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Food

Mental and Physical Health with a Little Beauty Pansy

You Only Live Once, as new generations are coming to know – but you never live by yourself. Even if you chose to be on a remote Greek island in a tiny village, deep in a forest in West Virginia, or in downtown London, you are a member of society. Restrictive measures and rules does not create the ideal way of living, but complicated situations require drastic measures. Rules are made for the many, not for the one. They only thing we can do is to take care ourselves and live with respect for the many. Keeping us healthy in a mental and physical way is the best thing we can do for society.

Many everyday activities, like what we use for our body and what makes us happy, do not necessarily require a lot of effort or money. Just choose wisely after thorough research. Eating well or eating ‘something special’ can be done. It will help you to boost your immune system, and not getting sick helps sustain the national healthcare system in these difficult times. Keeping yourself safe will keep your community safe.

Some flowering plants provide this kind of ‘double action’ to our mind and body. Think about why and how we use plants. We eat them, we decorate our house with them, we even use them as patterns in our clothes, pictures on the wall, in our fabrics, for carpets and more. Some of them can be used in many ways!

A great example of a plant for mental and physical health is viola tricolor or wild pansy. Even its common name – ‘heartsease’ (heals broken hearts) – evokes cures for more than the lovelorn with physical heart diseases, as folklore used to support. It is good for eczema and other skin diseases in a form of a compress. As an herbal tea it helps with bronchitis and it is antinflammatory. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties is also used in the treatment of inflammation of the lungs and chest such as bronchitis and asthma. Their flowers are edible and very tasty in green salads, along with calendula, borage, bergomat, and anise. But also, it is easy to grow in very small space as it only grows 15-30 cm in height and breadth. Its vibrant colors brighten your day and you can keep them at room temperature, for example, in your house or in your office.

* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.

Evropi-Sofia Dalampira is an Agriculturist-MSc Botany-Biology and PhD Candidate in Agricultural-Environmental Education and Science Communication.

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