If you’ve just moved into your new home and think you have no room for houseplants then perhaps this article will help you think again! There are so many health benefits to having a few houseplants around your home you will wonder why you haven’t added them to your health regime! They don’t cost a lot, they need less care than a family pet and on top of looking great they offer excellent physiological and psychological benefits.
Read on and find out why they should become one of your interior essentials
Improve your mood
OK so it may sound crazy that a plant can make you happier but research has proved that plants can have a positive effect on your mood. Reducing stress, inducing calm and increased levels of optimism there is a chance that plants could ease depression and help raise self-esteem. Promoting a sense of well-being, something as simple as caring for a living thing such as a plant can help focus the mind during lonely or low periods.
Plants can also be grown to support health. Tea made with fresh mint can do wonders for your digestive system and there are numerous health benefits related to other herbs such as parsley, coriander, basil and thyme. They are great sources of vitamin C and K, have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help reduce blood pressure and improve the immune system. Studies have shown that hospital patients with plants in their rooms had lower blood pressure and heart rate than those that did not and in turn can help support the healing process after surgery.
Get a better night’s sleep
Respiration in plants works in the opposite way to respiration in humans offering the perfect relationship! They produce oxygen whilst absorbing carbon dioxide and it is the oxygen in your room that can promote a good, deep sleep. Plants, as part of their photosynthetic and respiratory processes, release moisture into the air increasing the humidity in a room. This can help decrease dry skin conditions, coughs and colds.
Improve your mental capacity
With all that plant related oxygen in the house you will find that during the day your mind will remain sharper. This will also help your concentration levels as well as your memory and give a boost to your creativity and attention span. So if you want to bash out that best seller you have always been talking about, be sure to surround yourself with greenery. The same applies to your office work space. If you want to keep the creativity flowing then place plants around the office to help improve the atmosphere and help the productivity of you and your team.
Properties of specific plants
So which plants can provide the health benefits that you want? Well there are many to choose from but here is a round-up of some of the most popular plants that can purify the air we breathe. In the average home we are immersed in chemicals in the air. The main household toxins are benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. The gases from these carcinogenic chemicals can be emitted from materials for years so using houseplants to help purify the air makes a great deal of sense.
- Peace Lily – this is perfect for damp areas of the house such as a bathroom or utility room as this clever leafy plant removes mould from the air.
- Snake plant – this one is amazing as it purifies the air removing formaldehyde and nitrogen oxide. These are the type of bi-products produced by fuel burners such as wood burning stoves so would be perfect for any room that had one such as a living room.
- Philodendron – this wonderful plant is the perfect choice for those who have just moved into a new home or have just renovated a house. It removes formaldehyde which is found in paints, adhesives, wallpaper, MDF, floor finishes and therefore purifies the air.
- Spider plant – a firm favourite amongst school children as this plant grows its own little baby plants so an easy one even for those with no green fingers. It’s also an efficient air purifier and like the Philodendron, it removes formaldehyde.
- Gerbera flowers – add a vase of gerbera daisies to your bedroom as these stunning flowers not only look pretty but will release oxygen at night conducive to a good night’s sleep. They will also purify the air by removing benzene and trichloroethylene.
- Boston Fern – the Boston Fern is perfect for humidifying dry rooms. They will need tender loving care however, so be sure to water them regularly and a daily misting will keep them looking fresh and green.
Nature has a way of protecting us, whether we are aware of it or not. On a larger scale, think of what the rain forests have given us in terms of regulating the climate, filtering pollution and providing the origins for modern medicine. Therefore growing plants in the garden and surrounding ourselves with plants at home and in the workplace should be seen as an essential part of living a healthy life.