When you stop and really think about it, it seems a little weird that we keep plants inside the house. And, if you don't have a green thumb, it may seem even more bizarre, or just plain annoying.
But, people have been keeping plants in their houses for centuries, and this strange tradition is not just for decoration. It turns out, houseplants have many other benefits besides looking nice, and actually help you breathe easier and feel more relaxed.
Here are four ways plants can improve your home:
- Plants help you breathe easy. Plants primarily use photosynthesis to get their energy, and one of their outputs is oxygen. With more oxygen in the air, you won't have to breathe as often. And when you do, more oxygen will flood into your lungs than before, refueling your cells and energizing your body.
- They release water. In addition to oxygen, plants also release water vapor, which increases the humidity of the environment. With more water in the air, you and your family will be less susceptible to dry skin, colds, and coughs.
- They purify the air. According to NASA research, plants remove 87% of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) every 24 hours. VOCs are nasty chemicals that float around in the air and can include benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene, all of which can be found in man-made paints, papers, grocery bags, and dry cleaning. Plants absorb these chemicals into their soil, and their roots convert them into nutrients for the plant.
- They increase focus and relaxation. A study done at the Royal College of Agriculture found that students have 70% better focus and attentiveness when learning in a room with plants. Plants sharpen our focus and help us feel like we're in a calming, natural environment instead of a stagnant, airtight room or office building.
If you're looking for specific plants for your home, we recommend English Ivy, Aloe, the Spider Plant, the Gerber Daisy, or the Chrysanthemum, all of which are especially good at filtering toxins. By putting more plants in your home, you and your family will be protected by a safer environment, and you will very literally find yourself breathing easier this spring.