Add more Plants to Your Life for Vitality
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
From just sitting among plants, to eating a rainbow, drinking teas, to aromatherapy and more! Plants help us connect with our heart to bring our true best selves into the world
Science has been confirming what many have always felt in their hearts, that just being in nature is healing. In fact, even just having a tree outside a hospital window can improve healing. I so clearly remember getting brought to my room after my surgery, and looking out my window and seeing a single tree, beginning my healing journey. The day before my surgery, my friend brought me to the ocean. We were greeted with the most gorgeous seaweed display in every shade and hue of purple, that I had never seen before or since, bestowed like a generous gift, to sustain me on my journey ahead. I also remember going for chemotherapy in mid November, and gazing in awe into the courtyard at trees still covered in vibrant red leaves, when everywhere else, dried up brown leaves covered the ground.
Besides seeing and being with plants, plants are filled with powerful nutrients, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Eating a rainbow of brightly colored vegetables and fruits every day, including lots of bitter greens and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, & cauliflower fills the body with vitality. Healing spices & herbs not only add flavor to meals, but also contain concentrated healing power. Plants make great teas, full of flavor, nutrients and healing compounds. Not all plant compounds can be best extracted in water, so herbal vinegars are great at extracting minerals, and can be used in salad dressings or as tonics to boost immunity, mixed in water. Other compounds are best extracted in alcohol, and small amounts are taken, by the dropperful.
Then, there are those tiny bottles of essential oils, where the dosage is in drops. Essential oils contain the highly concentrated volatile oils distilled from very high volumes of plant material. For example it takes 60 roses (yes, 5 dozen!) for every DROP of essential oil that's produced! Unfortunately, aromatherapy has become very popular and there is a lot of inaccurate and downright dangerous information being spread by those calling themselves experts. A particularly dangerous practice being spread is that of adding essential oils to water and drinking them. Essential oils do not dissolve in water, so you are taking in very concentrated volatile compounds that can damage the delicate mucous membranes along the entire digestive tract! Using undiluted essential oils on the skin can cause sensitization reactions, even the overuse of diluted essential oils can cause sensitivity. Some oils, like bergamot are phototoxic, and can cause severe reactions if exposed to sunlight. Citrus and coniferous oils are prone to oxidation, which can cause reactions, so their shelf-life is short . Another big concern is that many essential oils are adulterated, and contain synthetic compounds. If you decide to use essential oils, please be educated and think about sustainability. I tend to use my oils most in winter; when the frozen earth is devoid of fragrance, patchouli's earthiness grounds me, Vetizer's smoky undertones remind me of sitting around a campfire, and geranium and goldenrod's scents brings me back to fields of flowers.
Consider adding more plants to your life, beginning by noticing nature's abundance right in your own backyard, and you are on your way to plant-powered vitality.