Indoor plants have been lauded not just for their aesthetic appeal but also for their numerous health benefits. Their transformative power to create a calming environment, especially in urbanized spaces, is unmatched.
Firstly, they are exceptional natural air purifiers. The NASA Clean Air Study conducted in 1989 confirmed that indoor plants can remove common toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air. These pollutants, often found in household products, can cause adverse health effects. Plants like the Spider Plant, Snake Plant, and Aloe Vera are proven to be effective in this regard.
Moreover, indoor plants contribute to regulating humidity. They release moisture vapor, increasing ambient humidity, which can be beneficial in dry climates or artificially heated spaces. This can alleviate common issues such as dry skin, throat irritation, and dry coughs.
Plants are also known to have a positive psychological impact. Their presence can reduce stress levels, improve mood, and enhance concentration and productivity. A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology suggests that indoor plants in an office setting can prevent fatigue during demanding tasks.
In addition, plants can contribute to a soothing ambiance, enhancing the overall aesthetics of your space. They serve as a reminder of nature in concrete-dominated urban dwellings, promoting a sense of calm and relaxation.
In conclusion, cultivating indoor plants can have a significant influence on both physical and mental well-being. From purifying the air to uplifting the mood, these green companions are indeed a healthful addition to any interior environment.
Images at bottom of page.
|Plant Type||Notable Benefits||Study|
|Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)||Removes formaldehyde, xylene and toluene||NASA Clean Air Study (1989)|
|Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)||Removes formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, trichloroethylene||NASA Clean Air Study (1989)|
|Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa’)||Removes acetone, ammonia, benzene, ethyl acetate, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene||NASA Clean Air Study (1989)|
|Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis miller)||Known to remove formaldehyde||NASA Clean Air Study (1989)|
|English Ivy (Hedera helix)||Removes formaldehyde, benzene, toluene||NASA Clean Air Study (1989)|
Formaldehyde: This is a colorless, strong-smelling gas used in making building materials and many household products. It’s used in pressed-wood products, such as particleboard, plywood, and fiberboard; glues and adhesives; permanent-press fabrics; paper product coatings; and certain insulation materials. Inhaled formaldehyde can irritate the skin, throat, nose, and eyes, and high levels of exposure may cause some types of cancers.
Xylene: A colorless, sweet-smelling liquid that is found in petroleum products and is used as a solvent in products such as paints and inks. Exposure to xylene can cause irritation of the skin, eyes, nose, and throat; difficulty in breathing; problems with the nervous system; and changes in the liver and kidneys. It can also cause harmful effects on the blood cells and heart.
Toluene: A clear, colorless liquid with a distinctive smell. It is a good solvent and is used in a variety of industries, including the manufacture of paints, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and rubber. Inhalation of high levels of toluene in a short time may cause light-headedness, nausea, or sleepiness, unconsciousness, and even death.
Benzene: A colorless or light yellow liquid at room temperature. It is used primarily as a solvent and in the production of other chemicals. Breathing in high levels of benzene can result in death, while long-term exposure can damage the immune system and cause leukemia and other blood cell cancers.
Trichloroethylene: A colorless or blue liquid with a sweet, chloroform-like odor. It is often used as a solvent to remove grease from metal parts and in the production of a range of products. Acute and chronic inhalation exposure to trichloroethylene can affect the human central nervous system, with symptoms such as dizziness, headaches, confusion, euphoria, facial numbness, and weakness. Long-term exposure may also lead to damage to the liver, kidneys, immune system, and lungs, and it is associated with an increased risk of cancer.
Acetone: A colorless liquid with a distinctive fruity odor. It is used as a solvent and in chemical manufacturing. Low-level exposure can cause irritation of the eyes, nose, and throat; higher levels of exposure can lead to unconsciousness.
Ammonia: A colorless gas with a very sharp odor. Used in many industries, including cleaning, fertilizer production, and pharmaceuticals. Inhaling ammonia can cause health issues such as coughing, nose and throat irritation. High levels of exposure can potentially damage the lungs or cause death.
Ethyl Acetate: A colorless liquid with a sweet, fruity smell. It’s used in a variety of products, including nail polish remover, glues, and cigarettes. Exposure can cause eye and respiratory irritation. At very high levels, it can cause fainting and other central nervous system effects.