Growing these Beneficial Plants in Your Garden Will Change Your Health

Shannon Quinn - September 29, 2022
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Looking for new plants to put in your garden or home? These are some of the most beneficial plants you can find- both for the benefit of your garden, but also medicinal value. (In case you are brave enough to eat them or drink a tea made out of these flowers.) Here at Home Addict, we have a great list of the most beneficial plants to have in your yard.

Calendula flowers are very beautiful. Credit: Shutterstock

Calendula

The calendula flower has many good benefits for the skin, hair and body. Dried calendula flowers can be made into tea. Dried calendula has antimicrobial and antifungal properties. As a tea it has the ability to battle cancer, heart disease, and muscle fatigue to name just a few. According to a medical study, calendula tea healed 78% of foot ulcers related to diabetes.

Calendula can be made into a salve, because of its medicinal properties. Credit: Shutterstock

Also consider making calendula salve to heal problems with your skin. As a salve it can heal acne, rashes, burns, diaper rash, varicose veins, and cold sores. If you’re not a very craft person, calendula salves can be purchased on Etsy from individual makers. There are other herbal salves out there that may include calendula, as well as other plants that help with healing your skin. (via Web MD)

Lavender flowers are beneficial in a number of different ways. Credit: Shutterstock

Lavender

Many of you will already be familiar with lavender. Its beautiful purple flowers look attractive in the garden, and they smell nice, too! But there’s so much more than meets the eye. Lavender oil is believed to have both anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It has been credited for healing both minor burns and bug bites. It has been used to treat insomnia, restlessness, hair loss, headaches, sprains and sores. 

A lot of people use lavender oil, because it helps you fall asleep. Credit: Shutterstock

If you grow lavender in your garden, be sure to hang it upside down to dry when the season is over. Then, harvest the flowers to use as potpourri in little sachets. You can also make tea out of the dried lavender flowers, if you want to do that as well. Lavender has also been used to treat a variety of digestive issues such as nausea and intestinal gas. (via Medical News Today)

Beautiful yarrow plants. Credit: Shutterstock

Yarrow

Yarrow is a beautiful flower that you can plant in your garden. It attracts pollinators, and looks great in a bouquet mix with other flowers. Yarrow tea has both anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Used in an ointment, yarrow can heal wounds.  Flavonoid antioxidants have shown to relieve symptoms of IBS, such as spasms and inflammation, diarrhea, bloating and constipation when consumed as a tea.

Yarrow can be made into an essential oil. Credit: Shutterstock

But that’s not all. Yarrow has even more beneficial health properties. Corticortosone is a hormone that is high during stress.  Alkaloids found in yarrow tea are known to reduce corticosterone thus reducing chronic stress. Believe it or not, yarrow tea can also help to reduce depression and anxiety.  (via Healthline)

Sweet Alyssum is popular, because of its beautiful and colorful blooms. Credit: Shutterstock

Sweet Alyssum

Sweet alyssum is a flowering plant that has commonly been used for its medicinal benefits in the country of Spain.  It is used as an antiscorbutic and diuretic.  Spain also uses sweet alyssum as an astringent for the treatment of gonorrhea. It also helps to heal a cold, abdominal pain, and coughs.

Sweet alyssum is great for attracting pollinators. Credit: Shutterstock

Sweet alyssum works nicely in the garden because it will lure aphids aways from vegetable plants. So if you have a vegetable garden, it would be smart to plant it next to your veggies. It’s also a great attraction for pollinators like bees and butterflies. Sweet Alyssum enjoys cooler weather, so it blooms in either spring or fall. The young plant leaves are edible and are used as an addition to salads. (via Natural Medicinal Herbs)

Mint has become popular because of its ability to freshen your breath. Credit: Shutterstock

Mint

Mint has been proven to relieve indigestion, mask bad breath, and to benefit brain function.  Breathing mint for 5 minutes has been used to increase memory and increase alertness needed for driving. Half ounce of spearmint (or ⅓ cup) contains 6 calories, 1 gram of fiber, 12% of vitamin A, 9% of iron, 8% of manganese, and 4% of folate of the RDI. Vitamin A is very important for eye health and night vision. Mint helps to protect the body from oxidative stress. Peppermint oil might aid to eliminate the conditions of IBS because it contains menthol.  

