It’s no secret that we all want to be healthy and live our lives in the best way possible. For many of us, this involves watching what we eat, adding a little more veg in our diets, putting in a few more steps, and avoiding takeaway for tea every night.
Over time, all of these lifestyle choices can add up to a significant improvement in our health, but unfortunately, sometimes these measures aren’t enough and we need to seek out other health alternatives. Surprisingly, one solution may be growing things in our own gardens: flowers and herbs.
How Flowers Can Impact Your Health
Besides common allergies, our favorite blooms can impact our health in some fascinating ways. Research has found that flowers can reduce stress in office workers, increase our productivity, and help with pain management in hospital patients. There is also evidence that people exhibit better moods when they eat at restaurants that have fresh flowers on their tables.
If that isn’t enough to warrant taking a deeper look into flower power, we need to look across the other side of the pond to consider that many of their leading colleges have research proving that flowers can help beat anxiety, depression, and negativity.
Surprisingly, greenery and flora might just be nature’s answer to many of our ailments for over the years we have seen many flowers and herbs being used for medicinal purposes.
The History of Herbs and Medicines
Using herbs is the most basic form of medicine. Herbal medicines are actually the most common form of medicine used worldwide, with about 80% of the world using herbs and flowers for medical uses. We even have evidence that animals instinctively use plants to treat their own sickness and ailments.
In fact, our use of herbal medicine is so common and widespread that many of us don’t realise that we're using daily. We just need to consider that all the herbs and seasonings we add to our food were originally added to help with food digestion.
Most cultures have a herbal medicine tradition that has been developed and fine tuned over countless years and millennia. Unfortunately, for us Britons, a large amount of our lore was lost during the reign of James VI, with the persecution of “witches.” Due to fear of being accused, this halted the passing of information down from generation to generation.
Thankfully, Great Britain’s global reach has allowed us to combine herbal traditions from around the world to form the herbal medicine we have today. Even the first medical schools were built on the use of herbs and plants.
In the past, we could easily find and gather herbs growing in the wild which could be harvested when needed or sold at the local apothecary or grocer. Herbs today are typically easy to access from herbal dispensaries or greengrocers. However many people still opt to grow a few plants, so they can enjoy the benefits of flowers and herbs in their own gardens.
Flower and Herbal Medicines Used Today
Listed below is a small sampling for how herbs and flowers can impact our health:
The English Marigold
This familiar, bright orange flower does more than look pretty. It has been used for centuries to relieve a variety of skin problems. One example; we can reduce pain and swelling with insect bites or stings by rubbing dried Marigold flowers on the affected location.
In northern parts of the UK this plant grows abundantly in wild meadows and is known for its astringent properties that treat conditions ranging from cuts to muscle spasms.
Elderflower can often be found in a cordial drink during the summer, but it’s used for much more. This flower is known for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects which have made this a favoured home-remedy for centuries. A concoction of elderflower and plain water has been used to relieve symptoms of arthritis and colds.
This troublesome plant is often overlooked because of its sting. However, when nettle is prepared correctly it has been used as a natural anti-histamine to combat allergies and recently, is being studied to aid with treating Alzheimer’s disease.
People have been deriving oil from its leaves because it contains pain relieving compounds called phenylalanine. This gives evening primrose remarkable properties for healing.
Essential oil taken from this plant contains anti-fungal properties, which is often used to treat skin conditions like eczema or relieve painful areas during a Shingles outbreak.
This traditional herbal medicine is often used to treat headaches and prevent migraines.
Discover Herbs and Flowers with Peace of Mind
If you're going to get outside into the garden as your new hobby, it is important to feel safe and confidence whilst doing so. Our personal alarm service provides you and your loved ones with the peace of mind that help will be available if you have a fall or feel unwell. Thanks to a range of up to 100m, our alarms will still work whilst you're outside in the garden.
For more information about the service we provide please give our friendly team a call on 0800 999 0400. Alternatively, you can complete our contact us form and a member of the team will be in touch shortly.
What herbs and flowers do you use to impact your health? Share your experiences in the comments section below!