The Physical and Mental Benefits of Houseplants

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Houseplants are one of the best ways to add some tranquility, purification, and an interesting design feature to your home, workspace or office. Not only are they great to look at but houseplants have associated health benefits, both physically and mentally, as well as other unique properties beyond health and well-being. 

Climadoor covered some of these houseplants with superpowers with a series of cool visuals. They offer information on the best place to put them, how often they need watering, what temperature they like, and what their unique ‘superpower’ is.

The physical health benefits of house plants include:

  • Purified air
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced feelings of pain
  • Aids with symptoms of sickness

Some studies have shown that when hospital patients are in a room with houseplants compared to patients that aren’t, they report feeling less pain, fatigue, and were recorded to have lower blood pressure. High blood pressure can lead to very serious health complications and whilst it’s mostly decided by your medical history and lifestyle, having some houseplants around can’t hurt. Another study shows that having houseplants in an office reduced sickness by up to 60%

There are also mental health benefits associated with owning house plants:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Improved mood 
  • Reduced stress
  • Positive outlet 

Mental health has never been more important and more visible than in this day and age. We’ve neglected it for so long and the fact there is a more frank and open discussion about it is very welcome. Mental health is a frontier of medicine. It’s not like breaking a leg, where an X-ray will tell you what’s wrong and you can act accordingly. The human mind is a vastly complex machine, one that we’re yet to fully comprehend ourselves.

So, how do you look after your mental health? There is no cut and dry answer to that question but there are some things that are recognised as definitely having a tangible effect; such as a healthy diet, exercise and having a hobby.

Read: Use Your Hobbies to Develop Mindfulness

The same studies that show physical health benefits in patients that had houseplants in their room also showed that they reported less feelings of anxiety, an improved mood and less stress. In office workers, houseplants showed an increase in productivity and focus. 

Regular and immersive exposure to nature is a big mental health booster. The Japanese have a practice called ‘shinrin-yoku’ which translates to ‘forest bathing’. This involves simply strolling around a forest, with others or by yourself, and taking in the atmosphere, looking around, and being present. You might not be able to plant a forest in your home or office but plants are a way of fostering that connection to nature. The variety in leaf shape, sizes and colours are what is said to help with focus. 

Having a hobby that requires engagement and activity from you also released endorphins in the brain. It can be as simple as watering all your plants and taking care of them. It’s something for your mind to focus on and is a great way to hone some mindfulness techniques too. Being completely present in what you’re doing, especially something as relaxing as watering plants can be extremely cathartic. It makes a welcome change of pace and represents a short break from the continual humdrum of life. 

So, what are our favourite superpowers from the unique houseplants covered by Climadoor? 

Lavender

This magical plant is a must-have in your home. Lavender is well known for its scent but it can also be used as a culinary herb, herbal tea or used to make soap, oil and lotions. Lavender is an essential in the growing zero-waste movement for that reason. Placing a lavender plant by your bed is a game-changer. The relaxing scent of lavender drifts over to you as you drift off. They’re easy to look after and they add a welcome splash of colour to an area too.

Bromeliad Pineapple

Sadly, its pineapple is purely ornamental, but the Bromeliad Pineapple has some very unique properties indeed. This is another plant to keep in the bedroom because it has the rare power of releasing oxygen at night. And that’s not the only thing that it releases to. It emits enzymes known as Bromelain that help to reduce snoring. Now that’s a superpower indeed.

Peruvian Apple Cactus

This unique cactus has a very special ability indeed. The Peruvian Apple Cactus is capable of absorbing electromagnetic radiation. THis means it’s ideal for an office.

Read: The Harmful Effects of Addiction to Technology and How You Can Benefit from Taking a Break

With so many computers, laptops and other gadgets, protect yourself against the waves with a Peruvian Apple Cactus. Or if you have a media room at home, that would be a good place for it to live. They look great, they’re low maintenance and they do a job too.

Snake Plant

Native to West Africa, this stunning houseplant is in an elite class of plants. It is one of six plants in the world that is capable of removing four out of the five main toxins found in the air of buildings including Formaldehyde and Benzene. It’s very low maintenance and looks striking too. 

Aloe Vera

The many medicinal and health benefits of aloe vera are well-known to all. A common ingredient in beauty products, it is extremely moisturising and is also capable of reducing blood sugar levels alongside its many antibacterial and antioxidant properties. They are so easy to look after, and they reproduce! Aloe vera plants have little babies so you’ll keep getting more and more. 

Check out the original post from Climadoor for more houseplants with superpowers.

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