Today, we want to talk a bit about the history of plants and how we have used them over time.

Since ancient times, humanity has depended on plants; they are responsible for purifying the air we breathe, they are also responsible for us as a vital cog in the food chain. In addition, they meet many of our health, energy and environmental needs.

In terms of history, plants were predominantly used for cooking and in medicine. Thousands of years ago, in Asia and in Babylon there were important components of perfumes. The Assyrians also used plants for their healing power. The Egyptians used hemp, hemlock and aloe for their healing properties. Chinese, Greeks and Romans also used them.

Ornamental plants began to be used in the third century BC. These were planted in earthen vessels and placed in the windows and courtyards of the palaces. The gardens also enjoyed large trees where they could enjoy a good shade in the blazing temperatures.

Today, plants are classified into:

– Food

Some grow above the ground and are known as:

– Stems such as asparagus and celery
– Shoots such as bean sprouts and bamboo shoots
– Flowers such as broccoli and cauliflower
– Seeds and Fruits like oranges, peppers, cucumbers, lemons, etc.
– Leaves such as cabbage, spinach and lettuce

Whilst others grow below the ground and are known as:

– Tubers such as potatoes
– Bulbs such as onions
– Roots such as carrots and parsnips

Medicinal

Medicinal plants help us to heal or alleviate our ailments, taking them mostly in the form of infusion: like tea, basil, guava, papaya and passion flower. Also many of them are used to extract medicinal products, such as ‘ quinoa ‘, which is used to combat malaria.

Ornamental and decorative

Ornamental plants are those that adorn our gardens, parks or homes: the best known are carnations, roses, geraniums, pines, willows, etc.

Business and Industry

The industrial plants are used to obtain raw materials to later elaborate fabrics, perfumes, rubber latex, wood, etc.

Here are some interesting facts about plants:

– Walnuts are often used as natural soap or detergent to wash delicate fabrics (silk, cotton or linen).
– The giant bamboo of Asia grows 50 cm every day.
– The trees ‘giant redwood’ and ‘bristlecone pines’ can live up to 5,000 years.
– We humans use about 2,000 different plants for our food.
– The largest flower in the world is the ‘rafflesia’, which has a diameter of 90 cm.
– The Amazon rainforest produces almost 50% of the oxygen of the entire planet.

Plants are our life force and protectors, and so much more besides. Their importance goes beyond the confines of our gardens and filters through into all areas of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. Plants are pretty amazing would you agree?

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