Don’t Just Eat Your Greens… Sleep with Them

Heal at Home with the House Plants

On the colour spectrum, green sits midway between the warm stimulating colours like yellow, orange and red and the cool calmers; blue, indigo and violet.

It’s the colour of balance and healing.

It’s also a prevalent colour of nature.

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There are some places that make me feel really grounded.  They have a life force.  One is where I live. It’s ancient earth, flat and vast. Being out in this landscape gives me inner peace. Being in nature is good for us. It’s a chance to switch off the left side of our brain and go with the flow, experience the patterns and colours of the outside world.

 

 

Most of us struggle to get enough therapeutic nature time. We spend almost all our day indoors. I often rearrange interiors in my house for a fresh take, to change the energy, to see how else I can make it work, and just because I’m a bit of a Feng Shui girl. Until now though, I hadn’t thought much about changing the quality of the air.

 

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It turns out we can. With plants.

When it comes to fresh air, Feng Shui and NASA are on the same page!

You don’t need to be into Feng Shui to get this actually. The NASA Clean Air Study looked at toxins that share our homes, like formaldehyde (in particle woods, fabrics, glues), benzene (in plastics, synthetic fibers, lubricants, pesticides) and trichloroethylene (in carpet cleansers, adhesives) and how they impact on the incidence of allergy, inflammation and some cancers. It found that certain indoor plants are toxin removers.  Having these plants in our home can improve the quality of indoor air.

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We can change the air we breathe indoors.

When we create an ideal temperature inside, to keep out the heat and cold, we create an ideal environment for the buildup of carbon monoxide. Toxic chemical emissions are trapped by stale air. House plants change this by absorbing indoor air pollutants as they take in carbon dioxide, which they process into oxygen through photosynthesis.

Some plants are especially good natural air filterers.

Creating beautiful spaces to be in your home and furnishing with non toxic natural materials is mindful living. So is reducing harmful toxins in the air we breathe.

You’ll find lots of indoor healing plants to choose from in our list of resources below. Try David Wolfe’s bedroom soothers, like jasmine and lavender, for restfulness. Or go green with ferns, palms and other strong healers from allthingshealing.com.

Just a couple special plants can make a difference, and you’ll be breathing better.

Areca Palm

Also known as yellow palm or butterfly palm, the areca palm is among the best houseplants for removing all indoor air toxins tested. Best in direct, bright sunlight.

As far as indoor plants go, areca palms are typically sold clustered into smaller pots so they look almost like palm grass. They are not, unfortunately, the best palms to grow as houseplants, in part because they need fairly bright light and in part because they are especially sensitive to the build-up of fertilizer salts (have you flushed your pots lately?).

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Areca Palm, also known as Yellow Palm or butterfly palm

 

Bamboo Palm

Easy to care for, it pumps much needed moisture into the indoor atmosphere. This palm is also one of the top-rated plants tested for the removal of benzene, trichloroethylene and formaldehyde. Best in direct, bright sunlight.

Dracaena “Janet Craig”

Use it to remove trichloroethylene. It likes indirect, medium sunlight.

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English Ivy

Often used as ground cover or in atriums, make it work as topiary or a hanging basket.

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Ficus Alii

Its ability to help purify the air, ease of growth and resistance to insects make it an excellent choice for the home or office.

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Boston Fern

Ferns are probably one of the oldest groups of plant dating back to prehistoric times. The Boston Fern’s stiff fronds arch out, drooping downward as they age. As an indoor plant, it likes frequent misting and watering. Removes air pollutants, especially formaldehyde, and adds humidity to the indoor environment. Best in indirect, medium sunlight.

 

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

It possesses all the qualities to make it one of the best indoor plants. It excels in the removal of alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. Best in indirect, medium sunlight to low sunlight.

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Even if you have a small budget, just one houseplant, well loved, can make a difference. Just a little care for your plants, will bring a lot of care and benefit to your body and your environment.
Create a healing, calming sanctuary for yourself by bringing some of nature inside to nurture.

RESOURCES

ARTICLES

6 House Plants To Grow in Your bedroom That Can Dramatically Improve your Health, davidwolfe.com
Air-purifying House Plants For The Home, healing.about.com
Areca Palm – Growing Areca Palms Indoors, Houseplants.About.com
Plants & Feng Shui-How do plants improve your health and increase the flow of positive energy? atharmony.com.au
Ten House Plants to Heal Your Health And your Home, belmarrahealth.com
The Top 10 House Plants That Clean the Air, allthingshealing.com
Top 10 NASA Approved Houseplants for Improving Indoor Air Quality, diyncrafts.com
Growing Areca Palms Indoors, Houseplants.About.com