The lifestyle of today’s society can be highly stressful. While it varies from person to person and from one type of activity to another, we spend hours and hours in situations that demand us to be attentive, proactive, efficient and constantly on the move, many of them in closed and limited spaces. But there are different elements that can help to better manage stress, while purifying the environment and relaxing us.

Space arrangement, colours, decoration… everything has an influence, whether we are at home after a hard day or working at the office. One of these elements can be found in the indoor plants, which can have interesting properties. Therefore in this article you can find the best houseplants according to environmental psychology .

Houseplants: Those Little Strangers

Most people buy houseplants because they are aesthetically pleasing or because they like to take care of them and watch them grow. In some cases, it is also argued that it is good to have plants in the house because they absorb carbon dioxide from the environment while releasing oxygen.

However, it may be a little more unknown that being surrounded by plants has a number of benefits, causing positive effects on people both physically and mentally.

In fact, it has been proven that something as simple as going for a walk in areas with abundant vegetation reduces stress levels more than walks in other types of natural environments. On the other hand, students who attend schools surrounded by forests perform better in their studies. The beneficial effect of plants is discreet, but it is there. And we can count on it to create spaces in our homes .

Effects on the environment

To begin with, as we have seen before, plants absorb carbon dioxide, helping to purify the environment. And not only carbon dioxide, since depending on which species can act as a filter for other substances harmful to health , such as fumes from pollution or even harmful substances present in products such as paints and solvents.

In addition, they release oxygen and water vapour, so that they maintain a constant level of environmental humidity. They also help to form a barrier against sound and noise from outside, which is very useful for having spaces in which to disconnect.

Physiological effects

On a physiological level it has been shown that they help to reduce blood pressure, and that by purifying the environment the quality of the air we breathe is better. And, by producing a certain level of moisture, the skin is more hydrated.

Psychological effects

On a psychological level, it has also been shown that plants have important effects on stress management, causing a reduction in discomfort and distress. By reducing stress, the level of concentration can be increased , thus improving productivity and the level of satisfaction in the workplace. An increased sense of well-being has also been reported, improving general mood.

18 indoor plants that filter the environment and help to relax

Below we present 18 houseplants with proven usefulness in purifying the environment while relieving stress.

Some of them have been collected from reports made by NASA after various analyses of their ability to purify the air, while others are frequently used in aromatherapy.

1. Ficus

The ficus is one of the most common indoor plants and is commonly found in homes and establishments. There is a wide variety of ficus species, not all of which are houseplants.

Among those that are , the ficus benjamina and the gum tree stand out. The ficus absorbs formaldehyde and methanol, but it must be taken into account that the leaves of some variants can be toxic, so it is necessary to be vigilant in the presence of children and pets.

2. Peace lily

This plant is one of the few air-purifying plants that produce flowers. However, it is toxic if ingested, so should not be left within reach of very small pets or children . This plant helps to eliminate mould spores, as well as formaldehyde and trichloroethylene particles. It is usually used in bathrooms.

3. Dracena

This is a plant that is already used regularly in the offices of different companies. This small plant is useful because it is able to filter the air, absorbing chemicals and harmful elements such as smoke.

Particularly recommended in freshly painted or renovated areas, as they absorb xylene and formaldehyde particularly well and even some varnish and solvent components.

4. Love Ties/Mother Ties

This indoor plant is very useful to eliminate the substances produced by the appliances that work with gas, having also the advantage that it does not need great care.

5. Chrysanthemum

These colourful plants help to absorb benzene and ammonia from the air , as well as being aesthetically pleasing and inducing a feeling of well-being. They are useful in places where cleaning products are frequently used or where animals defecate.

6. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant that has been well known since ancient times. It was used as a highly effective medicinal element, especially in the presence of wounds.

Today its medicinal use continues , in addition to being included in hygiene and self-care products. In its natural state this plant shows a great capacity to increase the amount of oxygen in the environment, so it is a good idea to have it.

7. Tiger tongue

This plant absorbs chemical components such as methanol and nitrogen oxide, which is very useful to prevent toxins from personal hygiene and cleaning products from reaching us.

8. Orchid

There are numerous species of orchid, not all of which are suitable for indoor use. Orchids are one of the few plants that release oxygen at night , so they can be suitable for resting places such as a bedroom. They also contribute to the elimination of xylene.

9. Marguerite

Another air-purifying flowering plant, the daisy is capable (especially the gerbera daisy) of absorbing trichloroethylene and benzene. Useful in places where there is often smoke, ink, or paint.

10. Common ivy

Ivy is a plant that contributes to the elimination of various chemical components, being especially effective in removing mold particles. That is why are sometimes seen near kitchens, dining rooms and bathrooms . Various researches show that this plant helps to improve the symptoms of asthma and allergies.

11. Fern

Along with the ficus, one of the most well-known houseplants. This plant helps to remove particles of formaldehyde, xylene and benzene and also raises the level of humidity in the environment. Useful for people with asthma and other respiratory problems .

12. Areca Palma

Lush and requiring little care, this plant helps to eliminate formaldehyde, benzene and carbon dioxide.

13. Potos

Carbon monoxide and formaldehyde are two of the substances that help eliminate this plant, being very useful in places with elements that work with gas, like in the kitchen.

14. Chinese palm

The Chinese palm is another houseplant that absorbs a lot of benzene and formaldehyde.

15. Lavender

This plant and the fragrance it gives off have relaxing properties that help reduce stress, slowing down the heart rate and blood pressure.

16. Gardenia

Plant with great relaxing properties, it is sometimes placed in bedrooms because of its great effect in relieving anxiety and relaxing both body and mind

17. Philodendron

This plant can be toxic if ingested. However, it is capable of helping to remove some chemicals such as volatile traces of elements such as glues and cleaning products.

18. Jasmine

The aroma that this flower emits has relaxing and calming properties, helping to reduce the level of tension and anxiety.