7 Reasons To Gift A Plant- Inviting Nature In Our Celebrations

Special days, special memories. We all wish to make our special days last forever. Is there any special way to do it?

People tend to celebrate occasions through parties, vacations and some through social work like donating blankets, clothes and blood. I have one of my close friends donating blankets and grocery items to streetside beggars and blind homes and even donating blood on their birthday every year. This is indeed a good practice to make each birthday more meaningful. 

But, is there any more creative way that can benefit us as well as our upcoming generations? Is there any way of saying thanks to nature or showing gratitude for providing us with such incredible life resources? Is it possible to involve our surroundings in our celebrations?

So many questions but the answer lies with the colour green. Give it a thought, while we provide you with a new gifting idea.

Giving An Opportunity To Plants

From birthdays to anniversaries, we always fall short of gifting options. Indeed, we all have so much to choose from. 

We bet you must not have ever thought of gifting plants to your loved ones on special occasions. You read that right, plants can be the best and memorable gifts to someone. It is surely an out of the box idea. The materialistic gifts start depreciating with time whereas plants become our companions and stay for a longer period if taken care of properly and sometimes these even become a legacy.

There are numerous and uncountable varieties of plants to choose from and so are their benefits. One plant can give birth to several plants. Let us help you scroll through the reasons for the same.

Gift A Plant

1.  Pleasure & Prevention:

Gifting someone a living plant means you are handing them the responsibility of taking care and keeping it alive. The person receives immense pleasure when it grows out to be a healthy plant. Growing something enhances self-esteem and boosts confidence.

Also, living plants restrict the occurrence of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS), a very common issue nowadays. Its symptoms include anxiety, headache, dizziness, and lack of concentration. Place one on your child’s table.

2. Gift a plant For mental wellness:

In this time of stress and anxiety, people often don’t find emotional balance. We know there is no guidebook on how to manage stress and also be productive at the same time. Greenery is said to reduce stress and make one more productive. We can ensure that the person can function with a clear head by giving them plants that enhance the mood and lower down the stress level. The presence of a plant in the room or at the desk can help considerably in making the air fresher.

Caring for plants like watering them, fertilizing and watching them bloom is one of the great pleasures. It makes you feel alive and psychologically healthy. The satisfaction achieved from watching your plants grow ultimately leads to happiness and elation.  

A gift to nature without any reason

3.  Feng Shui :

Every plant has its Feng Shui energy which invites positive vibes to the place. The colour green is said to be associated with healing. So, gifting plant heals your near and dear ones.

  1. Peace lily
  2. Lucky bamboo
  3. Boston fern
  4. Areca palm
  5. Jade
  6. Golden Pothos (money plant)
  7. Snake plant
  8. Rubber plant
  9. Orchid
  10. Citrus trees

4. Aesthetic Value: 

While gifting a plant to your loved ones you will add a lot of aesthetics to their lives. Plants add a lot of vitality and brightness to the surroundings and lots of layers in the décor as well. They definitely add up to the aesthetic value of the place, be it the garden, indoors, balcony or office. Gift a plant to beautify someone’s place.

5. Value for Life: 

Gifting a plant is very beneficial for human beings and could be a great nutriment to the other species. As we know many insects like bees, butterflies, and beetles etc survive on flowers and plants. So be a contributor for some little lives.

6. Air purifiers

The most important value of some plants is that they purify air. NASA recommended air purifier plants not only produce oxygen but also remove volatile pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde and xylene, thus reducing the carbon footprint of a place. Adding this small practice of gifting plants to others will be a great initiative to boost this chain of creating a purified and clean environment around us.

Find out more: https://parijaigenus.com/radiation-free-homes-and-offices-10-indoor-plants/

Here are some plants:

  • Peace lily
  • Aloe vera
  • Pothos plant
  • Spider plant
  • English ivy 
  • Bamboo palm
  • Sansevieria 
  • Red-edged dracaena
  • Aglaonema

7. Gift a plant to give a push to the economy 

Sounds strange? But let me tell you in one sentence ‘The more we make the environment green, the purer air we will inhale, the more fresh air we get, the more we become healthy and so goes on with our country’s growth’. We need to be healthy for productivity and creativity and these factors are directly involved in improving the country’s economy.

A gift to nature on birthday

Karamveer Singh from Longowal planted a sapling on his 23rd birthday

8. Gift a plant without any reason

Not only for gifting, saplings can be planted on a special occasion. Like planting a tree on your birthday, anniversary, on a success celebration etc.

