Indoor Plants and Your Health - January 2023

By Miscellaneous

indoor plant

When you add indoor plants to your home's interior, you add greenery as well as living organisms that provide health benefits. A number of studies have found an association between houseplants and a range of positive psychological and physiological benefits.

Air purification
Researchers have investigated the role of indoor plants for biofiltration, a process that purifies the air. Plants can absorb carbon dioxide in addition to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as benzene (found in some plastics, cigarette smoke, fabric softener) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, carpet cleaner and fabric softener). 

NASA carried out a landmark study of plants and air purification in 1989.  Researchers wanted to look at how plants could affect the indoor air quality of a space station and energy efficient buildings with little outside ventilation. According to NASA researcher Dr. Wolverton, indoor air pollution is one of the world’s greatest public health risks. The indoor environment is important since we spend about 80 to 90 percent of our time indoors. Plants found to be most beneficial for the indoor environment include the spider plant and gold pothos, and to a lesser degree the dracaena, philodendrom, ficus, English ivy, peace lily, Chinese evergreen, bamboo and reed palm. The Mother Nature Network website has the complete list of plants from the NASA study. 

Researchers are examining the relationship between a high concentration of VOCs and health problems such as dizziness, asthma, and allergies. The NASA study served as the basis for newer studies including a 2016 study out of the State University of New York where researchers looked at the efficiency and capability of five plants to absorb VOCs - the jade plant, spider plant, bromeliad, dracaena, and Caribbean tree cactus. The lead author, Vadoud Niri, notes that both new and old buildings can have high levels of VOCs. Niri and colleagues placed plants in air-tight chambers with specific concentrations of several types of VOCs. The purification of the air was measured over time and the best plant was Bromeliad plant which cleaned up to 80 percent of the air pollutants in six of the eight VOCs. You can watch a video by the American Chemical Society that describes this study.

Future research will look at ‘real-life’ scenarios instead of lab controlled conditions. While the Environmental Protection Agency reports that there is no clear evidence at this time regarding the number of houseplants needed to remove a significant level of pollutants, NASA suggests placing two or three plants in 8 to 10-inch pots for every 100 square feet for air purification purposes. The most benefit can be gained by having a variety of plants in a room. 

Other benefits of house plants: 
Lowering stress - a study in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that houseplants can decrease stress levels. 

Positively affecting mood - one study found higher concentration, job productivity and satisfaction in offices with plants when compared to offices without plants.  

Healing for surgery patients - research has found that the process of healing from surgery was improved with plants e.g., fewer painkillers, better physiological responses to tests, less anxiety and fatigue, as well as less time to heal. 

Negatives of houseplants: 

Fungi or bacteria in plants and the soil make them inappropriate in the environment of people with compromised immune systems.  

Plants may not be appropriate for people with allergies. The Berkeley Wellness Letter suggests removing an indoor plant to see if this affects your allergies. 

Pet danger - some plants are poisonous for pets (see the list on the Ontario SPCA website). Some common poisonous plants for pets include sago palms, tulips and azaleas. 

Future research 
Building on small-scale research, a large scale project is exploring the benefits of houseplants in the Netherlands and will be completed in December 2018. Called the Plants for a Good Interior Climate, the project is looking at the effects of ornamental plants on the health and well-being of people in office buildings and care institutions. The researchers are seeking to identify the plants that contribute to air quality, and the influence of the plants on the well-being and health of the building residents.

If you would like to know more about having houseplants in your home or office, check out this presentation by McGill University. To ensure success with plants, look for the right plant for the right spot. For example, the snake plant is a tried and true plant that can tolerate all levels of light and humidity. 

Source: Berkeley Wellness Letter website, David Suzuki Foundation website, Science Alert website, ABC News website, American Forests website, Phys Org website

 



 Miscellaneous
Maria's Sacred Sites of Ireland Tours

Copyright © 2004- 2011 OKinHealth.com. This article is of the copyright of OK in Health and the author; any reproduction, duplication and transmission of the article are to have prior written approval by OK in Health or the author.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
This information and research is intended to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All material in this article is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this newsletter / e-magazine / website. Readers should consult their doctor and other qualified health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided in this newsletter / e-magazine/website are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors. Readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions. OK in Health is not responsible for the information in these articles or for any content included in this article which is intended as a guide only and should not be used as a substitute to seeking professional advice from either your doctor or a registered specialist for yourself or anyone else.
Connect with Us
facebook    twitter

Ancient Ireland Tour 2023 with Nancy Rebecca and Maria O'Farrell Carr


Wellness Tip
Cranberry Juice
Compounds in cranberry juice are said to help prevent and relieve attacks of cystitis (bladder infections) by preventing bacteria attaching to cell in bladder walls and in the urinary tract. Look out for cranberry juice that has no added sugar and avoid the cranberry juice drinks, which are sweetened with sugar. A small glass of cranberry juice counts as one portion of the recommended 5 a day.


Ancient Ireland Tour 2023 with Nancy Rebecca and Maria O'Farrell Carr


Wellness Directory
BodyTalk with Bernice - Online Available Everywhere
Specialty: Body Talk
BodyTalk is consciousness based healing, unwinding life's conditioning and subconscious beliefs. BodyTalk enhances physical health by working directly with the body tissues as well.
View Details


Maria's Ireland Sacred Tours


Event
Circle Dance Ireland Tour - May 2023


Article
Gifts for the Gluten Free on Your List
It is the beginning of November and you probably don’t want to think about Christmas yet. However, you may have people on your list who are on a gluten free diet and the usual box of chocolates, Christmas cookies or cake, or restaurant gift card is not something you can give them this year. So what can you give to someone on a gluten free diet that they will really use and enjoy?
Full Article


Maria's Ireland Sacred Tours


Recipe
Herbed & Parmesan Asparagus Fries
Category: Side Dishes
Description: Asparagus: This member of the lily family is one of the most nutritionally dense vegetable in existence. I mere five-ounce serving provides 60% of the recommended daily allowance of folate, which is necessary for blood cell formation, liver health and pregnant woman.

The health benefits of Asparagus are Vitamin B9 (folate), Potassium, Vitamin C, A B6 and B1. It also contains amino acids and works as a natural diuretic.

If you have picky eaters in your home? What about turning these amazing super veggies into healthy fries...they may never know how good they are for them!
Full Recipe


Circle Dance Ireland Tour - May 2023