Mint can grow in pots indoors or outdoors. Credit: Shutterstock

It has also been found that making a salve of mint and applying it to sore nipples from breastfeeding can reduce nipple pain.  Menthol from mint has been used as a nasal and chest decongestant during colds and flus. Mint can also be used as a beautiful aroma therapy. Planting mint in the garden to repel mosquitos, ants, houseflies, moths and fleas, and mice.  Mint will attract bees and beneficial wasps. (via Healthline)

Rosemary is an herb that is popular in cooking. Credit: Shutterstock

Rosemary

You may already be familiar with rosemary, and you may even have a bottle in your home to use in your cooking. Rosemary has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which are known to boost the immune system and to improve blood circulation. It also has a role in off-setting free radicals. Rosemary has been known to heal a number of physical ailments. It is known to ease headache, dysmenorrhea, stomachache, epilepsy, rheumatic pain, spasms, nervous agitation, improvement of memory, hysteria, depression, as well as physical and mental fatigue.

People love rosemary because of how fragrant it is. Credit: Shutterstock

Rosemary can have a profound effect on the brain. It has a wonderful aroma and if you like smelling it, you can have the same effect as the drugs used to treat dementia.  Rosemary has the ability to increase acetylcholine, which is a neurotransmitter affecting dementia. We’re not suggesting that it’s a cure for dementia by any means, but studies have shown that it helps improve the symptoms. (via Medical News Today)

Nasturtium are beautiful flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

Nasturtium

Nasturtiums work great in the garden to keep pests away as well as to draw in pollinators and hoverflies which feed on plant pests like aphids. As a companion crop, nasturtiums work in an excellent way to increase the growth and flavor of cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, squash, and zucchini. Since it attracts pollinators, it will help your vegetables grow big and strong while simultaneously keeping away the bad bugs.

Some people turn nasturtium into essential oil, because of its medicinal properties. Credit: Shutterstock

The nasturtium flower petals and leaves alike are full of nutrition.  With a high level of vitamin C present in the nasturtium flower, it has a strong ability to aid the immune system to combat symptoms of the common cold and flu including coughs and sore throats. Surprisingly nasturtium can combat infections deriving from bacteria and fungus. The nasturtium flower, leaves, and pods are all edible. But you can also wait for the flower to dry and make a tea instead, if you’d rather not eat them.  (via The Urban Cultivator)

Clovers are popular to have in your backyard. Credit: Shutterstock

Clover

Many of you will be familiar with clovers as the “good luck” plant. In Irish lore, a four-leaf clover is very good luck. Rabbits love to eat clover flowers. And some people even prefer to plant clover in their gardens instead of having grass. Or, they like to have a blend of both. Many of us are familiar with the plant, but few people would consider it beneficial or even think about ingesting it.

In Irish folklore, four leaf clovers are considered to be good luck. Credit: Shutterstock

In large amounts wild clover is considered poisonous to our health.  But in small amounts wild clover has medicinal properties. A few of the most common uses in medicine: clover is used to treat asthma, menstrual cramps and osteoporosis. Clover contains isoflavones which improve bone density in menopausal women. Red clover can lower the odds of prostate cancer in men. (via Web MD)

English ivy is great as either an indoor or outdoor plant. Credit: Shutterstock

English Ivy

Many people love English Ivy because it looks beautiful climbing up the side of buildings. Some people dislike it because they believe that it could damage the walls, but others purposely let ivy grow because it helps make a home look more stately. This is especially true if you live on the east coast of the United States, where ivy is associated with sophistication. The only downside to ivy is that when it climbs up a tree, it can damage the trunk and eventually weaken it to the point where the tree will fall down.

Many people love ivy for the fact that it climbs up trees and houses. Credit: Shutterstock

One of the most interesting benefits of English ivy is that it has air- purification abilities therefore, it will assist in comforting breathing problems. It can treat asthma, bronchitis, and COPD. English ivy can be both an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory source. It is being tested on animals to treat diabetes.  (via Healthline)

Cosmos are a beautiful flower. Credit: Shutterstock

Cosmos

Many of you may be familiar with cosmos flowers, because of their beautiful colors that bloom in the summertime. They are sometimes mixed together in a “wildflower” seed mix that you buy from your local garden center. Not only do cosmos attract pollinators like bees to your garden they also attract beneficial insects, and they are great companion plants to your garden.

Cosmos attract pollinators to a garden. Credit: Shutterstock

In Mexico and Brazil, cosmos is used to treat malaria. The cosmos plant contains dimethoxychalcone, which is a flavonoid with anti-aging properties. Cosmos plants are also used to treat eczema, fibromyalgia, and a few viruses. Being a part of the sunflower family, cosmos look nice when planted near dahlias, marigolds, and zinnias which have flower petals of similar shape and size. (via Flora Queen)

Don’t be fooled- this flower is actually a wild carrot. Credit: Shutterstock

Wild Carrot

When you first see this flower, you might never guess that there is actually a wild carrot hiding underneath the ground. If you’re lucky, you can pull them up and find a carrot in the ground. Other times, if it’s not ready yet, you may only find the roots of the wild carrot plant.

