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Why You Need an Indoor Houseplant Friend

By Chris Brown

I don't know a room where a houseplant doesn't improve its general ambiance. Some, like my cousin, take their fondness for indoor plants arguably too far, condensing limited shelf space near-weekly with newly adopted potted greens and flowers. Studies going back to the mid-20th century have revealed good news for anyone as houseplant-obsessed as my cousin. In a new book on the power of houseplants, titled My Houseplant Changed My Life, David Domoney explores 50 of the most life-boosting benefits of houseplants, though maybe only three big reasons are required to introduce a few more small plant friends into your home.

Houseplants Clean Your Home's Air

Based upon a 1980s NASA study, houseplants have the ability of phytoremediation (cleaning the air of contaminants). While modern biofilters more efficiently purify the air, houseplants can clean out airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from enclosed environments. VOCs are harmful compounds, such as formaldehyde and benzene, that can enter indoor air supply and cause cancer or lung diseases. Houseplants also marginally add to the oxygen content of rooms. So load up on those leafy-green natural biofilters, especially ferns and ficus trees, to breathe freshly indoors.

Houseplants Make You Happier

The psychological effects of houseplants have led some UK medical clinics to prescribe potted plants to depressed patients. Both the sight of nature and the task of caring for potted plants has been shown to decrease stress and increase well-being in humans. Indoor gardening reduced the stress response (blood pressure and heart rate) of participants in a Journal of Physiological Anthropology study. Plants' success with mental health have even pushed scientists to experiment further with living plants in patient recovery. While the wide-ranging individuality of the medically infirmed makes conclusive results difficult, there are subjective accounts of improved recovery plant-filled rooms. Regardless, it is clear that a plant friend provides a calming and healing influence that won't judge if you overdo it on the late-night sweets.

Houseplants Improve Your Performance

Similarly, houseplants have been found to improve performance and sharpen attention. Many scientific studies have investigated plant's impacts upon work habits and discovered that a single nearby plant can have immediate, dramatic effects upon office performance. A particular study from 1996 found that computer lab students worked 12 percent faster when plants were nearby. The results were reinforced in 2004, when another study found improved creative word associations when accompanied in the room by a plant.

Improve the effectiveness of your helpful house plants with a visit to The Joint Chiropractic. Chiropractic is excellent at improving mood and clearing one's breath. The Joint offers walk-in sessions for affordable, insurance-free, rates.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Douglasville, Ga.

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