The best houseplants for your health

When we talk about health, it is common to consider only the physical aspect, but the truth is that it should be understood as a holistic, integral concept. Indeed, the World Health Organisation defines it as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. That is why for some years now we humans have been on a crusade to find those things that have a positive impact on health and this has included houseplants.

Plants are perceived by many as a fad, as you can attest by hanging around on any social network; but the truth is that they are destined to stay around for quite a while, as we are almost coincidentally enjoying the multiple health benefits of growing houseplants. Since we know you're a little obsessed with your little green collection, we'll give you more reasons to add new ones, as we'll explain which houseplants are best for your health, as well as citing the studies that prove these benefits.

All that plants can do for your health

Following the guidelines of the World Health Organisation, we are going to divide the health benefits of indoor plants into 3 fundamental aspects: physical, mental and social. We are not exaggerating when we say that gardening is an all-round activity that can do wonders for you, as well as working as a perfect complement to certain treatments.

Physical aspect

Improve Breathing and skin

Humans breathe by inhaling air, taking in oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. Plants, while photosynthesising, do more or less the opposite: they absorb carbon monoxide from the environment, process it and release oxygen. This means that having certain plants improves the oxygen level in the environment.

On the other hand, having plants grouped together indoors raises the water vapour levels in the room. This extra moisture will do wonders for your breathing, hair and skin, when dry air from heating or air conditioning wreaks havoc and robs them of their natural moisture.

Speed up recovery

This study proves that people who enjoyed gardens, plants and lots of greenery around them were able to recover much faster from surgeries, illnesses and injuries. Their hospital stays were much shorter, they needed less medication to control pain, and they had a positive and accelerated recovery attitude and improvement compared to other patients who were not exposed to plants.

Improve air quality

The scientific term for the process by which plants remove toxic elements from the air is phytoremediation and was made popular by a famous NASA study. Researchers were looking for alternative methods to improve air quality in spacecraft, which are completely enclosed. Thanks to this research they managed to discover that some plants are able to reduce volatile toxic compounds. There are many popular species (which we will tell you more about later) that you can have in your home to absorb all the toxic components that are present in the air: formaldehyde, benzene, toluene and more.

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Plant Trio: Elegant Purifi...
€66.00 €59.40
Three purification plants.
Bird of Paradise
Decorative and resistant

You can use its healing properties

There are plants such as Aloe Vera, Rosemary, mint, chamomile and others that you can grow even in your window and whose healing properties you can take advantage of. Peppermint and chamomile can be used to soothe indigestion, while aloe is ideal for irritated skin or minor burns. While plants are no substitute for a visit to the doctor, they can be used to relieve minor aches and pains.

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€44.00 €39.60
Healing and resilient
Bonsai Carmona (8 years old)
An easy-care bonsai

Promote healthy eating

Growing your own fruits and vegetables, even herbs, can improve your diet by encouraging you to eat healthy. There is nothing more enjoyable than eating the fruits and vegetables that you yourself have watched grow and nurtured to that point, and cooking using herbs from your garden to season your dishes is an experience, as the flavour is even more intense and delicious.

Mental aspect

Relieve stress and anxiety

This study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology found that having plants in the home or office will make you feel more relaxed, calm, rested and natural. Scientists found that growing, caring for or interacting with plants immediately decreases the stress response. Plants help lower blood pressure, pulse and anxiety levels. They also relieve physical and mental fatigue.

Improve concentration

A study done at the University of Exeter, UK, has found that indoor plants are able to improve employees' concentration, memory, productivity and general well-being by up to 47%. As if that wasn't enough, living in a space with plants is also able to improve cognitive abilities such as creative thinking, spatial processing and more.

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Dracena Lemon
Healing and easy to care for
an exotic touch!

These effects occur because plants positively alter the environment with their stimulating colours, they can also have a pleasant aroma and many species increase the level of oxygen in the air. This last detail alone is essential to ensure optimal brain function. In fact, being enclosed indoors for long periods of time exposes us to higher amounts of carbon dioxide, which reduces our ability to concentrate. Plants, with their extra supply of oxygen, can balance out the following

Increase your productivity

Productivity is directly related to your emotional and physical well-being. In the right environment, one that allows you to concentrate and is pleasant, your productivity could soar to unimaginable levels. Including plants in your office, desk or wherever you work will do wonders for your performance. The effect of the colours and the boost of oxygen in the environment will clear your mind, as if you have taken a walk in the middle of nature.

Growing plants is therapeutic

Taking care of plants has a therapeutic effect in that it allows you to be in the here and now. Learning to be present is the key to therapy techniques such as Mindfulness, which is a powerful tool for treating anxiety and depression, among other mental conditions. Likewise, growing plants and being in contact with flowers and nature improves the mood and disposition of elderly patients, even improving memory and general well-being.

On the other hand, growing plants is also a tool to teach responsibility, empathy and connection with the environment for children and people who require it, as it reduces stress, fatigue and can become a form of meditation in movement.

