Plants are incredible, natural sources of health and wellness. We’ve talked about how having certain plants in the bedroom encourages a restful sleep, but plants have other tricks up their sleeves, as well. Here are 10 plants that are known for their healing qualities, from medicinal plants and herbs to stress-reducing florals:
Aloe Vera Plant
The succulent aloe vera plant is perhaps one of the most well-known medicinal plants, used to treat sunburns, soothe skin irritations, and even act as an antiseptic for minor cuts and abrasions. Nutritionally, aloe vera juice is quickly gaining popularity as a healthy beverage. Aloe vera has been said to be effective in aiding digestion and boosting immunity, along with carrying antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
Plus, aloe vera is an easy plant to grow at home, tolerant of most light and water conditions (although it prefers a bit of sun and infrequent watering).
Mint is a fragrant, fast-growing plant that you may not have realised is quite the healer. There are many varieties of mint, from peppermint to spearmint, and all have health benefits. Peppermint is known for its ability to quell stomach upsets and headaches, while spearmint tea has been extensively studied for use in certain hormonal conditions. It also helps lower blood sugar and, yes, helps stop bad breath in its tracks by killing the offending bacteria.
Some gardeners are hesitant to grow mint in their yards, as the herb has been known to take over gardens, but with a little careful planning, you can easily grow mint. The trick is to grow your mint in its own container, separate from the whole of your garden. Like aloe vera, mint is a tolerant plant; it will continue to grow under most any condition.
Ginger is an extraordinary plant that has been used in ancient medicine for centuries. Ginger root, alongside honey and lemon, makes an immune boosting tea that is soothing for sore throats. Ginger tea is also healing for stomach upsets, and is particularly recommended in moderation for expectant mothers. Ginger is extremely versatile, serving as a tea, a spice, a candy, and an ingredient in a wealth of recipes.
You can grow ginger in a garden, or you can pick up ginger in all of its forms at your local supermarket.
Basil is likely in your spice rack right now, but there is so much more to this common food ingredient than as a dash of flavour. Basil is naturally antibacterial, which is perhaps one of the reasons it came to be so commonly used in meals. Basil also contains phytochemicals, compounds found naturally in plants that are thought to help protect cells from damages leading to cancer.
Basil, like ginger, may be a little more difficult than other plants to grow at home, unless you have a proper garden or area for growing. But, then, basil is also an easy store find.
Echinacea is a beautiful composite flower plant that, like ginger, makes an immune boosting tea that can be easily paired with honey, lemon, and even mint. Echinacea has long been a popular cold and flu remedy, as well as a medicinal herb for general immune support.
Echinacea as a plant often eludes gardeners. It seems to be here one minute, and then gone the next. However, if you have the means, growing echinacea provides an exciting challenge, and the plant is beneficial not only to humans — it is beloved by bees and butterflies, too.
Hibiscus is a beautiful plant reminiscent of something you’d see on a summer holiday, but it isn’t just a pretty plant. Hibiscus has long been observed for its ability to lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol profiles, provide natural antioxidants and cancer-fighting polyphenols, as well as fight bacteria. The most common way to take hibiscus is probably as a flavourful, refreshing tea that has a floral, berry-like taste.
There are a couple of varieties of hibiscus, one of which wouldn’t be particularly easy to grow in Britain, thanks to our tough winters. The hibiscus syriacus variety (known in some places simply as common hibiscus), however, is a stunning plant for any garden and a great deal hardier than its counterpart.
Give the tea a try before you grow by ordering hibiscus tea at places like Ocado or Amazon.
Camomile is perhaps most famous for its use as a calming herbal tea that soothes the mind. This healing plant has other uses, too, though, from treating skin conditions to easing insomnia. Regularly drinking camomile in tea form has even been shown to potentially help manage diabetes.
Camomile is a vibrant plant to grow, and camomile beverages have a bright, unmistakable yellow colour with a lightly aromatic fragrance. This is an extremely soothing plant.
You may be surprised to see this plant on the list, as orchids aren’t routinely talked about in medical circles like ginger or camomile plants, but they do have a rich history in traditional Chinese medicine. In China, orchids are regularly used to make teas and relaxing essential oils.
Orchids are also naturally wonderful air purifiers, and terrific plants to have in the house to help the air quality.
Another popular herb, it might be easier to ask what rosemary doesn’t do than what it does, as rosemary has been associated with cancer prevention, brain and eye health, less inflammation, greater antioxidant activity, pain relief, and even longer hair!
Related to mint, rosemary can easily be grown in a large container and is tough enough to last for many years.
Milk thistle is a powerful plant when it comes to controlling diabetes and possibly even maintaining or regaining liver health. Silymarin, the main ingredient in milk thistle, is believed to be a major player in its healing effects. It’s also being studied in cancer research.
Milk thistle is most commonly taken as a capsule, but it can be crafted into a kind of tea, as well.
Nature as a Chemist
You can find out even more here:
What is your favourite healing plant? Have you tried a hibiscus or camomile beverage? Let me know what you thought in the comments below, or on Facebook, where I share more easy, unique ways to enhance your wellbeing.