House Plants and Health

Over the past several months I have added dozens of house plants to our home. In large part, this was to decorate the interior. The plants are luscious, healthy and beautiful. They are wonderful additions to the aesthetic of our home. As well as enhancing the beauty of the spaces they inhabit, house plants are associated with a number of therapeutic benefits.

Many of the health benefits linked to house plants are related to their ability to purify air. Indoor air is commonly subject to pollutants and harmful substances (e.g., VOCs). This is especially true in newer and climate controlled buildings. According to research by NASA, within 24 hours, plants can remove up to 87 percent of the toxins found in indoor air. Among other things, decreasing contaminants in the air can reduce headaches and nausea. In addition to improving air quality by reducing air borne contaminants, plants increase humidity and decrease dust in the air, thereby reducing the incidence of colds, sore throats and dry coughs.

House plants are also associated with mental well-being. Much research has concluded that interior plants contribute to feelings of wellbeing, calmness and optimism while reducing feelings of depression, stress, anxiety and loneliness. Indoor plants also improve cognitive function. Research suggests house plants improve focus, concentration, memory and creativity. That’s right, plants make you happy and make your brain work better.

So, get some house plants. They will not only add to the beauty and tranquility of your space, but also improve the quality of life of those inhabiting the space. For information regarding the types of plants that are most effective in increasing indoor air quality, see this article.


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