Indoor plants have returned as a popular décor trend frequenting social media feeds and boosting our overall health. Listed below are three beneficial and surprising ways that plants can impact our well-being.
Plants produce fresh oxygen, purify air toxins and increase the humidity of our living spaces through the natural processes of photosynthesis and transpiration. Without these processes, human life would cease to exist.
So how does this work, exactly? Plants produce energy through the process of photosynthesis. This helpfully converts the carbon dioxide we exhale into readily available oxygen. Extensive research conducted by NASA reveals that indoor plants are capable of removing up to 87% of airborne volatile organic compounds and harmful toxins.* Plants also produce humidity through the process of transpiration. It’s the plant version of sweat where water is absorbed through the root network and evaporates into the surrounding air. This raises the ambient humidity of a living space to a more comfortable level that helps us breathe easier.
Plants for air purification: sansevieria (snake plant), spathiphyllum (peace lily) and clorophytum (spider plant).
The presence of green leafy plants in the workspace improves focus, productivity and reduces overall stress levels. It is hypothesized that the sight of vegetation reduces cortisol levels which in turn calms our nervous system and promotes feelings of relaxation.** Emerging research reveals that employees are significantly more calm and productive with indoor plants present than without.** Furthermore, large indoor plants or large groupings of plants can absorb and soften a surprising amount of background noise. This makes indoor plants especially calming presences in office and studio spaces.
Plants that improve work productivity: lavandula (lavender reduces stress) and rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary enhances memory).
Tending to indoor plants requires outward reflection which improves overall mood and sharpens our cognitive abilities. It becomes an exercise in hope and tenderness – helping to create a soft sense of purpose and focus in the present moment. Of all the health benefits of indoor plants, this one is perhaps most key!
Studies have shown that our bodies recover from ailments faster when plants are present. Patients in several academic studies requested fewer pain medications, had lower heart rates and blood pressure, and experienced less fatigue than patients without plants in their recovery rooms.*** There is also an emerging body of literature that connects soil bacteria and immune response with overall gut health and brain chemistry.**** This applies to those frequenting soil interaction.
Plants that promote well-being: jasminum (jasmine helps regulate emotions), ananas comosus (pineapple plants improve sleep quality) and tanacetum parthenium l (feverfew helps to relieve headaches).
The inclusion of aesthetically pleasing cacti and/or voluptuous green plants can positively impact our physical and mental health. When we create space to nurture indoor plants, we concurrently tend to ourselves too!