Plant a Healing Garden

Natural Remedies
on April 12, 2010

The smell of herbs, sight of colorful flowers and butterflies and experience of digging in the dirt and harvesting vegetables can trigger old memories, fight depression and have other therapeutic affects, according to scientific research. Use these guidelines from landscape architect Jack Carman, founder and owner of Design for Generations to create a healing garden in your own yard, balcony or patio:
Herbs. Sage and rosemary have been shown to prevent the breakdown of the acetylcholine, a shortage of the neurotransmitter has been associated with the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Basil and oregano can also help trigger childhood memories, and many fresh herbs can add healthy flavor to meals or be dried and used as aromatherapy.
Flowers. Marigolds attract butterflies—studies suggest that watching nature interact with the garden can reduce stress, lower blood pressure and help focus attention on more positive aspects of life. Some flowers, such as nasturtiums, are edible—use the buds to liven up a salad. What’s more, studies have shown that having fresh flowers around can reduce stress.
Vegetables. Planting, maintaining and harvesting veggies like cherry tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers can boost self-esteem, and their vitamins and antioxidants have been shown to counteract everything from cancer to bad eyesight