At JA we thrive on eating & drinking plants. There are also many benefits to having indoor plants where you live & work. Plants interact with our body, mind, and environment to have a positive effect on health.
1. More O2
During breathing, we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. Plants do the opposite (photosynthesis), absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. The result? Plants provide more oxygen in the air we breathe. Oxygen is necessary for the growth and energy of every cell in our body and is absolutely essential to life and our bodily functions. More oxygen in the air = more energy in our bodies.
2. Increased Moisture
Plants release moisture into the air during the photosynthesis process. More moisture in the air helps to relieve sore throats, dry coughs, and dry skin, a plus during drier months.
3. Cleaner Air
Maybe you have heard of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) when painting a room. There are thousands of these toxins in our environment, like those released by plastic bags, rugs, cigarette smoke, books, cosmetic and cleaning products, and other sources. VOCs get trapped indoors and have been linked to damaged health (think asthma, respiratory disease, even cancer). Amazingly, some research has indicated that plants can absorb up to 90% of VOCs in 24 hours. VOCs are absorbed by the leaves and in the soil and the plant’s roots convert the toxins to food for the plant! Amazing!
4. Improved Health, Performance and Well-being
Plants seem to have a therapeutic effect beyond cleaning and oxygenating the air. Plants have been shown to reduce stress and improve mood when placed in homes, schools, and workplaces. Research has also found these surprising benefits of indoor plants:
Increased compassion and improved relationships for people who spend more time around plants.
Reduced sickness and fatigue, and improved accuracy and work quality among workers when plants are placed in the workplace.
Significant increase in attentiveness and attendance for students in classrooms with plants.
Improved memory, concentration and productivity with plants placed in the home and workplace.
Enhanced learning and attention in children with plants in their learning environment.
Here is a great review of some of the studies that show the benefits of spending time around plants, both indoors and outdoors.
The How To
Place one large plant (12 inches) or 2 smaller plants for every 100 square feet.
Concentrate your plants around the areas where you spend the most time; your desk, the bed (see Tip below), and in your living room.
Tip: Place orchids and succulents in your bedroom to keep clean oxygen flowing while you sleep. These plants continue releasing oxygen and absorbing carbon dioxide through the night, while most plants’ photosynthesis cycle is switched at night, releasing carbon dioxide and absorbing oxygen, like we do.
Keep your plants pesticide-free and in non-plastic pots so you are not inadvertently increasing the VOCs in your surroundings.
Buy these plants for the most benefit: Aloe, spider plant, snake plant, bamboo palm, and peace lily. Check out this article for a complete list of the most healing indoor plants and their benefits.
Plants are medicine, whether in or outside of us. Bring the greenery indoors and see for yourself!
Stay tuned for more blog posts about how to enhance well-being through simple changes in your day to day life! As always, the suggestions here are not to be used as medical advice. Contact your physician before making any changes to medications or before major changes to diet or lifestyle!