There has been an increase in the level of interest in house plants in recent years1, bringing bold colours and patterns into our interiors. But not only can they help improve our décor, there are also a host of health benefits to having indoor plants.
A constant flow of oxygen
Plants essentially do the opposite of what we do when we breathe: they release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide.
Every system and organ in the body needs oxygen to survive and function properly, and low levels of oxygen in the blood can make people feel breathless and tired.2 Breathing air rich in oxygen increases the amount of oxygen in our blood, helping make it easier to carry out activities that might otherwise be difficult.
The more plants you have, the higher the oxygen levels in your home will be!
We hear a lot about carbon dioxide and its impact on the global environment, but what about in the micro-environment of our own homes? At low levels, carbon dioxide is harmless to humans, but elevated levels can lead to a range of health problems, including headaches, fatigue and breathing difficulties.3
Research shows that between three and six medium-sized plants in a non-air-conditioned building can reduce CO2 levels by a quarter.4
Air pollution levels are often higher indoors than outdoors due to substances emitted from furnishings, detergents, paint, fungal spores, bacteria and dust-like particles.5 All these contaminants can contribute to Sick Building Syndrome which can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, fatigue and skin irritation. Certain house plants can be effective at reducing these toxins, helping to make your home a healthier environment to live in.
Improves our wellbeing
Being in the midst of nature is regularly cited as a great remedy to feelings of low self-esteem, depression or anxiety6 but not everyone is able to get out-and-about, so ‘bringing the outdoors in’ with your own indoor sanctuary filled with house plants is the next best thing.
Indoor plants have been shown to improve mood, reduce stress, increase productivity and even increase pain tolerance (for example in a hospital setting).5
Top house plants to boost your health
1. Spider plant
The spider plant, a great little plant for newcomers due to its easy care routine, can help reduce carbon monoxide and xylene levels in your home.7 If you have pets, the spider plant is ideal as its one of the few houseplants that is non-toxic to animals.
2. Aloe vera
Aloe vera is well known for helping to moisturise the skin and treat minor cuts or sunburn. It can also help to purify air inside the home, reducing the effects of chemicals commonly found in household cleaning products.7 Aloe vera thrives in the sunlight, so a great place for it would be the kitchen windowsill.
At night time, the majority of indoor plants release the carbon dioxide they may have absorbed during the day, but sansevieria, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, emits oxygen through the night, which would make it the ideal plant for a bedroom.7 It also helps to reduce common household toxins from the air – a good allrounder to help improve the quality of the air in your home.
4. Boston Fern
The Boston Fern has air purifying qualities but is also known to improve humidity by helping restore moisture to the air naturally, and it offers good health benefits to those suffering from dry skin and dry noses or throats.7 The Boston Fern needs to be kept moist and out of direct sunlight, so a bathroom is a great place for it.
To find out more about Sovereign Health Care and how its cash plans can help to improve your health and wellbeing, visit sovereignhealthcare.co.uk/good-all-round