Houseplants are not so different from other plants in their practical household uses. There are endless possibilities, but the most common uses are for fragrance, medicine, and flavor. If you’ve ever been to a botanical garden, you may have found plant and garden arrangements based on these three themes. Many houseplants can be used for more than one purpose. Rosemary can be used for all three. Many people associate herb plants with outdoor gardens. Some plants are best left to outdoor grown environments, but many popular herbs can be successfully cultivated indoors.
Some practical household uses for houseplants are actually myth. For example, houseplants don’t capture enough carbon dioxide or release enough oxygen to make a difference in indoor air quality. Some houseplants are used purely for decorative purposes and to develop your green thumb, but if you prefer plants with a practical use, you’ll still find lots of choices. Here are the most popular household uses for different types of houseplants.
Houseplants as Fragrance
Houseplants can be a great way to ensure various areas of your home have a pleasing fragrance. Many houseplants that are used for their fragrance like lots of light, so it will be easiest to provide fragrance in rooms with lots of window space. Even still, there are plenty of choices. Some people prefer the slightly sour smell of citrus trees. Some prefer the sweeter smell of fragrant jasmine. Lavender is popular for its calming aroma. Heliotropes are known for their vanilla scent. Orchids and geraniums can have a wide variety of mild smells, while gardenias are known for being a houseplant with a stronger fragrance.
Most aromatic houseplants are used for room fragrance, but they can also be distilled into personal fragrance. This is common for commercially produced perfumes, but you can also make your own. When using houseplants as personal fragrance, you need to know what part of the plant is used to make oil extracts.
Houseplants with Medicinal Uses
Numerous houseplants have medicinal uses, but for acute symptoms, it probably makes more sense to run to the drugstore. Houseplants are more common for chronic and preventative treatments. especially stomach pain and digestive problems. Along with traditional herbs, certain types of jasmine and marigolds are good for stomach pain and digestive health. Thyme is better known as a kitchen spice but also has many preventative health benefits. A lot of people want to know which plants are better or worse for allergy sufferers. That said, be skeptical about health benefits of plants based solely on improved indoor air quality.
Certainly, some houseplants and home remedies are just as good or even better than commercially developed products. However, we recommend you thoroughly research medicinal home remedies before using. Even something as innocent as chamomile, which can be used as an anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea treatment, can have serious complications for people with asthma. Aloe vera is a common ingredient in skin lotions that treats sunburns. Creating aloe vera gel on your own isn’t that difficult, but the outside part of the plant is actually a skin irritant that can make the problem worse. Online medical sources, like WebMD, offer information about houseplants with medicine uses as part of their Vitamin and Supplement Resource Center.
Houseplants for Herbs and Spices
With the right setup and care routine, you can grow most types of herbs indoors, though some are easier to grow than others. You can try growing garlic indoors as an experiment, for example, but we wouldn’t count on it for your culinary needs unless you’ve already had success. Mint is another herb you can try indoors, especially if you’re tired of the mint taking over the rest of your outdoor vegetable garden. Some of the most popular types of houseplants for herbs and spices include basil, rosemary, and sage. Many people also take to growing citrus trees year-round in containers. These trees are great for fragrance and, with a little luck, extra fruit.
Household Uses for Houseplants: DIY vs Commercial Products
Often times, the plants that make for effective home remedies are the same ones used for commercial household products. For the time and money involved, store-bought products usually make more sense than houseplant cultivation. Yet, it’s easier than ever to find tutorials about how to make your own aloe vera gel or how to make your own lavender essential oil. If you live in a rural or remote area, picking up common household products is no quick errand. Likewise, if you’re looking for a new hobby with a practical use, houseplants can be a great choice.