Table of Contents
- Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
- Indoor Plants Provide Mental Health Benefits
- Physical Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
- Digestive Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
- Cognitive Health Benefits of Rosemary and Mint
- Specific Plants and Their Benefits
Having plants inside your home is aesthetically pleasing. There are some beautiful plants available in the world such, as the Oxalis, which has bright, pink, leaves. Or, the bunny cactus, with its unique, large leaves. Besides being pretty to look at, having plants indoor can provide many health benefits.
Plants serve such a vital purpose in our ecosystem. They take in carbon dioxide and let out oxygen, which is what we need to breathe. Without plants humans and animals wouldn’t be able to live and breathe. They are what keep the world going around. Plants not only serve an essential purpose on Earth but in daily life well. This article is going inform you all about the health benefits of indoor plants.
Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
Having an indoor plant can reduce stress and anxiety. A Japanese study showed people who kept a small plant on their desk at work had lower stress levels at the end of the month. Stress levels might have been lower because many people who work in an office building have views of parking lots and concrete, and the different shades of grey on the concrete can be depressing. Having something aesthetically pleasing to look at, especially something green, alive, and vibrant could break up the dull gray scenery reducing anxiety.
Indoor Plants Provide Mental Health Benefits
The color green is a calming color that helps create a connection to nature and the outdoors. Green lighting has produced optimistic feelings in those who used it. That is why green and greenish blues are popular colors for wall paint and fabric decors. Since green is the color of most plants, it makes sense that surrounding yourself with green and leafy foliage will undoubtably uplift your mood.
Some indoor plants are also fragrant. To stimulate the receptors in the brain, breathe in the floral scent of plants. Your brain receives messages to relax when your olfactory receptors are stimulated. Stimulating these receptors are a reason why smells can bring back feelings with memories. Fragrant-smelling plants that offer health benefits are Jasmine, which is beneficial for nighttime to aid with sleep, Gardenia, and Lavender. A plant whose fragrance can benefit anxiety and stress is Rosemary. The smell of rosemary is proven to lower stress and cortisone levels. Cortisol is best known for creating the “flight or fight” response that occurs during high stress situations.
Indoor plants rely on humans to care for them. They need to be cared for and taken care of, just like they were a cat or a dog. They need to be fed, watered, and have their soil changed, like a pet. Those suffering from anxiety and depression sometimes have feelings of worthlessness and feel as if they have no purpose. When caring for an indoor plant, no matter how small it is, it provides some a sense of purpose. Having a plant to care for may keep you more motivated and active than you would usually be. Those with anxiety and depression know how hard it is to get out of bed; knowing there is a reason to get out of bed will have you up and out. Plants hold people accountable.
Some studies have even shown that the actual task of gardening is beneficial to mental health. Soil, yes, soil, is known to contain antidepressant compounds. The bacteria, M. Vaccae, is an anxiety reducer that signals the brain to release serotonin. This bacteria in the soil could explain why having an outdoor picnic in the grass can be such a relaxing task. Plants can reduce air pollutants and even if it is in just small amounts, every bit of clean air matters.
Physical Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
There are physical health benefits to having an indoor plant. Indoor plants can be hanging up or on the ground; for someone who is not very active, having to climb a ladder or kneel down can increase activity levels keeping them moving more than usual. This is especially beneficial for older people who are unable to get out as often anymore and take care of a large outdoor garden but still want to stay active while they take care of their indoor plants.
Someone suffering from an auto-immune disease like Lupus or Rheumatoid Arthritis, can benefit from indoor gardening. With auto-immune diseases, white blood cells mistake healthy cells for unhealthy ones and attack. This causes deterioration of the joints. Many of those suffering with these diseases suffer from stiffness and chronic pain of their wrists, hands, and fingers. Staying active with indoor plants is beneficial for the joints. The gardening process relies heavily on the hands and keeping the hands moving is key for pain reduction with an auto immune disease.
Digestive Health Benefits of Indoor Plants
Digestive health can also be benefitted by having an indoor plant. There are many indoor plants that are also edible. This makes it easy to ensure the best greens for your salad. Rosemary is an indoor plant that has edible leaves. Rosemary can be used for a variety of reasons such as aiding with immune health and circulation. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds.
Rosemary can be used as a seasoning or on chicken, fish, and grains. Rosemary can also be extracted and then put into a cup of tea to ease stomach pain. Extracting oil from your rosemary plant and rubbing a few drops of it on your stomach. This will aid in the relief of abdominal cramps and other pain caused by gastrointestinal issues pain, for example irritable bowel syndrome. Rosemary leaves can be eaten fresh or dried.
To make rosemary oil, put your rosemary sprigs into a pan with olive oil. Cook this mixture on a low heat until the rosemary aroma fills the kitchen. Turn off the heat and allow the pan time to cool. Once cooled, strain the rosemary from the oil and throw them away, they will not be needed anymore. The rosemary oil can be stored in a cooler or refrigerator for up to six months.
Cognitive Health Benefits of Rosemary and Mint
For centuries it has been believed that rosemary and peppermint can help with memory and cognitive functions. A study done on rosemary or mint and cognitive function included a group of adults who consumed small doses of one or the other. The study showed results that there was memory improvement when within 20 minutes of smelling rosemary and peppermint. If you have a big test, work proposal, or project coming up try smelling rosemary oils or eating a peppermint beforehand.
Specific Plants and Their Benefits
Like rosemary and peppermint, there are many other indoor plants that each have their own health benefits. NASA has created an entire list of plants that are proven to reduce air pollutants such as the Peace Lily, English Ivy, and Bamboo Palm to name a few. Plant’s that are known to reduce anxiety and stress are peppermint. Which has menthol, a product normally found in spa products, jasmine, which is a great sleep aide, and aloe-vera which is famously known for relieving burn pain, it has tremendous healing power.
Plants can spruce up any space whether it be the kitchen counter, bedside table, or a work desk, they are pretty to look at and make the space look nicer. However, plants are more than simply appeasing to the eye. Plants can overall improve your health and mental wellbeing. Knowing the health benefits of indoor plants will only make you want to add more and more to your surroundings.
Owning indoor plants is never a negative. The only two negatives that could cause potential problems are that some people have allergies to some plant types and some plant types are toxic to pets. Listen to your body, evaluate your surroundings, and do your research before bringing a new plant indoors. Research and learning about plants is key to living in harmony with indoor plants.
To reap the full potential benefits of Rosemary you can either ingest it by mixing it into food, smoothies, or eating it raw. If you’re not a fan of the taste you can create a rosemary oil and massage it topically onto the abdomen.
Rosemary is the number one plant to benefit digestive systems. If you only have 2 herbs that you grow indoors it should hands down be rosemary and mint due to their health benefits.
The top plants for creating a healthier clean air environment is the Peace Lily, Dracaena, Bamboo Palm, English Ivy, Money Plant, Aloe Vera, Boston Fern, Weeping Fig, Philodendron, and Spider Plant. There are many more aside from that but those are the most common indoor plant types.
Peppermint has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety while boosting mental and cognitive health. Mint is an excellent herb to add to a kitchen herb garden to always have on hand. Just inhaling its aroma can wake you up and get moving, ready for the day ahead.