The Healing Powers of Plants and Their Importance for Our Health.

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The healing powers of plants and their importance for our health

Plants are the basis and the source of all life on this planet. If you look around you, you will immediately realise that you are surrounded by plants in all their various forms and guises. From what we wear, what we eat, what our houses are made, even what gives us our guilty pleasure, like wine or cigarettes, they are from, or have their origins in plants. The plants are powerful. Without them our atmosphere would not contain oxygen and we, like many other living organisms on this earth would not be able to survive. Plants like Garden Mom, Spider plant, Dracaena and many others act as a filter and can clean the air that we breathe in our houses.

Historically, plants are renowned for their medicinal properties since the ancient times. The oldest written information that we have about medicinal plants has been found on a Sumerian clay slab from Nagpur, approximately 5000 years old. The Chinese book, “Pen T’Sao” discusses the medicinal qualities of roots and grasses, this was written by the emperor Shen Nung around 2500 BC, the Indian holy Vedas mentioning numerous uses of plants for healing purposes, Ebers Papyrus, written around 1550 BC, representing a collection of 800 prescriptions referring to 700 plant species and drugs used for therapy and many other similar sources from old and respected civilizations like the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Jewish and the Romans refer to the therapeutic uses of plants and the preparation methods of natural remedies.

Many medicines that we use today, such as morphine and aspirin are commonly used as painkillers, Artemisin an anti-malaria drug and many other anti-cancer or anti-depressant drugs contain natural plant compounds. There are even studies that have demonstrated beneficial effects of plants on our psychology, concentration and well-being. However, the most important thing that we should keep in mind is that “We are what we eat”, as Hippocrates used to say. Our food can cause diseases to our body and mind, but also prevent or cure them. According to some publications there are micronutrient and vitamin deficiencies even in developed countries, with zinc (Zn), iron (Fe), vitamins A, C, E, B12 and biotin being the most common ones. Why does this happen? We eat plenty of food, but we are still missing some important elements from our diet. In addition the quality of the soil has diminished nutrients, leading to a nutritionally substandard quality in the whole foods being produced. Furthermore, according to recent studies our intestinal microbiome is linked to many physical or mental diseasesand it is well established that our gut flora is tightly associated with our diet.

Thus, our diet is the key for the healing and the prevention of many diseases. It is very well known that the consumption of more organic grains, lentils, fruits, raw vegetables, nuts and seeds provide us not only with the necessary minerals, anti-oxidants and vitamins for the good functioning of our body and mind, but also with the aid of probiotics and other beneficial microorganisms our bodies can build a healthy gut flora, which can lead to a long and happy life. Do not forget that keeping a variation in your diet helps you acquire different nutrients and maintain or introduce several microbial populations in your intestine.
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  1. Rainbow's Avatar
    It seems we live in sad times when we have to be reminded of this, and have to convince people that this is the case.
  2. Megan's Avatar
    People think I'm weird for my beliefs about whole food and natural fruits and veg being healthy for us and having health giving benefits.

    What do they think the human race survived and evolved on, pizza?
  3. Dale42's Avatar
    We seem so far removed from our natural habitat and eating choices. It seems sad to think that nature was our only form of medicine and has helped the human race to survive and evolve to get us to this point in our evolution, quite successfully I may add. But I believe we are on a tipping point and we will no longer evolve for the better, in a healthier way. Instead we will evolve to be sicker human beings unless there is a dramatic change in output thinking.
  4. Sandra's Avatar
    My first introduction into the healing power of plants was with herbal teas. I think it is a simple and effective way to get across the message of how powerful plants can be. Think of valerian or camomile for example.
  5. Louise's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra
    My first introduction into the healing power of plants was with herbal teas. I think it is a simple and effective way to get across the message of how powerful plants can be. Think of valerian or camomile for example.
    Thats a really good point Sandra, and an angle I had never really considered before. I think with the expanding range of herbal teas available today maybe more people will be exposed to the healing effects of herbs and natural foods.
  6. Claire's Avatar
    I think there is a real change in the nations point of view regarding plants and their powers. I’ve noticed that health food shops that traditionally stocked herbal medicines and now expanding their range to a wider range of health foods, once not available in the main supermarkets.

    Even the grab and go foods seems to spout the virtues of health, and supermarkets are increasing their range of plant based, vegan, vegetarian, health foods.

    A welcome sight for many.
  7. Joolz's Avatar
    I think people are more interested in what they put into their bodies than in the past as there is more information about food than ever before

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