Garden therapy is all the rage. Behind this expression hides a phenomenon that our grandmothers have known for a long time: taking care of plants feels good. Scientific studies are flourishing to highlight the health benefits of this ancient activity: gardening fights anxiety, keeps depression at bay, helps maintain a reasonable body mass index (BMI), slows cognitive decline … In short, pampering your plants allows you to live longer and in better health. No need for a garden: According to an American study, gardening is also beneficial with potted plants – on a balcony or in an apartment.
I’m hyperstressed: the right plants to soothe me
The houseplant to adopt. On a desk or a window sill, the Boston fern (or nephrolépis) grows in a dense tuft: its long serrated leaves evoke the forest and wild spaces. A meditation companion that invites you to let go in the face of the hectic pace of daily life … Easy to maintain, it is watered between 1 and 3 times a week: it even survives the most head-to-head!
Plants to be cultivated:
- Lavender. Indispensable in a medicinal garden, it also grows very well in pots, on a balcony, as long as it is exposed to full sun – as in Provence! Slightly sedative, lavender herbal tea soothes nervous states.
How to prepare lavender tea? Let infuse 1 tbsp. to c. of dry or fresh flowers in 1 cup of boiling water for 5-10 minutes. Drink up to 3 cups a day.
- Roman chamomile. When stress is accompanied by stomach aches and / or appetite disturbances, Roman chamomile should be grown antispasmodic and relaxing. This medicinal plant grows in the shade (in the ground or in pots) and it is necessary to weed it regularly.
How to prepare a chamomile bath? Infuse 60 g of flowers in 1 liter of boiling water for 5-10 minutes then pour this infusion into the bath water. A remedy suitable for children and adults alike.
The aroma boost. Calming, the essential oil of ylang-ylang (Cananga odorata extra totum) is known to regulate blood pressure. When diffused, it has a floral scent – be careful, it can become heady in a poorly ventilated space. It is contraindicated in women who are less than 3 months pregnant.
I lack tone: the ideal plants to regain energy
The houseplant to adopt. In Greek mythology, the god Pothos personifies desire: because it grows very quickly and unfolds into brilliant foliage, the plant of the same name is a symbol of vitality. Warning: the pothos (also called “devil’s ivy”) must be installed high up, because its leaves are toxic to cats and dogs!
Plants to be cultivated:
- Peppermint. Invasive in the garden, it adapts very well to a container culture – in partial shade on a balcony or a window sill. Peppermint syrup does not have the contraindications of essential oil: it fights against persistent fatigue.
The recipe for peppermint syrup. Let infuse 2 handfuls of leaves in ½ liter of water overnight, filter then add 200 g of sugar and bring to the boil. At each meal, dilute a capful of syrup in a large glass of water.
- Savory. To be preferred in the event of a temporary “tug of war” Little known, this aromatic plant (which can be grown in a pot: beware, it cannot withstand excess humidity) is invigorating and invigorating. In a foot bath, it provides a welcome boost.
How to prepare a savory foot bath? Infuse 1 tablespoon of leaves and flowers in 1 liter of lukewarm water for 10 minutes then bathe your feet in it for 15-20 minutes.
The aroma boost. With its fresh scent and stimulating properties of immunity and the nervous system, the essential oil of ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora L.) quickly chases fatigue. In diffusion, it is contraindicated in pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as in people suffering from respiratory allergies or asthma.
I get depressed easily: the best plants to restore morale
The houseplant to adopt. With its heart-shaped leaves, pink flowers that open in late summer and long intertwining stems, the Ceropegia (or “chain of hearts”) is an ode to love – others and oneself! Very resistant, this plant to hang in front of a window is ideal for novice gardeners.
Plants to be cultivated:
- Rosemary. It has the reputation of protecting the plants of the kitchen garden against insects. Rosemary macerate, well known in naturopathy, is both tonic and mood regulator.
The recipe for rosemary macerate. Infuse a handful of young rosemary sprouts for 3 weeks in a mixture of equal parts spring water, vegetable glycerin and fruit alcohol. Then take 5 drops twice a day for 3 weeks to get rid of the depression. A remedy forbidden to pregnant women; do not renew the treatment without medical advice.
- Sage. Easy to grow in pots (for example in the kitchen), it is aimed more specifically at women. Thanks to its hormonal action, sage herbal tea alleviates depression during the menstrual period as well as the mood swings characteristic of menopause.
The recipe for sage tea. Let infuse 1 tbsp. to c. of leaves in 150 mL of boiling water for 10 minutes and drink hot. Take up to 3 cups a day for a maximum of 3 weeks: this remedy is prohibited in cases of hormone-dependent cancer and in lactating women.
