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Friday, November 11, 2016

Vines That Enrich Our Life

It is commonly believed that most plant life here on Earth benefits mankind. No one questions that. Plants bring us food, medicines, decorations and more.  

And many plants help us to express our emotions towards others in the form of gifts. But one plant is sometimes overlooked when other plants are credited with benefiting us. And that is the lowly vine.

At times, the vine is even considered a pest when we think of clearing away an overgrowth of vines at inappropriate places. Vines like the Virginia Creeper, Vinca Minor or worse, Poison Ivy are considered invasive and troublesome to most. Besides causing deterioration to wood surfaces, they sometimes provide inroads to rodents or other undesirable creatures.

However, in the defense of vines, this article presents some interesting and beneficial facts about 5 vines that you may not have known. Being objective can be productive. For example, we all know that tobacco causes cancer. But, you may not know that tobacco has saved thousands of lives as an anti-venom poultice for bee and wasp stings.

Our first vine to offer a defense for is the Wisteria vine. Likely, you won’t question the beauty of the delicate purple blossoms. And be careful about the brown bean-like seed pods. They’re poisonous. But did you know that some people use these blossoms to decorate their fresh, delicious salads? They add lovely color and light flavor to a healthy salad.

The next vine with a bad rap that might not be all bad is the Clematis vine. Although the Clematis vine is pretty in pink when it flowers, its petals can be toxic to both humans and animals alike, causing nausea and vomiting when ingested. However, the Clematis vine has been used for many centuries in medicine to alleviate inflammation and it’s an anti-microbial.

Our next vine is widely known for its health benefits. The Honeysuckle vine produces light orange colored flowers that are easily recognized for their lovely fragrance. What you may not have known is that the different Honeysuckle varieties have some amazing health benefits. Some of these benefits include headache relief and fever reducer, improved immunity, stabilizing blood sugar and tea made from honeysuckle aids respiratory problems.  

English Ivy has at least two mention-worthy benefits. Although it has been called an aggressive invader, having an inside potted English Ivy plant has been known to clean the air in your home of dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde and airborne fecal particles. Outside, it is excellent for preventing soil erosion in your garden or landscaping.

Partridgeberry has been praised for the same thing. It too helps to prevent soil erosion on your property. (https://www.onlineplantnursery.com/garden-delights-nursery-blog/vines-perfect-for-soil-erosion-and-landscaping-english-ivy-pachysandra-and-partridgeberry/) But another huge benefit of Partridgeberry vine is its likely ability to prevent miscarriages. In the herbal world, it is well known as a uterine herbal tonic for female fertility.

This vine list is not all inclusive. There are many other vines with very beneficial properties like the Balloon Vine for example, that is known to aid in the cure of anemia and anorexia, headaches and asthma. And let’s not forgot the wonderful fruit that grows from the Grape vine. Both fresh and fermented, this vine produces fruit to nourish our bodies, strengthen our heart and yes, lift our spirits.

This article included a partial list of vines that enrich our life. This research shows that vines are not all bad. Yes, some are toxic, aggressive and difficult to remove from structures. But some vines are extremely beneficial to humans providing color, beauty, medicines, eco strength and clean air for our homes. Nobody’s perfect, including vines.

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