How House Plants Can Improve Your Health
October 2, 2018
House plants are a popular feature of many homes. A collection of green house plants looks attractive and brightens up a windowsill, especially if you look out onto a ventilation shaft. Most people own at least one plant – typically a hardy cactus or succulent – but are you aware that house plants actually come with some seriously useful health benefits? Read on for more information about how house plants can boost your health.
Have you heard of ‘sick building syndrome’? If not, then pay attention, as sick building syndrome could be the reason why you feel off colour at the office.
Modern building materials release all kinds of nasty chemicals into the atmosphere, including benzene, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde. These chemicals are toxic and cause long-term health problems. House plants do a great job of filtering out noxious chemicals.
The humble spider plant or ubiquitous rubber plant are both great choices, advises Manuel, interior decorator at Sothebysrealty.
If you live in a dry, arid climate, house plants will improve the atmosphere in your home. Plants release moisture into the atmosphere, so they are very useful in an air-conditioned home or office. They are great at maintaining the right humidity levels in a room.
When humidity is low, we are more susceptible to viruses. Coughs, colds, and the flu are no fun at all, so boost your immune system with a few carefully positioned house plants.
In rooms where humidity levels are naturally higher, stick with cacti and succulents, as these hang on to their water and don’t release it back into the air.
Absorb CO2 Gas
High levels of carbon-dioxide are not good for our health. In the wider world, carbon-dioxide is widely believed to contribute to the effects of global warming. Chopping down large swathes of the Amazon rainforest hasn’t helped; nor have modern intensive farming methods.
We can all do our bit for global warming by introducing house plants into our homes and offices. They reduce our carbon footprint and refresh the atmosphere by absorbing CO2 gas and releasing oxygen.
Oxygenating the atmosphere is useful if you struggle to concentrate. Put a house plant on your desk at work or add a few to your bedroom. You never know, the increased oxygen levels in your bedroom overnight might help you sleep better!
Many plants are aromatic. Not only does this add delightful scents to your home and office but it can also have an important aromatherapy benefit. Take a lavender plant. Lavender is well-known for its relaxing scent. Lavender soothes the senses, eases stress by relaxing mind and body, and can even help you sleep. Lavender thrives outdoors over summer, but if you place a small pot on a well-lit window sill, it will do well and emit a gorgeous scent.
It may sound surprising but house plants are good for your mental health. Living in towns and cities, far away from green spaces, is not good for us. Research studies have found that hospital patients surrounded by plants and flowers recover faster. A few house plants make us feel better and promote mental positivity, which is useful if you are prone to stress.
Talk to your plants, take care of them, and nurture them with love. While they might not talk back to you (hopefully!), it should perk you up.
Moderate Sound Levels
Modern buildings do very little to dampen noise levels. If you have ever worked in an open plan office environment, you will be all too familiar with the problem of rising noise levels exacerbated by hard surfaces.
Foliage and leaves, stems, and bark absorb sound. Thick, fleshy plants are the best, but almost any plant will go some way towards minimizing sound in your home. Consider installing a large rubber plant in your teenager’s bedroom – it will help to counteract the hip-hop music blaring out every evening.
Pick and choose your house plants according to your needs. If you don’t have green fingers, opt for easy-care plants such as spider plants or succulents.