The aroma boost. Sweet orange essential oil (Citrus sinensis) gently supports morale: in the bedroom (from the 4th month of pregnancy), it also helps to find deep and restful sleep.
I don’t trust myself
The houseplant to adopt. Native to tropical jungles, the calathea is an invitation to assume its personality. This houseplant (which appreciates hot and humid environments: for example, a bathroom) is not afraid to take up space: every evening, its leaves with symmetrical patterns straighten up … Nice message.
Plants to be cultivated:
- Agrimony. Belonging to the Bach Flower repertoire, this plant helps to be yourself, especially when the lack of self-esteem is hidden behind a smiling mask.
The floral elixir of agrimony. In a clear glass bowl, marinate 5 agrimony stems for 4 hours in full sun. Half fill a jar with this macerate and top it up with organic cognac. Then fill a 30 ml bottle with organic cognac and add 2 drops of the previous mixture. Take 2 drops per day, in the morning. A remedy prohibited for pregnant and lactating women.
- The California poppy. The eschscholtzia (or California poppy) fights against the impression of being constantly on the alert: these pretty golden flowers (which grow well in pots but do not like to be moved) grant a peaceful sleep, relax the muscles and drive away permanent worries.
Eschscholtzia herbal tea. Infuse 1 teaspoon of the dried plant in 150 ml of boiling water for 15 minutes and drink up to 3 cups a day. In children from 6 years old, ½ cup before bedtime keeps nightmares at bay. A contraindicated remedy in pregnant and breastfeeding women as well as in glaucoma.
The aroma boost. A true concentrate of vitality, lemon essential oil (Citrus limon) balances the nervous system, clears up ideas, boosts morale and gives energy for the whole day. In broadcasting, it is prohibited before the 4th month of pregnancy
“Everyone has a green thumb”
3 questions to Adeline Gadenne, journalist specializing in the plant world.
Start gardening, what for?
“In our often hyper-stressed lives, we need to reconnect with the plant world – these are our roots! Having a plant at home (even indoors) is to reconnect with the core values of humanity: patience and attention to others. In addition to all the benefits of gardening demonstrated by Science, adopting a green plant is taking the first step of working on yourself to get rid of the superfluous and return to essential.”
How to choose a plant?
“In gardening, first trust your favorites: unconsciously, you already know which plant you need! Then, think pragmatically: can the plant you have set your sights on be successful in your home , depending on the brightness of your apartment and your lifestyle? Do not hesitate to seek advice from a pro. Also think about “bartering plants”, a trend that is developing on social networks and which consists of sharing plants with other enthusiasts. “
How to take care of a plant?
“You have to get rid of a stubborn misconception: everyone has a green thumb! To take care of a plant, you just have to be attentive: only water when the soil is dry, change it. place if you notice that it is damaged, repot it as soon as its roots protrude from the pot … On social networks, the “gardening” tutorials are numerous: no excuse not to try. ”
(1) co-author of My cocooning notebook with plants (Adeline Gadenne and Vanessa Bozec, ed. Solar).
5 Feng Shui rules to follow
Harmonizing the circulation of energies at home is the principle of Feng Shui, a Taoist art of the same family as traditional Chinese medicine. 5 rules to follow:
• Angles and corners are reservoirs of negative energies: Feng Shui masters recommend installing a plant on each edge of furniture and in each corner of the room.
• Yang plants (with pointed leaves: yucca, aloe vera …) activate the circulation of energy: they are preferred in activity rooms such as the kitchen or the office.
• Yin plants (with round leaves or drooping foliage: fern, calathea, etc.) reduce energy circulation: they should be favored in bedrooms.
• In the living rooms (like the living room or the dining room), we mix the yin and yang plants for a warm atmosphere but not conducive to nervousness.
• Avoid: dried flowers which “block” energies, bonsai which cause energy stagnation and cacti which, in Feng Shui, symbolize aggression.
The ally against indoor pollution
Hyper-easy to grow, the Madagascar dragon tree (Dracaena marginata or margined dragon tree) is a champion against indoor air pollution. This shrub, which can reach 2 meters in height, absorbs particles from cigarette smoke and vapors from cleaning products (benzene and formaldehydes) but also carbon monoxide (which is produced in particular in cooking) and toxic molecules. emitted by certain glues, lacquers and paints (toluene, xylene and trichlorethylene). In a kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, the dragon tree thrives even in the shade: its leaves are cleaned with a soft cloth and watered twice a week.
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