Moreover, planting a tree gives shade and fruit at a later stage. Give a thought and list all that we borrow from our nature. So, “Gift A Plant, Gift A Life”.

9. Gift a plant to yourself on a occasion

Planting a “Triveni” is the best gift one can gift to themselves on a birthday or special occasions to make it more memorable. Plant atleast 1 tree in your lifetime to give back to mother nature.

Is it not our responsibility to maintain and spread the positive and clean the negative?Here, you need to ponder a lot.

The Bottom line: Gift a plant on every occasion.

We are definitely sure that now there exist enough reasons for gifting a plant. Go give it a try and share your experiences with us in the chat box and also if you have more reasons besides the ones mentioned above, do share those also.

Every Corner Needs A Plant 

15 Sacred Trees Native to India- Continued..

I am back with the rest of the sacred trees which I promised you in my last blog of 15 Sacred Trees Native to India“. 

Sorry for keeping you waiting. Go on now, give a read to all the trees left and add the knowledge to your hat.

List of Sacred Trees:

8. Banana (Musa acuminata)

Banana tree symbolizes Lord Vishnu and its fruit is offered to Goddess Lakshmi and Vishnu for a prosperous life. Conforming to ancient scriptures, the tree is regarded as Devaguru or planet Jupiter. As a matter of fact, banana is the only plant whose leaves, flower, fruit and stem have medicinal properties. Its leaves represent regeneration and growth and are tied to pillars, hung at the entrance to mark an auspicious occasion. They are also used as plates to serve food or prasad.Bananas hanging on tree

BENEFITS:

    Banana peel

  • The unripe banana peel has more antioxidants than a ripe banana which is due to the presence of ‘phenolics’. 
  • The ‘lutein’ present in the peel reduces oxidative stress and neutralizes free radicals in the body.
  • Extracts of banana peel have anti-inflammatory properties. It is also enriched with bioactive compounds such as carotenoids and polyphenols.
  • According to a 2015 study, banana peels have shown antimicrobial activity against P. gingivalis , the gingivitis causing bacteria .
  • Peels can be added to soil to increase fertility. 

   Banana fruit

  • Bananas are a rich source of vitamin B6 and manganese.
  • The fruit is rich in iron, thus helpful for anaemic people. 
  • Keeps in check high blood pressure.
  • It is Known as the brain tonic as it is rich in potassium and also maintains heart health.
  • It helps neutralize acid in the stomach and provides relief from ulcers and improves digestive health. 

  Banana stem

  • Heals gastric issues
  • Aids in weight loss
  • Detoxifies and improves digestion 

  Banana flower

  • Supports menstrual wellness 
  • Controls diabetes 
  • Keeps infections at an arm’s length 
  • Prevents cancer and heart diseases 
  • Has anti-ageing power
  • Its leaves and trunk are used to serve food and as welcoming gates respectively. 

9.  Sandalwood (Santalum album)

Sandalwood is widely used to manufacture perfumes and is also considered to be a holy and sacred tree. The wood is made into a paste which is considered pure and  then used in worshipping Lord Shiva and Vishnu. This paste is used to decorate icons of deities and calm the mind during the prayer. It is distributed to devotees for applying on their forehead. It is also heard that Goddess Lakshmi lives in the sandalwood tree. Sandalwood oil has a soft, warm and precious-wood scent.Sacred sandalwood tree

Sandalwood oil has been used with other therapies to manage:

  • common cold
  • urinary tract infections
  • liver and gallbladder problems
  • manage anxiety
  • support wound healing
  • guard against skin cancer
  • fight bacteria
  • digestive problems
  • muscle problems
  • hemorrhoids
  • scabies

10.   Parijaat tree, Kintoor (Nyctanthes arbor-tristis)

This tree is said to be found in Kintoor, Uttar Pradesh and is estimated to be 1000 to 5000 years old. This unique tree is believed to have been brought by Krishna from heaven.

Parijaat is associated with Mahabharata and is heard to be growing on Kunti’s ashes.

11. Plumeria (Plumeria rubra)

Plumeria is the symbol immortality as it blooms even after being uprooted. It is considered to be one of the holiest of trees amongst Hindus and is planted near temples. It is sacred to the God of Love, Kamadeva. It is also called Indian magnolia, frangipani and champa.

