Updated: Feb 11
Reduce anxiety and control stress levels by living a plant-iful lifestyle.
Hi there. Are you stressed out? Worried about the future? Frustrated with your spouse? Irritated with your children? Join the club. Maybe you’re tired, nervous, over-worked, under-appreciated, tense all the time… Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone… While this may sound like the beginning of every late night self-help infomercial known to man, chances are that many of you, reading this, fit into one or more of those categories.
With a vast majority of Americans spending their time in the not so great indoors, be this due to long working hours or adverse weather conditions or Netflix, poor air quality is bound to affect your health. In fact, the toxins found inside most buildings can be down right detrimental to our persons, causing allergies, asthma, inflammation, anxiety, stress and even certain types of cancer. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to improve your indoor health, one of which includes bringing the benefits of the outside in. By now, we should all know the positive reasons for maintaining a balanced and plant rich diet but did you know how helpful just hanging around a few smart foliage choices could be? No? Well, keep reading…
Perhaps the all around champion of “good for you” plants, aloe vera is a succulent species that’s been lending a helping hand since the beginning of the first century AD. Renowned for soothing scars, inflammation and sunburned skin, aloe vera is said to be among the most powerful plant air purifiers in the world. Aside from lowering carbon dioxide levels at night, it also helps to remove harmful chemicals such as xylene from your environment. Foods and beverages comprised of aloe vera can fabulously cleanse and detoxify the system. It can eliminate the problem of nutritional deficiency in the body and has a very soothing effect on the mind and body to treat stress and depression.
With its name deriving from the Greek words “golden flower”, the Chrysanthemum is solid gold in our book! In addition to its air purifying properties, this brightly-hued flowering species boasts a number of medicinal benefits and is often used to treat high blood pressure, chest pain, fevers, type 2 diabetes, colds, headaches, swelling and dizziness. In Southern China, Chrysanthemum tea is found to reduce the symptoms of anxiety by relaxing the nervous system and when combined with other herbs, has proven to be an effective treatment for prostate cancer.
Native to Western Asia and Europe, English Ivy is a species of flowering plant great for those who wish to calm their allergies, particularly if they suffer from asthma. Able to lower airborne mold by 94% in as little as 12 hours, it’s no surprise that NASA named it the number one best air filtering houseplant. Cleaner air means better breathing and improved sleep conditions which means happier days and a healthier life, in general! But a word of warning: English ivy is extremely, extremely invasive in non-native environments. It makes a great houseplant and it’s seriously easy to grow, but keep it indoors in a pot if it doesn’t grow as a native plant in your area… Or you may be sorry…
With the sweet and intoxicating scent both pleasurable to our senses and beneficial to our sleep cycle, jasmine is who you should be taking to bed, every evening. Studies have shown that when surrounded by it, you’ll feel less anxious and more at peace during the night, which will result in waking up rested and alert. Sleep plays such an important role in our physical and mental well-being, with lack of quality shut eye leading to trouble making decisions, controlling your emotions, solving problems and coping with change.While typically found growing in partial shade, outside, the flowering shrub can thrive and after hearing those benefits, SHOULD thrive, indoors.
Lavender comes from the mint family and is most commonly used as an essential oil. But growing a small pot in your home will still provide you with many of its benefits, in addition to enjoying its pleasant purple pallor. So much more than just a beautiful scent, lavender is proven to lower stress and anxiety levels due to natural organic compounds in its leaves and flowers . It can also improve your sleep, lower your heart rate, heal your wounds, reduce your inflammation and calm your agitated baby. We’d say that’s super plant status!
Not only stunning in name, but beautiful in nature – the Peace Lily makes a gorgeous floral addition to any space. Renowned for removing harmful toxins from the air: everything from ammonia and formaldehyde, to benzene and richloroethylene, they are also known to keep dry environments more moist, perfect for upping humidity levels if need be. By just being present in your home, the peace lily helps to prevent asthma, headaches, chronic illness, cancers and more. Talk about serenity now…
Make way for the king of the spice rack! A perennial woody evergreen herb native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary was considered to be sacred by ancient Romans, Greeks, Egyptians and Hebrews. One of the earliest documented uses of rosemary for health reasons was as a cognitive stimulant, helping to aid in memory performance and quality. It is also known to boost alertness, intelligence, and focus. The aroma of fresh rosemary alone has been linked to improving mood and clearing the mind. Creating a calming effect on those who suffer from chronic anxiety and depression, it reduces salivary cortisol levels (the stress hormone), which helps ease tension in the body.
Also known as the ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’, the snake plant has been proven to be one of the most effective toxin removing plants on the planet. During their studies, NASA sealed a single snake plant in an enclosed chamber for 24 hours, whilst releasing a number of toxic gases. Results showed benzene levels were reduced by 53% and trichloroethylene by 13.4%. For those of you not familiar with these nasty substances, symptoms of short term exposure to either can include irritation to eyes, drowsiness, dizziness, increase in heart rate, headaches, confusion, nausea and in some cases unconsciousness and coma. No thanks! Another virtue of the snake plant is its ability to convert a lot of CO2 (carbon dioxide) to O2 (oxygen) at night, aiding in your sleep quality. It really is the plant that keeps on giving!
In a world so focused on miracle pills and magic snake oils, plants are often overlooked as remedies to many health issues, with stress and anxiety at the top of the list. So, do yourself a favor and get outside… Better yet, find a way to bring the outdoors in. They don’t call neat-ure for nothin’!
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In combination, our efforts have earned us 45 years worth of awards on both a regional and national level, including the Grand Award for Color Design from the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. Contact us today at 303.584.0496 for a free consultation and estimate for your next landscape design project.