Images from the RHS Chelsea Flower Show took over our Instagram feeds last week, but flowers aren’t only pretty to admire – they also contain some useful healing powers that can help boost our wellbeing. From echinacea and lavender to chamomile and fennel, plants have been celebrated for their health benefits for centuries. Here’s the lowdown on some of the best healing flowers for your physical and emotional wellbeing, and easy ways to incorporate them into your life.
Good for soothing body and mind
Chamomile has been celebrated for its multiple benefits for years – in fact, its roots in holistic health can be traced back to ancient Egypt where it was used as a tonic for fever. Today, the plant is often used to help induce sleep and calmness, soothe the symptoms of a cold, ease menstrual cramps and relieve digestive problems.
Try this: Pukka Herbs Chamomile, Vanilla and Manuka Honey Tea, £2, pukkaherbs.com
Good for calming sensitive skin
The bright red or yellow flowers of the calendula (or marigold) plant are hard to miss and it’s a bold addition to any garden. But, it’s also a handy ingredient to add to your beauty routine too. Extracts from the plant contain flavonoids and linoleic acid, which fight inflammation, and the plant is also believed to promote skin tightness, increase hydration and promote wound healing.
Try this: Neal’s Yard Remedies Calendula, £7, nealsyardremedies.com
Good for female wellbeing
This Australian plant may not be well known, but herbalists across the world are celebrating its power to promote female wellbeing. It’s believed to help with all sorts of female issues caused by hormonal imbalances – from menopausal symptoms and difficulties with conception to painful periods and more. Interestingly, the flowers of this fruit are very similar in size and shape to a woman’s ovary, and the essences available to buy are made from the female tree of the species.
Try this: Australian Bush Flower Woman Essence £10.95, revital.co.uk
Good for inducing sleep
This beautiful purple flower is a common sight in green spaces across the country, and you’ll often find bees and butterflies gathering around the plant. But it’s not only good for your garden – the health benefits of lavender are well-researched and studies have proven it to be a potent aid in helping induce sleep. It’s thought that the herbal fragrance of lavender and the presence of linalool in its essential oil (which has sedative and anti-spasmodic effects on the nervous system) can reduce stress levels, allowing people to relax and drift off into the land of nod.
Try this: Ren pillow mist, £18.00 for 75ml, renskincare.com
Good for supporting your immune system
Many of us have heard that echinacea can soothe the symptoms of a nasty cold and there is actually scientific evidence to prove that this may not just be an old wives’ tale. In fact, results from a 2012 study suggested that echinacea can not only reduce the duration of a cold, but also stop us from catching the sniffles in the first place.
Try this: Echinaforce, £4.50 for 15ml, Avogel.co.uk
Good if you’re suffering from digestive complaints
This popular plant and its seeds offer a whole host of health benefits and it’s believed to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It’s commonly used in holistic practices to soothe digestive problems and can help relieve bloating, gas and cramps due to the presence of anethole – an anti-microbial that is often used to treat infections in the digestive tract and reduce inflammation. Try this: Pukka Herbs Three Fennel Tea, £2.49, pukkaherbs.com Fringed violet Good if you’re recovering from trauma Another plant native to Australia, the fringed violet is commonly used by herbalists to help encourage calmness following shock or trauma, clear negative energy and heal auras. The flower itself is a gorgeous mauve-purple colour and has three fringed petals, alternating with three narrow petals, making it a really unusual looking plant.
Try this: Australian Bush Flower Emergency Essence, £9.95, 20ml revital.co.uk
words by Claire Munnings