Plant Therapy For Depression And Anxiety: The Healing Power Of Nature (2023)

The current coronavirus pandemic is a particular and rare situation that can make us feel overwhelmed. Here at Aerify we deeply care about mental health, and now more than ever, we want to remind you of the surprisingly beneficial impact of nature on our health, and how it can support our bodies and souls.

While depression is a condition that millions of people around the world already face every day, periods of self-isolation or quarantine can cause additional stress and anxiety.

In addition to therapy and similar treatments, you can help reduce these symptoms by growing plants inside your home. In fact, plants have a natural healing power that can improve mood, and help you manage the repercussions of these kinds of reactions on your life.

About Stress And Anxiety During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Stress, anxiety, and depression can be common in the context of a pandemic and they appear in a variety of physical, psychological, emotional, and behavioral symptoms:

· Avoiding anyone from outside the home because of fear of contagion

· Obsessively monitoring coronavirus symptoms

· Headaches, neck tension, gastrointestinal problems

· Sleep problems

· Lower appetite

· Lower energy, fatigue

· Virus-related worries and insecurity

· Feelings of being overwhelmed by events, powerlessness

· A negative vision of things or daily events

(Video) How Gardening Is Being Used For Healing And Therapy

· Feelings of discouragement, insecurity, sadness, anger

· Inability to concentrate

· Irritability, aggression

· Difficulty in taking decisions

· Intense, frequent crying

· Irritability and aggression, conflict with other members of the household

· Alcohol, drug, and medication abuse

Minimizing The Repercussions In Your Daily Life
  • Use only reliable sources of information and avoid contradictory or sensationalist news reports. Limit the exposureinformation overload can aggravate your symptoms.

  • Take care of yourself with healthy living habits such as proper nutrition, sufficient sleep, and physical activity to let the stress out and eliminate tension.

  • Observe your feelings, emotions, and reactions, and allow yourself to voice them or write them down.

  • Give yourself a present every day, small pleasures such as listening to music, taking a warm bath, dancing, reading, etc.

  • Remain in contact with people that make you feel good.

  • Focus on your strengths and remind yourself of past winning strategies you used to get through difficult times.

  • Set limits for yourself: avoid stressors, refuse non-essential tasks, delegate, and let others help you with household chores.

About Depression

Depression is a mood disorder that causes a depressed state, which impairs and reduces the overall quality of life. Different factors can contribute to depression development, including genetic factors, external factors, and even factors such as nutrition and exercise.

(Video) Why nature is good for your mental health

The symptoms of depression may be severe or long-lasting, and include:

· Continuous low mood or sadness

· Feeling hopeless, helpless, tearful and guilt-ridden

· Low self-esteem

· Feeling irritable and intolerant of others

· Nomotivationor interest in things

· Difficulty tomake decisions

· Not getting anyenjoyment out of life

· Anxiety

· Suicidal thoughts or thoughts ofharming yourself

· Lack of energy

· Loss of libido

· Changes to yourmenstrual cycle

· Disturbed sleep

If you have been diagnosed with depression or you are currently experiencing any of the above symptoms, talk with your doctor about it. Your health team will create a treatment plan based on your needs, which will help you improve your quality of life. In addition to counseling-based therapy, your health team may recommend various types of life improvement therapy – plant therapy can be one of them. Talk with your physician about options for managing your condition, including plant therapy, that can be done right in your own home.

How Plants Can Improve Depression, Anxiety, And Stress

Plants can help improve some of the symptoms experienced by people suffering from depression and anxiety by:

(Video) Experience Forest Bathing: The Healing Power of Nature with Sylvie Rokab

· Providing exposure to natural, green elements that increase mood

While connecting with nature has always been proved to help people feel less stressed, indoor plants can have the potential to be healing and therapeutic.

Firstly, plants will bring the beauty and wonder of nature right into your own home. A group of houseplants gathered in the corner of your living room will make you feel as if you have walked into a jungle. By closely watching your plants grow, you will be able to follow this miracle of life, step by step, and develop a deeper connection to nature.

Also, plants make any interior space look more aesthetically pleasing so that you will feel more comfortable in your own home. Their vibrant colors and textures can beautify any room—and looking at something beautiful will surely make you happier.

Moreover, when you touch the soil, some microscopic soil bacteria called Mycobacterium vaccae enter your system. They generate serotonin and dopamine, which both produce a feeling of happiness. Furthermore, these "friendly" bacteria are proved to boost our immune system: scientists believe that soil could prevent asthma, allergies, and other illnesses.

And probably, while having plants at home, you will be exposed to more sunlight, the same light necessary for your plants to grow. Consequently, your vitamin D intake will increase, and your bone health and immune system function will improve.