Wild carrot flowers attract pollinators like bees and butterflies. Credit: Shutterstock

Aside from eating carrots, this plant also has a lot of medicinal purposes if you consume the flowers. Wild carrot is used for urinary tract problems including kidney stones, bladder problems, water retention, and excess uric acid in the urine; and also for gout, a painful joint problem caused by too much uric acid. The seed oil is used for severe diarrhea, indigestion, and intestinal gas. (via The RX List

Basil is popularly use in cooking around the world. Credit: Shutterstock

Basil

Many of you might already have basil in your kitchen, since it’s such a common herb to use as a spice. It’s very easy to grow both indoors and outdoors, and it smells amazing. Basil goes very well with Italian dishes. It’s also considered a perfect companion plant with tomatoes, so you should consider planting them together in your garden.

You may want to keep basil as an indoor plant, because it’s easy to take care of. Credit: Shutterstock

Believe it or not, basil has a lot of medical benefits too. Basil helps fight oxidative stress, depression and inflammation in the body. It also helps in the prevention and cure of diseases like cancer, diabetes and other heart conditions. Fresh basil contains Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Iron, Manganese, Calcium, and essential oils. (via Healthify Me)

Beautiful zinnia flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

Zinnia

Growing zinnia flowers in your garden attracts pollinators such as bees and butterflies.  When pollinators are present in the garden they help to increase the production of fruit and vegetables by carrying pollen from male flowers to female flowers.  Zinnias are great companion plants for certain vegetables such as asparagus, beans, kale, melons, and tomatoes. Although zinnia petals are edible and may be good in a salad, they have a bitter flavor.

Zinnia flowers are great pollinators. Credit: Shutterstock

If you choose to ingest zinnia in a salad or as a tea, there are a lot of medical benefits that you can enjoy from the plant. According to Little Sprouts Learning,  “Some species of the Zinnia genus have been studied for their potential biological actions, such as antifungal, antioxidant, hepatoprotective, antibacterial, antiviral, antimalarial, cytotoxic, and insecticidal.”  (via Little Sprouts Learning)

Chrysanthemum flowers are beautiful. Credit: Shutterstock

Chrysanthemum

The chrysanthemum flower has many health benefits and uses in traditional medicine. To name just a few, chrysanthemum is known to have positive effects in treating conditions such as chest pain, high blood pressure, fevers, headache, dizziness, and even prostate cancer.

Chrysanthemum has been known to be good for your health. Credit: Shutterstock

Chemical compounds in chrysanthemum flowers are excellent for bone health.  The compounds can prevent bone loss and treat osteoporosis.  Chrysanthemum tea has a mild flavor similar to chamomile.  Dried petals or fresh can also be sprinkled over and eaten in a salad.  (via Healthline)

Angelica flowers are beautiful. Credit: Shutterstock

Angelica

Angelica is a plant something like rhubarb and pairs well with it.  It has almost hollow stems that can be cooked in sugar and are like candy to some. Angelica may be used to decorate cakes.  Its seeds are used to flavor beverages such as chartreuse, gin, and vermouth. Angelica has many uses in the kitchen, and you can find many recipes online on how to incorporate it into food.

Angelica root. Credit: Shutterstock

It is not limited there though as the plant has many medicinal benefits. In China, it is very common to use angelica as a medicinal plant. For centuries it has been used as a digestive aid.  It has been used for problems like anemia, bronchitis, and as a chest treatment.  Tea can be made from the leaves of the angelica plant and used as an eyewash and for the skin as an astringent.  It is good for the nerves too and if put into the bath can calm nerves. (via Mother Earth News)

Azalea flowers are beautiful. Credit: Shutterstock

Azalea

Azalea have many fine qualities and they are very pretty to look at with their bright blooms in varying shades of pink.  Like other flowering plants, azalea attract pollinators.  If brought inside, an azalea will improve the air quality of your surroundings. Azaleas are known to provide such visual enjoyment that they are given credit for increasing productivity and creativity. 

A whole field of azalea flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

Azalea should not be eaten as it is quite toxic.  But it has benefits for the skin, if you apply it externally. The external application of Azalea can be beneficial as it has analgesic, sedative, and anesthetic properties. The Azalea oil formula is a soothing serum with antibacterial properties to reduce redness, inflammation, congestion and balance the secretion of sebum. The combination of witch hazel and Portulaca Oleracea Extract combat problematic skin conditions without irritating your skin. (via Plants Craze)

Dandelions are considered to be a weed, because they show up in gardens around the world. Credit: Shutterstock

Dandelion

Most people are familiar with dandelions as the pesky weeds that grow in their gardens in the spring and summer months. But did you know that dandelion is actually edible? During the Great Depression, it was common for people to gather dandelion leaves and bring them home to make a salad. They taste a little bitter, so it’s not for everyone. But it is still an option for many people to add to their salad mixes.

