Houseplants — Beautify Your Way To Better Health

house plants for health

Greening your home may be the first step towards improving your health and improving the air quality of your home is possibly the best place to start. Many homes contain irritants that contribute to poor air quality. Older homes may have layers of lead based paints, while any home may contain molds, bacteria, pollen, dust, and pet dander. All of these irritants have been suspected of being connected with or contributing to the development of numerous medical ailments including chronic respiratory diseases.

Recent studies have suggested that household plants provide a viable means for improving the air quality within your home. Introducing houseplants into your living space in affect cleans your homes air by removing a number of the toxins you would have been breathing and absorbing into your body-the result being better health for you and your family.

A NASA report released in 1989 titled Interior Landscape Plants For Indoor Air Pollution Abatement. The report provided the results of a two-year study on the effects of using houseplants for the purpose of improving air quality. Essentially the plants were able to successfully remove pollutants from indoor air.

Information supplied by the American Lung Association, has stated that chemicals such as Radon, Formaldehyde, Carbon monoxide, and many others can be found in many U.S. homes. In addition to our homes emitting many toxins we often introduce other sources of potentially harmful chemicals into our homes through the use of household items such as pesticides, cleaning products, paints, and solvents. Many of these chemicals have been known to contribute to chronic health problems including lung cancer.

The NASA report shows a lot of promise and as further studies would be welcome, the initial study contained promising results. The most remarkable results of the study found that common houseplants could improve air quality in as little as 24 hours. Some of the toxins tested and either successfully removed or substantially reduced included Benzene, Trichloroethytene, and Formaldehyde.

The report continued,

… when the same plants and potting soil are constantly exposed to air containing such toxins as benzene, their capacity to continuously clean the air improves…This is not surprising, since it is a well-established fact that microorganisms have the ability to genetically adapt, thereby increasing their ability to utilize toxic chemicals as a food source when continuously exposed to such chemicals.

So what can you do to begin to improve your air quality utilizing the NASA findings? According to those findings it is believed that approximately one houseplant of 6-8 inches in diameter for every 100 square feet of your home will greatly improve your air quality. Plants that require low amounts of sunlight are preferred. It also appears that some plants perform better when their low hanging leaves are trimmed allowing the soil to remain exposed causing the absorption of toxic chemicals to be even greater.

Further the report determined, when the use of houseplants is combined with certain air filtration systems greater more positive results are achieved. Most importantly, with or without an air filtration system, houseplants are a proven quick first step on your way to better health.

NASA Study-Best Plants For Indoor Air Pollution Abatement

  • Gerbera Daisy- Gerbera Jamesonii
  • English Ivy- Hedera Helix
  • Bamboo Palm – Chamaedorea Seifritzii
  • Chinese Evergreen – Aglaonema Modestum
  • Marginata – Dracaena Marginata
  • Mass cane/Corn Plant – Dracaena Massangeana
  • Pot Mum – Chrysantheium morifolium
  • Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum
  • Mother-in-Law’s Tongue- Sansevieria Laurentii
  • Warneckii – Dracaena Warneckii
  • Janet Craig – Dracaena Deremensis

The American Lung Association has additional tips for a healthy home.

Keith Lewis also writes for GreenWorld365 a Green Living website with tips and solutions for living an Eco-Friendly lifestyle.

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