A human being on an average spends a large part of his/her day indoors or within an enclosed space, whether at home or at work. Moreover, in recent times, we have seen that a person’s workspace too has been enclosed within the home itself. So, in such a scenario, the best recourse in order to be in touch with nature is to simply bring the outside…inside our homes! It is true that the quality that the free expanse of the outdoors offer may not match upto that of an indoor green space. But the benefits of indoor gardens make up for quality, if not for size or expanse.
So, let us discuss a few of the numerous benefits that indoor plants offer:
1) Plants improve air quality
In big cities, we hardly get the luxury of breathing fresh unadulterated air. So, what is the next best option? Get a houseplant! Our homes too contain several harmful things that create air pollution such as cleaning products, mould, mildew, paints as well as cancer causing chemicals such as formaldehyde and benzene. The best natural air purifiers, plants, absorb these harmful toxins present in air and make it healthier for us to breathe. Micro- organisms present in soil cleanse the air too. NASA recommends several houseplants such as Peace Lily, Areca Palm, Pothos, Rubber plant among numerous others that are efficient air purifiers. The bigger the leaves of the plants, better is the air-purifying ability too.
2) Help you work better
Tired of looking into the screen all day? Creativity and productivity output not up to the mark? Place a plant on your worktop or in the room and get re-energised by its presence. Studies have shown plants can actually increase productivity, improve a person’s creative output and problem-solving ability to a large extent as well as boost concentration and enhance memory retention. Also, it has been found that work performed amongst the presence of plants is more accurate and of a higher quality too in comparison to that done in an environment without plants.
3) Help you relax and sleep well
Adequate sleep is the most important factor required by everyone in order to function better in all ways. Plants with their lush colours, subtle scents and their ability to give out oxygen help you to breathe better and therefore sleep better.
4) Relieves stress and anxiety
Studies prove that looking after plants and even touching and feeling the textures of different leaves of plants has a positive effect on a person’s stress levels and can reduce anxiety. Plants have natural healing abilities and just being around them for even a small part of the day goes a long way in improving mental wellness.
5) Natural humidifiers
The process through which plants release moisture from their leaves is called transpiration. This automatically regulates the indoor air humidity especially in the dry season during winter. Writer and Botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer who is an avid gardener herself, has described this special relation or connection with plants beautifully. She says “In some native languages, the term for plants translates to 'those who take care of us’.”
So, here’s some food for thought - do we take care of plants? Or do they actually take care of us? Or is it a bit of both? A little bit of a symbiotic relationship, perhaps? That’s for each one of us to decide.
However, one thing is definitely true is that plants do make us happier and healthier versions of ourselves!