It’s common knowledge that certain plants and flowers can enhance our gardens aesthetically. Top of the popularity polls are roses, lilies, tulips, daffodils and sunflowers, with each offering a uniquely appealing appearance.
However, did you know that some garden plants, houseplants and flowers have other uses? Here, we look at some of the superpowers held by our favourite outdoor companions.
Marigold is known as the herb of the sun and is said to symbolise passion and creativity. However, in ancient Indian, Roman and Greek society, it was used to treat various health ailments and induce psychic powers.
If you’re fortunate enough to have your own allotment space, it’s likely that you have a cabbage patch. Aside from being a tasty addition to your Sunday roast, were you aware that this biennial plant emits a volatile gas as a way to warn others that insects and animals are present? These plants alert their family members of the danger ahead.
Aloe Vera is possibly one of the most recognised ‘super’ plants of them all. Aloe Vera is found in many beauty products, including lip balm and hand cream and holds many medicinal purposes, including healing wounds and skin disorders. Not only this, but as it is jam-packed with vitamins and minerals, it is becoming a prominent feature in healthy juice and drinks. Just make sure you don’t use your aloe houseplant as this doesn’t have the same benefits.
Although you may be drawn to the translated name of this plant – the dragon tree – it also has great powers that should make it onto your list of house plants. As well as being easy to maintain, the dracaena is one of a host of plants that hold air purifying powers.
A dandelion may come across as an annoying weed that’s taking over your garden if you’re not careful, but did you know its presence can actually be a good thing? For some, it’s used to treat eczema, while others believe digesting it can help with intestinal disorders. Not only that, but its leaves are said to regulate blood sugar levels.
This is a very random addition to the list, right? Well, maybe so, but as well as causing cats to enter their zen mode, catnip can help humans relieve toothache. Chewing catnip also makes you sweat more, which, according to WebMD, can lower any fever you may have and act as a mild sedative. Its oil has also been found to be 10 times more effective than DEET for repelling insects.
NASA completed one of the first studies on the benefits of houseplants in 1989. It found that English Ivy is a perfect bedroom companion thanks to its ability to clean air indoors. This is said to help you get a better night’s sleep, making the houseplant a great addition to your personal space.
Bromeliad Pineapple Champaca
If you have an English Ivy plant in your room to help you sleep, help your significant other get a good night’s rest too by also adding this pineapple plant to your space. Also known as the ‘anti-snoring plant’ this little gem releases oxygen into the air at night instead of during the day.
Peruvian Apple Cactus
A real green hero is the Peruvian apple cactus. Are you worried about the radiation levels in your household or office space caused by an increase in electrical appliances? If so, this prickly plant could be your saviour as it can absorb and reduce electromagnetic waves.
Impatiens pallida Nutt
Translating to ‘pale touch-me-not’, this summer wildflower is amazingly able to identify who its family members are. While this may not sound like a ‘superpower’ to humankind, for a plant this is rather remarkable. It can even share its nutrients with relatives if it chooses to do so. Scientists have also observed that it can protect itself from the virus, proving that plants can figure out that light exposure can lead to certain dangers.
As there are nearly 400,000 species of plants on Earth, it’s clear that many of them have great powers that we just aren’t aware of. So, that weed that you dislike may well be able to provide more benefits than you ever thought of, or that pretty flower may be more than just easy on the eye.