I know we can all agree 2020 was a rollercoaster ride of a year. There were days anxiety pierced through my chest like spiked vines through concrete. There was, however, one pass time that kept me rooted, and that was the plants in my life.
I realized, when I looked at, touched or watered my plants, I began to feel relaxed. I also noticed when I cleaned and aerated the soil, I felt a smile form, and there were even times I’d hum a show tune.
I became mindful while interacting with my plants and observed the effect plants had on my mood. And sure enough, each time I felt anxious or overwhelmed, I would clean the soil or pick off dried leaves from my plants and feel a blanket of calm cover me. The mood changes sparked my curious brain to explore the effects of plants in our lives. Below is a practical list that will spark many aha moments as you read it.
5 Benefits of Plants:
1. Plants Create Natural Beauty
Living plants add beauty to any space; this is a no-brainer. Emphasis on living, dusty discoloured fake plants do nothing for me, and I’ve seen my fair share of plants that may have enjoyed a month or two in their new digs and seized to exist from too little or too much water. Plants are not just beautiful, but they add life to your space.
2. Plants Provide Oxygen
We’ve all learnt about the process of photosynthesis and plant respiration in elementary school. If you’ve forgotten those lessons, in a nutshell, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the environment. There’s not only elementary school science backing this claim but NASA too. Plants are living air purifiers.
3. Plants Add Humidity Indoors
If you have an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system or just a mechanical heater, you’ve more than likely experienced dry, itchy skin, dry eyes, nosebleeds and so on; because HVAC and heating systems dry out the air. Researchers found jade and spider plants added more humidity to rooms than other plants. Comfortable humidity levels in the home help with healthier skin, fewer colds, flu and allergies.
4. Some Plants Offer More than Just Good Looks
Herb gardens are perfect for food lovers who love to cook! Plants like rosemary, basil and mint are fragrant and will pep up any pot. Some herbs can ease aches and pains, like mint leaves in a cup of boiled water for stomach relief. There’s also the aloe plant, which I’ve used to soothe a sunburn in the past. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamins A and C as well as potassium. These plants are easy to grow and maintain, and you’ll have the benefit of using them.
5. Plants Help Improve Your Mental Wellbeing
Last and certainly not least, plants perk up your mental health. Two studies reflect on this topic. One was an in-patient mental health facility that used horticultural therapy to improve the mental well being of patients, and the other was the interaction with indoor plants to reduce stress in young adults. Results of both studies showed the beneficial impact of plants on the participants’ mental health and stress levels. As you’ve read, my mood also improved while working with my plants. Try it!
Give the gift of life this Holiday Season and gift yourself and your loved ones a plant. Remember to support your local nursery by Googling, “plants near me,” or if you’re shipping, use the shipping address to find nurseries in the area your shipping too.
Plants are magical; they heal us in so many ways.
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