Houseplants and Their Amazing Power of Healing

by Erik Organic on March 25, 2014

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Chinese Evergreens prefer moderate to low light levels.  Water them until the water reaches the middle of the pot.

Houseplants are commonly overlooked as décor, but their benefits go far beyond providing your home with aesthetic appeal. Erik has many houseplants in his home and it has made it a much happier, more vibrant place to live.  The air is fresher and he has even developed a sense of loyalty to his plants, making sure it has enough water, sunlight, and nutrients to live long lives.  In addition, his houseplants have given him many health benefits.  Here are some ways they can improve your health:

Common Cold

The common cold has the highest rate of incidence among illnesses. One billion cases occur each year in the United States. Adults experience it two to four times a year, and children catch it six to ten times a year. Prevention is key, and one way to avoid the cold is by filling your home with coneflowers. According to a recent study, they reduce the likelihood of catching the common cold by 58 percent. Another study demonstrated that they reduce common cold symptoms faster than a placebo: six days compared with the nine it took for a complete remission. That decreases sick time by a third!

Allergies

Exposure to plants increases your stamina against allergens. Consider it a cheap, effective, and preferable alternative to shots and pills.

Congestion

Eucalyptus is a popular decongestant and expectorant, hydrating and thinning phlegm to make it easier to expel it from the system. In fact, one of the main ingredients for Vicks VapoRub is eucalyptol, the key component of eucalyptus oil. Buy a eucalyptus plant and place some of its branches in your shower whenever you need sinus relief.

Dry Skin

This is especially good for the winter. Plants increase the amount of water in the air, releasing nearly 97 percent of the water they take in. When the winter air is dry, plants are helpful in avoiding dry skin.

Fragrance

Do not rely on fragrant oils to aromatize your home since they contain ingredients that cause dizziness, headaches, and nausea. If you want your home to smell pleasant with the added benefit of refreshing the air, then houseplants are the way to go. Better Homes and Gardens has a great list of the most fragrant houseplants.  One exceptional plant is the scented germanium.  You can have one smell like apple nutmeg, lemon, or coconut.  Anything is possible with these little plants.

Stress

Humans are nature seeking, so a plant’s presence is therapeutic. You will no doubt have a closer connection to nature when plants are nearby, and it will relieve you wholesomely.

Carbon Dioxide Reduction

Too much exposure to CO2 has negative effects to the body, and it is subtle. It makes you dizzy and tired, increases your heart rate, and elevates your blood pressure. The high exposure is caused by the amount of natural resources you use to generate electricity, such as coal and gas, to power your lights, computers, and other appliances. Plants offset these emissions because they consume CO2 to create oxygen, via photosynthesis, giving you cleaner, more breathable air.

Toxin Reduction

With all the paints, thinners, sealants, and toxic chemicals present everywhere, your body can become overwhelmed. Dizziness, drowsiness, and headaches are just some of the symptoms they cause. Fortunately, some plants are exceptionally gifted at reducing the amount of formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene in the air. Having plants in your home is a small but powerful way to reduce your exposure to these chemicals.  One great tip is to place a six-inch plant every 100 square feet to make sure your entire home has fresh air.

Invest in Some Plants

Some plants are better than others at purifying the air.  Mother Nature Network has a great post about the best plants that improve the air. You can find them in nurseries or home improvement stores, and they are very cost-effective. One rubber tree plant costs $20 and can grow up to six feet!

Once you have your houseplants, maintenance is easy. Sustainable Baby Steps has an excellent guide on how to care for them.

No matter which plant you decide to keep, you will appreciate it.  Plants make you healthier, are nature’s beautiful gifts to us, and they have sentimental value.  Earlyn’s favorite plant is the Peace Lilly plant because it is one of the most effective plants for reducing toxins.  Erik has a Spider plant since it reminds him of his beloved grandmother who kept many of them in her home.  Sparky has a special bond to his coconut tree he got as a sprout last April.  He has since planted it and soon it will provide him with delicious coconuts.

Just like our furniture, you can buy one that’s big or small or that’s skinny or wide. It is your choice and your home. Make the best of it.

These plants enjoy high humidity, sunshine, and thorough waterings.  Make sure the soil is almost completely dry before you water them.

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