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Lavender – a healing plant for your garden

Many plants are known to soothe and calm the senses, and now it is believed that the smell of flowers can improve your quality of sleep along with making your home look better.

Lavender is lauded for its healing powers and has been used in baby shampoos and soaps to help children relax. You can even get pillows infused with the scent of lavender to help you relax and fall asleep. I’ve also heard if you treat your children’s bedding with lavender that when they travel all you need to do is mist their new bed with lavender and you can get them to sleep anywhere.

Lavender is a fairly easy plant to grow indoors. It requires lots of sunlight and even watering. Not only do the flowers give off a scent but so does the foliage as well. With its beautiful grey foliage and blue flowers it makes a stunning addition to any room.

The smell of jasmine doesn’t make you sleep but it does make your sleep time count for more.   According to a study by Wheeling Jesuit University, jasmine has a positive effect on the quality of sleep one gets, decreasing anxiety and improving the attitude one has after waking up. With its tiny white flowers this vine can be grown both indoors and as a patio plant in the summer. When in bloom jasmine can be most striking, and the fact I can wake more refreshed makes me want to try this in the bedroom soon.

Gardenia is another plant researchers claim may be superior to Valium or Lexilium in its ability to relieve anxiety before bedtime. However the only drawback with gardenias is they are somewhat fussy to maintain because they need a lot of attention to keep their blooms and leaves from dropping prematurely. Gardenias should be placed in a bright room, yet not exposed to direct sunlight.

It is also said that aloe vera is an amazing healer in so many ways. Not only is aloe vera great for soothing inflammation, scars and mild burns on the skin, it can also detoxify the body and air in your home. 

Dubbed the “plant of immortality” by the Egyptians, it reproduces easily so if you buy one you will soon have an aloe plant for all the rooms in your house. You can even pass on the gift of happy sleep to your family and friends! Keep it on your bedroom windowsill because it does need a lot of direct sunlight.

Listed as one of NASA’s top air-improving plants, the fantastic aloe vera works much like many other plants because it takes in carbon dioxide and emits oxygen at night, making for a more restful slumber. It is also one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain — it tolerates neglect well and doesn’t require frequent watering.

So, if you suffer from insomnia or unexplained anxiety, spend a little bit of your time on one of these beautiful plants. They certainly are a cheaper and healthier solution to taking pills!

This article has been re-posted with permission from the Toronto Sun.

About the Author: Denise Hodgins is a professional horticulturalist and writer.

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