Houseplants top my list of all time favorite self care necessities. I grew up covered head to toe in dirt every summer after hours spent rolling around in the garden with my mother. Not much has changed. Of all the places in the world I have seen, there is nothing more beautiful than a Kentucky summer. And nothing more magical than watching meticulous efforts be brought to life in the garden.
It is no secret being in nature is good for your health. But what about those dreary months from November – March?
During the cold months of winter, people tend to bundle up, build a fire, and stay inside. Just as it should be. Days of hibernation are exactly what the human body craves when the thermostat read “16” and the sun says her sweet goodbye at 5PM. Even though this is the best time of year to snuggle up and hunker down, many of us are far too familiar with the anxiety and stale air of cabin fever.
There is no reason to sacrifice your sanity during hibernation season. With these indoor plants, you get the best of both worlds: the clean air and liveliness of summer next to a roaring fire. No hypothermia necessary.
No. 1: Lavender
This ranks the top of my personal list. With the maiden name Lavandula, everything about this flowering plant is feminine and alluring. Most people have interacted with lavender in some way, whether you have been handed a cool lavender towel at the end of a yoga class or come across her as an essential oil. But if you stop there you miss out on so much of what this plant has to offer.
Lavender is said to:
- Improve brain function
- Improve sleep (when kept in bedroom)
- Restore skin complexion and reduce acne (as an oil)
- Relieve pain
- Alleviate headaches
- Reduce anxiety and emotional stress
When I lived Paris, I discovered many French women keep lavender sachets in their intimates drawer. I highly suggest it. Not only does it create an air of romance, it provides a bouquet of divine scent every morning.
Active girl on the go? Toss a lavender sachet in your gym/yoga bag to keep things smelling fresh.
Best place to keep it: Your bedroom, drawers, gym bag.
No. 2 Peace Lilly
The Peace Lilly holds a special place on this list because it boasts NASA’s seal of approval. During their Clean Air Study in 1989, NASA listed this easy to care for greenery as one of the top 3 air purifying plants. If there is anyone’s opinion I trust about air quality, it’s NASA. The best results were found in Peace Lillies with a mature root system. So the longer you keep the plant, the higher quality air you will have in your home.
Benefits of Peace Lilly:
- Absorbs carbon monoxide
- The most efficient at removing airborne Volatile Organic Compounds, including formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene
- Delivers fresh oxygen
- Reduces fatigue and anxiety
Best place to keep it: In the Kitchen and laundry room where you use cleaners (laundry detergent, sprays, paint, etc.)
No. 3 English Ivy
Whether it curved up the brickw alls or rested atop the kitchen cabinets, English Ivy has, and will always have, a spot in every place I call home. Not only is this plant lush and beautiful, it is refreshingly low maintenance. In fact, there is an English Ivy in my current bathroom that hasn’t been watered in weeks. All it does is absorb the steam from my shower and voila. Happy, beautiful ivy.
English Ivy is said to:
- Reduce mold in the home
- Remove formaldehyde from the air / Enhance air quality
- Anti-inflammatory when applied directly to skin (check for allergies before trying!)
- Act as a natural expectorant – help to relieve congestion
- Boast high antioxidant activity (research still ongoing)
- Act as a natural air freshener
Where to keep it: Your bathroom. Ivy thrives in a humid environment and purifies the air to prevent mold. Ivy also pulls many toxins from non green beauty and cleaning products out of the air.
Added bonus: everything included in this list is easy to care for and adds to mental and physical health in your home. There is no reason to suffer through the cold months of winter. Bring a bit of the beauty and warmth of summer inside to keep your warm on those dreary days.
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Disclaimer: The Peace Lily and Boston Fern, as with many plants, should not be ingested by humans or animals. Doing so can cause skin irritation, stomach discomfort, and other minor side effects.