9 fragrant plants you need in your garden (and life)
Floral and herbal scents have long been recognised for their health and wellbeing benefits, such as memory boosters, stress relievers and stimulants. To help people unlock the ‘scentsational’ benefits their garden can offer, a company called PlantforLife teamed up with aromacologist Danièle Ryman and UK’s celebrity plantsman Chris Collins to offer advice and guidance on the benefits garden plants can bring.
Here are their tips on scented plants you can grow in your garden and how best to use them to benefit your health.
1. Chamomile flowers were sacred in ancient Egypt due to their amazing healing properties. This plant has been used to help with a number of ailments from digestion to headaches and has also been used as an antiseptic. Its most common use is for relaxation and many people drink chamomile tea for its calming properties.
2. Gardenia flowers have long been associated with passion and have been given as gifts to loved ones throughout history. They can be used for relaxation and can help calm nerves. Try making a relaxing pot pourri mixture by drying out the flowers. Place them in a pot and leave around the house for a relaxing and calming scent.
3. Hyacinth flowers symbolise sport or play while the blue hyacinth signifies sincerity. Their scent is perfect for lifting your mood during the cold, winter months. To help lift your mood simply place approximately five hyacinth flowers in a small bowl or vase and breathe in the scent for five to ten minutes.
4. Jasmine is a stimulant and the perfume is so exquisite, women in China would roll jasmine blossoms into their hair to keep it smelling fragrant for days. To stimulate your body and mind, plant jasmine near windows to perfume the air but be careful not to plant near your bedroom as the smell is a stimulant.
5. Lavender is most commonly known for providing relaxation, aiding sleep and relieving stress. The Romans even added it to their bath water to benefit from its amazing properties. In Elizabethan times ladies would also sew lavender into their skirts for the scented perfume. For a stress busting remedy add a large pinch of lavender to half a pint of water and boil for ten minutes. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and then, placing a towel over your head, breathe in the steam from the mixture.
6. Mint as many of us know can help settle the stomach, but many are unaware that when used in a bath it can help to soften the skin. Add a handful of mint leaves to a hot bath to enjoy the wonderful scent, ease tiredness and condition the skin.
7. Rosemary has many amazing properties, including providing energy, stimulation and conditioning hair. The Greeks and Romans also used it to improve their concentration. Try making your own shampoo by adding a large pinch of rosemary to a bowl of hot water, stir, and leave to cool for 20 minutes. After washing your hair rinse with the mixture to give your hair an extra shine.
8. Roses have been an important scent throughout history. The Romans scattered rose petals from ceilings at their banquets and placed roses on the statues of their favourite gods. The Egyptians also used rose petals at important religious ceremonies. Rose is a calming scent and can help ease nerves. Try making a rose infusion by adding a handful of rose petals to half a pint of boiling water and leave to simmer for five minutes. Let the mixture cool, and then breathe in the fragrance for ten minutes for a calming effect.
9. Thyme was used by the ancient Egyptians as part of the embalming process. Romans also used it in medicine and before battle as they believed it encouraged bravery. Including thyme in your diet is said to help ease aches and pains and smelling the plant can ease tiredness and lift your mood.
Information via Garden Releaf
Have you heard about Garden Releaf?
Independent garden centres across Australia will be supporting the Garden Releaf program on Saturday 14 April to focus on the mental and physical benefits that come with gardening. (Garden centres in Western Australia will celebrate Garden Releaf Day on Saturday 17 March to avoid a clash with the Perth Garden Festival.)
Garden Releaf is an innovative program established by Garden Centres of Australia (GCA) in 2014 to help people understand the numerous benefits that spending time in a garden or simply being surrounded by living greenery can have on a person’s health and wellbeing. Organisers believe that “gardening and living greenery has been proven to improve not only a person’s physical and mental health but also to reduce stress and anxiety and build self-esteem.”