Crave Magazine

House plants that relieve stress – useful info

Indoor plants have proven to help your immune system, boost productivity and have a positive influence on your mental health.

In fact, research has shown that bringing plants into your home environment can help reduce stress and improve blood pressure and heart rate. 

But which plants are the best at relieving symptoms of stress and anxiety? We’ve asked a team of specialists from Delamere Health in the North West to share their top 10 list of plants with extra benefits. 

House plants that relieve stress – Peace Lily 

NASA found a Peace Lily to be one of the most effective plants at filtering harmful toxins and pollutants from the air. One of the main benefits it provides to human health is by combating toxic household chemicals, including benzene, xylene and carbon monoxide. 

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing in your living space, the Peace Lily also helps eliminate the mould spores in the air. Therefore, it will help to reduce symptoms associated with mould exposure, including eye irritation, coughing, sneezing, throat irritation and skin irritation. 

House plants that relieve stress – Aloe Vera 

Aloe Vera is commonly recognised for its anti-inflammatory elements, used for healing wounds and skin ailments, such as sunburn, acne and eczema. But the plant’s air purifying and low maintenance properties make it the ideal home addition. 

Research into the behaviour of nurses found that exposure to pollution raises the risk of anxiety symptoms, including fearfulness, desire for avoidance and tendency to worry. The Aloe Vera plant also removes harmful chemicals from the air that can impact our respiratory system and trigger feelings of stress and unease. 

House plants that relieve stress – Snake Plant 

Snake Plants, in addition to adding a beautiful touch of green to your home, can help improve indoor air by absorbing airborne toxic pollutants, such as formaldehyde and toluene that impact your sleep, mood and energy levels. 

With its preference for dry soil, the Snake Plant would be the perfect indoor decor option for any novice gardeners who want a plant that looks nice in their home and has a positive influence on their mental health at the same time. 

House plants that relieve stress – Lavender 

The calming scent of lavender makes it a  perfect aromatherapy accompaniment. The fragrance from the plant is believed to promote a sense of calmness and tranquillity, with properties helping to reduce stress, anxiety and possibly even mild pain. 

In fact, research into the behaviour of dental patients revealed that the lavender scent significantly reduces the anxiety levels of participants with phobias. The aroma of the plant created a natural sense of calm for patients waiting for treatment. 

House plants that relieve stress – Rosemary

You might think of rosemary as an outdoor herb that exists purely to add flavour to your food. But when you keep rosemary indoors, it can help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood. In fact, research confirms that the aroma of rosemary can improve cognitive function, which may help reduce anxiety symptoms. 

House plants that relieve stress – Jasmine 

Jasmine has been found to improve brain activity, induce sleep and help alleviate mental illness symptoms. Studies have concluded that the plant’s scent has therapeutic benefits that can be used as a medicinal alternative for depression, stress, anxiety and insomnia. 

The scent from the Jasmine plant directly impacts the brain’s central nervous system chemical known as GABA, which results in calming of the nerves, reducing anxiety and mild depression, and improving the quality of sleep in individuals. 

House plants that relieve stress – English Ivy 

English Ivy is known for being easy to care for but is also a powerhouse for removing harmful toxins from the air in your home. This plant is particularly beneficial for anyone with green thumbs looking to calm their allergies, particularly those suffering from asthma. 

The English Ivy’s air purifying properties lower airborne mould from the home, and remove formaldehyde from the air, which helps to promote a good night’s sleep. Research by the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology revealed that the plant removes 94% of airborne faeces and 78% of airborne mould in just 12 hours. 

House plants that relieve stress – Chrysanthemum 

Chrysanthemum does more than just brighten your space. The plant’s properties can have a positive influence on your mood and mental wellbeing. 

Like other flowers, the Chrysanthemum improves air quality, reducing ammonia, toluene, and formaldehyde. Research has shown that surrounding individuals with the flower can improve short term memory and overall mood. 

Why are houseplants good for our mental health? 

We asked the specialists from Delamere Health to share why houseplants and gardening can reduce anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia. 

“Tapping into your creative energy can reduce anxiety, depression, stress and improve your overall mental and physical health. The average person has over 6,000 thoughts per day, a creative activity such as gardening can help focus the mind by calming the brain and body. 

Creativity goes beyond making you happy in the present. It also is an effective way to reduce the symptoms of dementia, improves memory and cognitive abilities. Your memory begins to improve when you become more imaginative, so get creative with your indoor garden displays by adding colour, texture and decorative features.” 

“Scientifically, evidence suggests working with nature reduces cortisol levels, a chemical our bodies produce in response to stress. While being outdoors is beneficial for stress, your indoor green oasis also provides relief from stressors caused by day-to-day life.” 

“Excessive screen time increases the risk of diseases such as obesity, diabetes and sleep problems. Cutting back the amount of time spent in front of a screen and substituting it with an activity such as gardening can help to improve your overall health and wellbeing.”

“Designing a garden, planting seeds and watching plants grow can give people a sense of purpose. For example, you can choose how you want to arrange your flower display, or which vegetables to plant or how big they will grow. 

Gardening is also a great way to teach children about responsibility. Families can learn together to take care of their seeds for them to grow. Children can develop a sense of mindfulness, learning how respect for your environment and plants is important.” 

“Gardening helps individuals develop a ‘growth mindset’, which is the simple belief that our basic abilities can be developed and improved through dedication and hard work. Having a growth mindset can be beneficial to our lives, as you begin to enjoy challenges, despite anxiety and nervousness. This is typical because we value growth and learning.” 

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