Fact: Plants work wonders at sprucing up a decor scheme. But did you know that some can literally make you feel better, too? No for real—it’s backed by science. We consulted the new book Houseplants for a Healthy Home for ten beautiful, living, breathing houseplants...that also have surprising health benefits.
10 Houseplants With Health Benefits
With their soothingly intoxicating scent, jasmine blossoms can help to ease anxiety and depression, and even act as an aphrodisiac. Hubba hubba.
This aromatherapy favorite boasts dozens of health-promoting compounds—including the ability to ease respiratory conditions, promote healthy skin and reduce the risk of bacterial infections.
3. Selloum Philodendron
These giant, glossy leaves act as a vacuum, sucking pollutants from the air and increasing a room’s oxygen levels. Researchers at Colorado State University and University of Florida found them to be particularly effective at removing the nasty toxin formaldehyde.
4. South African Geranium
Who knew? Granny’s porch-front favorite packs some serious health benefits. Oils from this pretty, flowering plant can be used to treat respiratory conditions and promote gastrointestinal health, as well as soothe and relax.
5. Neem Tree
Sure, sure, she’s pretty to look at. But neem leaves have also been a key ingredient in Ayurvedic medical systems for centuries. Steep its leaves in water to make a simple tea that relieves itchy eyes, fights inflammation and promotes oral hygiene to boot.
This magical herb has been beloved for its health benefits since ancient Roman times, when it was used as a disinfectant, deodorant and stomachache remedy. Add it to your windowsill and let the soothing scent ease your tension and stress.
Nicknamed “heal all” during the Middle Ages, the pretty valerian plant both reduces stress and promotes sleep. In one recent study, its root extract was even shown to reduce PMS symptoms. Intriguing…
This gorgeous orchid is a huge pick-me-up on visual impact alone. But it’s also been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine (certain leaves can be used to make teas that boost the immune system, promote weight loss and more).
9. Bamboo Plant
This perky plant is super effective at removing toxins like trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde (which are found in common household cleaning products). It also ups the humidity in a space, creating better breathing conditions.
10. Goethe Plant
We adore this compact perennial succulent for its bell-shaped flowers. But how cool is it that its extracts double as a sleep aid and anxiety reducer?