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Give a Health-Promoting Gift This Holiday Season

woman holding a holiday gift boxI love hosting for the holidays, and I equally love being a guest; what I don’t like is the gifting dilemma! To gift something purposeful, beautiful, and cost-effective is always a challenge. Nobody wants more sugar, more holiday décor, or more knick-knacks that probably end up in the New Year donation box.

Think Green This Season

If you are with me on this one, here is an idea that you will feel really good about, and your hostess or host will be deeply grateful for. Give a gift of a greenhouse plant! Plus, plants are trendy right now. Visit Pigment – One Paseo for some great gift ideas.

That wispy, airy fern is not only pretty but has tremendous health benefits for you and your family. Did you know that certain greenhouse plants (indoor and out) can improve the air quality of your home?

Plants are notoriously adept at absorbing gases through pores on the surface of their leaves. It’s this skill that facilitates photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert light energy and carbon dioxide into chemical energy to fuel growth.

Purify Indoor Air

Studies by scientists at NASA, Pennsylvania State University, the University of Georgia, and other respected institutions studying the air-purification capacities of indoor plants found something fascinating. The studies revealed that plants can absorb many other gases in addition to carbon dioxide, including a long list of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

Benzene (found in some plastics, fabrics, pesticides, and cigarette smoke) and formaldehyde (found in some cosmetics, dish detergent, fabric softener, and carpet cleaner) are examples of common indoor VOCs that plants help eliminate. These air pollutants are well established to be contributors and/or causes of acute conditions. These include asthma and nausea, as well as chronic diseases such as cancer and respiratory illnesses.

Phytoremediation is the process by which the plant, indoors or out, uses to mitigate pollution in air, soil, or water. Through leaves and roots, plants absorb these harmful gases. The microorganisms that live in the soil of potted plants also play an instrumental role in neutralizing VOCs and other pollutants.

Boost Your Mood and More

Plants are also known to increase mood and productivity. They also enhance concentration and memory and reduce stress and fatigue (and during the holidays, we all need some of that). NASA recommends two or three plants in 8 to 10-inch pots for every 100 square feet.

You’ll benefit the most when you include a variety of plants in a room. Some of the plants that scientists have found most useful in removing VOCs include the following:

  • Japanese royal ferns
  • Spider plants
  • Boston ferns
  • Purple waffle plants
  • English ivy
  • Areca palms
  • Golden pothos
  • Aloe vera
  • Snake plants
  • Peace lilies

My favorite super-plant is Dracaena. Dracaenas are a newbie green thumb’s dream! They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors and are easy to maintain. Dracaenas eliminate formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, benzene, and trichloroethylene.

Happy Holidays from my home to yours! May your New Year bring you abundant joy and good health.

All my love to my community that has become a home!

- Dr. Nedic

1 Join the Conversation

  1. Mary says
    Dec 18, 2019 at 5:10 PM

    Excellent info. I want to increase plants in my home. Thanks for list!

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