Dandelions can be eaten in your salad. Credit: Shutterstock

There is a long list of benefits to health that dandelion can be given credit for.  It has antioxidants to calm the effects of harmful free radicals and properties that can regulate blood sugar, reduce cholesterol, control blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and blood pressure and the risk of cancer.  It is known to be a weight loss aid and has the ability to boost the immune system.  Dandelion can also aid in digestion, and it helps to keep the skin and the liver healthy. (via Medical News Today)

If catmint sounds familiar, it’s because it’s in the same family as catnip. Credit: Shutterstock

Catmint

Catmint is a flowering plant with a strong aroma. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because it’s close to “catnip”, which is in the same plant family. Catmint is known to have amazing benefits to repel pests such as mosquitos, flies, and other biting bugs. The oils from the leaves of catmint are said to repel pesky bugs for several hours.  It is also known to reduce stress, encourage relaxation and sleep.

Catmint is a great pollinator and attracts butterflies. Credit: Shutterstock

Catmint is an excellent companion plant in your garden as it protects flowers and vegetables as well trees. It helps to keep away flea beetles, aphids, Japanese beetles, squash bugs, ants, and weevils. Of course, if you have the catnip variety, your cats will absolutely love it. It can be used to help train your cats to do positive behaviors, like use their scratching post, or just as a treat for being a good boy or girl. (via West Park Animal Hospital)

Calamint flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

Calamint

Calamint is a flowering plant native to Africa, Asia, and parts of Europe. It is popular as a xeriscape plant, because it thrives in dry conditions. So if you live in a place where you barely get any rain, consider planting this in your garden. It’s also great for attractive pollinators like bees and butterflies, so it pairs very well with vegetable gardens.

Calamint is great for attracting pollinators. Credit: Shutterstock

Calamint isn’t just a great plant for your garden, either. The part of the plant that grows above the ground are used to make medicine. People take calamint for respiratory illnesses and colds with fever. They also use it to loosen chest congestion and promote sweating.  Calamint can be eaten in small quantities to flavor dishes and to make tea. (via RX List)

Sunflowers are known for making people happy, because of their cheerful look. Credit: Shutterstock

Sunflower

Sunflowers are excellent sources of pollen for honey bees and bumblebees.  They attract birds that will protect your plants from pests and they also will detox contaminated soil.  Sunflowers can absorb toxic heavy metal contaminants and poisonous chemicals in the soil. Of course, this flower is also an amazing pollinator that attracts bees and butterflies to your garden. They look so cheerful when fully grown. Sunflowers also look beautiful when you cut them and put them in a bouquet inside your home.

A lot of people love to snack on sunflower seeds. Credit: Shutterstock

Many of you already know that sunflower seeds are well known as an excellent snack food. They are rich in Vitamin E, magnesium, and selenium.  Vitamin E  has anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E has also been shown to reduce the risk of colon cancer, help decrease the severity and frequency of hot flashes in women going through menopause, and help reduce the development of diabetic complications. (via The Micro Gardener)

Marigold is popular because it keeps away harmful pests. Credit: Shutterstock

Marigold

Marigolds attract ladybugs which prey on harmful pests that will harm the vegetables in your garden. They make good companion plants for basil, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, eggplant, gourds, kale, potatoes, squash and tomatoes. Marigold also makes a good companion plant to melons because it deters beetles.

A field of marigold flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

The main medicinal applications of marigold are skin conditions of all kinds, including contusions, bruises and varicose veins. Minor skin injuries and inflammation can also be successfully treated. Marigold ointment promotes wound healing for eczema and sunburns. If you search for marigold ointment, it’s common to see it blended with calendula, which we mentioned earlier on this list. (via Our Herb Garden)

The coreopsis flower. Credit: Shutterstock

Coreopsis

Coreopsis, also known as “tickseed” is a flowering plant. It’s called this, because when the seeds get dark and fall to the ground, they look like ticks. Birds love the seeds that are produced by the coreopsis flower as do butterflies. There are 80 varieties of coreopsis and they come in a variety of beautiful colors making them a very attractive border plant for your garden. It’s a drought-resistant plant, so it goes perfectly into your garden if you plan on xeriscaping.

