Throughout history, flowers have been used for many things. People use flowers to symbolize complex emotions, like love, fidelity and remembrance. Flowers have been used for centuries for medicinal, aromatherapy and other healing purposes. These days, people commonly send cut bouquets and arrangements as a way to communicate things like “I’m sorry” and “Thank you.”
Scientists agree that hundreds of thousands of flowers exist – more than 270,000 at current count. Around 35,000 of those are various species of roses, which are some of the most culturally valuable and gifted flowers worldwide.
The ancient Egyptians were passionate about the lotus flower, which they considered sacred. They said the flower symbolized resurrection because it’s capable of lying dormant for years during droughts, then blooming once the land becomes damp enough again. Egyptians even used the resurrecting flower during burials.
We all know flowers are beautiful to look at, but that’s not their only merit. In fact, many blooms also have healing properties that make them just as useful as they are pretty to look at. For instance, sunflowers are known for being bright and cheerful, but they can also be brewed into tea that helps soothe sore throats and menstrual cramps! Here are a few other flowers with practical healing properties:
Lavender has long been used in aromatherapy as an essential oil that helps many people relax and manage stress, anxiety and difficulty sleeping. Lavender oil also has some surprising anti-inflammatory and antiseptic benefits as a topical treatment. It’s sometimes used to treat wounds, burns and even acne, as well as heal some throat and chest conditions.
Jasmine is very popular in tea form, and not just because it makes a delicious drink. Jasmine eases many body aches and cramps and can also benefit the digestive system. People use jasmine to manage ulcers and indigestion, along with anxiety and sleep issues.
Calendula is one of the most well-known floral healers. Also called pot marigold, calendula petals have been used for centuries to heal cuts, burns and wounds. This is no surprise, considering calendula’s incredible antiviral, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory glycosides. The flower is also commonly used to heal many skin conditions, including rashes, acne and athlete’s foot.
Roses, one of the most popular flowers for cut arrangements, are also commonly used for medicinal purposes. Roses contain a great deal of vitamin C, an important antioxidant for overall health and fighting some more serious conditions like heart disease and stroke. Rose petals can help increase circulation, fight depression and anxiety, relieve infections and combat viruses, among a number of other health benefits. If one of your friends needs a mood lift, send them healing roses along with chrysanthemums.
Echinacea’s uses in medicine and healing date back to early Native American tribes who used the flower to treat various wounds and diseases that afflicted them. Echinacea contains compounds called alkylamides that are effective at treating both internal and external conditions. For example, echinacea has been used to manage sore throats, colds and the flu.
Passionflowers are one of the most interesting looking flowers, known for their unique petal formations and vibrant colors. As far as healing goes, these flowers are adept at treating many mental and emotional conditions, including stress, insomnia, depression, anxiety and panic. The relaxant can also aid those with asthma, shingles and epilepsy. Passionflowers are such a great sedative that they’ve been used medicinally since the Aztecs first discovered their healing properties.
Hawthorn flowers are small and dainty, but their health benefits are enormous. Actually a member of the rose family, hawthorn contains several antioxidants that have amazing heart-health benefits, including lowering blood pressure, improving circulation and even strengthening the heart muscle. Its cardiovascular benefits are so great that it’s often recommended for use by seniors with a history of heart disease in their family.