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In addition to their appealing appearance and adding a whimsical element to your décor, bonsai plants or trees also support physical, spiritual, and personal benefits. Here are a few health benefits of bonsai that you can reap by adding one of these pint-size pals in your indoors!
Bonsai plants are incredibly prevalent and loved by gardening enthusiasts for many good reasons. The Japanese art of growing tiny replicas of giant trees is a cute technique that helped create a whole new plant industry. While growing a bonsai can take a lot of time and effort, the benefits of keeping bonsai trees indoors are so incredible that gardening enthusiasts readily invest in them.
Although bonsai art is believed to be strongly associated with Japan, the art of growing miniature trees originates in ancient China. The elite societies of ancient Chinese were using a unique technique, “pun-sai,” to raise dwarf trees in small containers. However, the Kamakura era of 1185-1333 introduced this art in Japan. Today, nature lovers from around the globe love to grow bonsai trees indoors.
This post will discuss bonsai history, bonsai tree health benefits, and how you can grow a bonsai tree indoors.
So, let’s get started!
What is Bonsai?
The word “bonsai” stands for “tree in a pot.” However, the term initially hails from the Chinese word “penjing” or “pun-sai,” meaning scenery in a pot. The art of bonsai allows you to grow trees in a miniature form that looks incredibly beautiful – even lovelier than trees growing in their natural habitat. Therefore, cultivating bonsai is an ancient Japanese art as well as an artistic hobby.
In addition to the benefits of keeping bonsai trees, growing bonsai also exemplifies the sense of what is beautiful and the gentle respect we have for living things. It involves much more than just growing potted trees and requires a lot of physical and emotional commitment.
In order to reap the health benefits of bonsai, you can grow almost all sorts of trees and shrubs as bonsai. In essence, any plant cultivated in a container can be grown as a bonsai. However, a few popular bonsai varieties include maples, pines, flowering trees like plum and cherry, and fruit-bearing trees. Moreover, in countries except for Japan, people grow plant varieties appropriate for the local climate.
Now, before listing the bonsai tree health benefits, let’s known what does your bonsai tree symbolize?
What Does the Bonsai Symbolize?
Centuries ago, when bonsai plants were first presented in China, they were generally enjoyed by the elite society, such as priests, aristocrats, and high-ranked people. Today, however, commoners worldwide have access to the art of bonsai and can enjoy growing miniature trees.
Depending on your cultural beliefs, bonsai trees represent good luck, patience, balance, and harmony. Many growers add these miniatures as living ornaments into their décor, whereas people like Zen Buddhists still believe that they are an essential element for meditation and contemplation. A few scientific studies also verify personal, physical, and spiritual bonsai tree benefits that bonsai growers can gain.
Now, let’s talk about the health benefits of bonsai trees!
Health-Related Bonsai Tree Benefits
Humans and plants have a mutual evolutionary history. So, when you carry this intimate relationship indoors, you will bring several health benefits. Here are a few bonsai tree health benefits:
A Natural Air Purifier
Air purifying ability is one of the significant benefits of keeping bonsai trees. A bonsai tree serves as a natural air purifier by absorbing the pollutants and toxins in the atmosphere. For instance, indoor air generally has higher levels of benzene than outdoor due to products such as paints, furniture polish, glues, and detergents.
However, having a bonsai tree indoors helps absorb such hazardous elements, allowing you to inhale fresh air.
Bonsai Trees Relieve Stress
Bonsai tree health benefits are incredible that you can enjoy by growing one in your home. We often forget to take breaks in a busy and increasingly stressful world. However, having a bonsai tree in your home reminds you it needs the care to thrive. As a result, you learn to care for your plant and yourself. You want your bonsai to keep thriving, so you must water, fertilize, and prune it regularly.
Moreover, your routine of caring for your bonsai allows you to develop patience, whereas your bonsai’s charm and resilience inspire you to incorporate it into your daily life. Studies indicate that even seeing a bonsai can reduce stress and improves your psychological and physiological feelings. In areas where winters are brutally dark, long, and dull, a bonsai plant lets us bring and enjoy some outdoors inside our homes.
Furthermore, we often stop learning as we age, but having a bonsai tree offers a plethora of information and skills to master. It keeps us engaged, which not only reduces stress but also reminds us how to live a stress-free life.
Reduces Chances of Cough, Cold, and Sore Throat
According to the research of the Agricultural University of Norway, indoor bonsai trees and other houseplants can help you develop health complications like colds, sore throat, and cough. In addition, one of the health benefits of bonsai also includes preventing dryness in the skin. So if you could get a bit of help from these benefits, try growing an indoor bonsai tree. You may also want to raise a bonsai in your office.
It Improves Mental Health
While growing a bonsai is a new practice of gardening therapy, improved mental health is one of the most significant bonsai tree health benefits. According to a 2018 study, senior patients undergoing rehabilitation discovered that just watching bonsai trees triggered an impactful increase in their parasympathetic nervous activity.
