Plants in the house help your health in many ways.

Growing plants from seed in your home can be a real help to your health and sanity.

So your stuck at home and getting stir crazy, maybe you feel more lethargic and sleepy and really don't want to do much. Maybe you are depressed and unhappy.

Plants can help. While they can't cure your ills and magically make things all better they can do a lot to help us feel better. How?

Plants use Carbon Dioxide as fuel to make food and building blocks so they can grow. People give off Carbon Dioxide (CO2) when they breath. Too much CO2 in the air makes us sleepy and lethargic we don't want to do as much. More Oxygen in the air makes us wake up and want to do stuff. Well plants just happen to give off Oxygen as a bi product of growing. So plants in the home increase the oxygen levels we want and decrease the Carbon Dioxide that we don't want!
Now of course you need to have a few plants to have any effect one cacti on the window ledge is not going to do much but a whole window full of plants will make a difference. A window full of plants in each room that gets enough light and were are really perking ourselves up.

Plants can reduce organic odors. This means cooking smells and other 'organic' odors that humans and animals produce. Organic compounds are used by plants to help them grow so they will take these from the air and use them thus reducing the odors. No it wont work like an air freshener in sucking up the odor immediately but it will remove it from the air a lot faster than if you did not have plants.

Plants WONT remove toxins from the air. If you have any kind of chemical smell, odor, poison, cancer causing substance then the plant wont touch it. The plant wants nothing to do with nasty compounds just like you don't. So don't buy plants expecting to have the suck up any toxins. For that you need a special machine. The flip side is because they don't suck up toxins you can eat them they are not contaminated.

If you want a natural air freshener then grow aromatic herbs. Then instead of using a chemical air freshener when you get a nasty smell in the house pick up the house plant and wave it around some to get the air flowing over the scent 'glands'. This will produce a lovely natural aroma in the house. No it wont eliminate the odor it will only mask it with its own scent, but so do a lot of chemical sprays and goodness knows what else is in those that might not be good for you. Growing rosemary is a great option and makes a wonderful house plant and air freshener that lasts for a long time.

A lot of research has been done on the calming effect that plants have on the human mind. We tend to relax and feel calmer when there are plants around. This is one of the reasons that forest bathing is so popular in Japan. While you may not be able to go bath in a forest having a group of plants in your home that you can tend and look at every day can help to make you feel calmer and more relaxed. The Color green also helps it relaxes he human eye which is why a lot of blackboard are not black any more but green.

The right aromatic herbs in the home can also help with relaxation. There is a whole field of alternative medicine called aromatherapy which is built around our ability to smell and how we associate smells with memory. A smell can help you to relax very well which is why lavender is used to often to calm people and help them sleep. There are many other aromatic herbs that can help to enliven or stimulate the body. Growing such aromatic plants in the home ensures you have easy fast access to whatever aroma you want just by brushing a leaf.

A great many herbs also have strong medicinal properties. Plants after all are where almost all of our medicines originally came from before they were synthesized in the laboratory. Even today most pharmaceutical compounds are found in plants isolated and synthesized into drugs. So using the plant it came from originally can be highly beneficial. You can grow these herbs on your window ledge or in your garden and while you may not be growing the cure for tough diseases you can fix indigestion, stomach upsets, ear ache, stings, cuts, scrapes, tend wounds and many other lesser health issues all from your own garden or window ledge.

So consider growing plants indoors in your home. It's a win win for you and the plants.

Never grown plants or started seeds before never fear You Got This! Go get started.

Janice Hazeldine PhD is the owner and head grower of Floral Encounters an organic Medicinal Herb farm that is also a designated sanctuary for pollinators.