For those of you that follow me on Instagram ( @ Lavenderandcobotanicals ) you may know that I am a huge plant lover, especially when it comes to indoor plants. The reason for this is not only because they look amazing and make great home decor, but also because they form part of my holistic lifestyle.
Fore me plants are a must have in our home. They make our space feel inviting, calm, serene and happy. I love using very neutral furniture and decor pieces for the most part ( if you’ve been to our house you’ll know everything is either white, black, grey or wooden ) so the plants also help to bring a bit of life into the space. I’m also someone that grew up with a super minimalist ( if you’ve been to my dads house you may of noticed he has intentionally omitted a dining room table. ) For the most part I follow suit - although I do have a dining table - but I don’t like to keep things in the home that don’t have a ‘use’. All my decor pieces are things I use; candles, essential oils, cushions, blankets, books, salt and pepper grinders, a mortar and pestle, smudging sticks etc.
Although my indoor plants don’t have a ‘use’ per say, they are something that one interacts with, they are tended to, watered, trimmed, fertilised, rearranged to ensure optimal sunshine positioning, and cleaned - almost like super low maintenance pets.. I love that they are living, breathing beings - much more than just a decor piece, they will grow or wither depending on all of the above plus, the words you speak to or around them. Apart from my own love of plants and then benefits I feel they provide, there are actually researched benefits, that house plants can provide you with.
One study showed that patients staying in hospital rooms that contained plants ( compared to the control room with no plants ) showed lower anxiety levels, and more positive thoughts ( 1 ) Personally speaking, as someone who has suffered from anxiety, depression and generally low moods I have definitely found both of these to be true!
They have also been shown to aid in both psychological and physiological stress when being actively interacted with ( 2 ) compared to ‘mental work’. This study found that plant interaction suppresses the activity of ones sympathetic nervous system ( your ‘fight or flight response’) , as well as diastolic blood pressure, and promotes comfortable, soothed and natural feelings. ( 2 )
Indoor plants have been found to have several benefits not only on our mental state, but also physiologically. The same study ( 1 ) found that hospitalised patients in the plant room experienced lower levels of pain, lowered systolic blood pressure and fatigue, compared to the control group.
There are also studies being conducted on indoor plants ability to clean the air from toxins and pollutants through stomatal uptake (absorption) and non-stomatal deposition (adsorption). ( 3 ) Currently further research needs to be done in this area as there are many confounding factors in the data; such as plant species, plant microbiomes, soil substrate characteristics plus loads more. ( 3 )
I think that like anything, the effects plants can have on us are completely individual - so if you think you might benefit from having an indoor plant, give them a try ! If you think this is not for you that’s also completely fine; as with everything I write about I’m just providing you with the information and tools for you to choose from - but for me plants are a must have in my holistic lifestyle.
I hope you enjoyed the first holistic home blog post, there will be many more to come as I am definitely a home body and find that my surroundings have a huge impact on my overall wellbeing. If there is anything in particular you would like to see next, leave a comment below.
( 1. ) Park, S., & Mattson, R. (2009). Ornamental Indoor Plants in Hospital Rooms Enhanced Health Outcomes of Patients Recovering from Surgery. The Journal Of Alternative And Complementary Medicine, 15(9), 975-980. doi: 10.1089/acm.2009.0075
( 2. ) Lee, M., Lee, J., Park, B., & Miyazaki, Y. (2015). Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study. Journal Of Physiological Anthropology, 34(1). doi: 10.1186/s40101-015-0060-8
( 3. ) Bringslimark, T., Hartig, T., & Patil, G. (2009). The psychological benefits of indoor plants: A critical review of the experimental literature. Journal Of Environmental Psychology, 29(4), 422-433. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvp.2009.05.001