There is no question that the succulents in our kitchens and dining rooms look amazing. It’s amazing plants: vibrant, diverse, and famously easy to keep alive (just if you forget to water them for a month). Plus, it’s nice to think that we can add some of the vast, wild, free-spirited desert vibes to our homes.
But now we’re going to know the health benefits of succulents:
Succulents like agave and aloe will do more than sit back and look nice. They are, in truth, a powerful and flexible group of plants. For instance, succulents have unique water-storing tissues that allow them to remain alive for a long time without water and to survive oddly diverse—from desert to alpine—inhabitants. Throughout history, succulents are mostly used to produce anything from soap to paper, and they are filled with curing properties.
Here's how to use succulents way more than just the decor:
We’re all about appreciating nature and encouraging our plants to achieve their full potential. And so, even though there are thousands of varieties of succulents, there are four that can be introduced into your life in more than one way:
You already learned agave (named after the Greek word for proud) because it was used to make agave nectar and tequila. Although what you do not know is that agave still has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Traditionally, Agave has been used to treat wounds and burns and speed up wound healing. In Central America, people use this unique plant for everything from stomach ulcers and jaundice to toothaches and menstrual issues. The leaves of the agave plant are woven to produce mattresses and paper.
Agave juice is rich in isoflavonoids, alkaloids, vitamins B, C, D, and K. But before you add it to any recipe, you should know that too much agave can cause digestive upset, and pregnant women should avoid it.
Historically, yucca was used to soothe scratches and cuts, as well as to treat dry cuticles. The yucca plant contains saponins, which are chemical compounds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Many nutritionists and herbalists recommend boiling roots for about half an hour and drinking it as a tea to relieve the pain from inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Although study on humans is not conclusive, some laboratory studies have suggested that its compounds have properties similar to those commonly used to treat joint pain.
Yucca also is a rich source of vitamins A, B, and C and is a good source of copper, calcium, manganese, potassium, and fiber- making it a potent health food. Another succulent that seems to do everything.
It’s hard to forget the cactus when talking about succulents. Best known for their spines, cacti may not seem to be the most nourishing plants in the world—but they have a ton of health benefits. Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, a medical doctor and integrative medicine expert, recommends her patient’s food (grilled or boiled and eaten whole), supplement, or juice. It contains high fiber, vitamin C, carotenoids, and betalain (which are a rare type of antioxidant).
Apparently, prickly pear is a popular stomach ache therapy in Mexico, and this specific use was actually supported by a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The study found that participants who drank pinchy pear before drinking alcoholic beverages had significantly less nausea, dry mouth, and appetite loss on the following day—probably due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Other traditions use it to treat diarrhea, asthma, high blood pressure, and gastric acidity, but they’ve never been supported by research.
The iconic species of Aloe Vera has been popular for centuries and is even portrayed in ancient Egyptian drawings over 6,000 years old. There are hundreds of aloe varieties, most of which have been historically used for their medicinal powers, and today it is one of the most commonly used plants in the world.
You can see aloe all over the place, particularly in juices, lotions, and creams.
Clear aloe gel is also used internally to treat osteoarthritis, digestive illness, and fever and is commonly used as a (very effective) laxative.
Aloe can be used therapeutically to heal cuts, wounds, and bruises, and there is some proof that it is beneficial with inflammatory skin conditions, including dandruff.
There’s no question about it: the succulents are unique, and some of those have hidden health benefits. People have known it for thousands of years, and you can see it from looking at it. A sign of strength, adaptation, and security brings powerful energies to your home and some healing to your life.
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