The Therapeutic Power of Indoor Plants

The Therapeutic Power of Indoor Plants

Indoor plants are more than just decorative elements. They have become integral to modern home décor, offering a multitude of benefits that extend beyond aesthetics. The presence of plants indoors can transform living spaces and have a profound impact on the quality of life, especially when our cities are heavily polluted outdoors. The plants inside can bless us with a healthy life by removing indoor air pollution.

Indoor Air Pollution Effects

The Clean Air Study highlights the presence of harmful toxins in indoor environments, which can lead to ‘sick building syndrome’. These toxins and their common sources are:

  • Trichloroethylene: Found in printing inks, paints, and varnishes.
  • Formaldehyde: Present in paper bags, facial tissues, and paper towels.
  • Benzene: Used in plastic resins, dyes, and furniture wax.
  • Xylene: A component of rubber, leather, and paint.
  • Ammonia: An ingredient in window cleaners, floor waxes, and fertilizers.

Exposure to these toxins can cause a range of health issues, with the severity depending on the level and frequency of exposure. Short-term effects include:

  • Trichloroethylene: Can cause dizziness, headaches, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Formaldehyde: May lead to irritation of the nose, mouth, and throat, and potentially swelling of the larynx and lungs.
  • Benzene: Exposure can result in eye irritation, dizziness, headaches, confusion, and drowsiness.
  • Xylene: Known to cause irritation to the mouth and throat, heart problems, headaches, and dizziness.
  • Ammonia: Can lead to eye irritation, coughing, and a sore throat.

These adverse effects underscore the importance of maintaining clean indoor air to protect health and well-being.

Plant Power: The benefits of indoor plants, particularly air-purifying ones, are championed by Rolling Nature. We suggest embracing plants as a means to enhance indoor air quality and mental health, advocating for a greener, happier living space.

In essence, indoor plants are more than just decor; they’re catalysts for personal growth, mental health, and community building. They offer a simple yet profound way to enrich our lives and environments. Reasons why you need plant indoors? 

Aesthetic Enhancement Indoor plants add a natural touch to home interiors, bringing vibrancy and color to any room. They can be strategically placed to enhance the visual appeal of a space, whether it’s through hanging planters that save floor space or potted plants that serve as living decor on shelves and tables.

Air Quality Improvement  Real indoor plants are beneficial for improving air quality. They act as natural air purifiers, removing toxins and pollutants from the environment. This leads to cleaner, fresher air indoors, which is especially important in urban areas where outdoor air quality may be compromised. Office and home environments often contain synthetic toxins from various sources like plastics, paints, and cleaning products. Plants can substantially diminish these pollutants. Strategically placed plants can lessen the reliance on air conditioning, maintaining a higher humidity level—up to 20%—which helps prevent ailments linked to dry air, such as persistent coughs

Introducing one plant for every three employees in offices can significantly improve office air quality. It’s possible to see a 50% reduction in CO2 levels and a decrease in dust, bacteria, and mold exposure. Additionally, plants can lower dust presence by up to 20%.

The presence of plants is correlated with enhanced productivity. They aid in sharpening focus and improving cognitive functions, leading to fewer errors and quicker task completion. Studies suggest a productivity boost of 10%-15% among computer workers, thanks to the plants’ role in reducing carbon dioxide.

Health Benefits The health advantages of indoor plants are numerous. They contribute to better oxygen levels, which can enhance breathing and overall physical health. Plants like the peace lily are known to absorb noise, reducing noise pollution and creating a more tranquil environment. Studies, including one from the American Journal of Public Health, indicate that green settings can alleviate symptoms of ADHD in children. Nature’s restorative effects on attention capacity can reduce mental fatigue and depression, leading to improved work performance.

Interacting with indoor plants has been shown to lower psychological and physiological stress. This is achieved by calming the autonomic nervous system, as evidenced by a study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology.

Plants contribute to a happier and more optimistic environment. A survey across San Francisco Bay Area hospitals revealed that patients felt more relaxed and positive after spending time in a garden. Soil bacteria like Mycobacterium vaccae may release serotonin, which improves mood and reduces anxiety.

Research supports the idea that green spaces can enhance mood, encourage healthy behaviors, and improve mental health. Hospital patients with access to plants experienced lower blood pressure, higher pain tolerance, and less anxiety.

A Korean study found that cognitive-behavioral therapy in a natural setting led to greater reductions in depression symptoms and higher remission rates compared to traditional settings.

Social & Psychological Benefits Being a plant parent creates a sense of community with fellow nature lovers. It instills confidence and a feeling of control over one’s environment. Plants can serve as a therapeutic tool, offering a natural way to combat stress and promote mental well-being. Caring for indoor plants can also have psychological benefits. The act of nurturing plants can lower blood pressure, heart rate, and cortisol levels, leading to reduced psychological and physiological stress.

Plants mirror life’s journey, teaching us about resilience and growth. They encourage us to be more empathetic and understanding. For children, caring for plants can be a transformative experience, fostering a sense of responsibility and self-worth.

Regular exposure to plants can positively impact urban lifestyles, combating loneliness and depression. Incorporating plants into living spaces can transform them into refuges of joy and well-being.

Incorporating indoor plants into home décor is not just a trend; it’s a lifestyle choice that can lead to a healthier, happier life indoors. From improving air quality to providing psychological relief, the benefits of indoor plants are extensive and well-documented.

About the Author: Vandana Chaudhary is the Co-Founder of Rolling Nature and Initiative Earth. She is a botanist, plantoholic, blogger, humanitarian, civic activist and an environmentalist.

Recommended Reads :

6 Ways How Plants Can Boost Your Mental Health & Wellness

The ABC of Air Purifying Plants

The Benefits of Indoor Plants


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