Advertising
Advertising

8 Houseplants To Grow That Can Dramatically Improve Your Health

8 Houseplants To Grow That Can Dramatically Improve Your Health

Anyone who’s ever shopped around for houseplants would probably admit to prioritizing the way they look and what their maintenance requirements are before deciding on one to bring home. Those are obvious things to keep in mind, but there’s one more important aspect we sometimes tend to forget about when looking for an ideal houseplant: their health benefits.

Good health depends on more than just diet and exercise. Without a doubt your environment affects your health too, and the right houseplant can actually make a big difference in your mood, your stress level, your sleep quality and even your breathing.

A nice looking plant is great, but a nice looking plant that quietly works its magic in the background on your health as you go about your regular routine is even better. Here are eight houseplants that can help solve a few common health-related problems.

1. Spider Plant

    Spider plants are great for removing formaldehyde from the air in your home. This is the stuff that comes from all sorts of things you bring into your home including paper bags, waxed papers, facial tissues, paper towels, napkins, particle board, plywood panelling and synthetic fabrics. In addition to formaldehyde, snake plants target carbon monoxide and other toxic air impurities as well.

    If you have poor indoor air quality and not much of a green thumb, a spider plant may be exactly what you need. It’s one of the easiest plants to care for and can be kept in less sunny places in your home since it typically doesn’t like to be placed under direct sunlight.

    A spider plant can grow in any type of soil and only needs to be watered occasionally. If you can remember to water it often enough that its soil stays moist, then that’s all you really need to keep this plant alive and thriving.

    Advertising

    2. Aloe Vera

      Chances are you’ve probably heard of or used commercially sold medicinal creams or ointments that say they contain aloe vera on their labels. Despite a lack of scientific evidence that aloe vera has any substantial healing properties, it’s been used for thousands of years as a common natural remedy to soothe irritated skin.

      The clear, gel-like substance found in the inner part of the leaf can be applied directly to the skin. According to WebMD, people typically use it to help treat burns, sunburn, frostbite, psoriasis and cold sores. Make sure you speak to your doctor first in case you have any allergies.

      Aloe vera plants need to be deeply watered and their soil left to dry just slightly (about 1 to 2 inches deep) between watering. They do very well with lots of sun but can turn brown if they get too much of it, so keeping your aloe vera plant under indirect sunlight is best.

      3. Lavender

        Lavender is a flowering plant that has a very gentle and pleasant aroma. Best known for its stress-relieving mental benefits, the scent of lavender is often used in spa products like bath salts, skincare creams, soaps and candles.

        You can place a lavender plant anywhere in your home, but putting it in your bedroom is especially helpful since it may help you sleep better. Catching a whiff of lavender may help soothe restlessness, nervousness, anxiety, depression and insomnia.

        Advertising

        Lavender plants prefer well-drained soil and lots of sunlight. They also need deep watering, but be careful not to water them very often. Aim to water your lavender plant when the soil is nearly dry.

        4. English Ivy

          Nobody ever wants to think about the possibility of mold thriving in their home. If you’re worried about it, bringing an English ivy plant into your home can help you rest easy since it’s well-known to purify up to 94 percent of airborne mold particles that can trigger allergies.

          Like the aloe vera plant, English ivy is another great plant to put in your bedroom. If you have asthma or difficulty breathing at night, it can help you breathe easier and get a restful night’s sleep.

          Be aware that English ivy is poisonous, so it should be kept well out of reach from children and pets. The plant thrives under fluorescent light but not direct sun, so it’s the perfect houseplant for darker than normal bedrooms with artificial light. Soil should be kept most at all times, but not soggy.

          5. Snake Plant

            Another great houseplant for the bedroom, the snake plant (also known as the “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”) is among one of the most popular choices for improving indoor air quality. It actually gets most of its job done at night, converting carbon dioxide into oxygen as you sleep.

            Advertising

            Snake plants also remove all sorts of toxins from the air including trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, toluene, benzene and xylene. To optimize its air purifying power throughout your entire home, you’ll likely need more than one plant. Plan to get anywhere from 6 to 8 snake plants that are of waist-high height for optimal air purification.

            Considered to be one of the easiest plants to care for, snake plants do great when placed under indirect sunlight. You really don’t have to water them much at all, and they’ll actually grow better if you let them dry out quite a bit between watering.

