Nature’s medicine cabinet The healing power of plants


Before you reach for the paracetamol from the medicine cabinet, have you considered checking your backyard, herb patch or community garden for a remedy fix?



Nature is our living and breathing chemist. Becoming an apothecary in your very own backyard can actually be easy, even for those who wouldn’t consider themselves to be traditional plant enthusiasts.  

From the power of rosemary (that can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease) to the echinacea herb (which fights off colds and flus), the benefits of growing and caring for your own remedial ferny friends are plentiful.

To inspire and motivate increased greening at home, Plant Life Balance, in collaboration with horticulturist and The Planthunter creator Georgina Reid, has created four new plant looks that cover everything from growing homeopathic herbs to fitting out a space with stylish shrubs.

Georgina is constantly inspired by the value of all things green. 

“The Remedy look is a wonderful reminder of the healing power of plants,” she says. “Considering nearly half of all human medicines are derived from plants, growing your own tonics and cures for basic ills is an achievable feat.”



Four new plant looks

  1. The Remedy is all about remedial herbs and flowers overflowing in abundance, perfect for the greenie ready to fill glass bottles with homemade concoctions.

  2. So French, So Chic brings a Parisian feel to any garden without the hefty plane journey, showcasing a selection of well-cultivated plants, neat hedges and terracotta pots.

  3. Dark Matters features layered and overflowing foliage, with plants that aren’t afraid of low light or the shade.

  4. Bloomin’ Gorgeous incorporates bunches of bright Aussie natives and will warm up any garden, even as the weather is cooling down.



While these looks are great additions to the home regardless of the season, Georgina suggests treating your plants a little differently as we move into the cooler months.

Plants need rest too. Like humans, they seem to gravitate toward it during this time of year.

“Many plants will put on new growth in spring and summer and by the time autumn comes, they’ll be tired and a bit worn out,” Georgina says.

“They might be looking for a haircut (prune) and some down time. Most plants will need less water and fertilizer over the cooler months, particularly tropical indoor plants, so now is the time to take things a bit slower, plan your spring gardening bonanza and tuck your plants in for the winter!”



Plant Life Balance

To help bring the looks to life, Plant Life Balance is also supported by the app, which incorporates the four new looks for users to try themselves. The Plant Life Balance app asks Aussies to rate their space, then improve their health score by choosing a look for their room or outdoor area, grabbing a plant list and hitting the nursery. Since the launch last October, more than 40,000 people have downloaded the Plant Life Balance app.


Plant Life Balance is funded by Hort Innovation and is an initiative designed to get Australians excited and confident about styling their homes with plants while promoting the health and wellbeing benefits they bring.


Wellbeing benefits

  1. Adding one medium-sized plant to a medium-sized room increases air quality up to 25 per cent.

  2. Five or more plants leads to feeling healthier and happier (direct benefits include improved mood and concentration and indirect benefits such as increased productivity).