The Surprising Health Benefits Of House Plants

As people become more mindful of the items that they bring into their homes, many have adopted house plants as a way to keep their spirits high and their air quality even higher. But, beyond the aesthetically pleasing aspects of your sprouts, they can also do wonders for your mental health and ability to concentrate.

NBC News reports that having green stems flourishing in various rooms in your home can increase your productivity and concentration by up to 15 percent. So, when you're starting to lose steam around 2 p.m. during the workday, surrounding yourself with lush greenery may be the answer to staying alert and humming along. Indeed, Healthline also cites a study that compared a control group of students that had a fake plant in their classroom to those that had real stems and found higher levels of concentration in the second group. 

Keeping you alert and focused, your shrubs also impact the quality of the air you breathe throughout the day. As outdoor air quality continues to worsen, it's vital to ensure that your lungs get clean oxygen as frequently as possible. NBC explains that NASA reported an 87 percent decrease in air pollutants in just 24 hours. Since you're constantly interacting with the air molecules in your home, investing in a few plants for your space can impact your airways — fast. Healthline even notes that these plants aid in recovery from illness or surgery, perhaps due to their purifying side effects.

Choose your plants based on what you want

When it comes to which greenery to choose, opt for specific types to cleanse your air most effectively. For instance, Healthline suggests choosing plants such as a rubber tree, bamboo palms, a ficus plant or a spider tree if you're looking for a purifying but beautiful addition to your home. Check the care instructions for your specific plant, however, they vary in how much water and sunlight they need.

A likely result of the increased air quality, house plants also have the ability to counteract high levels of stress, the outlet reports. One study noted that participants who took part in an indoor gardening activity as opposed to a computer task had lowered stress responses, while the latter control group experienced higher blood pressure and increased heart rate. To help you drift off to sleep with these relaxing effects, choose options such as orchids, snake plants and succulents. These don't release the higher levels of carbon dioxide that most emit throughout the night hours after photosynthesis stops. That way, you'll have a higher level of oxygen to help you drift off with ease, according to NBC.

Of course, there's nothing quite like walking into a room filled with fresh plants and breathing in their pure oxygen. Healthline also notes that working with greenery has therapeutic benefits like reducing symptoms of depression, anxiety and dementia.

Head to your outdoor store, find a plant that looks like it fits your home and check the care instructions!