Stress relief can be as close as your garden. Rather than reaching for a prescription drug or over-the-counter medication to calm your nerves, there are three types of gardens you can cultivate that will combat stress in almost any form. Stress relief from the garden can come from flowers, a beautiful and relaxing butterfly garden or a food garden so you can enjoy nature’s bounty on your table in exciting and delicious recipes.
Just the act of cultivating a garden can be a restful and peaceful experience. Getting outdoors in the warm sunshine and communing with nature by helping plants grow and provide beauty or harvest can be relaxing and a healthy way to exercise.
A perfect type of garden to combat stress is the beauty of the flower garden. Let your creativeness and imagination run wild when creating a beautiful space in which you can relax and even bring some of the beauty into your home. Grow them from seeds in flats and then plant them in containers or flower beds surrounding your home or on your patio. The rewards you get from a flower garden range from the scene of blooming flowers, the scent and the harvest for your own personal use.
Certain flowers, such as lavender (an herb) are commonly used in aromatherapy for stress relief. You can purchase the scent of lavender in soaps and lotions – or grow your own and tie up bunches to dry in your home.
As long as we are talking about herbs, below are some herbs that boost your health and help to prevent premature signs of aging. If you want to retain a youthful appearance and be in the best of health as you age, then you should do it in the most natural way possible. There are more natural options than undergoing invasive surgery just to look young and healthy. We are daily being made more aware that we can take action to assist anti-aging through our diet; growing and adding these herbs to your diet can help.
This herb is a known antioxidant tonic which works very well for protecting the eyes against degenerative diseases. Bilberry contains active compounds that help stimulate the production of rhodopsins, which are groups of cells at the back of the eyes.
A study conducted in Europe showed that bilberry can be effective in the prevention of cataracts. It can also be used in treating individuals diagnosed with mild retinopathies. As bilberry contains anthocyanosides experts say they can also be beneficial for improving blood flow and for preventing the onset of blood vessel thickening which is common among people with diabetes.
Joint inflammation is also another common problem among aged individuals that can also be treated with bilberry.
Dong Quai is part of the reason why many Chinese women look younger than their age. This herb is known to help maintain youthfulness by helping a person achieve better blood circulation and elimination of toxins.
This helps those who regularly take the Dong Quai herb will gain improved skin complexion and reduced risks of showing early signs of skin aging. Dong Quai is also used for treating skin problems such as pruritus, vitiligo, eczema, neurodermatitis and hives.
Ginkgo is famous for being an anti-aging circulatory tonic. It has active compounds which are beneficial for strengthening the small capillaries found in the brain and other organs of the body.
Due to the active compounds found in ginkgo, these tiny capillaries will have improved flexibility, allowing them to deliver more oxygen to the eyes and brain. This results in lowered risk of macular degeneration and improved communication between nerve cells.
It has also been found to protect the body against damage caused by oxidation. People with ear problems such as tinnitus may also benefit from taking ginkgo.
Gotu Kola is another herb known for its cell regenerating action. This herb helps speed up wound healing while it also slows down the aging process. Its wound healing qualities make it very beneficial for bed ridden patients as it speeds up the healing of bedsores. Just like ginkgo, it can also serve as an excellent brain tonic.
Indian yogis usually take gotu kola claiming that it helps them become better focused and mentally alert while also helping them achieve improved capacity for memory retention. People diagnosed with hypoglycemia may also benefit from Gotu Kola as it helps normalize blood sugar levels.
This herb has also been found to be very effective in aiding the synthesis of the skin’s collagen making it one of the best anti-aging herbs.
Hawthorn berries are known to be effective for helping those sufferers of circulatory, cardiac and respiratory conditions. This is because hawthorn berries are loaded with antioxidants such as oligomeric procyanidins and quercetin which have a plethora of health benefits.
Hawthorn has been touted in Europe for treating people suffering from early stages of heart disease. Its potent heart healing and heart protective benefits enabled it to earn the approval of Commission-E branch of the German government – the specific branch focused on studying and approving different kinds of herbal treatments.
Butterfly and Food Gardens
A butterfly garden not only brings beauty, but the added benefit of observing gorgeous butterflies flying from flower to flower. A properly executed butterfly garden will attract butterflies and hummingbirds, filling your garden with life and aroma.
Among the plants you can grow in your butterfly garden include lavender, azaleas and hibiscus. Also try Tropical sage, butterfly bushes, purple coneflower and bee balm to attract hummingbirds and butterflies and to fill your garden with beauty.
And, for the ultimate in exercise and health, try a food garden. A food garden can bring beauty to containers or outdoor garden spaces and add healthy vegetables to your table.
Easy and fast-growing plants for your food garden include tomatoes, bell pepper, radishes, carrots and lettuce. Fresh produce from your garden tastes much better than what you can purchase from the supermarket.
If you have a large enough garden space, try growing extra produce for canning and/or freezing. This ensures you can be enjoying your gardening efforts far into the cold winter months.
Choosing any one or all of the above garden types ensures you get needed sunshine to increase serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is the “feel good” chemical and melatonin helps you get a good night’s sleep.
The fresh air you enjoy with gardening keeps you healthy and promotes cell growth and renewal in your body. After gardening, you may also find that you can focus better and enjoy a sense of physical and mental well-being.
Carve out a space in your garden for your relaxation by adding water features and other sounds of nature – plus and comfy spot to relax with a good book or maybe a glass of wine.