The most useful indoor plants, or the healing air of our home
Those who lived in a wooden house know how easy it is to breathe. Even the “dead tree" creates a comfortable environment for us. And living plants and even more so! Pine forest, birch grove, oak forest, thickets of willow-tea, and just a grassy meadow - everywhere you breathe easily and freely. It seems that even health is getting better! (It does not seem, but really, is added). The main reason for the freshness of forest and meadow air is the phytoncides released by plants and negatively charged ions. About how to make healing air in your home using these plant properties, this article will be.
What are phytoncides?
Earlier (for many millennia) people used phytoncides unnamed: they put mint and anise in sarcophagi, wrapped food in horseradish leaves or nettles, steamed birch brooms, laid birch branches and bird cherry trees with young leaves in the room, fruit trees from the caterpillar tracks quilted branches. A Christmas tree is also a way of using volatile products to improve indoor air, although it is unfair to a tree.
There were, of course, excesses: some, especially "advanced", wore chopped garlic cloves on themselves to protect them from vampires. Apparently, the vampires did not please the garlic very much that he acquired such properties.
The concept of phytoncides was officially introduced into science by B.P. Tokin in 1928: "phytoncides are volatile biologically active substances formed by plants that kill or inhibit the growth and development of bacteria, microscopic fungi, and protozoa." This is a remarkably keen person, by the way. His book "Healing plant poisons" is easy to read and interesting, and it also contains a lot of useful information for gardeners about the interaction of plants.
According to recent data, in addition to antimicrobial action, volatile can have insecticidal and anthelmintic properties, as well as provide general stimulating, anti-inflammatory, regenerative, anti-allergic, interferonogenic and other effects on the body.
There are currently difficulties in terminology. In particular, the concept of phytoncides is very diverse both here and abroad: these are not only volatile substances, but also all protective substances of a plant. But let biologists engage in terminology, the practical side of this matter is important to us.
This article is about volatile substances released by plants for personal use.
Why volatile production?
The main goal of the plant is to protect its health and integrity, but the objects of their attack are different. Apparently, this depends on the importunity and the degree of sabotage of lovers to profit from someone else's expense. Therefore, the composition of the released volatile substances in each plant is different.
For example, volatile walnuts repel insects - it’s very comfortable to place a summer dining table under a tree. Coniferous volatiles so skillfully cope with microbes and bacteria that the air in a pine forest, especially a young one, is almost sterile. And those volatile compounds that are present in it, most beneficially affect a person, destroying pathogenic microflora in the respiratory tract and the lungs proper. The largest number of volatile production of juniper.
The volatile substances of valerian heals the cardiovascular system, the bracken fern successfully drives insects away with its phytoncides, and horseradish releases a noticeable amount of fungicides. Oak volatile have hypotensive effect. Garlic, lemongrass and eucalyptus secrete a complex of substances that stimulate the immune system in the fight against viruses.
Volatile compounds of laurel cherry and bird cherry can kill a rat (what did the rat do wrong to them?). However, this is in laboratory conditions, in nature there is no such concentration of phytoncides, it is enough to cope with protozoa, bacteria and fungi. Eucalyptus, in general, synthesizes some monsters, a kind of biological napalm.
In general, volatile production is one part of the natural immunity of plants, plant volatile antibiotics. It is clear that microorganisms, and insects, too, do not sleep, but adapt to all these poisons. That is why it can not do without pests in nature. Evolution in action: plants invent new methods of protection, pathogens - ways of survival and wrecking.
If volatile compounds have so much benefit, it’s a good idea to plant plants with known beneficial properties.
Indoor Plants Containing Essential Oils
Each apartment and each house has its own conditions, very diverse, and the residents have their own sores, in assortment. Based on the tastes and preferences of the owners, the task of selecting plants acquires a variety of facets. Moreover, for a bedroom, for a drawing room, for a nursery it is desirable to select plants separately. Someone else and Feng Shui will take into account, for sure.
If there are problems with the airways, it will be helpful common myrtle (Myrtus communis). A nice shrub (or tree, how to form it) with glossy leaves containing essential oils, fluffy and fragrant white flowers. Very unpretentious, but you need direct sun at least a couple of hours. The smell is somewhat reminiscent of the scent of conifers. It is easily grown from seeds. You can put it in any room.
No less beneficial for the respiratory tract and eucalyptus (Eucalyptus). Also from the myrtle family, with essential oils in the leaves, only "strengthened". Eucalyptus has a detrimental effect on pathogens of infections of the respiratory and digestive systems, pustular skin lesions, and stimulates the immune system. An additional bonus - repels insects. Volatile compounds of eucalyptus increase tone and performance. So the place is probably in the living room.
For indoor breeding, there are plants that differ in the shape and color of leaves, aroma and habit. With lemon aroma, for example, lemon eucalyptus (Corymbia citriodora).
Eucalyptus is photophilous, drought tolerant, coping with its own and others' diseases quite successfully, therefore, in addition to the need for direct sun, they are unpretentious. I have a quite peppy state with flowering and myrtle, and eucalyptus was demonstrated both on the southern and western windowsill. Eucalyptus, like myrtle, grows well from seeds.
