Having plants in your living room, bedroom, or office can add to the decor (and of course make you look cool).
Apart from the appeal of aesthetics, there are some real benefits of keeping indoor plants in your home or your office.
So let me list a number of benefits of keeping indoor plants (and hopefully it will give you enough reasons to get some for your living room).
Help Breathe better by Increasing Oxygen Levels
We take in oxygen and convert it into carbon-di-oxide, and plants to the opposite – take carbon-di-oxide and convert it into oxygen.
Keeping indoor plants can improve the oxygen levels and help you breathe a better quality air.
Just keep in mind that at night when photosynthesis rate is low, plants tend to take in oxygen as well. But the good news is that there are some plants (such as orchids or succulents) that continue to give out oxygen at night. So you can use these ones in your bedroom as well.
Act as Natural Air Purifiers
I am based in New Delhi where the air pollution is severely high. While there is no way to avoid it when we hit the road, indoor plants provide much-needed relief by acting as natural air purifiers.
This has been confirmed by NASA when they carried out a study to gauge the impact of indoor plants on air pollution. According to their study, some indoor plants have the ability to remove harmful toxins from the air.
Some of the common plants they studied include spider plant, dwarf date palm, bamboo palm, gerbera daisy (all of the plants mentioned here are non-toxic to cats/dogs).
A common air purifying plant that you can easily find in India is Snake Plant. But since it was tagged as toxic for cats/dogs, I am listing it separately.
If you’re interested, you can read more about NASA clear air study here.
Act as Natural Humidifiers
Indoor plants can release up to 95-97% of its water in the atmosphere.
These act as natural humidifiers and can help improve the humidity – especially during harsh dry winters or even dry summers.
Also, if you mostly stay indoors with air-conditioning on, you are likely to be subjected air with low humidity. This can also lead to dry throat, skin, and eyes.
Having indoor plants can help you increase absolute humidity – which according to the study by Oregon State University helps deter survival of flu viruses.
If you’re in parts that are already quite humid, then you can opt for plants that tend to retain water and not release it in the atmosphere – such as cacti or succulents.
Improved Health and Better Recovery
Apart from giving you better air quality, plants also help you avoid common health issues – such as cold, cough, fatigue, anxiety, etc.
According to a study by the Dutch Product Board for Horticulture, having indoor plants in offices can help reduce colds, coughs, headaches, fatigue, sore throats and flu-like symptoms.
Another study conducted by Kansas State University found that plants can assist in healing. Surgical patients in a hospital who had plants in their rooms recovered better and showed better signs of improvement than those without indoor plants.
It stated – “Patients in hospital rooms with plants and flowers had significantly more positive physiologic responses evidenced by lower systolic blood pressure, and lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue than patients in the control room.”
It wouldn’t be wrong to infer that having indoor plants in your home can help you heal better.
Another phenomenon that has been noticed in the past few years is the Sick Building Syndrome.
While there is no conclusive evidence on why it happens, people who tend to spend more time in closed buildings (such as apartments or offices) often complain of headaches, respiratory issues, and stress.
It is attributed to VOCs (volatile organic compounds) which is continuously being released by building materials and electronic instruments. A continuous exposure to this can lead to health issues.
Indoor plants can be really effective in reducing the level of carbon dioxide and VOCs.
Improves Concentration & Helps You Focus
Plants can help you focus and be more productive.
According to a study by The Royal College of Agriculture in Cirencester, England, students who attended lectures with indoor plants exhibited 70% better attentiveness.
A similar study was done by Texas A&M University, where they observed workers in a room with potted plants and flowers. The ones with indoor plants generated 13% more ideas as compared with the ones without any plants.
Helps You Sleep Better
If you’ve been experiencing restlessness and fractured sleep, try keeping a couple of plants in your bedroom.
You can try keeping a Lavender or a Jasmine plant in your bedroom to have a better sleep.
According to a study by Wheeling Jesuit University, people who slept with Jasmine or Lavender plants in their bedroom slept deeply. These plants also have a calming effect and can help with any stress or anxiety.
Helps Remove Background Noise
If you live close to a busy street, as I do, you would know how disturbing it could be.
Buildings that are built with hard surfaces tend to be more noise as the sound waves are refracted. Indoor plants that have fleshy parts can absorb these waves and make a difference in the noise levels.
While plants are no noise cancellation headphones, these can still improve the situation by absorbing some of the noise.
If you keep indoor plants with wide leaves or shrubs, you may notice a lot of difference in noise levels. This is a great side-benefit apart from the air purification and humidification impact that the indoor plants can have.
Ready to Use Herbs
Apart from all the benefits listed above, some plants can act as herbs or medicine.
For example, the aloe vera plant has the gel that can be used in case you get a skin cut or burn. It can also be used on the skin as a moisturizer and can also be used as an aftershave.
You can also use Thyme or Curry leaves plants that can be used in cooking as well. While thyme can help soothe a sore throat, curry leaves add taste to the food and are also good for the heart.
Instead of using synthetic room fresheners, you can use indoor plants to do the job.
For example, you can keep plants such as Jasmine, Lavender, Peace Lilly, or Orchid to keep the air fresh and fragrant.
These work just as well as any room freshener – without any chemicals.
Add to the Decor
Indoor plants can make your living room or office look classy.
Since there are so many different colors and sizes are to choose from, you can really enhance the look and feel of your place with indoor plants.
You can place these in vases, have these mounted on the wall, or have it sit nicely close to the sofa or on the center table.
You can also prep your office space with a variety of indoor plants.
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