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Houseplants that improve indoor air quality are back in fashion

gerbera-daisies

Remember the 80s? You sometimes couldn’t move for houseplants, but now, with the fashion for minimalism and people with little time to look after them, you would be hard pressed to find a home with any at all.

But here’s the thing. Houseplants are more than just pretty to look at. When you hear how these plants can have such a dramatic effect on your health, I am sure you’ll be rushing out to buy some!

Our homes can be toxic

Our homes have become increasingly insulated with numerous toxins emitted from our manufactured furniture, carpets and other objects made from synthetic materials which are sprayed with protective chemicals. Now our houses, rather than being calm, healthy place to retire to at the end of the day are actually becoming poisonous to our health. They say our indoor environment is 5 to 10 times more polluted than outside.

Plants, of course, provide oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. They also take toxins out of the air, but don’t just take my word for it. Back in the 80s, NASA wanted to find out how to create a sustainable atmosphere in outer space. So they took houseplants, and conducted experiments. They of course, confirmed their oxygen-providing properties, but were amazed at how effective they were in absorbing harmful toxins and neutralising their effect on the environment.

golden-pothos

NASA Experiments

Here are some of the chemicals that houseplants successfully manage to absorb as proven by the NASA and ALCA experiments:

  • Trychloroethane (TCE) – a chemical found in dry cleaning, varnishes, adhesives and
    paints
  • Benzine – found in paints, ink, pharmaceuticals, detergents and dyes
  • Formaldehyde – found in particleboard, foam insulation, fabric (including new clothes), tissues, paper towels

There have been many scientific studies since the NASA experiments which show many other harmful chemicals such as xylene, toluene and ammonia are also reduced from the environment by using plants.

These chemicals can irritate eyes and skin, cause headaches and allergic reactions. They have even been linked to asthma, anaemia and even cancer.

With each picture in the calendar you will see what chemicals each plant removes – * is good, **are very good and *** are excellent.

Apart from the health benefits of keeping houseplants it is also a very cost effective way of filtering your air.

spider-plant

What is happening?

Incredible to think how clever these plants are! But how and why do houseplants act in this way? In their natural environment, houseplants and in particular tropical plants grow in dense rain forests where there is very little light and they’ve evolved to effectively absorb light and gases from the air. The gases are drawn down to the roots where the microbes absorb the chemicals.

Plants also help to maintain healthy humidity levels by increasing the amount of water vapour in the air – plant filtered rooms have 50-60% less airborne bacteria and mould spores.

So you can see why houseplants can be so beneficial to your environment. And additional benefits are that they create feelings of calmness and tranquillity, reduce feelings of anxiety, anger and sadness, reduce stress levels, speed recovery from mental tiredness and at work plants can improve productivity and reduce absenteeism. The process of caring for plants can improve feelings of health and wellbeing.

NASA is not the only organisation to investigate this field- also Pennsylvania State University , John C Stennis Space Center and there are many more.

The Norwegian University of Agriculture found indoor plants reduced certain health conditions

  • Fatigue 20%,
  • Headache 45%,
  • Sore/dry throat 30%,
  • Coughs 40%,
  • Dry facial skin 25%

Advice and care

Usually houseplants like a well-lit, draught-free location, even temperature and reasonable humidity. Most do not like direct sunlight for long periods and generally speaking flowering plants need more light. Some of the plants in this calendar thrive in darker conditions.

Over watering can kill houseplants. Keep compost moist and then wait until nearly dried out before watering again. Water the plants less frequently in winter months.

Many plants will grow with infrequent feeding but plants in flower require more.

Too many houseplants could cause greater humidity which could increase mould and bacteria growth. With that in mind, you should have around one plant(size-20 to 30cm pots) for every 100 square feet (3 for every 100 square meters), don’t over water them, and put a layer of fine gravel on top of the earth, as this helps to retain moisture.

Some of the plants shown are toxic for children and pets so either select carefully or locate them out of harm’s way. The safest plants are the Spider plant, Gerbera Daisy and Areca Palm.

Wipe the leaves about once a week to ensure their effectiveness.

Plants have a positive effect on your life, so if you don’t have any it’s time to buy some.

Choose your plants from this 2017 Calendar and see how they affect how you feel.

estea-calendar-2017

£7.50 plus postage and packing

 

If you would like to purchase the calendar, contact me here

 

All profits from this calendar are going to Wellbeing Link- a volunteer led community support group in Dartford.