Credit: Shutterstock

Coreopsis tinctoria nutt is a small, glabrous, aromatic annual plant commonly used for folk medicinal purposes worldwide. Native Americans used coreopsis to treat several disorders such as diarrhea, internal pain, and bleeding. Studies have shown that coreopsis also helps patients with type 2 diabetes fight insulin resistance. It also helps with pain, swelling, and has been known to help heal leg ulcers. (via American Meadows)

Dill is a popular herb used in cooking. Credit: Shutterstock

Dill

Many of you might be familiar with dill pickles, which is obviously made with the herb called dill. Growing dill in your garden offers many benefits, especially health benefits. This herb is a  good source of vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, folate, and manganese. Dill is also good for boosting your immune system and can help ease the pains of muscle cramps and inflammation.

Dill is used as a seasoning all around the world, because it is delicious. Credit: Shutterstock

Dill also has the ability to attract pollinators to your garden. Primarily, butterflies and caterpillars. Dill is an excellent companion plant for tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and melons, and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, swiss chard, and kale. And, we are all familiar with the famous dill pickle.  Dill is used as a culinary delight in dressings and other cuisine.  (via Simple Garden Life)

Yarrow flowers are great for pollinators. Credit: Shutterstock

Yarrow

Achillea millefolium or better known as yarrow is a native North American plant that’s popular with pollinators and practically care-free, making it perfect for borders, ground covers, and open meadows. Yarrow is well-known for its ability to improve the soil. It has an extensive root system that helps break apart and aerate hard soil. In addition, its taproot extends deep into the ground bringing valuable nutrients to the surface.

Yarrow flowers can be made into essential oil. Credit: Shutterstock

Yarrow does so much more than just improving the quality of your garden. It is a widely distributed medicinal plant throughout the world and has been used since ancient times. Popular indications of the several species of this genus include treatment of wounds, bleedings, headache, inflammation, pains, spasmodic diseases, flatulence and dyspepsia. (via Den Garden)

The yellow rudbeckia flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

Rudbeckia

Rudbeckia, also known as black eyed susan, are flowers that are easy to grow and will self seed in your garden so you can enjoy them year after year. The rudbeckia plants attract pollinators and birds as well, especially goldfinches enjoy eating the seeds of rudbeckia in the fall and winter. Rudbeckia are one of the coneflowers along with Helenium and Echinacea. It’s no surprise that with their lovely open, sunny faces, they are attractive to bees and butterflies alike. Among the most popular for gardeners and bees are the varieties ‘Goldsturm’ and ‘Black-eyed Susan’.

Rudbeckia flowers are great for attracting pollinators. Credit: Shutterstock

Many of the plants on this list so far have been edible, but be careful with the rudbeckia. The flowers, leaves, and stems are not edible, and can be toxic if ingested. However, the roots of Rudbeckia hirta can be used much like the related Echinacea purpurea to boost immunity and fight colds, flu and infections. It is also an astringent when used in a warm infusion as a wash for sores and swellings. (via Buss About Bees)

Credit: Shutterstock

Basket of Gold

Also known as yellow alyssum, basket of gold will bring lots of bright golden yellow color to your garden. This flower will reappear year after year and grow close to the ground giving the beautiful show of flowers spring through summer. Then, it has an evergreen foliage in the fall and winter. Basket of Gold belongs to the mustard and cabbage family.  It loves growing in full sun rocky areas.  But, it will adapt to all kinds of soil and planting. Basket of Gold are deer resistant and attract pollinators. 

Credit: Shutterstock

The entire alyssum plant boasts of being edible! Flowers, seeds (mustard seeds), and leaves are all edible at the appropriate time. Leaves are mostly likened to horseradish as they can both be used and eaten in similar ways. They can be cooked just as other green leaves are but their taste means they are not for everyone. The seed pods containing alyssum seeds will change color from green to brown. But to get a better taste, you should harvest them while they are still green. You can use them with or without the pods. (via Gardener’s Path)

Caraway seeds are popular to eat on salads or to be used as a spice. Credit: Shutterstock

Caraway

Many people grow biennial caraway for medicinal purposes.  The flower, foliage, and fruit are each healthy to eat and derive benefits for the consumer. Caraway is known to relieve bloating from gas and back pain too. It also contains mild amounts of antihistamine so it relieves coughs and muscle spasms. Caraway is used to heal colds, cough, and congestion.  Others relieve rheumatism, eye infections, and toothaches with caraway. And, if made into an oil caraway is used to treat IBS, indigestion, fungal infections, and candida. Caraway is from the carrot family and this can be seen by the feathery like leaves the caraway plant has. The seeds are often eaten in certain types of bread.  Other people add it to soups and enjoy its licorice-like flavor.

