Plants Are the New Healing Crystals

Succulent plants and crystals.

Throughout history, crystals have been used to promote health and well being, so it’s no wonder that their popularity is on the rise. Plants feature in ancient medicine in much the same way, used to convey energy, vitality, relaxation, and other healthful qualities. In fact, just as you might choose between turquoise, jasper, and rose quartz based on their specific properties, you can select one or more of the plants below to bring you the benefits you seek.

Relaxation:  Lavender and Jasmine

Amethysts are a favorite of crystal enthusiasts, as much for their renown in relieving anxiety and dispersing negative thoughts as for their radiant violet color. A plant with fragrant flowers the same deep purple color, lavender shares amethyst’s healing properties. Studies show that inhaling the scent of lavender actually decreases heart rate and lowers blood pressure. Scenting your bedroom with lavender can help you relax and sleep more deeply, too.

Another popular flowering plant known for its ability to relax and rejuvenate is jasmine, a highlight of many aromatherapy regimens. So beneficial that its name means “Gift from God,” jasmine is a potent stress-fighter that reduces inflammation and helps prevent cardiovascular disease.

Good Health and Vitality: Sunflowers and Peace Lilies

Sunflowers don’t just look cheery – these brightly colored members of the aster family have been under cultivation for more than 5,000 years for their nutrient-packed seeds which can be ground into flour and pressed to produce a rich, skin-healing oil.

An indoor plant with similar benefits is the peace lily, considered so effective at improving air quality that it’s been certified by NASA for its ability to cleanse the air of toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. A tropical plant most commonly grown indoors, peace lilies are not only good for your health, they’re easy to care for, requiring only indirect or filtered light to thrive.

Energy and Vitality: Echinacea 

Among the many crystals with healing properties, quartz reigns supreme, promoting energy and well-being, and amplifying the benefits of other crystals. Like quartz, echinacea is a powerful health-promoter that tops most lists of important medicinal plants. A daisy-like perennial also known as coneflower, echinacea is an immune-booster found in many herbal remedies for cold and flu prevention.

Better Sleep: Gardenia 

Gardenias are more than elegant corsages, they’re also nature’s sleeping pills. Thanks to the presence of certain phytochemicals, they have much the same ability to induce slumber as many prescription sleep aids.  In fact, the waxy white flowers are being studied as a relaxant to treat sleep disorders. Notoriously finicky about watering and drainage, gardenias will thank you for installing a B-hyve smart hose watering timer to protect their roots from rot.

Mental Clarity: Mint and Rosemary

There’s a reason a sprig of mint tastes so refreshing in a drink on a hot summer’s day. Menthol, the primary component in mint’s distinctive flavor, stimulates the area of the brain that controls memory and clarity.  One member of the mint family, peppermint, has been found in studies to boost alertness and decrease frustration levels while learning.

When adding mint to your kitchen garden, why not put in some rosemary, too? In addition to being a popular ingredient in sauces, soups, and stews, rosemary has been found to increase concentration and sharpen memory. According to one study, smelling rosemary before a cognitive test increased memory capacity by 75 percent. Maybe Shakespeare was onto something when he wrote the line “there’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.”

Introduce some of these fragrant and beneficial plants to your home environment, and you just might find your mind and body becoming as healthy as your garden ecosystem.