Who hasn’t bought a house plant to just make the room look nicer? It is probably one of the first, and for some, the only reason that huge yucca plant sits in the corner. However, plants are not just an interior design necessity – they provide a wealth of other benefits. Before heading to the garden centre to purchase your indoor arboretum – consider these reasons for bringing a little more greenery into your home.
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Reduces stress and sleep well
Plants are amazing for your mental health. It is not just because your home looks better and you have more pride in where you live – though this does help. Living amongst nature actively reduces stress. In Japan they practice a past-time called forest bathing. This is the belief that being amongst nature cleanses the spirit and makes you more content. By bringing nature into your home you bring some of this cleansing in too.
If you find the idea of spiritual cleansing a little too much, then just go with the instinct that plants generally do make us feel better. It has been proven in scientific studies that having plants in the workplace reduces the number of sick days people take. In schools, students are said to perform better when the environment is decorated with nature.
There are also certain plants, such as lavender, whose scent can promote better sleep. Sleep is a central ingredient for quality mental health. Therefore, using such plants to enhance your rest is an easy – and beautiful way – to help.
Helps you breathe easier!
Plants are a natural way to improve air quality. Basic science tells us that plants take the carbon dioxide from the air and in turn the plants omit oxygen. However, there is now a belief that plants can also filter toxins from the air that create a phenomenon known as SBS (Sick Building Syndrome). This is a syndrome where a building is more likely to make its inhabitants unwell or unhappy. Suspected causes are poor air quality and a large amount of background noise. Plants can help with both these potential pollutants to our home.
Plants can also filter out cigarette smoke and dust from the air. Although your mother will tell you that plants gather dust and create housework, in fact they attract dust particles and prevent you breathing them in.
The best plants for cleaning your air include the spider plant and the Garden Mum. Nasa have researched Garden Mum and found that it removed ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde and xylene from indoor air – it is something of a super plant to space scientists.
A humidifier in a pot
There are plants that can help with the levels of humidity in your home. If you ever wonder why homes around the equator have many house plants – it is not because they like bringing the outside in. Certain plans such as Laurus Nobilis loves high humidity rooms and will work to remove moisture from the air – making it whole load more comfortable for you.
Reducing the humidity in a house can also reduce the potential for mould. Buying plants such as Peace Lily, Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, Gerbera Daisy – can all help reduce the moisture and stop problems of unsightly and potentially smelly damp mould.
You can also buy indoor live plant displays that will help to make your home smell lovely. There are fragrant herbs and flowers whose aroma will help to provide pleasant, homely smells. However, there is something more healing to the world of plants. Limon Citrus Plant, for instance, obviously provides a fresh lemony smell that might be great for the kitchen or bathroom. However, smells of lemon have been proven to aid cognitive performance.
There are other smells you can bring into your home that can heal too. The smell of fresh mint is said to increase concentration and improve memory, whilst rosemary can improve alertness. The smell of pine in your home can decrease anxiety and vanilla can elevate joy and bring relaxation. Finally, the smell of citrus and jasmine can help to alleviate depression.
From the plant pot to the cooking pot
And, the good news about most of these healing smells is that they taste pretty good too. You can create a simple herb garden on your kitchen windowsill that brings these healing smells – but rosemary would be great for seasoning lamb on a Sunday roast, or maybe you prefer mint sauce?
And they do add a hint of style
Finally, when we set all these other benefits aside, plants do look great too. Plants are often the means by which we turn a house into a home – the final touches that reveal our personality and our loves. It gives us something to talk to as we walk into the house and something to sit and stare at when our minds want to wonder. In short, the humble house plant is the hero that turns our boxy rooms into our wholesome homes.