Guess we need reminding, since life can be so distractingly busy: To be healthy, we need to spend time outdoors.
Nature is good for you, and many studies have been done to lend scientific proof. This article, “How Nature is good for our health and happiness“, explores a 30-day study where people felt better both physically and mentally after being outside every day. It also talks about how feeling that connection to Nature motivates people to protect it, helping the health of the environment.
But what can you do when you’re stressed, frazzled, grumpy, overwhelmed or burnt out, and seriously do not have the time or energy to get out for a good, long walk? Bring the plants to you! Give yourself a relaxing time-out and take a nice soak in a herbal bath. They soothe and refresh body and mind.
This post gives directions on how to make your tub into a big mug of herbal tea and has a few recipe ideas. Making up your own bath blends, or using only one herb at a time, is a great way to experience and feel closer to the plants. Here are some to start with:
Calendula flowers: no scent in the bath but these flowers are well-known for their skin calming and anti-inflammatory properties.
Chamomile flowers: worth it for the sweet appley aroma alone, it’s also soothing to sensitive or inflamed skin as well as achy muscles.
Comfrey leaves: no aroma, this herb is super emollient and encourages cell regeneration.
Elder flowers: fragrant and very soothing for skin irritations.
Lavender flowers: floral/herbal aroma, cleanses and calms skin, soothing to bruises, insect bites, and minor wounds or sores.
Lemon balm leaves: a light lemony/herbal scent, refreshing and uplifting.
Lemongrass leaves: an earthy/lemony aroma, astringent and stimulating.
Marshmallow leaves: no fragrance, comforting and soothing for irritated, chapped, or sun-damaged skin.
Rose flowers: light aroma, mildly astringent and cleansing, cell regenerator.
Sage leaves: gentle aroma, stimulating to skin.
As you get more familiar with how different herbs look, smell, feel, and how they make you feel, you’ll notice becoming more aware of the plants around you. It only takes one little dandelion beaming its sunshiny face through a crack in the sidewalk to make you realize the natural world is right there with you, despite all the concrete.
Being close to Nature, and exploring our part in it as humans, is one of the most important things we can do for both our and our planet’s health. Connect with the plants more, in whatever ways you can.