· Creating a calming ritual that gives purpose

It's been proved that having a routine can restore our sense of control over our lives and help reduce anxiety and stress.

Taking care of plants is a great ritual we can benefit from during hard times. ⁠It feels good to know that, every day, something is happening at a regular time—it could be watering your plants or just checking on them.

Routines can regularize your life and reinsert a sense of control, in a time when you might feel like you lost it.⁠

· Increasing motivation, confidence, and ability to focus

Growing plants can give a chance to relax and enjoy a quiet, reflective hobby. You have a task to focus and reflect on, which can take away from feelings of anxiety and fear. It helps you be present in the "here and now" and switches off negative thoughts.

Also, nurturing plants gives a sense of accomplishment—taking care of a living thing increases our sense of self-worth and contentment. As the days go by, you will start seeing the fruits of your labor, and it will give you great joy. Seeing your plants grow and thrive thanks to your careful care will help you feel more confident in yourself and your ability to go through life stages. This type of mental stimulation is extremely rewarding and helps boost your brainpower while giving you the satisfaction of a job well done. Seeing your plants growing and thriving due to your work and dedication will make you feel delighted and fulfilled.

Moreover, caring for plants can be a unique challenge that stimulates your mind and gets yourself familiar with taking up and meeting responsibilities. Research has shown that employees are more productive and attentive when indoor plants are included in the workplace.

· Teaching about patience and kindness

Houseplants can teach you a lot about compassion and forgiveness.⁠ They are living reminders that you are living too, and sometimes, that needs patience.⁠ You need to be gentle with your plants, and this will push you to be more gentle with yourself. ⁠

Caring for plants can help you challenge your own emotions. ⁠You can feel impatient—wanting plants to grow faster, or better, or bigger. ⁠When a plant isn’t doing well, you can be sad, or you can feel guilty because you realize you gave too much water or too much light.⁠ Gardening can be intimidating and frustrating sometimes; all you have to do is feeling those emotions without being judgemental to yourself.⁠

With time, you will learn that for your houseplants to grow and thrive, you need to dedicate yourself to know everything about their environment and growing conditions; you have to research what type of lighting and soil they need, learn how to prune and take care of them. It will take time and patience.

(Video) Plants, the microbiome, and mental health | Christopher A. Lowry | TEDxMileHigh

· Promoting better sleep thanks to increased oxygen and relaxing scents

Currently, one major downside of spending the majority of our days at home is the lack of fresh air and oxygen.⁠ Luckily, houseplants come to rescue, producing oxygen and clean air for all of us.

Placing certain plants in your bedroom can have a calming effect and promote a healthy sleep pattern: you will get plenty of fresh, clean oxygen and transform your bedroom into a more liveable and breathable space.

Some plants can make you relax and breathe easier: they can remove toxins, bad odors, raise the oxygen in the room and remove pollution from the air.

Flowering plants such as Jasmine and Lavender will have a gentle and soothing effect on your mind and body. Their delightful scent, known to be calming and soothing, will help you reducing anxiety and insomnia.

· Reducing feelings of stress and frustration

Gardening is linked to mental clarity by reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.

Plants seem to be "positively distracting" and help in shifting the focus away from the difficulties. For this reason, doctors recommend gardening to people who have had a loss in their lives.

Studies have also shown that gardening manages to reduce cortisolthe stress hormone.

Plant Therapy Ideas

Plant therapy can be used in conjunction with more traditional methods of therapy, such as talking to a counselor, engaging in group therapy, and so on.

Since plant therapy is relatively inexpensive, it is particularly popular with people who want affordable and creative ways to manage their symptoms.

Create a rainbow garden

Instead of growing random houseplants, choose a few different plants with a different primary color to grow alongside one another. You can create a “rainbow” garden that has plants showcasing a variety of pleasing colors and shades.

Grow something difficult

if you are looking for a challenge, consider picking out a trickier houseplant to grow inside your home. This will help increase your focus while giving you something to strive towards as you work on managing your symptoms.

Grow flowering plants

If you have ever used essential oils or perfumes to help you relax, then it should come as no surprise that you can also grow the actual flowers themselves for their relaxing properties. Growing scented flowering plants, such as Lilacs, Lavender or Jasmine, can help you improve your mood, sleep better, and ease other depression symptoms.


Read More


What plant heals depression? ›


A study in 2012 reviewed data about chamomile, which comes from the Matricaria recutita plant, and its role in helping to manage depression and anxiety. The results show that chamomile produced more significant relief from depressive symptoms than a placebo.

