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How Houseplants Are Good For Health

By Paul Rothbart

Most of us like pets. They are wonderful companions and benefit our health. But there are other living organisms that can share our homes and enhance our physical and mental health. Houseplants can brighten up a room. A little indoor greenery is a pleasant thing to look at. But there are more specific ways that plants benefit us. Here are some that research has discovered.

Improve Air Quality

Science has discovered a process called phytoremediation, whereby plants remove contaminants from the air. NASA came across this while attempting to find ways to improve the air quality in spacecraft. Some of the plants that are most effective at phytoremediation are Boston ferns, spider plants, and ficus. It does take a large number of plants to be truly effective, but having a solarium would provide a nice room with fresh air.

Boost Productivity

A number of studies have shown in the workplace increase creativity as well as productivity. Research done in a college computer lab in 1996 showed that students who worked around plants did so 12 percent faster and experienced less stress. People with plants in their workspace have been shown to take fewer sick days.

Recovery From Illness

Having plants to view can be helpful in healing from injuries or recovering from sickness. Research showed that people who were able to view plants while recovering from surgery in hospitals, had shorter stays and required fewer pain meds than those who had no plants. 

Reduce Stress

The Journal of Physiological Anthropology published a study that found having plants in the home can be soothing and make you feel more comfortable. The study showed lower stress rates in people who performed a gardening task as opposed to those who did one using a computer. Heart rate and blood pressure were lower in the plant group. 


Working with plants, watering, repotting, etc. and be helpful to those who suffer with mental illness. Horticultural therapy has been used for centuries. Research has been shown that people with depression, anxiety, and dementia, who worked with plants experienced feelings of well-being. Taking care of living things helps one get outside of oneself. 

Just having plants in the home and workplace has numerous benefits to mental and physical help. Caring for them and engaging in indoor gardening enhances those benefits. Put a plant or two in your favorite room. They're pretty good company and you don't have to walk them. 

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

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