Saturday, June 7, 2014

10 NASA Approved Houseplants to Improve Indoor Air Quality

Did you know in the 1980’s NASA conducted studies in how houseplants can aid in the purification of indoor air? If we think about it, it makes complete sense. Astronauts spend months contained in environments with stagnant, regulated air. Any help they can get to increase the purity of the air around them would be welcome while orbiting the earth. Here are the top 10 houseplants NASA has found to be effective in purifying toxins from the air. By taking a little bit of time to include these plants in your home or work environments, you can help neutralize the toxins you come into contact with.

Aloe Vera
Aloe plants are easy to grow for even the most plant challenged, they can aid in the healing process if applied to burns or cuts but they also help filter Benzene from the air. Benzene is found in paint and chemical cleaners.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
The Peace Lily is a staple plant around Easter time but other than producing beautifully unique flowers, the Peace Lily helps improve air quality by up to 60%! The leaves absorb mold spores from the air and transport them to the roots to be used as food. Harmful vapors from Alcohols and Acetone are also absorbed.

Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
Another easy to grow plant is the Spider Plant and this air cleansing plant can help remove up to 90% of toxins from the air within just 2 days! If you suffer from dust allergies, the Spider Plant is for you. It helps remove mold and other allergens from the air as well as small traces of Formaldehyde and Carbon Monoxide.

English Ivy (Hedera helix)
The English Ivy is one plant us Oregonians see everywhere, so much so it is considered an invasive weed, but when contained in a pot it becomes an air-cleaning powerhouse. Keep one on your desk at work for it is proven to help you focus while filtering harmful Formaldehyde, which is found in various cleaning products, furniture and carpeting. It can also help remove trace amount of Benzene too. Best of all, for those with pets it helps remove fecal matter from the air!

Sword/Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
One of the most popular houseplants is the Sword or Boston Fern which acts as a humidifier, regulating moisture in the air. They also help filter out trace amounts of Formaldehyde.

Heart Leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum)
Also known as the Sweetheart Plant, this climbing vine helps remove Formaldehyde from the air but it should be kept high enough so pets and children cannot eat the leaves, as they are toxic.

This favorite of Koalas is not easily found in houseplant form but if you happen across one, it is worth buying. The leaves contain tannins that help keep your breathing passages in working order and breathing in the scent can help ward off colds by lowering congestion.

African Violets (Saintpaulia)
These pretty purple flowers can help you relax just because of their color. It releases adrenaline when you gaze upon it, increasing oxygen flow to your brain. They grow well in artificial light as well, making them great additions to the office or rooms with indirect sunlight.

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema)
This long-living cousin of the Heart Leaf Philodendron helps filter through toxins in the air, it also produces small red berries adding a touch of color to the green leafs. Like most of these houseplants, the longer you keep it, the more toxins it will remove from the air.

Also known as mums, these common flowers help filter Benzene from the air. An added benefit is that they come in a variety of colors and sizes and can be easily found at your local nursery.

Any one of these houseplants can help remove Benzene, Formaldehyde, Carbon Monoxide, mold, dust and many other toxins that affect our indoor air quality. A simple purchase and some minor regular care will have you on your way to breathing free and feeling better.

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