There’s a reason why urban areas dress up the streets with vigorous plant material and it’s not just to cover up concrete and make things look pretty. Three of the nastiest pollutants in the world as we know it are ‘formaldehyde’, ‘benzene’ and ‘trichloroethylene’ (the byproducts of at the very least...furniture, cleaning products, tobacco smoke and fabrics) These toxins have been found to be absorbed by living green foliage which fix the contaminants in the soil. The plants then continue to thrive while giving back life giving oxygen into the air around us.
Note the following:
- Mold spores and bacteria are at the mercy of plant filled rooms. Science tells us plants release phytochemicals a natural mold and bacteria repellent.
- Plants transpiring = more moisture in the environment ie. Natural humidifiers!
- Another not so pretty contaminant of our air is ‘bioefflurent’ a byproduct of our breathing. Bring on the purifying houseplants!
Below I’ve listed a few choices that you might want to stock up on this season. They are known air purifiers plus some can be overwintered as houseplants.
- Aloe vera: known to treat cuts and sunburn but also rids home of formaldehyde
- English ivy: cleans benzene and formaldehyde (byproduct of chemical cleaners, toilet paper, paints)
- Chrysanthemum: cleans air of formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia (glue, paint, plastics)
- Gerbera: removes all indoor toxins, removes trichloroethylene residue of drycleaning
- Eucalyptus: raises healthy fluids in body’s air passages, helps lower congestion when breathing in scent, wards off colds
- Fern: particularily boston fern can break down toxins and change them into a form that is usable for the plants root system.
- Begonia: can tolerate warmth and humidity as well as indirect light. A perfect air purifier for the bathroom
- Banana plant: large leaves have tremendous capacity of absorbing toxins and releasing oxygen
And if you don’t see your favourite plant on the list it’s not to say that it’s undesirable...pretty much every plant likely has a certain capacity to filter the air.
Plus even without the purification benefits, plants help in the relaxation department...but we’re the select group that already knew that!