Plants recommended for the elderly


Plants recommended to the elderly can fulfill a number of beneficial functions. They support the functioning of organs that require special support with age. They can also help to increase the appetite, which is often diminished by diseases, as well as the sense of smell and taste. Therefore, it is worth knowing which plants contain ingredients to improve health, and are also used as an aromatic addition to dishes.


Herbal medicine is an important element in the prevention and treatment of many diseases. Most of the plants used in herbal medicine have been known and appreciated for years due to their health-promoting properties. Certainly, some of them are familiar to the elderly who used them as home first-aid kits in the old days. This makes it easier to convince seniors to use them. Selected plants can perform not only medicinal but also culinary functions. As we age, our senses responsible for the aroma and taste of food weaken. This is what happens due to medications taken and chronic diseases. Therefore, the plants especially recommended for the elderly are those that have health-promoting properties, and also a beneficial effect on the appetite. Caring for the right amount of food intake is very important because it allows you to avoid malnutrition and dangerous nutrient deficiencies. Consequently, plants that stimulate the appetite are very important for the elderly.

Medicinal properties

When looking at plants that are especially recommended for elderly people, it is worth grouping them depending on the tasks they are to fulfill.

Digestive problems

Our digestive system deteriorates over time. The metabolic rate drops, which not only makes maintaining a healthy body weight more challenging, but also the digestive process itself. Elderly people are more likely to struggle with problems such as flatulence, constipation, heartburn, or a feeling of fullness in the stomach. For digestive problems, the following plants are used:

  • fennel (especially helpful in the case of flatulence, as well as reducing the tone of smooth muscles of the digestive system);
  • mint (supports the digestive process by stimulating the production of gastric juices and bile);
  • chamomile (stimulates bile secretion and helps with flatulence);

Other plants that can help in the event of digestive problems include, among others lemon balm, milk thistle, and also St. John’s wort.

Sleeping problems

Older people need less sleep. In addition, due to medications, chronic diseases or stress, they may have problems falling asleep. In this case, the following may help:

  • lemon balm (has a calming effect and helps to fall asleep);
  • chamomile (calms and relieves stress);
  • linden (linden leaves contain compounds with relaxing and calming properties);

Other plants for sleeping problems include valerian, passionflower, and lavender.

Memory and concentration improvement

Seniors often struggle with memory and concentration disorders, which may have a negative impact on their quality of life. Therefore, the elderly should pay special attention to plants that improve the functioning of the central nervous system. They include;

  • hawthorn (has a positive effect on both the functioning of the brain and heart);
  • gotu kola (contains compounds that improve memory and concentration, and also help reduce stress);
  • Rhodiola Rosea (improves memory and concentration, and strengthens immunity);

Appetite improvement

Old age may be associated with decreased appetite, as the senses begin to function worse and worse. In addition, certain diseases (e.g. cancer, digestive system diseases) and medications may adversely affect the amount of food consumed. In order to strengthen the appetite, you can reach for the following plants:

  • basil (supports digestion and also increases the appetite);
  • savory (it works well in appetite disorders as well as in diarrhea and indigestion);
  • coriander (increases appetite and facilitates digestion);

In case of appetite disorders, it is also worth paying attention to the properties of mugwort, thyme, tarragon, artichoke, chicory (which as a natural prebiotic has a beneficial effect on the intestinal microflora), lemon balm, dandelion, and marjoram. The way of serving dishes may also help to increase appetite. It is important that they look appetizing, have a varied color and consistency, and contain aromatic herbs and spices.


Interesting facts

You can find out many interesting things about plants recommended for elderly people. Here are a few of them.

  • Lemon balm – even in antiquity it was a well-known honey and healing plant. For this reason, it was called the “plant of life”.
  • Basil – in the Hindu religion it is considered a sacred herb. Interestingly, it is also used in the perfume industry – essential oil obtained from basil is an ingredient of some perfumes.
  • Hawthorn – inflorescences, and fruits are collected from wild-growing bushes, therefore it is easy to make a mistake. People who are not experienced in this may mistake hawthorn for wild rose. Rose hips are larger in size and filled with hairy seeds. Hawthorn fruits, on the other hand, resemble small apples with two seeds inside.


The use of properly selected plants can bring many benefits to the elderly. The ingredients they contain can help in digestive problems, sleep disorders, or problems with memory and concentration. Plants also play an important role by stimulating the appetite and making it easier to take the right amount of food. However, you should take into account that some plants can interact with the medications you take. Therefore, it is worth consulting their use with a doctor or pharmacist.

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