College of DuPage Nursing Student Alli Fescina shared with Healthy Lombard that in an individual’s home, the bathroom is the place where one can relax and recharge from the world. It is where a lot of time is spent each day to revive, while also taking care of hygiene and health. One way to enhance the time spent in the bathroom is by adding a plant to give that well-deserved spa feeling along with added health benefits that contribute to an overall sense of well-being.
Why are Plants so Important?
First of all, plants improve air quality. According to an Allergy and Immunologist Clifford Bassett (2021), NASA researchers have reported that a group of common house plants can remove or scrub indoor air of various pollutants, by not only increases oxygen but they flourish in environments that are wet with high humidity such as bathrooms and showers (Tennant, 2019).
The first thing many people do when they wake up in the morning is taking a shower, with about 2 to 3 hours, on average spent in the bathroom each day. Since plants provide the necessary oxygen and may increase energy and vitality, plants that are located in the bathroom provide an added benefit of kick-starting the day! A correlation has also been found between plants and improvements in mental health according to the Horticultural Research Institute (2021), as plants reduced psychological distress, depression, clinical anxiety, and mood disorders. Natural aesthetic beauty is soothing to people and those who keep plants in their homes were happier, with increased levels of positive energy. Improving mental health is important to the quality of life and happiness; happiness can be thought of as a form of medicine.
According to a study that was conducted at the University of Michigan (Hall & Knuth, 2019), plants may also contribute to improvements in memory and concentration. Students who have a view of green spaces at school have exhibited better performance on attention tests and stress recovery. Similarly, taking a walk in nature helps to reduce stress levels comparably to the relaxation benefits obtained from taking a shower. By adding plants in the bathroom, the two stress reducers are blended together: shower and nature (Labruzzo, 2019).
Plants release natural oils in the air that are beneficial for reducing respiratory inflammation in the upper and lower respiratory system or can improve allergies and asthma (Cullen, 2018). Eucalyptus, for example, is a perfect plant to use for this purpose, which is why many aromatherapy products contain eucalyptus oils (Whelan, 2020). The oils inhaled from eucalyptus, 1,8-cineole, provide benefits for those with bronchitis, COPD, and asthma (Whelan, 2020). Eucalyptus is also beneficial for the treatment of sinus congestion and infections and clears mucus from the nasal passages while relieving coughs. So, for those who have issues with sinuses, eucalyptus will help. Another benefit from the use of eucalyptus is pain relief; following total knee replacement surgery, the outcomes of a study found that inhaling eucalyptus oils reduced pain sensation and lowered blood pressure (Jun et al., 2013). Eucalyptus works the best if hung in the shower, under the shower head, but not directly under the water stream.
Besides Eucalyptus, other plants that are beneficial in the bathroom include orchids, peace lilies, aloe vera, croton, Chinese evergreen, spider plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, the dragon plant, or peperomia. All of these are examples of plants that thrive in moist environments and help to purify air with little to no maintenance. All that is necessary is space in the bathroom to reap the benefits!
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Hall, C. R., & Knuth, M. J. (2019, June 1). An Update of the Literature Supporting the Well-Being Benefits of Plants: Part 2 Physiological Health Benefits. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. https://meridian.allenpress.com/jeh/article/37/2/63/430962/An-Update-of-the-Literature-Supporting-the-Well.
Jun, Y. S., Kang, P., Min, S. S., Lee, J.-M., Kim, H.-K., & Seol, G. H. (2013). Effect of eucalyptus oil inhalation on pain and inflammatory responses after total knee replacement: a randomized clinical trial. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3703330/.
Labruzzo, K. (2019, April 16). Shower Plants: A Trend with Health Benefits. DirectSinks. https://directsinks.com/blogs/general/shower-plants-a-trend-with-health-benefits.
Tennant, K. (2019, June 14). Best Bathroom Plants that can Improve Your Health. Surface Foundry — Custom Groutless Showers in Huntsville, AL. https://www.surfacefoundry.com/blog/2019/6/11/best-bathroom-plants.
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Whelan, C. (2020, May 11). How to Get Eucalyptus in the Shower: With or Without Branches. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/eucalyptus-in-shower.