Have you ever noticed how sitting by the ocean or walking through a forest produces a sense of calm and peacefulness? People spend their weekends, their vacations, any free time they have, traveling to have these experiences, to be “out in nature,” to “recharge” before entering back into the daily grind. What if we could design our home and the spaces we occupy most to produce that same sense of calm and peacefulness? Introducing clay into our home’s interior with plasters, or better yet, building entire wall systems from the earth, is one way we can make that happen. Clay filled houses just “feel” better than others and it turns out, this isn’t as subjective as you may think it to be.
Here’s the science: Air is filled with either negative or positive charges called ions. It's the negative charges that benefit us humans, while positive ions also known as “free radicals” are comprised of toxins, impurities, viruses and pollutants. Fresh air in places like the ocean, the mountains, forests, cob homes and clay plastered rooms contain beneficial negative ions that promote a universal feeling of well being that enhances our immune defenses and reduces our susceptibility to disease. Why is this so? “Negative ions are oxygen atoms charged with an extra electron which allows them to attract and attach to positive ions in our living space, clearing the air of dust, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria and viruses. They do this by attaching to these positively charged particles in large numbers. This causes the pollen, mold, bacteria, etc to become too heavy to stay airborne, thus removing it from the air you breathe and preventing it from causing respiratory problems and other health issues" (www.earthslivingclay.com).
In today's environment there are more positive ions than ever, including things like positive ion-producing air conditioning, electrical equipment like televisions and clothes dryers, and even carpet and upholstery, “our homes have become what has been described as ‘positive ion prisons’ which “create an electrical imbalance in the atmosphere and in our bodies.” If you live in a busy town or city (which most of us humans do) the concentration of negative ions in the air may only be a tenth of that found in country environments.
Making some simple adjustments can totally shift the scales to create healthy and nurturing indoor environments!
Instead of painting or putting wallpaper on your walls, you can choose instead a beautiful and functional clay plaster which can generate negative ions everyday. This has not only proven to help people sleep better, but as Web MD points out, negative ions have been scientifically linked to increased serotonin production in the human body. This mood-altering chemical can help to boost energy levels and alleviate depression, while simultaneously lowering stress levels.
Let's use the earth to make our homes more alive and to help us feel better!