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Updated 31 August 2020

Why having plants in your home is an excellent idea

Whether you're living in a tiny apartment, gated complex or suburban home with no garden, it's never a bad idea to elevate your home with a houseplant or ten.

  • Houseplants can improve the air quality in a home, as well as help fight allergies.
  • They've also been proven to benefit mental health and reduce stress.
  • You can add edible houseplants to your collection to improve your diet.

Being stuck at home for months, you might have come to the conclusion that your space isn't as cosy as it could be.

Whether you're living in a tiny apartment, gated complex or suburban home, it's never a bad idea to "elevate" your home with a houseplant or ten, especially as plants can contribute to your mental and physical health, according to several studies.

WATCH | What is pollen? An aerobiologist at UCT gives us an overview

Air-purifying plants

In the late 80s, Nasa released a study on the air-purifying benefits of indoor plants. The leaves, roots, soil and accompanying microorganisms of plants are pretty adept at filtering out air pollutants like cigarette smoke, harmful organic solvents and even naturally occurring radioactive gas like radon.

The plants used in the study that performed the best included the dragon tree, peace lily, Transvaal daisy, Janet Craig, Warneckii, pot mum, bamboo palm, banana plant, ficus and mother-in-law's tongue.

Of course don't forget about the South African favourite, the spekboom, which has become a beacon of hope for purifying the air of carbon dioxide. And, the more oxygen in your home, the easier it is to fall asleep.

However, it's important to note a recent study found that natural ventilation is far more effective and quicker than plants at purifying the air in homes. 

READ MORE | Pollen allergies: These are the common trees, grasses and plants to avoid in SA

Healing plants

You can also populate your home with medicinal plants, like the indigenous aloe vera. If you have a burn or sting, you can just pluck off a leaf and rub the juice on the affected area.

If you suffer from allergies, it's a good idea to invest in plants that raise the humidity in your home, especially if you use an air conditioner. Greenery like ferns and spider plants are great for increasing the moisture level in the air.

Another great addition to your plant babies are plants with textured leaves, according to WebMD, as they can trap allergens like dust. These include Chinese evergreens and violets.

WATCH | 5 tips to keep your plants happy when you're away

Mood booster

It's been proven time and again that mental healing can be found in nature, so bring that outside power indoors.

Studies on office plants have continuously demonstrated their positive effects on people's moods – from reducing stress to increasing productivity. Plants have also been proven to help patients in recovery after surgery heal faster.

People also tend to be happier with bright colours around them, so flowering houseplants like marigolds, orchids, bromeliads and the lipstick plant are great as mood boosters.

For eating

You don't have to stop at houseplants that are just aesthetic. You can keep some edible houseplants in your kitchen that will not only spice up your cooking, but also benefit your health.

You can get dwarf avocado, lemon and mandarin orange trees, and grow smaller herb shrubs like mint, basil and chives that are good for the stomach and inflammation, according to Greatist. 

No matter what you want out of your houseplants, they are sure to brighten up your home office with their cheerful presence.

READ MORE | Getting your protein from plants a recipe for longevity

Image credit: Pixabay

 
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