If you like gardening, add these plants to your patch because they have a number of health benefits that will come in handy!
1. Aloe vera
The leaves of this plant contain a thick gel that is quite bitter, but contains a protein that has 18 of the 20 amino acids found in the body, Vitamins A, B, C and E and a complex carbohydrate known as acemannan that delivers nutrition to cells, and detoxifies them.
This gel can be applied to the skin to moisturise it, exfoliate it and prevent acne. It can also be applied topically to injuries, minor cuts, dry skin and severe burns. Applying it to the hair and scalp prevents itching and dandruff and reduces hair fall. Drinking the juice (mixed with some other fruit juice, since it’s too bitter by itself) treats constipation and acidity, and improves blood sugar levels. Drinking the juice regularly also promotes weight loss.
2. Marigold (genda phool)
Marigold flowers have been used in traditional Ayurvedic remedies for centuries. Rich in flavanoids and loaded with antibiotic properties, they have a number of uses. Water infused with marigold petals can be used to treat a sunburn or fight oily skin. It can also be applied topically to bites, stings, rashes and wounds. Varicose veins ulcers can be soothed by applying marigold water on them. Drinking marigold tea can regulate the menstrual cycle, cure stomach ulcers and bring down fever.
3. Holy basil (tulsi)
A common plant in Indian households, tulsi has a number of medicinal uses. Due to its potent germicidal, fungicidal, anti-bacterial and anti-biotic properties, tulsi tea is a powerful remedy against any kind of fever, even if it’s caused by a disease like malaria. Drinking this tea regularly can regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity, making it useful for people who have diabetes. Chewing a few tulsileaves on an empty stomach is recommended because tulsi contains eugenol, an antioxidant that improves heart health by reducing cholesterol and blood pressure.Tulsi also helps dissolve kidney stones, treat cancer, soothe respiratory ailments, cure headaches, beat stress and improve skin and hair health.
4. Indian lilac (neem)
Just about every part of the neem tree, from bark and sap to flower and fruit has a number of health benefits, making it one of the most widely used herbs in Ayurveda. This plant can be used to cure acne and dandruff, cleanse the scalp, moisturise skin, treat wounds, heal ulcers, bring down fever, soothe coughs and other respiratory problems and cleanse the digestive tract.
5. Mint (pudina)
Apart from being fragrant and flavourful, this herb is also very healthy. Drinkingpudina tea relieves indigestion and gastrointestinal discomfort, prevents cancer, boosts immunity, treats morning sickness and menstrual cramps and prevents allergies and asthma. Applying mint topically can soothe aches and pains – that’s why so many pain relieving creams contain mint. It also kills bacteria in the mouth, protecting your teeth against cavities and keeping your breath fresh.
6. Spade leaf (gotu kola)
Gotu kola is a lesser known herb that has a lot of spiritual significance, as it is grown in the Himalayas and used by yogis to meditate. The leaf is said to resemble the two hemispheres of the brain, and is used to balance the crown chakra. Drinking a tonic made with this herb is said to improve memory and intelligence, fight stress and depression, cure nervous system disorders, improve reflexes, boost libido, increase energy levels, prevent premature ageing and treat blood disorders, heart problems, urinary tract infections, venereal diseases and hepatitis.
7. Rennet (ashwagandha)
A rejuvenating herb like gotu kola, ashwagandha improves physical and mental health through its ability to energise and calm the body simultaneously. Loaded with antioxidants, iron and amino acids, it can be added to tea. It balances the hormones, treats depression, improves immunity, reduces joint pain and swelling, slows down tumour growth, prevents insomnia, boosts memory, attention and thinking ability and reduces stress. Drinking this tea gives you energy during the day and helps you get peaceful sleep at night.