Constantly seeing and being around plants help us feel more calm and relaxed, thus decreasing levels of anxiety. In this article we look at some of our favourite plants which can help to improve our mental health.

Lavender

Lavender is renowned for its richly fragrant flowers and aromatic foliage. This easy-to-grow shrub is best planted in spring, thrives in a sunny spot and flowers in late spring and summer.

Always at the top of the list for natural anxiety busters, lavender is the source of one of the most popular essential oils and boasts many benefits when inhaled, such as improvement in short-term memory, stress relief and relaxation. Its floral smell is effective at decreasing anxiety and providing a calm atmosphere.

As your lavender grows, you can clip the flowers and use them in tea or hang them upside-down for about a week to dry before using them as a fragrant décor indoors.

Jasmine

Jasmines are evergreen or deciduous climbers and can be summer or winter flowering. Summer-flowering jasmines are climbers with clusters of small, fragrant flowers, usually white or pale pink. Winter jasmine is a popular reliable shrub whose bright yellow flowers help to bring cheery colour throughout the colder months.

All jasmines have small star-shaped flowers with a sweet and distinctive fragrance. This delicious fragrance is known for helping to ease the body from anxiety. When surrounded by jasmine, it’s likely we’ll feel less anxious and more at peace.

Jasmine is best planted somewhere sunny, warm and sheltered, preferably near a seated area so as to enjoy the scent of the flowers.

Lemon balm

Lemon balm comes from the mint family and is a bushy perennial herb with oval, lemon-scented leaves with scalloped edges, and leafy spikes of creamy-white or pale purple flowers in summer. Also known as “melisa,” the plant is rich in pollen and attracts bees, hence the name, melisa: the Greek word for “bee”.

The leaves are used as a herb, in teas and also as a flavouring. They have strong relaxing properties and are used to combat stress, anxiety and insomnia.

Rosemary

Popularly known for being a culinary herb, rosemary is a perennial herb from the mint family and has been used in traditional medicine for centuries. A sun-loving shrub whose scent evokes the Mediterranean, rosemary has needle-like leaves that can be picked all year round. It is so easy to grow outside that some people plant rosemary in place of more traditional shrubbery outdoors.

Rosemary essential oil has a woodsy fragrance and is considered a mainstay in aromatherapy, not just for its pleasant smell but also because it calms the body while energising the mind. Rosemary oil also has a wide range of other uses, from improving memory function to relieving stress and anxiety.

Research shows that simply inhaling the aroma of rosemary essential oil can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood.

Gerbera daisy

The Gerbera daisy is very colourful and adds a dynamic element to any garden, regardless of its size. Gerberas bear huge daisy-like blooms on long stems, from clumps of lobed leaves and are attractive to bees and other pollinating insects. Long-flowering, they’re perfect for pots, adding colour to borders and even indoor conservatory displays. Gerbera daisies come in many colours from bright shades of hot pink, red and yellow to cooler pastel yellows, pale pink and white.

People often associate gerbera daisies with beauty and cheerfulness and that’s why gerberas are a great flower for offering anti-anxiety and relaxation benefits. Not only are they a great stress reliever, there is also something inherently charming about these flowers.