It's well known that getting out into nature can help with both our mental and physical health – the problem is that it's not always possible to go for a hike through the forest, especially following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Enter the humble houseplant. Not only are lavender, aloe vera and more plants great for brightening up your home, but they can also reduce anxiety, depression, stress and insomnia.
Specialists from Delamere Health explained: "Scientifically, evidence suggests working with nature reduces cortisol levels, a chemical our bodies produce in response to stress. While being outdoors is beneficial for stress, your indoor green oasis also provides relief from stressors caused by day-to-day life."
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So what houseplants are best for your mental wellbeing? In honour of Mental Health Awareness Week, from 10-16 May, we take a look at the top 8 plants to help relieve stress and anxiety, according to Delamere Health.
1. Peace Lily
NASA found a Peace Lily to be one of the most effective plants at filtering harmful toxins and pollutants from the air. Adding one to your home can reduce toxic household chemicals and eliminate mould spores, which can cause irritation of the eyes, throat and skin.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory and air purifying properties, which could reduce anxiety and stress. And did we mention how striking they look when displayed inside a home? It's a win-win situation if you ask us.
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2. Snake Plant
Snake Plants can help improve indoor air by absorbing airborne toxic pollutants that impact your sleep, mood and energy levels. And it's perfect for novice gardeners who worry about keeping their plants alive since it loves dry soil!
Lavender is in lots of products, from pillow sprays to bubble bath, so it's no wonder that the actual plant has similarly calming properties. The plant's fragrance is believed to help reduce stress, anxiety and possibly even mild pain.
Not just a cooking aid, rosemary can help lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in your blood. In fact, research suggests that the aroma of rosemary can improve cognitive function, which may help reduce anxiety.
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The scent of jasmine has therapeutic benefits that can be used as a medicinal alternative for depression, stress, anxiety and insomnia, according to studies.
7. English Ivy
English Ivy can remove harmful toxins from the air in your home, and is supposedly particularly useful for those suffering from allergies such as asthma. The air purifying properties also help promote a good night’s sleep.
Finally, Chrysanthemum improves air quality and research has shown that surrounding individuals with the flower can improve short term memory and overall mood.
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