Growing urbanisation and declining greenery has led to an increase in pollution levels. In today’s hyperactive scenario, the need for greenery and healthy living is becoming increasingly important.
Many people are least aware of air pollution inside the house which sometimes may be higher than the pollutants outside. Many of us must have experienced some kind of foul or musty odour when we enter a book store, apartments, old houses and offices. These are caused by VOCs or volatile organic compounds trapped in the air inside ill-ventilated spaces. The most common air pollutants are formaldehyde, benzene and carbon monoxide. It can lead to several disorders such as asthma, allergies and even auto-immune diseases.
One of the best ways to tackle this is to go natural and welcome nature into one’s home, bond with its elements as intended and bring a fundamental change in how we lead our everyday lives. Indoor plants go far beyond mere aesthetics and facilitate in absorbing such pollutants, thereby keeping the internal environment healthy, fresh and clean. Organically grown indoor plants are therapeutic and can be placed at appropriate places in and around the home, bringing in prosperity, health, happiness, good luck and also guard against negative energies.
So let’s take a look at some of the best DIY (do-it-yourself) ideas and maintain the balance and well-being in our lives.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
The lavender plant is well known for its sweet floral fragrance and produces small bluish-purple flowers. It’s an excellent remedy for those suffering from insomnia and other sleep disorders. Lavender can also be helpful with its unique properties to soothe and exfoliate. Place full grown lavender plants on window sills in your bedroom and make sure it receives enough sunlight and water.
The Lucky Bamboo (Bambusoideae) A member of the lily family, it is known as Dracaena sanderiana. It is a great fit for dim rooms and a beacon of positive energy. The smell of bamboo is also one of the most natural and healthy secrets. Keeping raw bamboo plants in and around the home, not only allows its fragrance to spread indoors but it also decreases the chances of people getting rheumatic arthritis and heart diseases. Bamboo shoots can also be eaten as they are low in calories, high in dietary fibre and potassium.
Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
Basil is the most auspicious plant and can be kept at the entrance of homes, in balconies and terraces. It plays a significant role in activating positive energy into our daily life and the best directions to place them are north and northeast sides of the home.
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
This plant, with its glossy green spiked leaves is low maintenance and can add a delicate touch to any room. It can be kept in humid areas like toilets and laundryrooms. You can also keep them near electronic devices as it can absorb the toxins emitted through the waves. They can be placed in foyers and long corridors to facilitate the moving of fresh air as positive chi could be blocked in these areas. It sucks the impure air into its leaves and transfers to the root zone where microbes break it down.
Miniature Zen Garden
You can easily create or add a small miniature Zen garden and place it on a ledge or a sill at home. Plant bonsai, money plants or rose in it and watch them grow. They help cool the air around them through the process of evapotranspiration, and reduce temperature in Summers.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria)
Known as a carefree plant, the Snake Plant, bold with thick beautiful green leaves, grows in different types of terrain. For those rooms that have limited light, the plant can be kept in dark corners of homes to purify the air around. The leaves have a sculptural appearance, are of lovely green colour and is easy to maintain. It’s a great option for placing in the bedroom as it can absorb the carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night and help even improve sleep patterns.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
The Spider Plant has long grass like leaves, thereby earning its name, and tiny white flowers. A popular house plant, it can easily thrive in low light conditions. It is perfect for planting in pots hung from a height. It removes harmful chemicals from the air rapidly and provides oxygen. It can ideally be placed in bedrooms, toilets and living rooms. The tough plant is available in green or variegated varieties.
Golden Pothos (Epipremnum aureum)
Another very power-packed indoor plant for tackling the atmospheric pollutants, Golden Pothos can be considered for the garage since car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde. The plant stays healthy even when kept in closed interiors and is easy to maintain.
Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
An excellent plant to keep indoors, the Weeping Fig doesn’t shed its leaves often and can survive for a long period of time. Although it requires a lot of sunshine and water, the plant releases over 40% oxygen into the atmosphere.
Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)
Aloe Vera comes in many different shapes and sizes and is a great indoor plant for nursing a wide range of diseases and ailments such as rashes, burns and sunburn. Its firm, fleshy, grey-green leaves help clear formaldehyde and benzene from the interiors of the home. Aloe is a smart choice for the kitchen window and is a low maintenance house plant.
African Violet (Saintpaulia)
This is indeed a beautiful plant with small purple flowers that can brighten up any space within the home. The plants are small and easy to take care. It can be placed in an area that has ample indirect sunlight, although it grows well in artificial light as well.
English Ivy (Hedera helix)
The leaves of English Ivy are fascinating, and in olden days, were often used in the king’s crown. It’s a good trailing house plant and if your house suffers from low humidity and stale air, it can detox the atmosphere. It’s a perfect fit for the hallway or the spare rooms or even large windows to cover up the space with its magnificent green leaves.
The Jade (Crassula argentea)
This plant has beautiful oval-shaped fleshy green leaves and is popularly known as the money tree (or lucky tree) and is easy to grow indoors. It can be kept in the south-east corner of the living room or the workstation as it is a symbol of good luck, wealth and status. In China, these plants are kept at the entrance to attract positive chi into homes and establishments. During the festive season, jade plants are beautifully decorated and kept near the Christmas tree to bring good fortunes for the new year.
Words: Bhuvana Shridhar