8 Plants That Help Reduce Stress
In today’s busy, non-stop world, it’s no wonder so many suffer from stress and anxiety. While there are many home remedies and medical marvels to help with stress-related illnesses, few things compare to simply getting outside and back to nature; away from pollution and stress.
That said, taking a trip to the countryside isn’t necessarily practical for many people. Those with a garden can go some way to creating a more natural environment to enjoy in their own home, but what about those of us who aren’t so lucky to have big outdoor spaces?
Thankfully, even if you don’t have a garden, there are still plenty of ways to bring nature to you by including some indoor plants into your home.
Great for clearing toxins and improving air quality, some plants have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and improve sleep so you can enjoy a restful home environment. Below, we’ll look at 8 plants that help reduce stress that you can easily grow and care for indoors…
While Jasmine is usually an outdoor plant, it is possible to grow indoors as well. It’s a very pretty plant with small white, fragrant flowers and is a popular choice in aromatherapy. The scent of Jasmine has been long associated with calm and serenity. It has been used to help people with decision making, controlling emotions, problem-solving, and coping with change thanks to the relaxing state the scent provides. Going further, Jasmine has even been looked at by scientists and researchers, who found that inhaling Jasmine fragrance can be “as calming as Valium” without the nasty side effects. They also found the scent actually boosted GABA levels in participants, which is a chemical in nerve cells responsible for promoting good mood, rest, and lower anxiety levels.
Even if you’re not into gardening at all, I’d be astonished if you’ve never heard that a lavender fragrance is excellent for promoting relaxation and a good night’s sleep. Another popular aromatherapy option, when reduced to oil form, even the color of this beautiful plant, is associated with calm and relaxation. Lavender is frequently used to help calm agitated babies, and the oil can be medically prescribed to help treat anxiety and depression more naturally.
From a scientific point of view, some studies have shown using lavender aromatherapy can reduce anxiety regarding MRI procedures by up to 20%, and can reduce cancellations caused by claustrophobic fears by up to 10%.
Another pretty plant that looks a little like a common Daisy, Chamomile has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety and aid sleep. The flowers are usually brewed into a tea that not only helps relax the body and mind but is also capable of reducing inflammations. The appearance of the Chamomile plant can’t help but make you smile with the pretty flowers that instantly uplift any room, and the sweet scent is incredibly pleasant, helping reduce any unpleasant smells in the room. It’s surprisingly easy to grow, needing a little light and watering just once a week, and the flowers can be harvested for tea after just 60 days.
4. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is part of the succulent family of plants, along with cacti, which is a plant species that has improves air quality by removing volatile organic compounds. Succulents also release moisture and can act as an air freshener, humidifier, and ornament!
While succulents are fantastic in themselves and a common choice for plant collectors based on the range of varieties and the ease of care, Aloe Vera is especially great and deserves its own mention in our list of 8 plants that help reduce stress. That’s thanks to the oils in the leaves being effective in treatments for scars, burns, and inflammation.
5. English Ivy
While we often think of Ivy as an invading weed, some species are actually incredibly beneficial for improving air quality and reducing stress. English Ivy, in particular, has been said to be able to reduce airborne mold by up to 95% in just 24 hours and is a particularly great plant for people with allergies or asthma.
English Ivy can also help reduce headaches and promote good sleeping patterns. It’s easy to grow in a hanging basket or a pot with a stake for it to climb, but you should be wary as it can be toxic if eaten or touched, particularly by animals or small children.
If you don’t fancy having Ivy in your home, then an alternative could be Tillandsia. This plant is becoming increasingly trendy in recent years as it will happily cling to anything from driftwood to seashells to telephone wires and is easy to care for. This plant releases loads of oxygen and moisture overnight to help improve sleep quality and also looks really cool.
6. Gerbera Daisy
A fantastically bright-colored flower that is sure to promote happiness. What you might not know is that the Gerbera is much more than pretty. The color of the petals themselves have been proven to improve mood and calm the body in addition to adding brightness to any room. Plus, the plant has been shown to remove Trichloroethylene and Benzene from the air (the first chemical is a nasty side-effect of dry-cleaning, and the second is associated with ink).
Another brightly colored, beautiful option for 8 plants that help reduce stress is the Chrysanthemum. Similarly to the Gerbera, the bright flowers of this plant can be associated with lower anxiety and stress levels and assist with relaxing the body. The Chrysanthemum can also help increase metabolism levels and is a source of Vitamin C (which boosts the immune system) when taken in tea.
Besides, Chrysanthemum can treat high blood pressure, chest pain, fever, type 2 diabetes, along with colds, headaches, swelling, and dizziness. It’s even used in some prostate cancer treatments!
7. Peppermint (Holy Basil / Tulsi, rosemary)
Menthol, or mint, is commonly used in bath products as a body relaxation aid. Peppermint, in particular, has also been found useful in lowering frustration and improving alertness just from inhaling the fragrance. Mint is a natural air freshener, providing a natural, fresh, calming scent perfect for reducing stress.
Other edible herbs that are good for helping with anxiety are Rosemary and Holy Basil (also known as Tulsi). Rosemary is actually part of the mint family and offers benefits, including improving air quality and memory function as well as reducing stress and anxiety levels.
Holy Basil has an incredibly sweet fragrance as opposed to the spicy scent of regular basil. This plant is sacred in the Hindu faith and is known for reducing stress in addition to encouraging mental clarify and long life. It is edible but is probably better in tea than in a pesto!
8. Fiddle-Leaf Fig
An attractive indoor tree, the Fiddle-Leaf Fig, has grown in popularity in recent years. Yoga-YouTuber Adrienne and Summer Rain (the lady who “grew a jungle” in her NCY apartment – check her out!) have both featured a Fiddle-Leaf Fig plant in their videos. The wide leaves are great for improving air quality and it also helps control the humidity in a room. Not only that, but the Fiddle-Leaf Fig is a beautiful plant that will give you plenty of satisfaction as you watch it grow.