As a plant alchemist and a firm believer in the infinite power of plants, I’m often asked to share my thoughts on the general capabilities and benefits of plants.
Plants are the most magical and awe-inspiring gift from mother nature. Not only miracle workers for our skin, plants also have so much more to offer us…
Some years ago, a Clean Air Study by NASA revealed that certain common indoor plants may in fact provide a natural way of removing toxic agents from the air, helping neutralize the effects of Sick Building Syndrome. SBS is a medical condition where people living or working in a building suffer from symptoms of illness, or feel unwell, for no apparent reason. Scary stuff, right?
Our genius air-filtering plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, helping eliminate significant amounts of toxins in our air such as formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and benzene. How’s that for plant power?
Formaldehyde is a volatile organic compound that’s expelled by a variety of household building products and furniture such as the glues used on wood, stain-repellent, sealants and natural gas stoves. Formaldehyde has been linked as a possible cause of cancer in humans, and can trigger asthma attacks and/or allergic reactions when high levels of this toxin are found.
Trichloroethylene is a solvent used on various organic materials. The symptoms associated with non-medical exposure of trichloroethylene include headaches, dizziness and confusion. Increased exposure can cause respiratory and circulatory depression, resulting in death.
Last but not least, benzene, a natural constituent of crude oil, can increase the risk of cancer and other illnesses. Many scientific studies link benzene to aplastic anemia, acute leukemia and bone marrow abnormalities.
Seriously scary stuff! Eek!!
Studies suggest that having at least one plant per 100 square feet of home of office space can significantly help clear the air of such toxins.
Before you rush out to fill your home with lots of beautiful and miraculous air-cleansing plants, PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH: some plants may be poisonous to dogs, cats and even children.
Top 5 plants for clearer air:
- Boston Fern –the ultimate air pollutant removal superhero
- Palm Trees – not only are they a nostalgic reminder of holidays spent in warmer climates, Palm Trees are great at clearing the air in your home of air pollutants. The Dwarf Date Palm, Bamboo Palm, Areca Palm, Lady Palm and Parlor Palm are the best varieties to go for.
- Rubber Plants – these require little sun and will brighten up that dull corner in your home or office.
- Peace Lily – this gorgeous plant will brighten any room, help clear the air of toxins and makes a great air humidifier. The downside is this plant may be poisonous to children and pets, so please be sure to do your research!
- Flowering Air Purifiers – Gerbera Daisies and tulips are both eye-pleasing and cleanse your indoor air.