Social aspect

Improve the appearance and function of your home

Living in a pleasant and dignified environment is essential for health, hence the importance of a clean and comfortable home. One way to aesthetically and functionally improve your space is by using houseplants as decorative elements. A plant not only brings life and colour to a room, but can also serve to delimit spaces. One of the great advantages is that it is quite inexpensive to grow plants and the benefits are quite high.

You grow your own food

Growing some of your own food can mean a small saving on the family budget, plus it gives you the satisfaction of eating truly fresh, plant-ripened food. When you taste the first pepper from your plant you will understand why something so simple can improve your quality of life.

It allows you to make new friends

One of the things that makes me happiest about getting into the world of plants is that I've managed to meet a lot of people, even online. On social networks there are many communities with people willing to share your passion for plants, as well as offering help if you need it. But not everything remains virtual, as I have participated in cuttings exchanges in my city, I have made contacts with collectors and other enthusiasts; I have also managed to surprise my friends and family with gifts: small personalised plant arrangements. This is a nice excuse to socialise.

The best plants for your health

Plants that improve breathing and the skin

- Prayer Flower

- Calatheas

- Ctenanthe

- Boston fern

The former belong to the Maranthas family and there is also the Boston Fern, which is a natural humidifier and purifies the air. These plants require high levels of ambient humidity, so if you gather several together you will create a perfect environment for your skin and respiratory system. Remember to keep them happy by spraying them with a little water from time to time.

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Prayer plant
Humidifies and cleans the air
Bird of Paradise
Decorative and resistant

Plants that purify the air

- Snake Plant

- Dracenas

- Peace Lily

- Spider plant

- English Ivy

- Philodendrons

All these plants are mentioned in the famous NASA study as they are very efficient at absorbing pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, toluene, xylene, among others. They increase oxygen levels and are easy to care for.

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Dracaena Fragrans
Easy to care for and purifying
Bonsai Olea Eurpoea (10 ye...
A miniature olive tree

Medicinal plants

- Chamomile

- aloe Vera

- Rosemary

- Calendula

- Peppermint

Each plant has its own particular properties. Chamomile and mint are not only useful for making delicious infusions, but will also help calm your nerves, as well as improve mild indigestion or stomach pains caused by excesses. Mint will help you to eliminate gas. Rosemary is not only good for seasoning your meals, but it also improves the immune and circulatory system. If you put its leaves between your clothes, you will scare away moths and mosquitoes. Calendula helps to reduce inflammation.

Plants that improve stress and anxiety

- Marjoram

- Chamomile

- Lavender

- Dracenas

- Jasmine

You can make an infusion with chamomile flowers to relieve anxiety, much better if you add some marjoram. The delicious smell of lavender and jasmine will help you relax, especially at bedtime, and the beautiful flowers are a treat for the eyes. Dracaena are easy to care for, beautiful and tall, and they increase oxygen levels in the environment and eliminate toxins, improving your breathing and well-being.

Plants to improve productivity and concentration

- Rosemary

- Dracaena

- Kentia Palm

- ZZ or crow plant

These plants are perfect for the office, as they can grow in low light. In addition, due to their aroma and purifying properties, they increase the oxygen levels in the environment, absorb carbon dioxide and transform it into oxygen. Thanks to this process, the oxygen in the environment is balanced, the quality of the air will improve and you will be able to concentrate better and be more productive.

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Dracaena marginata
Red dragon of Madagascar
Plant Trio: Good Luck
€53.00 €47.70
Three oxygen-releasing plants

Therapeutic plants

- Bonsais

- Orchids

- Urban gardens

Any type of plant requires care and can be used as a form of personal therapy, however bonsais are a true art, requiring patience, concentration, affection and above all involvement in the process of their formation and growth. Orchids, on the other hand, brighten up any environment with their beauty and colours, making them perfect for those who love flowers as their efforts will be rewarded with the exotic presence of their colours.

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Dracena Lemon
Healing and easy to care for
Tiger Orchid
Delicate and purifying

Urban gardens are the epitome of therapeutic gardening. They require care from the moment the seed is sown, you can accompany them throughout the growing process and then you can harvest and enjoy what you have worked so hard for.

Plants to decorate your spaces

- Succulents

- Monstera deliciosa

- Kentia palm

- Potos

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Monstera Deliciosa
€46.00 €41.40
Adapts to any environment
Charlotte XXL/30xm Planter
100% environmentally friendly and draine...

All plants are beautiful and become decorative elements in their own right, but the plants on this list are characterised by their large and abundant size, so they will fill spaces very well. They are also easy to care for and reproduce, so you can have many plants in a short time using small cuttings.

Plants that bear fruit

- Lemon tree

- Tomatoes

- Peppers

- Lettuce

- Aromatic plants

All these plants can be grown in planters or pots, although they require a lot of light, you can have them on the terrace, balcony or window. You can start with seeds to make it more fun. The effort will be rewarded with the most delicious and tasty fruits you have ever tasted.

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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.