Plants Improve Almost EVERYTHING!
Bringing plants indoors has gone in and out of style, depending on the time frame. The Greeks and Romans started the trend way back in history. Victorians loved them, and the seventies wouldn’t have been complete without at least one wandering jew and spider plant in a home’s decor. The trend right now is for a lighter touch when it comes to house plants, but I recommend them all the time to my clients.
After I read all the benefits, I’m not only adding a plant to my office desk, I’m adding some to each part of my home. Years ago I said that I had a “brown thumb” when it came to the care and feeding of plants, but in the last few years, I’ve kept all my “easy to grow” plants healthy and thriving. Read on and see if research doesn’t encourage you to go out and get at least one plant.
Plants Boost Productivity
As many people will attest, being in nature can lower stress levels and improve one’s outlook. According to a University of Michigan study, however, the presence of plants in one’s indoor environment can improve concentration, memory and productivity by as much as 20%. Two Norwegian studies found that productivity was greatly enhanced by the presence of plants in the office. Texas A & M University noted the “work performed under the natural influence of ornamental plants is normally of higher quality and completed with a much higher rate of accuracy than work done in environments devoid of nature.”
Plants Help Us Breathe
We all know that we inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis*, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, making them the ideal partners for anyone with breathing issues like asthma or COPD. When photosynthesis stops at night, most plants switch to absorb oxygen and give off carbon dioxide just like us, however so they aren’t great to have in a bedroom. A few special plants, however like orchids, succulents, and epiphytic bromeliads (which can be grown effectively on driftwood or in terrariums,) and continue to take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night. So put those in your bedroom to keep the oxygen flowing at night!
*the process by which green plants and some other organisms use sunlight to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water. Photosynthesis in plants generally involves the green pigment chlorophyll and generates oxygen as a byproduct.
Plants Clean the Air
NASA has spent time and energy researching air quality in sealed environments, and found that plants play a pivotal role in removing trace levels of toxic vapors from inside tightly sealed structures. Low levels of chemicals such as carbon monoxide and formaldehyde can be removed from indoor environments by plant leaves alone. Furthermore, the ones on the list below are hardy plants, although they take varying amounts of light and watering. The top ten plants that remove indoor pollutants, according to NASA include:
Peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii)
English ivy (Hedera helix)
Chrysanthemum (Chrysantheium morifolium)
Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
Mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’)
Bamboo palm (Chamaedorea sefritzii)
Azalea (Rhododendron simsii)
Red-edge Dracaena (Dracaena marginata)
Spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Plants Discourage Illness
Outside, plant roots tap the groundwater table for water, which then evaporates through its leaves. Studies show that this accounts for about 10% of the moisture in the atmosphere. Having plants in your home or office increases the humidity indoors (which might sound less appealing in the humid climates during hot months) and is wonderful for you in the drier months or if you live in an arid climate.
They decrease the occurrence of colds, sore throats, dry coughs and dry skin, according to studies done at the Agricultural University of Norway. Other studies show that higher levels of humidity decreases the survival and transmission of the Flu virus.
Plants Boost Healing
One study conducted at Kansas State University found that viewing plants during recovery from surgery led to major improvement in physiologic responses. They include lowering blood pressure, and reported lower ratings of pain, anxiety and fatigue when compared to patients without plants in their rooms. Texas A & M University noted that patients tasked with the job of taking care of plants caused significantly reduced recovery time from their medical procedures.
One more obvious benefit is that many plants have valuable medicinal properties. Natural herbal remedies are simple and holistic ways of treating common illnesses and maladies. My acupuncturist/herbalist, Dianna Dean regularly prescribes herbs to help me balance both physical and emotional systems. Why not consider herbs, rather than chemicals to fix minor maladies?
Plants Improve Learning
Research done at Texas A & M University showed that children who spend time around plants learn better. Furthermore, spending time in natural environments improved the ability of children with Attention Deficit Disorder to focus, concentrate and engage with their surrounds.
I am so absolutely excited about all these findings that I know I have some new plants in my near future! I already have a some plants in my home, but I’m definitely buying more. What an easy way to improve concentration and memory, increase productivity, stay healthy, as well as breathe more deeply in cleaner air, and lower stress! This is so much better than any multi-vitamin I can take. Are you convinced? If not, you can read more at http://ellisonchair.tamu.edu/health-and-well-being-benefits-of-plants/#.VTaj8lw9dsM If you need help purchasing the right plants for your environment at work or at home, contact us through this website. We look forward to hearing from you!