Which plant is best for mental health? ›

Plants to help ease the mind
  1. Lavender.
  2. Jasmine.
  3. Lemon balm.
  4. Rosemary.
  5. Gerbera daisy.
  6. Chrysanthemum.
  7. Snake plant.
  8. Red-edged dracaena. Studies show that all plants provide mental health benefits. Constantly seeing and being around plants help us feel more calm and relaxed, thus decreasing levels of anxiety.

Can plants sense depression? ›

New studies show that plants react to threats much in the way that fear motivates people and that plants can reduce depression and lead to longer life spans.

What is the instant anxiety relieving plant? ›

Valerian. In some studies, people who used valerian reported less anxiety and stress. In other studies, people reported no benefit. Valerian is generally considered safe at recommended doses, but since long-term safety trials are lacking, don't take it for more than a few weeks at a time, unless your doctor approves.

What plant is a natural antidepressant? ›

Based on available data, black cohosh, chamomile, chasteberry, lavender, passionflower, and saffron appear useful in mitigating anxiety or depression with favorable risk-benefit profiles compared to standard treatments. These may benefit cancer patients by minimizing medication load and accompanying side effects.

What is the ancient herb for depression? ›

In the ancient tradition, Chaihu is a classic Chinese medicine for depression that works by soothing gan (liver) qi stagnation, a syndrome characterized by a depressed mood and chest tightness. Other Chinese herbs for depression, such as Banxia houpu decoction, are also used for anxiety.

Which indoor plant removes stress and anxiety? ›

Lavender Plant

Its sweet smell helps soothe the mind and relieves anxiety, stress, and its mesmerizing fragrance has sedative properties that help induce sleep. A study showed that having a lavender plant around helped calm agitated babies and put them to sleep.

What is the best herb for mental illness? ›

chamomile, lavender or valerian remedies for sleep and relaxation. St John's wort for depression. chaste berry for PMDD and premenstrual syndrome.

What flower helps with anxiety? ›

"Jasmine and lavender are proven to lower stress and anxiety levels, inducing peacefulness, improving sleep and lowering heart rate and so are ideal additions to the bedroom." "Flowers are proven to help reduce recovery time.

How do plants help with anxiety and depression? ›

Plants can reduce feelings of anxiety and depression

A 2007 study found a bacterium in plant soil called Mycobacterium vaccae that triggers the release of serotonin, which lifts mood and reduces anxiety. Therefore, interaction with indoor or outdoor plants can alleviate symptoms of depression.

Do plants help with mental illness? ›

Just being in the presence of indoor plants can improve mental and physical health, according to a recent review of 42 studies. Houseplants improve air quality, which can benefit our cognitive performance – something that is especially important for people who are inside all day.

Can going plant based help depression? ›

Research that looked at the impact of diet on emotional well-being and productivity at 10 corporate sites of a major U.S. insurance company found that a plant-based dietary intervention led to significantly reduced feelings of depression, anxiety, and fatigue.

What is the strongest natural anxiety relief? ›

Of all available research, kava is by far the most effective natural treatment option for anxiety. It's an herb that has been used for decades to fight anxiety with a considerable amount of success, and one that has research-supported benefits for reducing anxiety.

What is the number one herb for anxiety? ›

Kava (Piper methysticum)

The root of a plant native to the South Pacific, kava is perhaps the best-researched herb for anxiety relief. Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies show that kava significantly reduces anxiety.

What vitamin is a natural antidepressant? ›

Vitamin B-3 and Vitamin B-9 can help people with depression because B vitamins help the brain manage moods. Vitamin D, melatonin and St. John's Wort are recommended for seasonal depression. Omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium and vitamin C may also help with depression.

What is the best natural antidepressant? ›

Here are some supplements that are promoted by marketers as helping with depression:
  • St. John's wort. ...
  • SAMe. This dietary supplement is a synthetic form of a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. ...
  • Omega-3 fatty acids. ...
  • Saffron. ...
  • 5-HTP. ...
  • DHEA.

What is the African herb for depression and anxiety? ›

Kanna (Sceletium tortuosum) has been used in traditional South African medicine for centuries to help boost mood and reduce stress, anxiety and tension.

What is the magical treatment for depression? ›

Psilocybin Treatment for Major Depression Effective for Up to a Year for Most Patients, Study Shows. Previous studies by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers showed that psychedelic treatment with psilocybin relieved major depressive disorder symptoms in adults for up to a month.

What is the golden spice for depression? ›

Curcumin is the main active component in the spice turmeric that has been used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety and depressive disorders.