            6. Rosemary

              Rosemary is an herb that’s been used in folk medicine for centuries to help improve concentration and memory. It turns out that there may be some merit to this claim since a study conducted by Northumbria University found that people who were exposed to the scent of rosemary essential oil performed better on questionnaires compared to people who were exposed to no scent at all.

              The memory-boosting component of rosemary is thought to be caused by a compound called 1,8-cineole, which may cause increases in a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine. Although you may be able to take advantage of a more potent scent by using rosemary essential oil with a diffuser in your home, it doesn’t hurt to keep a rosemary plant nearby in places like your home office or any other room where you could use a mental boost.

              Rosemary can be planted in a pot and put in any spot where it has access to bright sunlight. It should be watered evenly throughout the growing season, but will need less water in the winter. Avoid over-watering and remember to trim your rosemary plant after it flowers.

              7. Peace Lily

              Advertising

                Peace lilies will really compliment your home decor in the summer when their beautiful white flowers are in full bloom, but that’s not all that they can do. This pretty and powerful houseplant is a master of air pollutant removal – working hard to absorb ammonia, benzene, xylene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene throughout your home.

                Since this is a flowering houseplant, it will produce some pollen and a floral scent, which isn’t always suitable for people with plant and pollen-related allergies. With that in mind, peace lilies can make a gorgeous addition to any dining table, side table or entryway table.

                Peace lilies should be planted in a pot with all-purpose soil and kept slightly most throughout the entire year (without overwatering). They can thrive in both low and bright light, but do best in shaded areas.

                8. Boston Fern

                  If you live in a location where humidity tends to be a problem, the Boston fern may be the most ideal houseplant to bring into your home. Said to be a natural humidifier, Boston ferns are among the best air purifying plants that also combat formaldehyde, xylene and other unwanted toxins.

                  Place this type of fern in any air-conditioned room of your home. It may also indirectly benefit any dry skin you may suffer from, which can often be a side effect of highly air-conditioned indoor spaces.

                  Boston ferns are easy to grow and prefer indirect sunlight, but you should check the soil daily to make sure that it’s kept moist. They’re most efficient in rooms kept at a cool temperature with a humidity level of 50 to 80 percent.

                  Never discount the power of what a simple and innocent looking houseplant can do for your health. It’s worth doing some further research on the type of plant you choose and how to care for it if it means it will make a difference in how you feel.

                  Featured photo credits: Spider plant, aloe vera, lavender, English ivy, snake plant, rosemary, peace lily, Boston fern.

                  More by this author

                  Elise Moreau

                  Elise helps desk workers lead healthier lifestyles. Visit her website on her profile to get a free list of health hacks.

                  Why You’ve Reached the Point of Burn out at Work & How to Deal with It The Benefits And Drawbacks To Your Preferred Sleep Position How Smartphones Are Affecting The Mind And Body Of Your Children Amazing Benefits Of Greek Yogurt (+5 Refreshing Recipes) 15 Free Resources To Get You More Organized In 2016

                  Trending in Health

                  1 The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype 2 20 Easy and Healthy Breakfast Recipes for Rush Mornings 3 5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively 4 10 Easy Ways To Practice Mindfulness 5 3 Reasons Why Mental Health Is So Important

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on May 21, 2020

                  The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                  The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                  You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

                  Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

                  Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

                  An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

                  Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

                  1. The Paleo Diet

                  The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

                  The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

                  In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

                  Advertising

                  How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

                  The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

                  With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

                  It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

                  Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

                  2. Whole30

                  The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

                  With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

                  During the month you are eliminating:

                  Advertising

                  • sugar
                  • alcohol
                  • legumes
                  • grains
                  • dairy
                  • soy

                  Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

                  At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

                  Finding Out How Food Impacts You

                  Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

                  With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

                  This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

                  3. The Mediterranean Diet

                  The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

                  For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

                  Advertising

                  With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

                  • Fruits & vegetables
                  • Whole grains
                  • Legumes & nuts
                  • Replacing butter with olive oil
                  • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
                  • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
                  • Moderate amounts of red wine

                  Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

                  Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

                  With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

                  4. The Alkaline Diet

                  The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

                  The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

                  Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

                  The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

                  Advertising

                  People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

                  One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

                  Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

                  There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

                  The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

                  What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

                  The Big Takeaway:

                  Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

                  Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

                  Reference

                  Read Next