- Natural healers
The aloe vera plant has many healing benefits, including its ability to clean air.
The gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and is also very effective at soothing burns, including sunburn. The leaves of this super plant can also help to alleviate asthma symptoms by boiling the leaves in water and breathing in the vapour.
- Fresh air
NASA carried out a study called the Clean Air Study to determine which plants help to clean the air we breathe by eliminating harmful toxins. The spider plant is one of the plants on the list. It is one of the most popular and easiest to grow of house plants and will clean the air in your house of harmful toxins. These are all common volatile organic compounds that are emitted into the air in our homes by everyday items such as furniture, carpets and common household appliances.
- Breathe easy
The Snake plant is low maintenance and is one of the toughest of all house plants. It has stiff upright leaves and makes a great statement in any room.
As we all know, plants do the opposite of what we do when we breathe – they take in carbon dioxide and convert it to oxygen. Most plants do this during the day, but the snake plant is one of only a few plants that release oxygen into the air at night, making it the perfect plant to have in your bedroom as you sleep.
- Natural humidifiers
About 10 per cent of the moisture in the air we breathe is released by plants. Areca palm is a very popular household palm. This luscious palm releases moisture into a room, making it particularly welcome in dry winter months. Plants such as cacti and succulents, on the other hand, retain water and therefore release very little water into the air.
- Natural scents
Use fragrant plants such as dwarf kaffir lime trees to fill your home with a wonderful fresh smell instead of using artificial air fresheners. It’s a natural and chemical-free way to freshen your home, not to mention being handy for cooking.
- Less stress, more success
Studies have shown that having plants in your home, or even in your workplace, have a positive effect on the occupants, helping to reduce stress and fatigue and enhance productivity.
Place some house plants, particularly those with broad leaves, on your desk at work, in your home office and in any area of your home where children study or do their homework.
- Restful sleep
Getting the recommended seven to eight hours’ sleep per night can be difficult, especially when our minds are busy thinking about what happened during the day and everything we need to do tomorrow.
Studies have shown that the vapour from some plants, specifically lavender and jasmine can lead to a more restful sleep. Keep a lavender or jasmine plant by your bed.
- Improve your mental health
When you are feeling under the weather, nothing perks you up like the gift of a plant or colourful flowers. Plants help to increase our levels of positivity and make us feel more secure and relaxed. They can also help with loneliness and depression. Caring for a living thing gives us a purpose and is rewarding, especially when a plant you have been lovingly caring for bursts into bloom.
Photographer Warren Heath