Houseplants have been having a moment. Open nearly any social media app and you’re bound to find beautifully curated photos of impressive houseplant collections, including people joking about becoming houseplant hoarders because they’re in love with their addictive new hobby.
The healing powers of plants and green spaces are well-documented by many studies. This guide will provide information on why you should keep houseplants, as well as popular types of houseplants and their health benefits.
Some of the Many Benefits of Having Houseplants
Humans have co-evolved with plants since humans have existed on the planet. Plants have provided food, material to build shelter, clothing, other items necessary to human survival, and even oxygen to breathe. Plants provide humans with many health benefits. Here are just a few of them:
Having Indoor Plants May Reduce Stress
Living with plants can help you relax and feel more comfortable, according to a study. Participants in the study were given tasks of repotting a houseplant or doing a task on the computer. Those who participated in indoor gardening had lowered stress responses, such as heart rate and blood pressure, leading researchers to conclude that indoor gardening can reduce stress both physiologically and psychologically.
Plants Can Help You Pay Attention
Having plants in your home office may help you pay attention better. Students who studied in rooms with live plants were more attentive and better able to concentrate than other students, according to a study.
Having Plants Is Helpful for Mental Health
Indoor plants are beneficial for mental health, studies suggest. Plants have been shown to improve well-being in people with anxiety, depression, dementia, and even addiction. Some clinics even “prescribe” potted plants to patients.
These are some of the general benefits of keeping houseplants, but many plants have specific abilities. Keep reading to learn more about some different types of houseplants and why you should keep one – or 10 – if you haven’t already.
6 Beneficial Houseplants You Should Have
Plants are not only beautiful and soothing to be around, but they also have physical healing properties. Almost two-thirds of American adults are growing or plan to grow edible plants currently, including herbs like lavender, mint, and chamomile that can be used to make teas. Here are some of the most popular houseplants, along with their physical health benefits.
1. Spider Plants
Spider plants are cute and beginner-friendly houseplants that can detoxify the air in your home. These easygoing plants don’t like direct sunlight, making them ideal for areas with less lighting. Spider plants are also pet-friendly, so you don’t need to worry about the safety of your furry friend.
They’re great at improving air quality – a NASA study found that spider plants removed 95% of formaldehyde from the air. Formaldehyde is on many things that enter your home, such as paper towels, paper bags, synthetic fabrics, and furniture made from particle board or plywood paneling.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera gel has been used as a natural remedy for the skin for many years. You are likely familiar with aloe if you have ever had a sunburn; chances are you may even have some kind of ointment in your medicine cabinet that contains aloe vera.
Aloe plants are a member of the succulent family. Their leaves contain a clear, gel-like substance used in creams, ointments, applied directly to the skin, or even consumed. Aloe plants do best in bright indirect sunlight.
Lavender is a popular flowering plant that is prized for its scent and used widely in aromatherapy. Growing lavender in your bedroom is a great way to enjoy the beauty of its blooms and its relaxing, stress-busting scent. It may even help you sleep, and it can also be used in teas.
Ginger is a flowering plant, and its root is used widely. It is known for its warm, spicy flavor, and it’s also well-known for its many health benefits. Some of its most notable health uses include improving digestion and nausea relief.
Ginger also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it useful to alleviate pain: One study found ginger to be as effective as ibuprofen for inflammation relief. It’s not a common houseplant, but you can grow it at home.
5. English Ivy
Mold can cause many health problems, including allergies and asthma. English ivy is a great houseplant choice if you have asthma or allergies, as it’s known to purify up to 94% of airborne mold particles. Put an English ivy plant in your bedroom and sleep well, knowing that it’s purifying the air of mold.
English ivy does not do well in direct sunlight. It thrives in fluorescent lighting or indirect sunlight, so it’s perfect for bedrooms with low lighting. Ensure that this plant is out of reach of children and pets, as it is poisonous.
6. Peace Lily
The gorgeous peace lily is a beautiful plant boasting lush, dark green leaves with white flowers. This beginner-friendly houseplant, like the spider plant, aids in clearing your indoor air of harmful toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Just make sure your four-legged friends can’t get to your peace lily; this plant is not pet-friendly.
Sharing your space with plants can be a fun and inexpensive way to boost your mood, liven up a room, and bring health benefits to your home and office. Parents and pet owners should always supervise children and pets around plants to make sure they are not ingesting them, as even some nontoxic plants can cause tummy troubles if eaten. You can check with the ASPCA for a list of which houseplants are pet-friendly.
Get Health Guidance From a Top Naturopathic Doctor in the Washington, D.C. Area
Managing your health can seem overwhelming at times with all the information and resources available, but having the right professional on your team can be life-changing. Dr. Karen Threlkel can answer any questions about phytotherapy or other holistic approaches that improve and optimize your health and wellness.
Dr. Threlkel is a naturopathic doctor who provides natural remedies and treatments for a variety of health issues. Contact her today to schedule a consultation.