rosemary
The plant enjoys a sunny position and good draining soil with regular trimming to encourage bushy growth and prevent the plant from becoming leggy. Only water when the soil is dry.
Snake Plant - Mother-In-Laws Tongue
The Snake Plant is reputed to be one of the best indoor plants for cleaning the air inside a home. This plant emits oxygen and absorbs carbon monoxide and toxins such as formaldehyde, which is common in many manufactured products in the home.
- Using Snake Plant
These plants can be placed indoors in a room with low light or outdoors in a shady spot. They are easy to care for and only require infrequent watering. Place one or two of these plants in a bedroom to clean the air or in a living room.
- Caring for Snake Plant
Requiring very little to almost zero maintenance, water when dry and wipe the leaves clean to allow them to work their magic on your indoor air quality. They abhor direct sunlight, so are suitable for any shady spot or low-light room.