Pelargonium (Pelargonium), beloved by many gardeners, it also contains essential oils in the leaves, successfully coping with many microorganisms. At the same time, the smell of geranium has a relaxing and calming effect, so it is good to put the plant in the bedroom. The fragrance of pelargonium is not liked by everyone (and you must listen to the preferences of your body!), But there are different types and varieties, so you can experiment. It turned out to be acceptable to me lemon geranium.
Pelargonium is unpretentious, it will grow on the northern windowsill, but bloom profusely - only in the presence of direct sun.
Lemon, Mandarin, Kinkan, at all citrus. They are more capricious than the previous ones, but citrus fruits - that is, there is a chance to get fruits. They also contain essential oils and secrete volatile, adversely affecting many bacteria and protozoa. The aroma of lemon leaves can lower blood pressure. They also smell absolutely fantastic. By the way, flowers and fruits also tend to emit volatile.
It can be installed in all rooms, given the love of plants for light, high humidity and not very high temperature. In my office, the northeast window sill of a double window turned out to be the best option for a lemon. And at home - a meter from the south window.
Citrus fruits cope well with pathogens for humans, but somehow they don’t really succeed with scabies, spider mites, they need help.
Rosemary officinalis (Salvia rosmarinus) has a specific aroma and perfectly fights pathogens that cause diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems, and also inhibits the vital activity of fungi. He also has wonderful culinary properties. He loves light and cool, otherwise unpretentious.
The list can include laurel, coniferous, jasmine sambac, osmanthus fragrant, lavender.
If the plants are only planted or not yet acquired, you can use the essential oils of these plants. During the heating season, it is good to drop oil on a cotton pad and put on the battery.
Plants for the house without a noticeable smell
Not everyone likes the smells of plants that give off essential oils, someone from them, in general, has a headache. Fortunately, you can pick up less smelling and at the same time no less useful.
About crested chlorophytum (Chlorophytum comosum) probably know everything. The plant does not release such obvious odorous substances into the air as myrtle, eucalyptus and pelargonium, but it cleans the air of pathogens no worse. He is familiar and ordinary. They mock him in every way because of his unpretentiousness: they push them into shady corners, put and hang them in the kitchen near a hot stove, hang them in the most inconvenient places - he tolerates and always benefits. Not only fights against pathogens, but also able to absorb formaldehyde, heavy metals and benzene.
Good with minimal care in all rooms and in all variants - broad-leaved, narrow-leaved, variegated, curly and even orange. The more in quantity, the better - the plant is not large. It is propagated by children easily and simply - it is much more difficult to destroy it than to grow it.
Good for bedroom plectrantus(Plectranthus) otherwise called mint. Its volatile substances are not as brutal as geraniums, but they repel insects, but shrub plectrantus successfully repels moths. The light smell of plectrantus relieves fatigue and relaxes. And it contributes to concentration, so it will be appropriate near the computer. Even tank battles near him will be more effective, and remote work - more productive.
The plant is ampelous, quite unpretentious, does not require direct sun, it easily propagates by stem cuttings.
Aloe tree (Aloe arborescens) also disinfects the air remarkably, patiently to indecency, and legends go about the healing properties of its leaves. You can bet everywhere. The only restriction is on the floor of the nursery with small children: spines on the leaves can hurt the delicate skin of children. She, of course, will instantly heal, but why the extra tears?
Dieffenbachia (Dieffenbachia) - a plant for the living room. And not only because of the monumentality of the look, but also because of the milky juice, which can cause skin irritation. If the plant is not cut, not broken and leaves are not torn off, it is not only harmless, but also very healing.
Effectively removes microorganisms, cleans the air of dust and harmful substances from furniture, paint, etc. And large leaves that evaporate a lot of moisture will make the dry air of the room more acceptable. The plant is quite shade-tolerant, characterized by rapid growth, I have not seen pests on them. Easily propagated by segments of the stem.
White-spotted begonia (Begonia × albopicta can be put in any room, but not in direct sunlight. Its phytoncides are especially aggressive to microorganisms that cause diseases of the respiratory system. It will bloom from December to April, maybe longer, with whole brushes, it looks very decorative.
She has acceptable requirements: bright diffused light, heat and sufficient watering without stagnation of water. Do not spray. Propagated by segments of the stem and leaves, nothing complicated.
You can add to the same category. aglaonem, ivy, sansevieru, dracaena, spathiphyllum.
What are the benefits of indoor plants?
Fans of pelargonium are well aware that the disturbed leaves smell several times stronger. In general, this is typical for all plants - with the occurrence of microdamage, the release of volatile substances increases. This does not mean that you need to torture plants in any way, but walking with your hand through the leaves does not interfere. Especially before going to bed in the bedroom.
More volatile produce young leaves, freshly blossomed flowers and unripe fruits.
In addition to the release of phytoncides and negatively charged particles into the air, plants in the house effectively increase air humidity, help reduce noise, absorb harmful substances, which are abundant in the apartment. Some plants are able to neutralize the negative effects of household radiation. And there is also aromatherapy and color therapy, in which plants play an important role.
Dear readers! Of course, within the framework of one article, it is problematic to describe all useful indoor plants. The fact that all plants are phytoncidic has already been mentioned. Not all properties are investigated. The experiments are carried out mainly with plants used in folk medicine, and even there the field is not plowed. While we use what is reliably known. And we start a personal healing garden in our own home.