Caraway flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

Caraway growing provides you with a fresh source of spice that is adaptable and stores well. All parts of the caraway plant are edible. Harvest the leaves in the first or second years to add flavor to salads. When the plant has produced seed, dig up the taproot and use it as you would any root vegetable. The seeds are harvested when they turn a rich, deep brown color. Cut the umbels off the plant and put them in a paper bag. Let them dry in an open bag for a few days and then shake the bag to remove the caraway spice. (via Gardening Know How)

This plant is called lemongrass because of its lemon taste. Credit: Shutterstock

Lemongrass

Like its name, the lemon flavor in lemongrass is often used to flavor herbal teas. It is also used in cosmetics to make deodorant and soaps. This plant commonly grows in South East Asia, which is why it ends up being an ingredient in many Asian recipes. You can buy lemongrass fresh, dried, or powdered if you plan on using it just for cooking.

Dried lemongrass is used in cooking. Credit: Shutterstock

Lemongrass has possible benefits when used in medicine but has not been fully researched yet. It might prevent some bacteria and yeast. This plant has been known to relieve pain, swelling, and fever.  It also might adjust blood sugar level and cholesterol.  Testing has shown it might stimulate the uterus, menstrual flow, and to obtain the ability to be an antioxidant. (via Web MD)

Ginger root can be made into powder or eating raw. Credit: Shutterstock

Ginger

Many people will already be familiar with ginger, as a root that is used commonly in cooking around the world. Ginger grows about three feet tall and has purple and yellow flowers that grow directly from the yellow rhizome (ginger root).  It could take eight to ten months before you can dig up the ginger root to use in your cuisine.

A lot of people drink ginger tea because of its medicinal properties. Credit: Shutterstock

Ginger is often used in Asian cooking. You can also find ginger in curries, sushi, salads, stews, and more. You can make ginger ale, ginger tea, and candy from ginger root. Ginger has special medicinal benefits. Ginger relieves arthritis for some, also nausea and digestive issues and cold symptoms.  It is an anti-inflammatory root, so it can help with a number of different ailments. (via The Herb Exchange)

Beautiful St. John’s Wort flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

St. John’s Wort

This herb grows throughout the world and has been used as both an external and internal remedy going back to the time of ancient Greeks, for over 2000 years.  It is most popular as an anxiety and depression medicine but it is also used for cuts, and burns. Recent research suggests the effectiveness of this herb in treating other ailments, including cancer, inflammation-related disorders, and bacterial and viral diseases, and as an antioxidant and neuroprotective agent. Flavonoids are found in the stems and flowers and other important compounds can be derived from the plant.

St. John’s Wort can be turned into an essential oil. Credit: Shutterstock

If you plan to use St. John’s Wort for anxiety and depression, proceed with caution. The bottles warn you that if you’re already taking a prescription anxiety or depression medication, you should not mix it with St. John’s Wort. So this may be a good option for you if you haven’t sought out professional help just yet, or if your symptoms are mild enough to not need a prescription from a psychiatrist. (via National Desire of Medicine)

Echinacea flowers. Credit: Shutterstock

Echinacea

The purple coneflower, a type of echinacea, is a beautiful tall plant with a single layer of petals. Sometimes the flowers can grow from 4-6 inches across.  They make beautiful cut flowers for the home.  They come in many new colors and typically have been found in yellow and pink.  Echinacea bloom from the summer to the fall. They produce lots of nectar and attract bees, butterflies and other pollinators to the garden.  They like to cross pollinate so planting echinacea increases vegetable and fruit crops.  As the flower heads dry, the seeds attract goldfinches.  So if you are a bird watcher you will love keeping these plants intact throughout the fall.

Many people consume Echinacea tea, because of its medicinal properties. Credit: Shutterstock

Like many of the other plants on this list, echinacea is edible as well. Echinacea leaves, flowers, and roots can be used to make tea and tincture. This herbal tea has a very strong floral flavor that’s somewhat bitter. It’s a flavor that takes a while to get used to. Just proceed with caution, because there are 9 different species of echinacea, but only 3 are medicinal: E. purpurea; Echinacea pallida; and Echinacea angustifolia. (via Natural Living Ideas)

Philodendrons are known for being good luck. Credit: Shutterstock

Philodendron

The most well known benefit of the plant philodendron is that it improves the air quality in our homes because they absorb carbon dioxide and toxins. They are oxygenating to the atmosphere. As well, philodendron looks great with its rambling leaves that give a freshened look to your spaces. Feng shui uses philodendron in design as it is heart shaped and copies the fire element and is thought to bring light, immense abundance, and good luck to the home and its inhabitants. Philodendron is suitable for darker and low energy spaces as well.

