Nature is incredible. You can grow majestic plants from food scraps and even cultivate tropical fruits in your rental. Yet, plants can do so much more, all while beautifying your home. A little bit of green space will do wonders for your apartment, and now might be the right time to do just that.
In addition to boosting the overall air quality in a home — and outdoors for that matter — plants can also help boost your health and treat minor issues. Medicinal plants have been used by mankind for as long as we can remember, and their properties are useful today, as well. So, whether you plan to use them in your self-care routine, teas and brews, or simply to provide more greenery in your apartment, consider growing these plants for your next project.
With its thick, dark green leaves, the aloe vera plant is a favorite, especially for skin treatments. Specifically, the gel inside the leaves of the plant contains antioxidants and other helpful compounds. As such, it has long been used to treat sunburns and other skin issues. And, while you might not get enough gel from one plant to create a full recipe for a skin treatment, the tips of the leaves can still be used for topical application as needed.
However, whether aloe vera can be used as a cure for internal problems is still up for debate. Thus far, the research is inconclusive, and there could even be some side effects associated with ingesting it long–term. So, if you’re thinking of growing aloe vera in your home, use it for skin care only.
Also, keep in mind that while this plant is great at cleaning the air in a room, it could also be dangerous for your pet. Be sure to do your research in case this applies to you.
Finally, because it’s similar to a succulent, aloe vera is relatively easy to grow indoors. It does need sunlight, but not direct, especially during summer months when the sun’s direct rays could damage the plant. It also should not be over-watered — wait for the soil to dry completely between waterings.
Chamomile is an easy–to–grow plant with beautiful blooms that also offers a variety of benefits to the body. Often used in teas and herbal concoctions, chamomile has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties that may relieve anxiety, headaches or stomach issues. Plus, if you have difficulty falling asleep, chamomile tea can help with that, as well. For external use, chamomile can also help treat burns and ulcerations — especially in the mouth — as well as colds and sore throats.
The chamomile plant is easy to grow indoors and can even be planted during the winter. It requires about four hours of sunlight per day and should be watered weekly. And, although the plant does not grow very tall, it does need space to blossom properly. So, if you’re starting from seeds in a larger pot, make sure to separate the buds while they’re still small to ensure there’s plenty of space between the stems.
This gorgeous plant is a favorite of the cosmetics industry, and it’s no wonder considering its many benefits. While its popularity primarily derives from its fragrance and color, lavender also contains a variety of compounds that can help relieve pain. It’s also frequently used in aromatherapy. What’s more, lavender helps treat skin blemishes and inflammation, too, and speeds up the healing of wounds and formation of scar tissue.
Lavender also has a calming and relaxing effect. In fact, a few drops of lavender essential oil on a pillow or in an essential oil diffuser can help people who struggle with insomnia or recurring pain and stress. Aside from the essential oil — which you should never ingest — lavender is used in teas and capsules, and may also be infused with food to give it a sweet, pleasant fragrance. Once again, the research on lavender is inconclusive, although it’s safe to say that it does offer several health benefits. Just be very careful about putting it in food or ingesting it, which can present side effects.
As an added bonus, the lavender plant looks amazing and gives off a pleasant fragrance that fills the room. Notably, it is a bit trickier to grow indoors because it requires a lot of light. So, be sure to place the plant in a south-facing window and not to water it too frequently, as it is rather low-maintenance. Then, prune the tips of the plant to help it regenerate faster and produce more leaves and plants.
This aromatic herb has many variations, including peppermint and spearmint, and is used in the kitchen to provide a strong flavor to meals and drinks. For instance, mint tea is a great treatment for indigestion, and some people suggest that it is also beneficial to people with irritable bowel syndrome. However, it shouldn’t be used by people with gastro-esophageal reflux because it can also be irritating. Meanwhile, as a tea, mint is helpful in treating colds and sore throats. But, the mint oil and the pure form of menthol can be toxic if ingested or overused, so stick to the natural plant or do your research before using these types of mint.
This plant is easy to grow indoors. You can even find potted plants in grocery stores and transfer one into a larger pot to keep in your kitchen. Additionally, the plant needs to be watered well and thrives best in indirect sunlight, so avoid overexposing it. The plant also tends to bend toward the light, so rotate it every few days to maintain even growth.
The aromatic herbs we usually use in cooking also have important health benefits. Besides the amazing flavors they add to food, they also contain vitamins and compounds with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Plus, using them to flavor your meals can also help you reduce your consumption of oil, salt and sugar.
There are many varieties of aromatic herbs you can grow in a small herb garden on your balcony or in your kitchen. To begin, think about what you use the most and start with that. For example, basil, thyme, rosemary and oregano are easy to grow and you can start them all from seed. Next, place them in a container with good drainage and in a sunny spot where they can thrive. Then, water them regularly — but not too frequently as their roots can rot. Harvest the herbs a little at a time and you’ll see how fast they can regenerate. Fresh herbs will be a game-changer for your cooking.
These are just a few of the plants that can give your health a boost, but there are so many more. Let us know which ones you choose to grow in your apartment by tagging us in your pictures and sharing your tips with us.