Top plants for health

Plants have been part of the health preservation and healing process since time immemorial. But it is not only about using the properties of medicinal plants and herbs, but also about taking advantage of the benefits of houseplants that we commonly perceive only as an aesthetic object, which is there for decoration.

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Having plants at home is more than a decorative affair. Buying a plant can be more important than choosing a lamp or a rug to match the sofa in the living room, it's a life decision. And I am not exaggerating, because there are so many advantages to having these green roomates that it is almost a duty to share with you the multiple physical and psycho-emotional benefits they provide. That is why today we are going to talk about the top plants for health. Maybe you will be encouraged to choose a houseplant that will help you with a health problem.

how can a plant help your health?

All living things share the environment and humans have a particular way of creating relationships with our surroundings. So your flat is not just a space where you shelter from the elements, it has become your home, with all the psychological and emotional charge that goes with it, including a sense of security and belonging.

The first is an obvious symbiosis: we take care of them to take advantage of some of their properties (environmental purification, for example) but the second often goes unnoticed, as we create a link between the green of the plants and their foliage with the sensation of freedom, plenitude and peace. It is something atavistic, inscribed in our genetic memory and activated without us realising it.

Top plants for your health

To improve respiratory health

Dry air plays havoc with the airways. Whether it's caused by winter or constant air conditioning (in offices, for example), breathing air that is too dry can cause nosebleeds, watery eyes, sore throats, dry skin, brittle hair, as well as aggravating allergic rhinitis, allergies, asthma and bronchitis. On top of that, it slowly dehydrates you.

If you work in a closed office, where artificial climate control (air conditioning or heating) is always on full blast and you live with allergies and a sore throat, you need plants to improve the humidity in the room. In this respect nothing beats calatheas (Triostar, Roseopicta or whatever you like best). You can also add an exotic alocasia or an Adam's Rib.

To clean the environment and take care of your lungs

The air we breathe can be very polluted. There are toxic volatile particles that come from the materials that were used to make furniture and furnishings, as well as those that come from outside. This can cause allergies, irritation and aggravate respiratory problems. Prolonged exposure to these toxic particles can cause illnesses such as anaemia, kidney problems, headaches and more.

But there are plants that can improve the quality of the air you breathe in exchange for a little care. Purifying plants, such as this gorgeous trio from Be.Green, are beautiful and hardy, as well as being able to filter out particles of benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene. Some of the plants with these properties are dracaena, poto, snake plant and Zamioculcas. Special mention should be made of the lemon dracaena, which, as this NASA study indicates, is one of the most efficient.

To improve concentration and ability to focus

This study by the Roya College of Agriculture in England has concluded that people can improve their attention span by up to 70% when they are in an environment surrounded by plants. This study from the University of Texas confirms that work done in places where there are ornamental plants is of better quality and more accurate than work done in places where there is no hint of nature. Other research shows that students with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) perform much more poorly and their symptoms are aggravated in spaces without plants or windows.

There are many academic references on this topic as the difference is real and very marked. This study published in the Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science refers to the use of plants such as Areca Palm, Dracenas Marginata, Spider plants and Chinese Money Plant, as well as Peace Lily and Potos for their experiment, which concluded that efficiency and concentration levels improved, even for instructors, as the plants are able to affect mood and cognitive abilities.

To reduce stress

Plants release phytocides and other chemicals that are responsible for lowering stress levels and improving your immune system. Moreover, caring for another living being improves your powers of observation, introspection and empathy which improves the way you relate to others. They give you patience and teach you to be peaceful and quiet. Caring for your plants is a meditative exercise, as it forces you to stop the hectic pace of everyday life and take a few minutes to do so. In this group you can include the easiest plants to care for, because they give you flexibility in their maintenance: sansevierias, potos and aloe are part of the trio of immortal plants.

For better sleep

Plants release oxygen during the night, taking carbon dioxide from the environment. This will make you breathe better, rest deeper and longer. When you wake up your brain will feel more rested and relaxed, you will feel more energetic. Among this group to decorate your bedroom are the Sansevieria, the Peace Lily (which also absorbs spores from the environment) and the Boston Fern.

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About the author
Ame Rodríguez

Dedicated to creating an army of cacti, succulents, poodles and cats to help me conquer the world. In the little free time I have left, I play, write and dance.

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