What is the purple plant for anxiety? ›

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is a perennial native to Europe. In terms of appearance, lavender shows off fragrant purple blooms. It can help with stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Can plants sense anxiety? ›

Like animals, plants respond to stress in a variety of ways; studies suggest that plants may release smelly chemical compounds or change their color and shape in response to drought and bites from hungry herbivores.

What plants thrive under stress? ›

Extremophyte plants not only survive in dry, salty or cold places, but actually thrive in them. One of these plants flourishes in a place with extremely high salt content, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Nature Plants.

Which herb is miracle for brain? ›

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) is one of the most well studied herbs that we use today, particularly for cognitive function and mental support.

What herb cleans the brain? ›

Myrtle essential oil has clarifying, cleansing, refreshing and uplifting properties. Research shows that the myricetins found in this herb can inhibit the formation of beta-amyloid fibril. It is the formation of this protein in the brain that can lead to the neurotoxicity that causes Alzheimer's and Dementia.

What food is natural antidepressants? ›

The researchers narrowed down the top 10 raw fruits and vegetables they found to be associated with better mental health and fewer symptoms of depression. These include carrots, dark leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, cucumber, apples, bananas, grapefruit, other citrus fruits, fresh berries, and kiwifruit.

What is the flower for depression? ›

Growing scented flowering plants, such as Lilacs, Lavender or Jasmine, can help you improve your mood, sleep better, and ease other depression symptoms.

What deficiencies cause anxiety? ›

Key Nutrient Deficiencies That May Contribute To Anxiety
  • Magnesium. Magnesium supports you in bringing more calm into your life, by nurturing your brain's ability to release stress hormones. ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • B6. ...
  • Iron. ...
  • Omega 3 fish oil. ...
  • Zinc. ...
  • Antioxidants. ...
  • Selenium.

What flower is used for mental health? ›

Jasmine. Jasmine is not just a beautiful bloom, it is also one of the preferred flowers for mental health preservation. Jasmine reduces stress, anxiety levels and helps with sleep problems.

Which plant may be useful in treating depression and nervous disorders? ›

In recent years, St. John's wort has been studied extensively as a treatment for depression. Most studies show that St. John's wort may help treat mild-to-moderate depression, and has fewer side effects than most other prescription antidepressants.

Does nature help with anxiety and depression? ›

Spending time in nature has been found to help with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression. For example, research into ecotherapy (a type of formal treatment which involves doing activities outside in nature) has shown it can help with mild to moderate depression.

Which plant improves mood? ›

Popular indoor plants like lavender, aloe Vera, Pothos, snake plant, basil and more are not only great for brightening up your home, but they can also reduce anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia.

What food is highest in serotonin? ›

Serotonin Foods to Increase Serotonin Naturally
  • Eggs for Protein. ...
  • Salmon and Fish are Excellent Foods to Increase Serotonin. ...
  • Soy Products, Tofu, and Soy Milk. ...
  • Dairy Products, Like Milk and Cheese. ...
  • Nuts and Seeds. ...
  • Pineapple. ...
  • Dark Green, Leafy Vegetables, Like Spinach. ...
  • Sauerkraut and Other Natural Probiotics.

How can I increase serotonin and dopamine naturally? ›

The Power Of Serotonin And Dopamine
  1. Time to get moving. Exercise is one of the best ways to increase both dopamine and serotonin. ...
  2. Increase your protein intake. Diet plays a critical role in weight management and overall health. ...
  3. Step up your sleep. People are spending less time sleeping. ...
  4. Try meditation.

What vegetables are serotonin rich? ›

Several fruits and vegetables contain tryptophan, which is a building block to creating mood-boosting serotonin. So if we consume produce rich in tryptophan, our bodies can make more serotonin. Plantains, pineapple, bananas, kiwi fruit, plums, and tomatoes contain high amounts of tryptophan.

How I healed my anxiety without drugs? ›

Anxiety Treatment Without Medication: 7 Holistic Ways to Cope
  1. Keep Your Blood Sugar in Check. ...
  2. Avoid Stimulants. ...
  3. Get Enough Sleep. ...
  4. Just Breathe. ...
  5. Practice Mindfulness. ...
  6. Exercise. ...
  7. Do What You Enjoy. ...
  8. Where to Get Help.
Dec 6, 2017

What is the 3 3 3 rule for anxiety? ›

Follow the 3-3-3 rule.

Look around you and name three things you see. Then, name three sounds you hear. Finally, move three parts of your body — your ankle, fingers, or arm.

