Sure, you can reap the benefits of plants by eating them, but keeping houseplants can also positively affect your health. Houseplants have been having a moment for quite some time, especially during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. There was nothing to do except beautify the home, which was great since most people remained inside for months. Plus, taking care of houseplants really provided a nice distraction from the uncertainty of life.
Houseplants do more than make a home aesthetically pleasing. Taking care of a plant helps to promote a sense of calm, reducing stress in the process. In fact, a small study found that nurturing a plant and watching it grow helped reduce stress levels and anxiety. Some people refer to plant caring as horticulture therapy. Nurturing a living thing is a meditative practice, and some psychologists say that it is a great form of self-care.
Diet and exercise contribute to a healthy body and mind, but houseplants also play a role in this process. In addition to reducing stress levels, they help to improve indoor air quality, which impacts overall health. Breathing better quality air may improve sleep, reduce stress levels, improve mood, and make breathing easier. Continue reading to learn which houseplants benefit your health.
There have been several studies documenting the impact of plants in the Ficus genus on overall health. A 2017 study, which was published in Environmental Health and Toxicology journal, placed plants like the rubber plant in a new building. This was different than the 1989 NASA study, which researchers conducted in a lab. In the 2017 study, researchers concluded that the rubber plant, and other Ficus genus plants, were more effective at removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air.
Growing best in bright, sunny spaces, bromeliads have a reputation for withstanding drought. For this reason, you have to be careful not to over-water them. Several studies found that bromeliads can absorb up to 90% of benzene in the air. Indoor air tends to contain more benzene than outdoor air. Glue, paint, furniture wax, and detergents emit it into the air, so bromeliads may help to keep your airways safe.
A fern is a lush and bountiful plant that exhibits air-purifying properties. Boston ferns work to remove smoke and compounds like formaldehyde and plastics from the air. The leaves absorb these toxic compounds and turn them into materials that the plant uses for its own well-being. Boston ferns are typically easy to care for and will give your home some great forest vibes.
Belonging to the Spathiphyllum genus, peace lilies are suitable for the rookie gardener or houseplant enthusiast. If you are nervous about keeping a houseplant alive but still want to get one, get yourself some peace lilies. According to a 2021 study, peace lilies help to remove CO2 and formaldehyde from the air. Earlier studies suggest that they may be able to reduce the total amount of VOCs in the air. It’s best to keep them out of the reach of pets and children because peace lilies contain calcium oxalate, which can irritate the stomach or respiratory tract if consumed in large amounts.
If you’re looking for another easy plant to care for, the golden pothos is for you. The vines produce heart-shaped leaves, and it just so happens that this plant helps to purify the air. According to a 2017 study, golden pothos works to reduce indoor ozone levels. Previous research found that, similar to to the peace lily, golden pothos has the ability to remove VOCs from the air.
With silver foliage, vibrant purple flowers and an enchanting, soothing aroma, lavender is a staple household herb for kitchen or herb gardens. If you don’t want to use it for culinary purposes, it makes a great houseplant. The aroma may help to alleviate tension and promote a sense of calm. Lavender’s scent has been known to promote better sleep, so having it in your bedroom may be the way to naturally lull yourself to sleep. Make sure it gets ample sunlight and only water when the soil is dry.