It is springtime, and you are probably busy cleaning up and putting your house in order. This year, one of my spring resolutions is to move towards a green home. The idea of fresh, organic and pure beauty was beckoning me. I pitched my idea to my hubby and as ever, he is okay with any of my ideas as long as I do the work. I already have my chunk charted out and that would mean I simply cannot afford much time pruning and taking care of my plants.
Solution- Take some time of your busy schedule to buy or plant the shrubs. You can water them once a day or as per the season’s requirement. That would do it. Often, over watering damages plants.
Another problem that haunts many of city dwellers is space. Like many of the city people, I, too do not enjoy this comfort. I have to resort to my balcony and window sill. Solution- Grow the plants in a pot. Just make sure you place a tray beneath your pot to collect the drained water, as it can stain your floor.
Here are some of my favourite house plants, that are incredibly useful in the kitchen and in preparing home remedies.
#1. Holy Basil
Holy basil also known as tulasi is a common household aromatic plant in India. The shrub is credited for its varied medicinal values. The syrup made from the leaves helps clear chest congestion and cough. It is believed to have purifying effects for skin and hair conditions, due to its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
#2. Country Borage
This is commonly known as patta ajwain in hindi. Concoctions made from these leaves helps fight common cold, cough and diarrhoea. Due to its sharp and inviting aroma, it is also used as a spice and a vegetable in cooking.
#3. Aloe vera
This is a short-stemmed plant with thick, fleshy leaves. The leaves vary from green to a greyish green. The leaves are used in alternative medicine and cosmetics alike. The extract from the leaves are used to maintain a healthy skin and hair. In traditional medicine, the juices from these leaves were used to treat burns, cuts, abrasion and skin inflammation. It is also said to aid in metabolism and digestion.
This is a flowering plant. Remember, the good old days, when almost every other household grew a red flowering hibiscus. Today, there are many hybrid variants to hibiscus and are of ornamental value. Besides decorative value, the hibiscus leaves and flower s are used for the treatment of hair fall and dandruff. We can make our own herbal shampoo by frothing the leaves and flowers in a bowl of water. It is also consumed as herbal tea.
#5. Neem Tree
If you have the luxury or a front or a back yard, neem tree is an ideal option. Neem tree grows fast and it provides much needed shade during Indian summer. The tree is also said to be an air-purifier. In ayurveda , the leaves are considered to have anti-diabetic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and also an thelmintic. The extract from the leaves are also used to treat lice.
#6. Bamboo Palm tree
These are decorative plants that you can grow in a balcony or in your living room. The palm tree also has air-cleansing properties. It filters formaldehyde and benzene from paints and other cleaning agents.
#7. Snake plant
This plant can thrive in low light and humid condition. This ornamental shrub clears formaldehyde from personal care and cleaning products. It is an ideal decoration your bathrooms.
Growing your own ginger isn’t as tough as you think! All you need is a wide, shallow planter and a shaded space. Apart from adding flavor to your dishes, ginger can be uses in tea or as a super-effective home remedy for bronchial and digestive ailments.
Why not? A chilly plant is easy to grow and maintain. You get to home grow your spice. It is quite an appealing sight, when the chilies ripen. Also, it is an ideal gifting option for home cooks.
#10. Spice Herbs
You can grow herbs like coriander, mint, rosemary, sage or thyme right out of a platter. The herbs do not require much of a care and attention. Besides, you would never run out of seasoning options.