The health benefits of indoor plants are more plentiful than you might know. Sure, indoor plants look beautiful and add dimension and style to your interior décor. But indoor plants also come with a host of proven benefits that improve your mental and physical health.
Here are some of the health benefits of indoor plants:
Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
While outdoor plants and gardening have long been associated with stress relief, we haven’t looked as closely at the stress benefits of indoor plants.
However, new studies show that simply seeing plants in the workplace can help to reduce stress and anxiety.
Best plants for stress reduction:
Succulents are great for stress and anxiety because they are cute and fun, can live in a huge variety of indoor conditions, and are hard to kill.
Air plants are an extremely low maintenance plant that reduces stress, and they are also very efficient at cleaning the air.
While some indoor plants can trigger allergies, there are a variety of houseplants that are proven to reduce dust and mold in the air.
For allergy suffers, it’s a good idea to regularly clean the leaves of dust-filtering plants, to remove excess allergens from the environment, and keep the plant breathing efficiently. Best plants for reducing airborne allergens:
Chinese evergreens do well indoors because they are easy to care for and tolerate low light, and is one of the best indoor air purifying plants.
Rubber plants are easy to grow, filter out dust, and improve indoor air quality.
Ivy is easy to grow, low maintenance, and excellent at removing dust from the air. It also helps to remove toxins like formaldehyde and benzene.
More Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
Improve Indoor Air Quality
Speaking of indoor air quality, plants are an excellent way to care for the air indoors. All plants absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, but many indoor plants have even more powerful effects on your air quality.
In fact, NASA did an amazing study on the air-cleaning effects of plants, and here are the best air purifying plants:
The peace lily is an incredibly popular indoor plant because it tolerates low light, is easy to care for, and is a living air purifier.
Parlor palms are tropical plants, and can’t live outdoors in most climates. Indoors, they prefer moderate light and high humidity and are excellent at cleaning the air.
The lady-palm is a slow-growing plant that can eventually reach 6-12 feet in height, so it’s popular in offices and public spaces. It’s a powerful air purifying plant that prefers partial sun all day and is drought-tolerant.
These gorgeous flowers grow well indoors and are great at cleaning the air, but should be avoided by people with allergies.
Improve Your Mood
Indoor plants have been shown to generally improve people’s moods, with plants in an office helping workers feel better about their jobs, and plants in a hospital room helping to speed recovery.
Plants can be particularly helpful in helping people fight seasonal depression, and here are some of the best:
Peppermint plants have a fresh scent that has been proven to improve mood and stimulate the mind. It’s also easy to grow indoors, as long as you have a sunny window.
Flowering plants have been shown to be powerful mood-boosters, fighting depression and calming anxiety.
Look for colorful indoor bloomers like begonias, African violets, and kalanchoes to naturally fight seasonal mood problems.
But Wait... There are Even More Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
The amount of moisture in your indoor air can significantly affect your comfort. Instead of getting a humidifier or de-humidifier, consider choosing some indoor plants that naturally affect the moisture in the air.
Plants to increase indoor humidity:
Areca palm trees have been shown by NASA to be excellent indoor humidifiers and air purifiers.
In fact, a 6-foot areca palm will absorb nearly a quart of water from the air every day. They are also easy to care for and do well in indoor bright, filtered light with regular watering.
Ferns are great plants for increasing humidity indoors, as well as cleaning the air and adding beauty and texture to any room. There are so many ferns that it is easy to find one that will thrive in your indoor lighting conditions, and they are easy to care for.
Plants to decrease indoor humidity:
Air plants get most of their moisture directly from the air around them, so they are great at reducing humidity and trapping moisture inside the plant.
Cacti and succulents are also plants that are great at absorbing moisture from the air around them and trapping them in their thick, waxy leaves.
Improve Your Diet
An indoor herb garden is a fantastic way to boost your diet.
While we often think of indoor gardens as providing lettuce, tomatoes, and salad ingredients that are loaded with vitamins, indoor herbs can be used in a variety of dishes to add flavor, vitamins, and a host of trace minerals that our bodies need.
Here are some of the most potent herbs for an indoor kitchen garden:
Sage plants are easy to grow indoors and are powerful anti-inflammatory herbs. They’re loaded with vitamin K and anti-oxidants and can be used fresh or dried to enjoy year-round.
Parsley is a superfood that is also easy to grow indoors. It’s loaded with vitamins K, C, A, folate, calcium, and iron. It’s an antioxidant, and also antibacterial and antifungal.
Rosemary has been prized since ancient times for its health and beauty benefits. It’s full of vitamins A, C, and B-complex vitamins like B6, folate, and thiamin. It’s anti-inflammatory, and fantastic for healthy skin and hair.
Herbs require a lot of light to grow well indoors, which also helps them reach their peak nutritional benefits, so an indoor herb garden with a grow light like this one is a great way to give herbs everything they need to thrive.
While you can use a variety of products to reduce unpleasant odors and make your indoor air smell great, you can also use indoor plants to naturally clean the air and emit pleasant, soothing, healing fragrances. Some of the best indoor plants for aromatherapy include:
The scent of lavender is calming and helps to promote deeper sleep. Lavender easily can be grown indoors, provided it has lots of light, and it’s a low-maintenance plant that provides gentle scent even when it isn’t in bloom.
Who needs scented candles when you can grow scented geraniums? Geraniums bloom with fragrances of apricot, apple, lemon, mint, and other wonderful smells, and they can easily be grown indoors if given direct light and excellent drainage.
Many orchids are unscented, but let’s also remember that vanilla is an orchid smell. Orchids can have fragrances of jasmine, citrus, lily, and even cinnamon.
Orchids have an undeserved reputation as fussy plants because they need a very different type of care than other indoor plants; they aren’t difficult to care for, as long as you remember to use orchid-specific potting mix and give them the bright, filtered light and humidity they prefer.
Boost Memory and Concentration
Did you know that indoor plants can also improve your thinking? In several studies, the presence of indoor plants has been shown to improve memory, concentration, creativity, and even productivity.
As yet, there don’t seem to be a particular plant species that are linked to these benefits; it’s merely the presence of plants that pays off for your brain.
Health Benefits of Indoor Plants - The Wrap-up
It’s amazing that you can get all these health benefits from common, inexpensive, easy-to-care-for houseplants, with such a range of choices for every lighting condition and care level. There’s simply no excuse to not start growing indoor plants and feeling better every day.