Houseplants are great natural decoration pieces to occupy a corner, window sill, table, or shelf, but they also offer many health benefits that can enhance your physical and mental well being.
In the late 1970s, many buildings were constructed with limited fresh air exchange and “superinsulation” in an attempt to minimize energy costs. However, occupants began to report various health problems. This phenomenon, known as “sick building syndrome,” was caused by the lack of fresh air entering the building and emissions of various organic compounds from synthetic insulations. In 1989, NASA conducted a study to counteract “sick building syndrome” and their results were nothing short of remarkable. They found that certain houseplants can absorb pollutants in the air through their soil and improve air quality dramatically. The study found that plants, such as Chrysanthemums, peace lilies, English ivy, and ficuses, do a great job combating indoor air pollution.
According to a 2015 study conducted by scientists at Chungnam National University, interacting with plants “can reduce physiological and psychological stress.” During the study, half the participants completed a task on a computer while the other half repotted a houseplant. They found that working with plants inspired comfortable feelings and reduced more stress compared to completing the computer task.
The 1989 NASA study discovered certain plants have the ability to remove pollutants from the air and this natural process could improve your sleep. We release a lot of carbon dioxide when we are sleeping, but houseplants like aloe vera or snake plants can absorb that carbon dioxide and replace it with oxygen.
image courtesy of CarbonNYC [in SF!]