Summer is here and with it has come sunny skies and warm days. The earth is green and in full bloom, so take advantage of the natural beauty all around you. This goes beyond taking walks around the neighbourhood or sitting outside and soaking up the sunshine.
Consider using the plants and blooming flowers of summer toward improving your overall health!
Herbs and flowers are full of natural healing powers that if taken advantage of, can help with everyday conditions and even boost your mood!
"The earth laughs in flowers." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Since medieval times, people have grown healing plants in their gardens. Today, these plants have been proven to be as powerful as many prescription medicines. The following common European herbs can be used to prevent a wide range of common ailments!
Chervil: Boosts brainpower! This lacy-leafed French herb enhances memory and problem solving skills. Full of the antioxidant luteolin, Chervil is able to reduce inflammation in the brain that is associated with aging. It is also full of iron and selenium, brain-healing minerals.
Fresh Chervil can be found being sold next to other fresh herbs and used as a tasty seasoning! Fennel: Relieves stomach pain! Fennel is a crunchy celery-like vegetable that can be found in the produce aisle. It is a great source of fibre and helps move potential toxins through the digestive tract. The antioxidants found in this vegetable are shown to relieve cramps, gas and upset stomachs.
You can add the chopped leaves and stalks to salads and soups, or even sip on fennel tea!
Chamomile: Kills Headaches Chamomile has been used for centuries across Europe to treat headaches and insomnia. The herb is full of glycine, which is an amino acid that releases tension and relaxes neck and scalp
muscles. It also has anti-anxiety compounds that calm the nervous system and reduce pain perception.
Brew a cup of chamomile tea and sip it in a nice quiet spot!
Watercress: The cure of cures This peppery green can be found across the UK, and is filled with essential vitamins and minerals-more iron than spinach, more vitamin C than an orange and more calcium than milk! Its antibiotic powers have no risk of side effects or resistance. Preliminary research even shows that the herb can repair DNA damage to cells and help stop the growth of breast and ling cancer cells!
Nettle Leaf: Stops joint pain! Nettle leaf had anti-inflammatory compounds that ease swelling, tissue damage and joint pain of osteoarthritis. The leaf is rich with the minerals boron and silicon that help to cushion joints. Nettle leaf also helps to get rid of uric acid, which breaks down the tissue between joints and causes gout.
Scientists are discovering that there is more that flowers can offer than just their beauty. In fact, stopping to smell the flowers and breathing in their fragrances is proven to make you feel calmer and more focused! So be sure to stop and take a sniff of the following flowers!
Jasmine The scent of these lovely little white flowers deepens sleep, giving you all-day energy when you wake up. Jasmine also sharpens hand-eye coordination.
Try sleeping in a jasmine scented room!
Lavender Not only is the scent of lavender calming, but it can also suppress stress-related changes that increase your chance of illness. Lavender oil can also be used to block the transmission of pain signals, relieving arthritis aches and menstrual cramps!
Roses and Violets These two scents improve moods and relieve anxiety, two key elements in increasing concentration and memory. Research has shown that the combination of both flower scents has boosted one's ability to remember things 17%. Gardenias Similar to the effects of massage, inhaling the scent of gardenias helps to calm frazzled nerves and has also been shown to lower blood pressure. Other studies have also shown that smelling gardenias before going to bed can soothe and promote sleep.