Since ancient times, plants have been used to help with the healing of common ailments, cure aches and pains and to sooth anxious and worried minds. From the Egyptians to Amazonian tribes, to medieval monks and the Romans , the use of plants across different cultures and countries has been well documented. So what can we learn from our ancestors? Here’s our list of common plants that you can easily grow to help you feel a little more tip top!
Chamomile – this plant is one of the headliners and records show it has been used for over 2000 years for its medicinal properties. It is known for its lighting, brightening and rejuvenating impact on skin and is often used in beauty and skin products. When drunk as tea, it can help promote restful sleep and reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Chamomile is also known for having high anti-inflammatory and pain reducing abilities to help complaints such as congestion and cold symptoms, muscle spasms and some digestive disorders. It’s also used to help hayfever sufferers (which is good to know, any tips most welcome!).
Lavender – a hugely popular plant for the garden with its distinct scent and glorious purple flowers, also has medicinal benefits. Lavender oil has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties which help sooth insect bites and fungal infections. It can also be put onto the temple to help soothe a headache. Its scent has long been associated with reducing stress and anxiety levels as well as improving sleep. Dried lavender retains its scent for quite some time and drying lavender is something you can try at home really easily so why not have a go!
Aloe Vera – this succulent has been used for over 6000 years mainly for either aiding the digestive system or to treat skin complaints. The gel inside of the leaves can be used to treat sunburn, burns, help with healing wounds as well as treating skin conditions such as acne or psoriasis. These succulents are perfect to keep as house plants and are enjoying being part of the current houseplant trend revival! Aloe is said to be a powerful air purifier and are easy peasy to keep (the perfect office plant), needing little attention and up keep apart from some water every now and again.
English Ivy plant- great for calming allergies and asthma. This plant is said to significantly reduce airborne mould within hours, and a key player in removing formaldehyde from the air and promoting a good nights sleep. Here come the herbs…
Sage – is a bit of a star, great for its anti ageing and anti-inflammatory properties and well as being used for digestive problems. It also boosts brain function and improves memory. It’s an easy plant to grow in the garden, adding colour and texture to a flowerbed or herb garden. It attracts bees as well as repelling some unwanted pests, so a bit of a win win really.
Chives can aid memory retention and help with depression by blocking a chemical that inhibits the production of ‘happy’ hormones.
A cup of fennel tea is great for improving digestive health and boosting the immune system. Its structure and shape makes it a great addition to a flower garden and are a firm favourite with bees.
Rosemary, said to improve memory and reduce stress and anxiety, again another easy plant to cultivate and use in cooking. So these are our top picks of plants which are easy to grow and have super healing powers for your body and mind. Our ancestors really were fantastic at knowing just which plants could help heal and sooth certain ailments! So why not grow your own healing plants? A spot of gardening will provide the opportunity to be surrounded by your own beautifully cultivated plants and flowers with the double benefit of fresh air, exercise and the excuse to relax and take a little ‘me time’. We hope we have inspired you today to take a little time out for yourself, have a fresh look at our leafy friends and learn a little more about how plants can help with some well earned TLC.