Health Benefits of Frangipani essential oil:

  • Maintains a healthy skin
  • Lowers headache
  • Has Antioxidant activity
  • It is used as a remedy for diarrhoea and itch in India.
  • Bark is used for fever, hard tumors and gonorrhoea.
  • Shoots and flowers are used to treat Malaria.

12. Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

The holy basil is respected, used as an immunity booster and is one of the best herbs available for medicinal purposes. The leaves of this easily available plant are rich in phytonutrients, Eugenol (a bioactive compound that has anti-microbial, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties and reduces stress and plasma glucose levels, vitamins, and minerals.Sacred tulsi plantRecent studies have indicated that this sacred tulsi can help slow down the growth of HIV cells and inhibit development of certain carcinogenic cells. It protects you from cold, cough and viral infections too.The leaves can be infused with the morning tea.

13. Kadamb (Neolamarckia cadamba)

It is believed that Goddess Durga resides in the Kadamba forest. Also, lord Krishna carried out his childhood activities and played flute under this tree.

Karam-Kadamba is a famous harvest festival, celebrated on the eleventh lunar day of the Bhadra month. A twig from this tree is brought home and worshipped in the courtyard . Later in the day, young ears of grain which are the fruit-bearing spike of a cereal, are distributed among the loved ones.

BENEFITS: 

  • The inflorescences and fruit of the sacred Kadamb can be consumed by humans.
  • The fresh leaves are fed to cattle.  
  • The extract of the leaves are used as a mouth gargle.
  • ‘Attar’, an Indian perfume obtained from Kadamba flowers.
  • It sheds large amounts of leaf and non-leaf litter which improves soil quality on decomposition.

14. Kunda ( Jasminum multiflorum)

Kunda gets its beauty from the beautiful white flowers and is sacred to Vishnu. The flowers (star jasmine)are used in many religious ceremonies and worship of gods and goddesses in Manipur. It is an essential part of the marriage ceremonies and the flowers are used as garlands in the ceremony.

Its aromatic flower is commonly used in perfumes and incense sticks.

15. Cannabis (Cannabis sativa)

Cannabis, commonly called bhang (a mixture of buds, leaves and flowers of female cannabis plant), consumption has been an age old tradition in Hindu religion. Its mention has been found in Hindu texts also.  It is associated with lord Shiva and is considered to be sacred. It is distributed as prasad during the popular Hindu festival called Shivratri and Holi and is offered to Shiva. It is mixed with nuts, spices and boiled with milk or rolled into balls for consumption.  But, mythology does not encourage Shiva worshippers to get high and also there is no textual evidence for this.

Bhang finds its uses in various ayurvedic medicines. Below given are some of its benefits:

  • Reduces stress and anxiety 
  • Treats digestion related issues
  • Treats nausea, vomiting and fever
  • May reduce pain

The takeaway of Sacredness

Trees are worshiped for what is revealed or signified through them or for being abode of some supreme power.

 Mother nature and its elements have their own value and benefits. They are worthy of respect and care. The trees or plants which are associated with gods should not be considered sacred alone but also the non-historical greens should be considered sacred. So, plant a tree and give back to nature for its unconditional love.

Do share more remedies and valuable information in the comment box.

Opuntia microdasys- The Bunny Ear Cactus

Opuntia microdasys , a lookalike of cactus is characterized by its green pads. The cactus is a flowering plant species in the cactus family Cactaceae. It forms a dense shrub of 40–60 cm tall but more composed of pad-like stems 6–15 cm long and 4–12 cm broad.
In place of spines it has number of yellow or white glochids which are 2–3 mm long and dense clusters.

CAUTION: Glochids may cause considerable skin irritation if touched, so they must be handled with caution.

Bunny ear cactus

It is known by the names of angel’s-wings, bunny ear cactus, bunny cactus or polka-dot cactus. This cactus has no central stem or leaves. The oval shaped pads are the main constituent and attracting point of bunny ear cactus.

Why bunny ear?

Because these pad like segments always grow in pairs which result in an appearance similar to rabbit’s ears. These so called new segments appear as red and grow to dark green colour when mature.

The mature pads are highly covered with glochids which are short whitish brown prickles. These come off easily and can be blown away by wind.

Flowering:
The terminal ends of segment pads are meant for the flowers to sprout. Budding starts in late spring and ends in early summer with 2 inch wide blossoms. These are creamy yellow in colour.
This succulent comes with low maintenance and tolerance of harsh environment but it is more of an outdoor plant.