Disclaimer- The health information in this calendar is solely to promote consumer health and does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for proper medical care provided by a physician.

Mobile phones – Are they safe?

There have been numerous studies which have looked at the long-term effect of mobile phones on a person’s health, and the results are shocking. The amount of radiation which is emitted from mobile phones can be extremely dangerous to our health.

Of course, in today’s society, we can’t be without our mobile phones, so here’s some advice on how to stay as safe as possible:

  • Try to keep calls to a minimum
  • When you aren’t using them, switch your phone off, or put it into airplane mode. This limits the amount of radiation emitted
  • When you are dialing a number, and waiting for a connection to be made, keep your mobile at arm’s length as this is when a mobile phone is at its most dangerous and emissions are highest.
  • Generally, the further away you can keep your mobile from your body, the better. Don’t keep on your body, such as in a pocket or inside jacket pocket. Phones should especially be kept away from vital organs
  • Don’t let small children play with your mobile phone. Their skulls are too soft to protect them from emissions. Never leave a phone near a baby, and try to keep mobiles away from unborn babies
  • Do not leave your phone charger plugged into the mains when not in use
  • When your phone is on the move, it is constantly looking for a signal and therefore, the emissions are amplified. The same is true when you use a mobile in the car, so try and avoid doing this wherever possible
  • When your phone is charging, keep the phone and charger at least two metres away from your body

You’re never going to be able to escape the harmful emissions from a mobile phone, but it’s vital you take the steps above to limit any potential damage that could be caused by long-term use.

estea looks after your environment so that it looks after you, and limits any ill-effect on your health and wellbeing. Get in touch if you would like us to ascertain how healthy your environment is, and what we can do to improve it.

4 tips to ensure you get a good night’s sleep that you might never have considered before

It’s important that you get enough sleep at night, as I’m sure you are aware, you never perform as well the next day as you would have done, had you had about 8 hours sleep.

You probably feel as though you’re lacking in concentration and your energy levels plummet. Why is that? When you sleep, your body, including its immune system repairs itself. So, if you don’t get enough sleep, your body weakens, your immune system doesn’t have time to repair itself, and so you become more susceptible to illnesses.

 

There are many factors which can affect your sleep, you might be stressed, the room is too hot, you may have a young baby keeping you awake, but did you know there could be other factors at play which you are unaware of?

Consider this. We are electrical beings, all our actions and thoughts are powered by electrical impulses. These impulses can be affected by other energies such as electricity, wi-fi, stresses in the earth beneath your home, and even the materials your home is made of. If you think of the static when it affects a radio, that’s how your body is affected too.

So, what can you do to reduce these interruptions to your electrical impulses? Here are five things to ensure you do to make your bedroom as peaceful as possible:

  1. Remove all electrical appliances. This is, of course, an ideal situation, so if you can’t, then at least unplug them, and remove the plugs from the sockets, especially if it has a transformer. Never leave anything on standby. Avoid bedside lamps that switch off and on by touching the base, as they emit a lot of electro-magnetic radiation. Battery operated alarms are better as plug-in ones tend to have transformers.
  2. Switch your router off before you go to sleep even if it is located elsewhere in the house. Also switch off all wi-fi equipment such as computers, tablets and printers etc. Try not to use any wi-fi equipment for an hour before you go to sleep, as their use makes it difficult for you to get to sleep, and then to sleep well as a result
  3. Do not go to bed with your mobile phone. Ensure it is switched off, or at least turn it onto airplane mode. Do not charge it if it’s close to you, and never use it when it is charging. This is due to high radiation coming from the phone. Don’t worry, you can still use the alarm
  4. Sleep on an earthing sheet. Earthing your bed enables you to discharge static from your body and increase the earth’s natural negative ions. Reducing the voltage of your body can help to improve the quality of your sleep. Participants in an experiment where they were earthed before sleep overwhelmingly reported better sleeping patterns (94%) and all of them woke up more rested as a result.
  5. Don’t sleep against a radiator, even if it is off

So if you are struggling to get to sleep, and you aren’t sure why you aren’t getting a good night’s rest, try out some of the tips above and see if it makes a difference. You might be surprised at the results! If you’d like to get in touch to talk about how electro-magnetic fields may be affecting your environment, please contact me, and we can discuss your options.