Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Healthy Living with Houseplants

Houseplants can help combat winter ills and ailments and make your home healthier. Not only do they have a good psychological effect on occupants, but also as natural humidifiers, they have other good effects in addition to generally making us feel more comfortable. So, as we turn up the heating to contend with the cold months of winter ahead and encourage the harmful effects of dry air such as blocked sinuses, do not despair, houseplants can help!

Up to 97 percent of the water you give a plant will be returned to the air, although some varieties are more suitable than others to improve humidity levels in centrally heated conditions.

The air always contains bacteria. Other ailments transmitted by air include eye and skin irritations, but perhaps worst of all are the nasty cold and 'flu viruses which are bountiful this time of year. Houseplants can help reduce these. As houseplants absorb toxins from the air - and also have a good psychological effect on occupants - minor ailments such as headaches, blocked noses and skin irritations are reduced substantially when interior landscaping is installed.

Dust is another potentially harmful everyday indoor substance, because it picks up harmful toxins, which we inhale. But again, plants can come to the rescue as they trap dust particles. Hairy and lipophile leaf surfaces attract the dust in the air directly and absorb the toxins that it contains.

Plants are natural humidifiers and air 'scrubbers' which, given the correct location, light and care, can be effective to create more healthy and comfortable environments.

In effect, plants can transform our interiors into healthier living spaces.

Epiphytic Bromeliads, orchids and succulents exchange Oxygen and Carbon Dioxide at night rather than as most other plants do during the daytime. This makes them perfect bedroom plants to refresh the air we breathe during sleep. Some water loving plants are Schefflera, bamboos and hemp. Ferns, rubber plants and Ivy are good all-rounders for removing toxins. They are good air cleaners for rooms with central heating.

-- Rob Amey

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