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The health benefits of house plants

You might have admired a house plant before as an attractive addition to an indoor space. But have you ever looked at one and thought, I’m so glad this plant is here to make me healthier.

Perhaps not. But you should! And we’re going to learn why. Discover the mind blowing health benefits of bringing a little bit of nature into your home.

1. They clean your air

We see it a lot in sci-fi movies: spaceships often have a sealed off greenhouse in zero gravity as an oxygen back up plan. Of course, we don’t need to produce our own oxygen seeing that we’re not in space… But dismissing the effect a house plant can have on the air in our homes would be a mistake.

Plants can reduce carbon dioxide levels and certain pollutants such as benzene and nitrogen dioxide, purifying the air you breathe. According to a study on the health benefits of controlling carbon emissions in China by Richard F. Garbaccio, minimising these pollutants can result in “reduced premature mortality, fewer cases of chronic bronchitis, and other health effects.” Neat, right?

Here are the best plants for removing indoor pollutants:

1. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
2. Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
3. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
4. Bamboo Palm (Bambuseae)
5. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

2. They deter illness

Speaking of preventing sickness, a plant’s ability to produce moisture as part of its photosynthetic and respiratory process can result in further health improvements. To compensate when the air is dry, extra moisture is drawn from our mucus membranes. This can result in cracked sinuses which is as bad as it sounds. Nosebleeds, scratchy throats and other illnesses owing to your body's decreased ability to trap and filter viruses is a genuine risk, as highlighted by the Bayer Advanced studies at the Agricultural University of Norway.

Having that extra humidity might be unwanted in the summer months. But in winter, adopting a house plant to produce moisture can be a godsend when it comes fighting bothersome ailments. No more nasal sprays or lemsips; pick up a potted friend instead.

3. They help you focus

Findings from the Royal College of Agriculture in Cirencester revealed that students had 70% greater attentiveness when plants were part of their study environment. While the reasons behind this result require more research, it wouldn’t do you harm to test it out in your own home.

Perhaps you’re learning a new skill that requires a lot of focus. Or maybe you need a tranquil space to tune into your creativity. Having plants in your study might just give you an extra boost in concentration to increase the rate you learn.

4. They create a feeling of well-being

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. So it’s important to ensure that your personal space is as welcoming and relaxing as possible. Having house plants is a great way to inject beauty and colour into your home. This might make you feel happy when you’re around those leafy greens and beautiful flowers.

Moreover, since many of us associate nature with peace and tranquillity, adding greenery to your decor might emulate this feeling too. This could be especially effective when you experience the daily hustle and bustle of built up areas like cities and towns. Say you lived in a flat without a garden. Plants can give you that slice of nature most humans crave but can’t always be near to.

5. They give you a sense of fulfilment

When you bring a seedling into you home, the act of nurturing your new plant can bring you a comforting sense of responsibility. Similar to having a pet, taking care of it and watching it grow into adulthood is a satisfying experience.

It’s a reminder that you were in control of its well being, you cared for it properly, and now it has bloomed into the beautiful specimen it was always meant to be. That’s an accomplishment and a half and having that as a daily memento every time you step through your front door can give you a great sense of fulfilment.

Time to pop down to your local greenhouse?

As we have discovered, houseplants can do amazing things for your physical and mental health. The idea that a potted plant can:

● Clean your air
● Prevent nasty ailments
● Enhance your mood
● Clear up brain fog
● Make you feel accomplished

… is incredible, to say the least!

Is your home already filled with plants? Do they impact the way you feel? Or perhaps you have none at all and now feel like you should. To help you make a decision on which is the right plant for you, here are ten beautiful potted greens that can thrive indoors:

1. Orchids (Orchidaceae)
2. Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia)
3. Guiana Chestnut (Pachira aquatica)
4. Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
5. Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
6. Silver Dollar Plant (Xerosicyos danguyi)
7. Jade plant (Crassula ovata)
8. ZZ Plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia)
9. Chinese Water Bamboo (Dracaena sanderiana)
10. Dragon Tree (Dracaena marginata)

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