What calms severe anxiety? ›

How to calm down quickly
  • Breathe. One of the best things you can do when you start to feel that familiar panicky feeling is to breathe. ...
  • Name what you're feeling. ...
  • Try the 5-4-3-2-1 coping technique. ...
  • Try the “File It” mind exercise. ...
  • Run. ...
  • Think about something funny. ...
  • Distract yourself. ...
  • Take a cold shower (or an ice plunge)
Jun 22, 2021

What is the Indian herb for anxiety? ›

Withania somnifera (WS), widely known as ashwagandha, is an Ayurvedic herb that has recently gained recognition as a treatment for anxiety and stress in the United States.

What Chinese herb is used for anxiety? ›

Ginkgo biloba, the oldest plant existing in the world for over 200 million years, is a famous Chinese herb employed frequently in the world to treat anxiety.

What is better ashwagandha or St John's wort? ›

If you're looking at the best herbal remedies to ease anxiety and lower stress levels, Ashwagandha and St. John's Wort are both good options. Overall, Ashwagandha is considered the safer adaptogen since you can typically take it while nursing to avoid anxiety and postpartum depression.

What are 3 instantly calming techniques for anxiety? ›

When stress, anxiety or fear flare up, these 9 techniques help keep you calmer.
  • Just breathe. ...
  • Close your eyes and count to 10 slowly. ...
  • Chew a piece of gum. ...
  • Phone a friend – preferably a funny one. ...
  • Smell lavender. ...
  • Curl up with your cat or dog. ...
  • Listen to calming music. ...
  • Exercise your body.
Jan 7, 2021

What vitamins help with anxiety? ›

B-complex, vitamin E, vitamin C, GABA, and 5-HTP are 5 vitamins commonly used to help with anxiety and stress.
Vitamins For Stress Relief
  • B-complex. B-complex contains all eight B vitamins. ...
  • Vitamin E. Vitamin E is a natural antioxidant. ...
  • Vitamin C. ...
  • GABA. ...
  • 5-HTP.

How I cured my anxiety with a vitamin? ›

Vitamins B9 and B12 are both thought to treat symptoms of anxiety. Folic acid has many uses in the body, and B9 deficiency has been linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression. When taken in conjunction with B12, these B super-vitamins help metabolize serotonin, which is important for mood regulation.

What are the best herbs for depression spiritual? ›

The sun herbs, like St. John's Wort, Hawthorne, Rosemary, and Frankincense (as aromatherapy), are especially good in seasonal depressive states.

What is the best vitamin for anxiety and depression? ›

Vitamins B9 and B12 are both thought to treat symptoms of anxiety. Folic acid has many uses in the body, and B9 deficiency has been linked to higher levels of anxiety and depression. When taken in conjunction with B12, these B super-vitamins help metabolize serotonin, which is important for mood regulation.

What are 7 superfoods for depression? ›

The researchers narrowed down the top 10 raw fruits and vegetables they found to be associated with better mental health and fewer symptoms of depression. These include carrots, dark leafy greens such as spinach, lettuce, cucumber, apples, bananas, grapefruit, other citrus fruits, fresh berries, and kiwifruit.

What plants are antidepressant? ›

Positive effects of a number of herbs and their active compounds such as St John's-wort, saffron, turmeric, ginkgo, chamomile, valerian, Lavender, Echium amoenum and Rhodiola rosea L. in improvement of symptoms of mild, moderate or major depression have been shown in clinical trials.

Is ashwagandha better than antidepressants? ›

In Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is most commonly known for its mood-lifting effects. Scientific research supports its potential to treat clinical depressive disorders. Studies show that its effects are comparable to common prescription antidepressants.


1. How House Plants can Help Mental Health
(That Foliage Life)
2. What is Horticultural Therapy? | Fighting Stress & Anxiety with Gardening & Houseplants | Ep 104
(Legends Of Monstera)
3. 1 Vitamin Like Chemical to Heal Neuropathy & Nerve Damage | Dr Alan Mandell, DC
4. Matthew Wichrowski: The Healing Power of Plants and Nature
(Mora Medical)
5. Plant Ther'py Is Here
(Plant Ther'py)
6. Joe Rogan - Depression Isn't a Chemical Imbalance?
(JRE Clips)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Terence Hammes MD

Last Updated: 05/02/2023

Views: 5563

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (49 voted)

Reviews: 88% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Terence Hammes MD

Birthday: 1992-04-11

Address: Suite 408 9446 Mercy Mews, West Roxie, CT 04904

Phone: +50312511349175

Job: Product Consulting Liaison

Hobby: Jogging, Motor sports, Nordic skating, Jigsaw puzzles, Bird watching, Nordic skating, Sculpting

Introduction: My name is Terence Hammes MD, I am a inexpensive, energetic, jolly, faithful, cheerful, proud, rich person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.