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Cold and flu season is upon us as are long stretches of sunless days. To fight off illness and depression, take an active approach to cultivate natural remedies into your lifestyle. Following are a few suggestions:
Surround yourself with green medicine - houseplants. All indoor plants have the ability to purify the air to a certain degree, but some are more beneficial than others, removing up to 90% of toxins from the air. By adding a 10-12” size plant for every 100 square feet in your home, it will make a difference. Try these easy-to-grow plants for starters.
Another plant family known for its health benefits is herbs. Used in teas and essential oils, these natural remedies are worth learning more about. For example, did you know peppermint can soothe headaches, relieve sinus pressure, and calm an upset stomach? Lemongrass aids digestion, regulates high blood pressure, and helps cold symptoms. Lavender, marjoram, sage, garlic, ginger . . . the list goes on. Start planning which ones you will grow this year.
Playing in the soil
As you pot up those herbs and houseplants, you will probably notice a lift in your spirits. Recent studies have shown that soil bacteria can act as antidepressants, boost immune systems, and increase learning abilities. So digging in the dirt is an act of wellness, too. Growing your own vegetables is another way to increase exposure to those beneficial soil bacteria as they may be contained in the food – that’s a good thing!
Whether you take a houseplant to the office, end the day with a cup of herbal tea, explore the use of essential oils, or just play in the dirt, make this a year of cultivating wellness the natural way. Start by attending our Gardeners' Retreat on Saturday, February. 17 where the focus is this very topic! Learn more at www.burlingtongardencenter.com.
Horticulturist and General Manager of Burlington Garden Center