Click on the text below to know about the edible parts of Opuntia microdasys:

Dietary fiber, mineral elements profile and macronutrients composition in different edible parts of Opuntia microdasys

How to care for Bunny Ear Cactus?

1. Soil
A cactus mix will work very well for bunny ear. Avoid excess organic contents in the soil.

2. Light
4-6 hours of indirect sunlight per day is sufficient. Avoid placing it in a dark room.

3. Water
Watering should be done when the top one inch of the soil gets dried. Any excess water should be drained out from the saucer. Watering in winters should be reduced to once in every 3-4 weeks. Water only the soil and not the pads.

4. Fertilizer
Although, its not needed much but it can be applied in summers. A peat-based compost should not be used. Remember, fertilize it in the evening only.

5. Repotting
It should be performed every 1-2 years. Wait for week after repotting and then water the bunny ears cactus.

6. Pest control
Combat the scale insects and mealy bugs with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol.

7. Propagation
Here is a step guide for performing a perfect propagation of bunny ears cactus:

• Pick out a mature pad and separate from the mother plant. It is best to group the cuttings by threes or more for better survival chances.
• Make use of a tweezer to break the pads off or very thick gloves to handle this part.
• Let the pads to callus for a few days before planting.

Optional: Dip the pads in rooting hormone which helps speed up the rooting and propagation process.

• Prepare a potting mix. A cactus mix is the perfect choice for potted a bunny ear.
• Use an unglazed clay pot slightly larger than the pads that are to be repotted. The clay pot lowers the chance of root rot.
• As soon as the cuttings have callused, plant it one inch deep into the soil and place the pot in a good sunlit area.
• Leave it undisturbed for a few days and let the roots develop.
• Ultimately, water it regularly for the first year. This will help the roots develop properly.

So, have you made up your mind to make this lovely bunny ear cactus your’s?

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Every Corner Needs A Plant

The Lucky Money Plant- Epipremnum aureum

Epipremnum aureum is known by many common names; golden pothos, Ceylon creeper, hunter’s robe, ivy arum, house plant, money plant, silver vine, Solomon Islands ivy, marble queen, and taro vine. It stays green even when kept in the dark, so it is also called devil’s vine or devil’s ivy. Money plant  is an evergreen vine which grows up to a length of 20 m tall and climbs with the help of aerial roots. Leaves are heart-shaped and arranged alternately.

Money plant in a brown pot

Benefits of Money Plant 

1. NASA recommended air purifier
It helps eliminate benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and xylene.

2. Acts as an Anti-radiator
Yes, it can absorb most of the harmful radiations emitted by the gadgets and helps lower employee sickness rate by creating a productive environment at workplace and also creates a healthy environment at home.

3. Reduces stress and anxiety
Keeping it at home energizes & reduces stress in human beings. It helps avoid arguments, reduces anxiety & sleeping disorders. Green space means a stress free space. Plants are proven to lower the stress levels to a considerable amount.

4. Brings in good luck and prosperity
As the name suggests; money plant is known to bring abundance and wealth to the house and removes bad luck. Money Plant has always been considered the symbol of good luck. It is believed that keeping money plants at home can help people attain great heights in both personal and professional domains of life. North-East direction is not considered a good place to keep your money plant, so be careful. This plant is known to bring good fortune and wealth.

5. Creates a positive aura
This plant spreads positive vibes and energy around the space. Positive environment leads to a positive attitude which is the reason behind success and calm mind.

6. Keeps marital problems at bay
According to Vastu & Feng Shui, these plants should be kept indoors in the south-east direction. It maintains a healthy environment at home and keeps marital problems away.
It is believed to bring long-lasting relation, due to its heart-shaped leaves. It keeps you free from marriage tensions and binds the family together.

How to care for Money Plant?

1. Soil
Well drained soil is the demand of every plant. Sand and potting soil makes a perfect combo as sand allows good drainage and aeration to the plants.

2. Water
It can be watered once in 7-10 days in summers and once in 2-3 weeks in winter. Misting once a week in winters is enough. Let the soil dry up a little between successive watering sessions . But the gap between the sessions should not extend so long that the soil starts to crack up.

3. Light
This plant requires indirect medium to bright sunlight as scorching rays can burn the leaves. Money plant can grow well indoors and can also survive under artificial lights.

