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benefits of plants & trees
Plants & trees offer a wide range of benefits that are crucial for both the environment and human life. Here are some of the key advantages of plants & trees:
Oxygen Production: Plants are essential for producing oxygen which is vital for the survival of all organisms, including humans.
Carbon Dioxide Absorption: They absorb carbon dioxide, helping to mitigate climate change by reducing the concentration of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
Ecosystem Stability: Plants contribute to the stability of ecosystems by providing habitats for various organisms, supporting biodiversity, and maintaining ecological balance.
Food Production: They are the primary source of food for humans and many animals. Fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes are all derived from plants.
Medicinal Properties: Plants provide essential compounds that are used in medicines, herbal remedies, and treatments for various illnesses.
Water and Soil Conservation: Plant roots help prevent soil erosion and contribute to water retention in the soil, thereby aiding in the conservation of both water and soil.
Aesthetic and Psychological Benefits: Plants enhance the visual appeal of our surroundings and have a positive impact on mental health by reducing stress and increasing overall well-being.
Planting trees and being around plants can significantly impact mental health in several ways:
Stress Reduction: Interacting with nature, including trees and plants has been linked to reducing stress. Spending time in green spaces can lower cortisol levels the hormone associated with stress.
Improved Mood: Being in natural environments has been shown to elevate mood and decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. The presence of trees and plants can have a calming effect on the mind.
Enhanced Well-being: Exposure to green spaces and natural surroundings, such as forests or parks with trees and plants has been associated with increased feelings of well-being and contentment.
Physical Exercise: Planting and caring for trees involves physical activity which is known to positively impact mental health by releasing endorphins and reducing feelings of anxiety and depression.
Connection to Nature: Being around trees and plants allows individuals to feel more connected to the natural world, fostering a sense of purpose, belonging, and tranquility.
Mindfulness and Relaxation: Gardening or spending time near trees & plants encourages mindfulness and relaxation. The act of caring for plants often provides a sense of accomplishment and purpose, promoting a positive state of mind.
Air Quality and Oxygen: Trees contribute to better air quality by producing oxygen, creating a healthier environment which in turn positively affects mental health.
Sensory plants are those that engage one or more of the senses—sight, smell, touch, taste, and sometimes even hearing. These plants have unique characteristics that stimulate and appeal to our sensory experiences. Here are several different types of sensory plants:
Fragrant Plants: These plants have strong, pleasant aromas. Examples include lavender, jasmine, roses, and herbs like thyme or rosemary.
Colourful Plants: Flowers and plants with vibrant colours can be visually stimulating. For instance, hebe’s, camellia, salvia, roses or certain types of foliage plants like acer, cornus, liquidambar, euphorbia
Textural Plants: Plants with diverse textures engage the sense of touch. Soft leaves of lamb's ear, velvety petals of certain flowers, or rough bark of some trees provide tactile experiences.
Edible Plants: These are plants that are safe and enjoyable to taste. Fruits, vegetables, and herbs like strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and herbs such as mint & basil are examples of edible sensory plants.
Sounds of Nature: Certain plants, like bamboo or grasses such as hakonechola produce gentle sounds when rustled by the wind, engaging the sense of hearing.
Medicinal Plants: Some plants provide a sensory experience by their healing properties. Aloe vera for instance has soothing gel-filled leaves that can be applied to the skin for various benefits.
Sensitive Plants: Mimosa pudica, also known as the sensitive plant responds to touch by folding its leaves providing an interactive and tactile experience.
Medicinal plants have been used for centuries in various cultures as natural remedies for treating different viruses & health related issues. Here are a few examples of medicinal plants:
Aloe Vera: Known for its soothing properties, aloe vera is used to treat skin conditions, burns, andas a moisturizer. It's often found in skincare products.
Peppermint: Often used to alleviate digestive problems like indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint oil can also be used for headaches andas a decongestant.
Echinacea: Believed to support the immune system andreduce symptoms of colds or flu. It's often used in herbal remedies.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia): Lavender is known for its calming effects andis often used in aromatherapy for relaxation and to improve sleep quality.
Rosemary: great for improving mood, boosts production of red blood cells, anti inflammatory properties, exerts a relaxant effect on the muscles.
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba): ginkgo is used to improve memory and cognitive function. It's also believed to have antioxidant properties.
Willow (Salix alba): The bark of the willow tree contains salicin, which is similar to aspirin. It's used for pain relief and to reduce inflammation.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus): Eucalyptus leaves are used for various properties including alleviating respiratory conditions. The oil is commonly used in aromatherapy.
St. John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum): Known for its potential in alleviating symptoms of mild to moderate depression.
Moringa (Moringa oleifera): Often referred to as the "drumstick tree," it's used for its nutritional properties, as it's rich in vitamins and antioxidants.
Pine (Pinus spp.): Pine bark extract is known for its antioxidant properties andis used to improve blood circulation and support heart health.