Benefits of Succulents (Medicinal, Cosmetic, Culinary, and more)
There’s no denying that succulents are beautiful. Whether it is a string of pearls trailing from the hanging pot or an Echeveria smiling at you from the windowsill —- the point is, they are strangely beautiful.
As the saying goes in human-world, “beauty with brains”, there is something similar in the succulent-world as well. They aren’t just pieces of decorative plants for your home, they are both beautiful and beneficial.
In addition to giving a personality and greenery to your home, succulents are low maintenance plants that also have many health benefits.
1. They are oxygen tanks, even at night
Even though all the succulents aren’t created equal, yet they are all oxygen tanks. Almost all plants take in carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into oxygen during the day.
Plants breathe the same way as us during the night, taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide.
However, some plants give off oxygen at night as well. And the list includes succulents, along with other plants like areca palm, holy basil, orchids etc.
Number one reason to splurge on more succulents and to keep them all over your bedroom!
2. They help you focus
This is true for all plants, yet it is worth mentioning in the list.
Being surrounded by plants, as found out by many researches, improves attentiveness, concentration and brain capabilities.
Succulents do not take up much space and are an excellent addition to any desk or office space. So now you know where to keep your succulents!
3. They purify air
Snake plants as well as aloe vera have been known to cleanse the air surrounding it by removing the toxins.
According to NASA’s research, they remove about 87% of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC).
4. They help prevent diseases
Dry air causes a lot of problems like eye irritation, sore throat, dry skin and dry cough among others. Having plants around in the house improves the humidity.
Plants are responsible for about 10% of humidity in air. As many plants you have around, better it is for your well-being.
So, keep some succulents in cute pots on your desk, or on the windowsill — you need it!
5. They help you recover faster
Succulents have known to promote well-being by reducing the the symptoms of fever, headaches and flu.
Patients who are surrounded by succulents, or plants in general feel lesser pain and so, require lesser pain killers. Plants also aid in lowering stress and anxiety as well as blood pressure levels.
Some useful succulents
a. Purslane (Portulaca oleracea L.)
Purslane is generally considered as weed and people prune them out of their gardens.They are commonly seen on cracked sidewalks, trimmed garden and pretty much everywhere .
What you might assume to be just another weed, it is a natural tank of omega-3 fatty acids, fibers, different Vitamins, iron, manganese, potassium, calcium and copper.
In fact, purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids than any other leafy greens. It also lowers cholesterol levels and improves cardiovascular health.
Even though purslane is packed with nutrients, it contains very low calorie. You can swap a full meal with just purslane salad and you will be full. So, it aids in weight loss as well.
Medically, purslane is used to treat type 2 diabetes, asthma, neurological disorders, and uterine bleeding. Only a few studies has been done in regards to medicine so we advise you to speak to your doctor before eating any purslane.
How to eat purslane?
The fresh leaves at the tip can be washed and added (raw or cooked) to salads, sandwiches, juice, soup and so on. Some even prefer making green smoothie using purslane leaves.
b. Medicinal Aloe (Aloe Vera)
Since times unknown, we have been using the miraculous sap from aloe vera leaves to treat sunburns, rashes, and even minor cuts and burns. Aloe Vera contains high levels of antioxidants, vitamins B1, B2, B6, C, E, and folic acid. It has been extensively used in beauty products and diet supplements, for a good reason. It has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
How to use aloe vera?
To use it on face or body, simply cut the aloe vera leaf close to the skin. Use the gel inside directly on your desired part. Using the gel on face hydrates the skin as well as nourishes it. It is also proves to reduce skin irritation and works wonders on puffy eyes.
You can also take the gel out and blend it into a healthy drink. Some even like to use the gel in salads as a healthy food option.
c. Dragon fruit
How many of you know that this bright pink colored exotic fruits comes from a cactus? These fruits grow from a night blooming cactus that is commonly known as Belle of the Night. People eat this fruit for its sweet taste, crunchy texture and the fact that it comes loaded with antioxidants.
How to eat dragon fruit?
Peel the pink skin off and eat just the white seed-lined fleshy part of the fruit. The pink skin is also edible but it bitter in taste and so most people throw it away and eat just the pulp.
Best known as prickly pear cactus, it is one of the hardiest cacti. Prickly pear is the reddish pink fruit that grows on top of the leaves. This fruit is rich in antioxidants and boosts the overall immune system. It also improves the digestive process, stimulates bone growth and strengthens blood vessels.
How to eat prickly pear?
The fruit can be eaten raw after peeling the skin off. It can also be made into various jellies, jams and candies. Besides that, prickly pear is used to treat the hangover after drinking too much.
Who knew this spiky cactus could be eaten? Who knew that behind the spikes is a nutrient rich edible pulp?
Most people think of Saguaro cactus when they hear the word ‘cactus’. It has been infamously portrayed in most western movies and basically any movie with a desert scene. Both the sap inside the cactus as well as the red colored fruit are edible and nutritious. It is high in soluble fiber and Vitamin C. =
How to eat Saguaro cactus?
The juicy pulp from this cactus is used to enhance the flavor of salsa. Also, the pulp can be baked into healthy biscuits. The sweet, tangy pulp is also used to make jam and wine.
We just gave you more reasons to buy these beautiful succulents, what are you waiting for?