We often hear about a study conducted by NASA in 1989 according to which plants had the power to purify the air in our homes. Indeed, en absorbing the air with their leaves and roots, some plants can eliminate harmful gases (such as formaldehyde, VOC, ammonia...) However, they are not effective in cleaning up our air. Why are they not effective in cleaning our air? Because there is a lot of traffic in a house or apartment and it also affects the air (when we open the door, windows, etc.). And so, although plants are depolluting, they are not effective in cleaning the air in our homes. To notice an improvement in air quality, we would have to make our homes completely airtight, reproducing the conditions in which NASA conducted its study.
In spite of everything, we know that plants have other beneficial effects on humans. They help stabilize the mood of some people, reduce anxiety and stress in others. They even contribute to increasing people's lifespan! In addition to the psychological benefits, we wanted to know what other benefits plants bring to our homes. So we asked Florence Brouillard, a geobiologist, a few questions.
Florence is a geobiologist. She works with people or brokers who may have difficulty selling a property, with people who wish to validate their choice before renting or buying a new property and especially with families who have problems with their living space (ex: sleeping problems, discomfort in front of a room, etc.).
Florence, could you explain the nature of your work?
I analyze the devitalizing elements in our environment (house and land) and I come to balance the problems in a place in order to create a place that is healthy and harmonious for the inhabitants.
So I study:
- natural nuisances (water current, geological fault, radon...)
- electromagnetic pollution (high-voltage lines, Wi-Fi, magnetic and electric fields...)
- air and water quality (cov, allergens, pollutants...)
- subtle phenomena (Feng Shui, memories of places...)
According to your expertise, do plants have positive effects in a house? If so, what are they?
Yes, they certainly do! First, all the elements you mentioned above. Each object, living or not, brings a vibratory signature, favorable or not. We have energy circulating everywhere, and each plant brings its own energy. So adding a green plant in a room that "doesn't vibrate" can help the place to be energized, which will help to balance the room.
The color of a plant can also be very helpful. For example, the colour green is associated with health, healing, harmony and balance. If this is what we are looking for in a room or a house, it is interesting to add plants and elements of this colour in order to benefit from this beautiful subtlety.
Some plants also have the ability to generate a positive electromagnetic field by attenuating the intensity of geological or electromagnetic disturbances. You can put several of them in an office to help reduce the intensity of high frequencies in the office.
Plants react to their environment, they can give us clues to properly locate furniture in a house. For example, on a geological fault, flowers tend to wither. So if you have plants that are constantly withering, despite good light exposure and proper care, your plants may be above a pathology and they may not like the location. We can therefore change their location to see how they will be doing afterwards.
In Feng Shui, we put a lot of emphasis on rounded shapes to harmonize. We will further recommend a plant that will have round foliage to create a soft and quiet space for a bedroom or living room. While for an office where you want to be proactive, you could opt for a solid and robust plant, like a strap! Also, if you want to balance or bring the earth element into a room, you generally choose to place a plant or a stone.
Is a minimum number of plants required to see a difference?
I couldn't answer this question, it would be mostly on a case by case basis depending on the sources of nuisance and the situation of the habitat.
Do some plants have more effect than others?
I wouldn't say more effects, but rather different effects. Some plants also have the capacity to generate a positive electromagnetic field for electromagnetic pollution (ex: Ficus Benjamin, spider plant, asparagus...) While some, due to their pointed or aggressive foliage, would come to "vampirize" the energies in a room (ex: Yucca).
Personally, I don't think that a plant is the miracle solution to settle the disturbances in a house or to come and "cure" a difficult psychological state. However, I do believe that plants can assist us in this process and help us keep this connection to nature. In addition, it is important to know that reducing pollutants at the source and ventilation have a greater impact than a tiny amount of plants.
In short, plants do not have a significant impact on the air quality in our homes, but they do have a beneficial effect on how we feel in a room (no danger if we put a few of them in the bedroom then). By the way, did you know that electromagnetic waves emitted by plants are sometimes used to make music? More on this subject in a future article.