4. Fertilizer
Feeding the money plant with fertilizer once a month is sufficient. Make sure that only the prescribed amount is added.

5. Growing money plant in water
• Water should be changed every week.
• One node should be below the water level.
• No need to fertilize when growing in water.
• Keep the plant container near sunlight.

So, what are you waiting for? Buy one for yourselves now.

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12 Wondrous Benefits of Aloe Vera- The multi-speciality succulent

The Aloe Vera

Aloe barbadensis miller commonly called Aloe Vera is a multi-speciality stem less or short- stemmed xerophytic succulent which belongs to family Liliaceae. The leaves are green, fleshy and thick. It is cultivated for agricultural and medicinal uses. It is used in various cosmetics, ointments, beverages, etc.

Benefits and uses

1. Clears acne

The most common problem among teenagers is acne due to hormonal change. Applying fresh aloe gel on the face can surely reduce inflammation and acne.  Close up of teenage girl popping pimple  Acne creams with a combination of aloe vera are more effective than the acne medication alone.

2. Lightens blemishes on face

This succulent helps has vitamin C and E and helps in skin rejuvenation and skin cell reproduction, ultimately leading to clear and smooth skin with no acne marks.

3. Helps in hair growth

Aloe Vera gel activates new hair growth by increasing blood circulation to the scalp preventing hair fall. The proteolytic enzymes repair dead skin cells. Also, it acts as a conditioner. 

4.  Improves digestive health

Aloe Vera is said to cure stomach ailments and prevent ulcers by suppressing the growth of H. pylori bacteria in the digestive tract.

5. Heals burnsAloe vera being applied on burn

This succulent has cooling, soothing and moisturizing properties and can be used to treat burns. Aloe Vera also works wonders on reducing sun burns.

6. Anti-radiator

Yes, it can absorb harmful radiations from gadgets and give you more healthy air.

7. Improves oral health

Aloe Vera mouthwash or toothpastes can keep plaque at bay and improve overall mouth health to a great extent.

8. Aloe Vera juice:

Aloe vera juice in a jar

  • High on nutrients 

It contains trace amounts of manganese, zinc, copper, calcium, potassium and sodium.  It is an excellent source of vitamin B-12, C and E.

  • Gives you a clear skin

This hydrating drink keeps acne at bay. The more you infuse liquid in your diet, the more you flush out toxins and the effect is seen in the face. It repairs your skin from daily damage and makes it tolerant to unfavourable conditions, keeping the aging effect miles away.

  • Relieves heartburn

Aloe Vera reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach,  thus leading to less risks of heartburn and gastric ulcers.

  • Keeps you hydrated

The juice flushes out impurities and toxins, thus keeping you healthy. Liver and kidneys are responsible for detoxifying blood and producing urine, hence aloe juice improves organ output.

  • Keeps liver healthy 

Aloe Vera is enriched with phytonutrients, hence making it ideal for the liver. Liver functions best when it is hydrated and nourished.

  • Relieves constipation 

Now you know that the juice keeps you hydrated, so it means that it increases the water content in the body including intestine which produces a stimulation for peristalsis ,i.e., bowel movement aiding in passing stool normally. 

  • Lowers blood sugar levels

A study claimed that consuming aloe vera gel or juice can aid people control fasting blood sugar levels and lose weight also. It stimulates insulin secretion in the body helping you keep diabetes at bay. 

9. NASA recommended air purifier 

Yes, you heard it right. You might already have this amazing succulent at your home, if not you must get it right now. Aloe vera has been stated as the air purifier by NASA as it helps clear formaldehyde and benzene which can be a byproduct of paints.

Other benefits 

10. Inhibits inflammation

11.Improves wound healing

12. Reduces cholesterol 

How to Care for aloe vera?

1. Opt for a terracotta pot with a hole at the bottom as it is made from porous material which enables the soil to dry thoroughly in between waterings.

2. Use a cactus mix rather than using a gardening soil which is more porous and breathable for a succulent. 

3. Aloe Vera likes bright indirect sunlight. Too intense and prolonged sunlight can damage the plant and dry it out turning it yellow.

4. Fertilize the plant in spring and summers only.

5. Never overwater the succulents as it can lead to root rot. Allow the top third layer of the soil to dry completely before next watering. Reduce watering extremely in winters. 

*This content is source and research based, kindly consult your physician before consuming any product. 

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