As a Naturopath I have a strong connection and love for plants and the amazing health benefits they offer us internally with herbal tinctures used on a regular basis within my practice. How wonderful that just the presence of plants within our homes can also offer us benefits by not only purifying the air but also allowing us to stay connected to nature, improving our overall well-being.
Want to know more about how you can improve your health with indoor plants?
Research has been conducted by NASA scientists have found that indoor plants are able to aid in purifying the air inside our homes through the process of photosynthesis. Some indoor plants have been shown to remove 90% of chemicals in the air within a short time of taking up residence inside the home. The main toxins that could be polluting the air inside our homes are benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. These are carcinogenic toxins that are used in the manufacturing of synthetic materials and substances releasing as off gases into our home environment. It has been suggested that it would be beneficial to have a one plant per every 10 square yards of floor space within the home to have effective air detoxification.
Which plants acts as the best air purifiers?
Indoor plants that have been found to remove formaldehyde from our living environment include, Aloe Vera, Philodendron, Golden Pothos, Pygmy Date Palm and Chinese Evergreen.
Other plants like Areca Palm, Baby Rubber Plant and the Boston Fern act as general purifiers and can remove chemicals like benzene.
Besides purifying the air, what are the other benefits of indoor plants?
It has been documented that there are many other benefits to bringing some of the outdoors into the home. By releasing more oxygen into the air and absorbing the carbon dioxide, plants can help to promote better sleep and could potentially improve mental focus and concentration. The act of nurturing or taking care of something can also be beneficial for our mental and emotional wellbeing, helping to soothe feeling sadness or loneliness. I have always found the simple act of watering my plants to be calming and relaxing, a great way ease stress and tension.
One American study found that after taking a stressful test, people that were in a plant filled room saw a four point drop in their systolic blood pressure as opposed to a two point drop found in those people not exposed to indoor plants.
Plants can also act as natural humidifiers by being able to release moisture into the air that we breathe. This may help to provide relief when we are suffering from those nasty winter coughs and sore throats. A study done by the University of Agriculture found that indoor plants decreased cold related symptoms by up to 30%.
It’s not just the home that would benefit from indoor plants, the indoor workplace is another space to think about greening up. Another oversea study in Norway found that of those people that were exposed to indoor plants within the workplace many symptoms that were reported prior to the inclusion of plants were considerably improved. Fatigue and sore throats dropped by 30% and headaches decreased by 20%. The prevalence of dry skin and coughs also declined.
Many people would agree that being close to nature can bring about a greater feeling of well-being and happiness. With stress being one of the most chronic health issues faced by our modern world, affecting our digestive health, endocrine balance and mental well-being, we need to stay conscious to the simple things that can help ease the burden. Add some plants to your place, breathe deep and relax!
Emma Tippett is an enthusiastic and caring naturopathic practitioner. As a dedicated Melbourne Naturopath she believes that finding and maintaining your optimal health is the primary focus of your treatment.