It is worth mentioning that our parasympathetic system is responsible for lowering blood pressure and heart rate so we can bounce back from stress. Similarly, another study on bonsai artists delved deep to discover their quality of life, overall well-being, and even their perceptions about spiritual growth. The majority of participants said they enjoyed the quality of life and had a better mood after nurturing bonsai trees.
Bonsai Trees Good for Oxygen
Bonsai trees are good for oxygen, too. However, how much oxygen your miniature tree produce will depend on various factors, including age, species, and surroundings. While these tiny trees have stunning foliage, they are also excellent oxygen providers.
It is worth mentioning that water in your bonsai roots goes through the xylem, which links its leaves to the roots. Upon opening the leaves, excess water departs through a tiny window (stomata), allowing carbon to take place in the leaves. As a result, roots consume up to 95% of water, whereas 80% of water exits through leaves.
An indoor bonsai plant helps you maintain humidity and reduce common health problems like skin dryness, cough, and sore throats.
Bonsai Uplifts the Beauty of Your Indoors
Growing a bonsai tree is an intriguing way to inject beauty into your décor. These miniature plants can bring class and an air of calm to any interior design scheme. In addition, they also inject a refreshing feel to any room, make stunning gifts, and are fun to take care of. Moreover, a bonsai tree holds a unique beauty. In fact, it is like you are taking your favorite tree that you love sitting under and shrinking it to small enough to set it on your table.
Bonsai Trees Make Perfect Gifts
One of the best benefits of keeping bonsai trees is that they make stunning gifts. People often gift potted plants or flowers to their dear ones who want a ‘congratulations.’ Potted plants or flowers as gifts are too predictable. However, presenting your dear ones with a bonsai tree will make them happier, making them think you put your thoughts into the gift.
Moreover, bonsai trees are both fascinating gifts for others and yourself. They are something you can enjoy caring for and watch grow, and that keeps on giving. In addition, you may also want to find a unique pot to make your bonsai gift look extra special.
Personal Growth Benefits of Keeping Bonsai Tree
In addition to the various health benefits of bonsai that we will discuss later, a bonsai tree may have more do with less assessable effects. Here are a few spiritual benefits of keeping bonsai trees:
It Nurtures Patience
Since growing a bonsai tree means consistency and patience, it helps you to focus on your long-term goals. Unlike traditional trees, a bonsai plant grows at an incredibly slow rate, so it will test your patience and how long you can hold onto it. In addition, as a bonsai owner, you will be looking to the future rather than tending to your present. In simple words, you will be putting effort into achieving your long-term goals for your bonsai strategically, thoughtfully, and with daily maintenance.
Moreover, bonsai tree benefits also teach you how to honor the ups and downs you will face to achieve your long-term goals. You will see your bonsai tree going through seasonal leaf loss. Or your freshly pruned bonsai may look bare and vulnerable. In other words, bonsai trees remind us that the dormancy seasons are an integral part of new growth.
It Sparks Creativity
Bonsai is an art, and art requires creativity to produce a masterpiece. One of the most excellent benefits of keeping bonsai trees is that it exposes you to your creative side. You will be practicing proper techniques to grow your bonsai tree any way you want. You are only limited by your imagination.
In addition, adaptability and curiosity are two integral parts of creativity. So, to achieve your desired effects, you will learn new techniques. This may include intimidating structural pruning, guiding your plant to grow in a specific shape, and rope training.
It Cultivates Self-Awareness
Self-awareness is one of the essential factors in living a successful life. One of the bonsai trees benefits is that it allows you to learn how to stay flexible and how to understand your internal reactions to the external world. It is as much a practice as an art. Much like meditation or yoga, growing a bonsai tree also cultivates self-awareness so you can know yourself in a better way.
Your bonsai will test you with its witling branches and large leaves and how you respond to them. It means your bonsai is a mirror that lets you understand how you solve real-life challenges. Do you get defeated and always blame yourself? Growing a bonsai tree is a perfect way to observe your actions and learn how to develop a healthy bond with discomfort.
It Develops Self-Confidence
Self-confidence is probably one of the most impactful health benefits of bonsai. When growing your bonsai, you will be directing yourself to plan ahead, learn new growth techniques, and learn how to effectively solve problems your plant is facing. You will be developing a problem-solving attitude while honing your learning ability. All these things will add to your personality, cultivating self-confidence through your bonsai tree.
Importance of health benefits of bonsai plants
If you are someone like me who adore houseplants and their beauty, you cannot miss having an indoor bonsai tree. In addition to their show-stopping appearance, the health benefits of bonsai trees are also what make them famous. A few benefits of keeping bonsai trees include improved mental health, air purifying, and allowing you to unleash your creativity. So, what bonsai do you have in your home? We like to hear about your bonsai!