It’s no secret that many plants are good for our health. Fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with the nutrients our bodies need to stay strong and healthy. Nutritionally, herbs are even more significant; their greater pungency is linked to their natural potency in terms of health-promoting ingredients. Here are four of the most useful plants to keep on hand.
- Aloe Vera
If you’ve ever gotten a severe sunburn, you’ve probably turned to a soothing gel or lotion containing Aloe Vera. The sap of this succulent is useful in healing minor cuts and burns; simply snap of a piece of one of the leaves and apply directly to the site. It can also be helpful in treating dry or chapped skin, eczema, and dermatitis.
Cats aren’t the only ones who can enjoy this bright green, aromatic herb. A Mediterranean plant originally, the Romans used it as a medicinal and culinary ingredient. It is high in vitamin C, and can be used as a mild sedative. Hot tea infusions can help with nausea, anxiety, fever, and may alleviate cold symptoms.
Widely used in cooking, sage actually contains some very beneficial medicinal properties. Some of the essential tannins and oils in this plant are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiseptic. Teas have been used to relieve sore throats, ulcers, nausea, and a variety of other issues with internal inflammation. As an antibacterial, it can help with dental and oral problems such as infected gums, abscesses, and mouth ulcers.
Like Aloe, the houseleek is a perennial succulent that thrives happily indoors. It can be used in many of the same ways as Aloe, and has some other common uses as well. Insect bites and stings, cuts, and itching or burning skin can be relieved by direct application. A tea made from houseleek can be used for bronchitis, a sore throat, and certain types of gastrointestinal distress.