A new philodendron cutting will grow roots when it’s placed in water. Credit: Shutterstock

Philodendrons may reduce stress with their bright healthy appearance and have a calming effect so as to induce sleep. House plants help to ease muscle tension and contribute to a healthier heart. A study by NASA clean air found that the plant can remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds) like formaldehyde.  This chemical can irritate the body and lead to cancer.  Unfortunately, the threatening chemical is found in medicinal products and cosmetics.  (via Bloom Box Club)

A beautiful ficus plant. Credit: Shutterstock

Ficus

Weeping fig, also known as a ficus tree, can grow indoor as well as outdoors. It is an indoor air purifying plant. Weeping fig plants can clean the indoor air from harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, xylene, and hydrocarbon. These pollutants may irritate the nose, mouth, and throat, swelling the larynx and lungs. Weeping fig contains some bioactive compounds such as laxative substances, flavonoids, sugars, vitamins A and C, and enzymes. These nutrients show antimicrobial, antinociceptive, antipyretic, hypotensive, and anti-dysentery properties. In some parts of the world, its leaves and fruit extract are used by indigenous communities to treat skin and respiratory disorders.

Ficus plants growing new roots in water. Credit: Shutterstock

It is also used for the treatment of inflammation, piles, vomiting, leprosy, malaria, nose diseases, and cancer. Besides the use as a general tonic, its leaves and twigs are used as insect repellant. Antimicrobial and antioxidant properties– Weeping fig leaves contain a high amount of polyphenolic compounds. It also inhibits the growth of fungi like Candida albicans thus preventing its infection. Moreover, these phenolic compounds also increase the antioxidant defense system. Thus protect the body from several clinical disorders such as diabetes mellitus, cancer, renal failures, and degenerative diseases. Health benefits are antibacterial, antifungal, and immune booster. Easy to propagate by stem cutting. Toxic for humans as well as for animals. (via Food Thesis)

An indoor rubber plant. Credit: Shutterstock

Rubber Plant

The round leaves of the rubber plant are symbolic of wealth and financial growth in Vastu. They can bring you a lot of commercial success and money when placed in the correct zone of your house. They also absorb a lot of toxins in the air indoors and act as a natural air purifier. Rubber plants not only remove toxins from the air but they remove other problems like bacteria and mold from the indoor air.  Rubber trees do the best job of taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

This rubber tree is being tapped, because the latex is pouring out of it. Credit: Shutterstock

In feng shui, the rubber plant attracts nourishing positive energy and has a special placement in the home to ensure maximum benefit to the environment. The soft edges of the rubber tree’s large, glossy, ovate leaves are perfect for attracting positive energy into your home and softening the poisonous arrows of sharp corners. According to feng shui, rubber trees should be placed in the wealth (southeast or back left) and career (north or front center) corner of your home’s Bagua map to attract good luck and abundance to these areas.  Since the rubber plant does not produce flowers indoors, it does not aggravate allergies for the home’s inhabitants.  This beautiful green rounded leaf plant has been known to increase productivity in the workplace.  This indoor plant may also improve sleep.  There are anti-inflammatory properties in the rubber plant as well.    (via Petal Republic)

Sword ferns are a popular outdoor plant that provides a lot of ground coverage. Credit: Shutterstock

Sword Fern

The sword fern gets its shape from the sharp edges of its leaves. Infusions of the stems, or poultices of chewed leaves were used to treat skin sores and boils, a decoction of rhizomes could be used as a wash for dandruff. Some indigenous women chewed the leaves to hasten childbirth, and other tribes would chew leaves as a remedy for sore throats or tonsillitis.

Sword ferns are also enjoy as an indoor plant. Credit: Shutterstock

Sword ferns combine well in borders with other shade loving plants such as hostas, caladium and astilbes to create a lush display of foliage. Grow them in groups of odd numbers for best effect. Sword ferns can work both indoors and outdoors. But if you have them outside in large numbers, your garden might start to remind you of Jurassic Park. (via Jackson Nurseries)

Golden pothos works really well as an indoor plant. Credit: Shutterstock

Golden Pothos

In addition to being very easy to care for, pothos plants are well known for being able to clean the air. A NASA study has identified several popular indoor plants as being excellent at removing indoor air pollutants. The golden pothos is particularly adept at removing formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide.

