I love indoor plants. They not only make the room feel warm and welcoming, they have also been proven to benefit our health in many ways. I definitely think you can’t go past the multiple benefits of indoor plants in your home.
The air inside our homes can be 2 to 5 times more polluted than outside. This is caused by the move towards building energy efficient buildings. These buildings are created to make sure the heat or warmth inside can not escape. Meaning that toxins inside your home build up and can’t escape either. We end up breathing in Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, natural gas, ozone, trichloroethane and polyurethane, just to name a few of the nasty ones. Plus, we are exposing ourselves to dust and allergens, mould spores, airborne bacteria and pet dander. Having indoor plants in our homes provide us with health benefits by reducing these exposures.
There is a well-known study done by NASA which has shown that indoor plants benefit our health by cleaning the air inside our homes and offices. They do this by balancing humidity levels, drawing out chemicals and toxins from the air, reducing air borne moulds and bacteria, and absorbing carbon dioxide. And they have the added benefit of having a positive effect on our mental wellbeing.
5 health Benefits of Indoor Plants.
1. Indoor Plants Balance Humidity
Plants that we bring inside our homes are clever. They naturally help to balance the humidity levels to between 30 and 60 percent. They do this through reducing or increasing the rate of transpiration through their leaves and evaporation from the soil and dishes.
This is a great benefit to our health, because if the humidity falls below 30 percent, we might begin to experience dry eyes, or a dry nose and throat. We might even get static electric shocks. If the humidity level increases over 70%, then we might feel tired, get headaches & feel a bit dizzy.
Dust mites, mould and fungi love high humidity levels, and we definitely don’t want these guys in our homes! Indoor plants have great health benefits to us by helping to keep the humidity level at a prime 40-60 percent.
2. Indoor Plants Reduce Chemicals and Volatile Organic Compounds
Indoor plants benefit our health by reducing chemicals & VOC’s. They do this by pulling these contaminants out of the air through the tiny openings in their leaves. The micro-organisms in the soil also help with this.
VOC’S and chemicals in our indoor air can cause a wide range of health effects including rashes, cracked, dry skin, or dermatitis. Eye, nose and throat irritation, shortness of breath, headaches, loss of coordination, fluid accumulation in the lungs, dizziness, blurred vision, nervousness, sleepiness or insomnia, nausea, vomiting, disorientation, confusion, visual disorders, memory impairment, irregular heartbeat, even unconsciousness and death. And unfortunately, some VOC’s such as formaldehyde may even cause cancer.
3. Indoor Plants Reduce Moulds and Bacteria
Plant filled rooms are great for our health as they generally contain 50-60 percent less airborne moulds and bacteria than rooms without plants. Mould exposure can cause fatigue that is not alleviated by rest, hay fever (sneezing ,congestion, itchy and watery eyes, runny nose) asthma, sinus headaches, recurrent colds and flus that take ages to get over, and skin diseases such as eczema. Exposures to mould is also linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia and depression.
4. Indoor Plants Absorb Carbon Dioxide
Houseplants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen which is great for our health particularly if the carbon dioxide level in a room is too high. This happens quite often in workplaces, particularly overcrowded meeting rooms and rooms which are poorly ventilated. Symptoms of excess carbon dioxide include awareness of poor air quality or “stuffiness”, headaches, mucosal irritation, hearing loss, hyperventilation, sweating and fatigue.
This is something experienced in workplaces often, due to a lack of natural ventilation. The health benefits of a plant on your desk is something that shouldn’t be overlooked.
5. Indoor Plants Are Great For Mental Health
Indoor plants also have positive psychological benefits. We generally feel happier and more optimistic in surroundings with plenty of plants and nature. In fact, placing a plant on the kitchen bench at home can help to create a more soothing environment and help lower blood pressure and anxiety. Due to their assistance in reducing carbon dioxide levels, indoor plants also improve reaction times, increase attentiveness, improve attendance at work and school, raise productivity and ultimately raise job satisfaction.
I honestly think indoor plants are one of the easiest ways to create a healthy environment in your home. They have so many health benefits. With a huge variety of plants to suit all the different spaces in our homes, the only problem I have now is not buying pants every time I go to the shops.
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