The Benefits of Houseplants

Guest Post by Fiona Wray, a Colchester based homeopath and co-owner of Rather Lovely Organic Skincare and Natural Home Fragrancing.


People of a certain age (well those over 50, so that’s us) according to a recent article in the national press, can apparently teach the younger generation a thing or two. Not about about Facebook or Twitter or Instagram obviously, but about houseplants – the latest craze amongst Generation Rent.

I don’t know about you but I was bought up with houseplants. Cut flowers, unless they came from the garden, were rarely in evidence and since buying my first home 32 years ago I’ve always made sure to have at least one plant in every room. Instinctively it just felt good. There are some plants that I’ve had for such a long time that I practically count them as one of the family and I wouldn’t be without the aloe vera plant an aunt gave me almost 20 years ago which sits on the kitchen windowsill and is such an effective treatment for minor burns.

With rising house prices causing an increase in rentals it seems that houseplants have become the trendy way for tenants to make their mark on a property. But apart from their good looks and in many cases, structural beauty, evidence shows that houseplants can positively impact on our health. They purify our living environments by removing harmful gases released by commercial fragrance products such as air freshener sprays, plug-ins, reed diffusers and scented candles, and help reduce the negative impact of radiation from the myriad devices that we all now rely upon.

As a practicing homoeopath I advise any clients suffering with allergies, asthma and other respiratory complaints, sleep disturbances, headaches and migraine, and depression, to remove all chemical fragrance products from their homes and cars. This simple measure is often enough in itself to lead to positive changes in their symptoms but if they also add house plants into the equation, then improvements can be even more noticeable.

But if you like a welcoming aroma without the downside, it’s still possible to fragrance your home healthily using products made with pure essential oils rather than fragrance oils. Essential oils are distilled from plants, not made in a lab and as such they do not release formaldehyde into the atmosphere. They have a subtle scent that is never overpowering and many also have the additional benefit of antiviral properties. So for health and well-being a combination of essential oil products and houseplants is definitely the way to go.

Whilst Generation Rent spend their time showing off their houseplants on Pinterest we can simply get on with enjoying and benefiting from ours in our own quieter way.

Fiona Wray is a Colchester based homeopath and co-owner of Rather Lovely Organic Skincare and Natural Home Fragrancing



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