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People have been using plants for our health and well-being for thousands for years–even to this day. For instance, we consume super foods like avocados or goji berries to strengthen and nourish our bodies. But how often do we overlook these plants when we’re sick?

Some plants–even those abundant in our landscapes–have been known for their healing properties by people around the world for centuries. Incorporate them into your garden this year and improve your wellness!*

Rose

Rosa californica. Photo via Las Pilitas Nursery

Rosa californica. Photo via Las Pilitas Nursery

Roses offer us all kinds of relief–whether sipping rose hip tea or spritzing rose water. Did you know that rose petals are full of vitamins and minerals? It’s true! Their anti-inflammatory properties relieve nausea, ulcers and menstrual cramps.

Roses come in a wide variety from all over the world. However, consider planting native roses in your garden (Rosa californica, Rosa woodsii, etc.) to enjoy their simplicity, climate appropriateness and wonderful medicinal benefits.

When blooms start to open in spring head out to your garden to collect petals for a delicious rose petal butter.

To make rose petal butter:

Gather one cup of freshly blossoming rose petals. Remove petals from the flower and add into a mixing bowl. Add a stick of softened butter and mix. Place into a glass jar and allow to infuse for 24 hours before enjoying on toast or crackers.

Mint

Satureja douglasii. Photo via Las Pilitas Nursery

Satureja douglasii. Photo via Las Pilitas Nursery

Want a new addition to your culinary adventures that has a variety of health benefits, too? Try making a mint vinegar. Herbal-infused vinegar is tasty and simple to make, while also helping your body absorb vitamins and minerals.

To make mint vinegar:

Harvest enough mint to fill a glass jar. Finely chop the mint and fill the jar, cover with pasteurized apple cider vinegar and seal with a lid. Place in your cupboard for 6 weeks before use. It will add a nice kick to any salad, or dilute it with water to create a refreshing tonic!

Blackberry

Rubus ursinus. Photo via Las Pilitas Nursery.

Rubus ursinus. Photo via Las Pilitas Nursery.

To make blackberry leaf tea:

Gather leafed branches and hang upside down in a well-ventilated area until leaves are dried. (Ensure plenty of air circulation to avoid mold growth.) Infuse 1 oz of dried leaves in a pint of boiling water.

Sage

Salvia officinalis. Photo via Las Pilitas Nursery

Salvia officinalis. Photo via Las Pilitas Nursery

If there is one thing we should all have in our cupboards, it’s sage. Sages (Salvia) grow all over the world’s Mediterranean climates. While the most common sage (Salvia officinalis) is mostly used as a culinary herb in roasts, it also makes a tasty cleansing tea with anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial qualities–plus it’s full of antioxidants! Some varieties, like black sage (Salvia mellifera) are even used as a pain reliever.

To make a sage foot bath:

Place a handful of black sage leaves and stems in a foot bath and steep for 5 – 10 minutes before placing feet into the bath.

Want to learn more about native plants? Visit us for a free Native Plants and Landscape Transformation tour!

(This article originally appeared on TreePeople. It has been reprinted here with permission.)

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