It’s easy to duplicate your pothos plants with a cup of water. Credit: Shutterstock

The NASA clean air survey claims this plant to be a great air purifier.  Since this plant seems to increase humidity in the air it helps to keep down allergens from an increase in dust. Dry air contains pathogens, disease organisms, and dry air increases skin conditions. Golden pothos are known to absorb radiation. So keep one near your router and computer in your home and if possible your office. Golden pothos increase relaxation. In Feng shui, the plant is a sign of purity, wealth, and luck.  (via Diary For Gardening)

Spider plants are popular for indoors. Credit: Shutterstock

Spider Plant

Spider plants help clean indoor air. Studies have shown that spider plants are quite effective in cleaning indoor air by absorbing chemicals including formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and carbon monoxide in homes or offices. Thick, fleshy roots allow spider plants to tolerate inconsistent watering. The 1989 NASA Clean Air Study is often cited as proof that houseplants can remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. Indeed, this study shows that houseplants, including spider plants, can remove formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from the air. However, it’s not the only study out there!

It’s very easy to make new spider plants from your existing plant. Credit: Shutterstock

A 1984 study examined how plants could help remove formaldehyde, a common indoor pollutant, from the air. They chose golden pothos, nephthytis, and a spider plant as their test plants. Results showed that spider plants were the most effective at removing formaldehyde. More recent studies support spider plants’ ability to remove formaldehyde from the air. It’s important to note that soil microorganisms associated with spider plants have a significant role in air filtration. Spider plants are okay concerning most allergies.  The tiny flowers that grow from the spider plant do not produce much fragrance. While improving your home’s appearance, the spider plant will make you feel relaxed (via Petal Republic)

Peace lilies are associated with death and mourning. Credit: Shutterstock

Peace lily

Peace lilies are popular as both indoor and outdoor plants. You may recognize them as being one of the most popular plants to give someone at a funeral, since it often symbolizes death and grieving. As part of the NASA Clean air study, the peace lily reduced every chemical air pollutant that was studied. These include benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia. The plant can also remove toxins.

Peace lily can be both indoor and outdoor plants. Credit: Shutterstock

Another great benefit is that the plant will absorb humidity and regulate it to create a more comfortable environment in your home. Having low humidity levels in the bathrooms and kitchens means there will be less mold and mildew growth in those rooms.  Peace lilies might reduce airborne microbes thus reducing allergens from the air making your space more comfortable. Peace lilies seem to have therapeutic health benefits by lowering stress. The peace lily is also known to increase productivity in the office space.  More green plant life in general has been tested in the office and was found to increase productivity by 15% by increasing concentration.  And, like other green plants, the peace lily might offer you a better night’s sleep. (via Petal Republic)

Chamomile plants look adorable. Credit: Shutterstock

Chamomile

Camomile tea has many benefits and is best known to calm the mind and body after a long day.  This plant relieves stress and anxiety and can help you fall asleep. Another powerful medicinal property of chamomile is its action on the digestive tract. It is anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic, making it soothing for the entire digestive system. This also helps to reduce gas and stomach upset. Chamomile is also known to alleviate itching from dry skin and scalp. It is surprisingly high in Vitamins and minerals. This is safe for children added to a calming bath. It is an excellent companion plant for fruit trees because of its anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.

A lot of people love to drink chamomile tea because it helps calm you down. Credit: Shutterstock

This plant is especially beneficial to plant chamomile around brassicas (broccoli, kale, cabbage, etc.), onions, beans, and cucumbers. If you have chamomile plants next to other herbs like basil, rosemary, and mint it will help to increase their oil production, making them more potent. Camomile plant will also attract pollinators and beneficial insects to the garden and help your vegetables grow. (via Grow Forage Cook Ferment)

Many people plant roses because they are so beautiful. Credit: Shutterstock

Roses

Many of you have purchased roses because they’re beautiful, but did you know that they are good for the environment? Roses have been shown to absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen into it. This can help improve air quality in your home or garden by reducing greenhouse gasses. They’re good for your health: Roses have been shown to reduce stress levels and blood pressure, which is great if you are looking for ways to relax after a long day at work. They’re easy to grow: Even if you don’t have much experience with gardening, growing roses is simple! All it takes is water, soil and sunlight – so even beginners can do it successfully. And when they bloom each springtime, they’ll add an amazing pop of color that’s sure to brighten up any room in your house or outdoor area.

People love to drink rose tea because it’s so delicious. Credit: Shutterstock

According to Mental Health America, “Studies have shown that exposure to flowers reduces anxiety and boosts feelings of happiness.” In one study, patients with major depressive disorders were exposed to flower arrangements for six weeks, and their scores on tests measuring depression were significantly lower than those who didn’t receive the same treatment. So putting more roses in your life is one way to encourage yourself to be happier and more calm. “Research shows that simply being around flowers reduces stress,” according to The Huffington Post, citing a study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology. Researchers studied participants’ saliva after they’d spent time in a room filled with flowers and plants or a room without them. Those exposed to flowers had significantly lower levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) in their saliva than those who were not shown flowers. (via Garden Letter)

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