Embrace your kitchen with plants

It’s finally spring again, my favorite season of all, when nature wakes up from the cold winter, flowers are blooming and the trees are becoming green again.

One of the most wonderful ways to decorate a space is with a help of flowers and plants, which bring a bit of nature into our urban environment.

The beauty of flowers is important at home, and beyond their decorative value, plants have many other benefits; they can have a positive effect on our mind, help us to maintain our health, and even help us sleep better. Plants clean and moisturize the air we breathe. Several studies found that environments decorated with colorful and fragrant flowers enabled those who lived in them to be more relaxed, sociable and better able to concentrate. The use of plants is a better and more natural way to clean the air than using purifying candles or spray, which can spread more of the formaldehyde molecules.

This article is the first in a series of articles. I will mention indoor plants and where to put them around the house to take advantage of all their various benefits. In each article I’ll focus on one room.

Of course the list can be much longer but I think it will give you an introduction to how you can embrace your place with a small addition.

I will not be surprised if you are already growing plants in your home, perhaps even the same plants you will find in these articles, but the question is where do you place them?

Each type of plant can be placed in more than one location, but one room may benefit more than others.

Kitchen plants:

You might already grow herbs in your kitchen and that is of course very good!

There is nothing like the smell of freshly picked spice leaves to upgrade the taste and smell of each dish. So I won’t mention them in this article but will provide you the ones with additional value to your kitchen.

1. Aloe

Aloe vera plant

Aloe Vera has more than 500 varieties, the most famous of which is the gel plant used for cosmetic and medical purposes. The plant grows in Africa, India and the Arabian Peninsula.

It can help clean the air of formaldehyde (Formalin) molecules which is produced by gas in a range/oven in a kitchen. Aloe vera can also help reduce potentially negative impact from some dish detergents as well as new cupboards, which may have been made of particleboard or MDF (less than 2 years old). Formalin is toxic and some people are very sensitive to it.

Aloe Vera gel also cure burns, in a case you did a wrong move with the pan or near a hot pot. You can use Aloe vera gel for certain body discomforts, such as constipation and heartburn by adding it to water, yogurt or a smoothie.

2. Stephanotis floribunda (Madagascar jasmine)

Stephanotis floribunda

Stephanotis can be found in the wild in Madagascar and is also known as a wedding flower because it is traditionally used in wedding bouquets. When not guided into a certain shape, it grows with long white streamers, which together can create the effect of a bridal veil.

The Stephanotis can clean the air in your kitchen and purify it from the cooking smell.

An additional benefit is that its fragrant flowers bloom all year round so your kitchen will always look and smell fresh.

3. Saintpaulia ionantha (African Violet)

Saintpaulia

As the name suggests the African Violet comes from Tanzania and Kenya, and it can repel ants in your kitchen. It is therefore recommended to place it on or near the countertop.

4. Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum

In the wild the color and shape is as shown in the picture and that’s why the name “Chrysanthemum” means “gold” in ancient Greece. Nowadays there are over 140 cultivars of chrysanthemum in many colors and shapes.

In Japan, at blossom time, the Chrysanthemum is celebrated as a symbol of the sun and a possible object of meditation.

Yellow or white chrysanthemum flowers are boiled to make tea in some parts of Asia. Chrysanthemum leaves can be steamed or boiled and used as greens, especially in Chinese cuisine.

The great advantage of growing chrysanthemums in the kitchen is the special fragrance which repels ants and cockroaches. It is one of the best home plants to filter chemicals, including formaldehyde, benzene and especially ammonia which come from household cleaners.

If you have more interesting information regarding those plants or other plants that can be valuable in the kitchen I would love to hear about it in the comments.