Scientists have researched the effects of indoor plants on humans. In one study in 2008, conducted with Dutch researchers, plants were placed in hospital rooms to see if they could determine any medical or emotional benefits to having plants; the results were intriguing.
The study found that the patients who had the indoor plants reported experiencing reduced levels of stress during their stay as opposed to the patients whose rooms did not have any living plants.
The NASA Clean Air Study was led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and the results showed that having live plants in a room enhance the atmosphere, provide tension and stress relief, and promote stress reduction.
Also, certain species of indoor plants have been found to clean and purify the air from household toxins ranging from cleaning solutions to gasoline from autos. Other common indoor air pollutants include formaldehyde and benzene.
Exposure to formaldehyde irritates the eyes, nose, and throat can cause headaches and allergic contact dermatitis and has been linked to asthma. Benzene irritates the eyes and skin.
Indoor air pollution is often caused by the use of personal-care products, pesticides, and household cleaners. Biological sources such as insects, pests, molds and other fungi also contribute to overall air quality. The benefits of healthy, clean air make houseplants perfect to add to any décor.
NASA rated houseplants by their ability to clean air, as well as the amount of care is involved. You can compare and choose the plants to best purify the air and fit into your lifestyle.
In the list below, you’ll find indoor plants will be decorative at varying levels of care. They are measurably effective in cleaning toxins from the air while also increasing the level of oxygen.
#1 – The Aloe Plant – The Aloe plant is well-known for its healing gel, but it is also an excellent air-cleaner specializing on chemical cleaning solutions, and the spikes will turn brown with excessive contaminants. Aloe likes lots of sun and is easy to care for.
#2 – The Boston Fern – The Boston Fern – rates some level of care because they like to be sprayed with water several times a week. They grow quickly and are at the top of the NASA list for air-cleaning.
#3 – English Ivy – The English Ivy is rated as NASA’s number one air-filtering houseplant because it efficiently absorbs formaldehyde. It is easy to grow at moderate temperatures and medium sunlight.
#4 – Rubber Tree – If you want to fill a larger space, try a Rubber Tree. It has excellent purifying properties and thrives in low light areas making it an easy to care for, and beautiful addition to your space.
#5 – Snake Plant – The perfect plant for your bedroom is a Snake plant because they thrive on little water and light. Snake plants emit oxygen during the night and absorb carbon dioxide.
#6 – Gerbera Daisies – For a splash of color, a flowering plant like Gerbera Daisies will do the trick, but they require more care. Gerbera Daisies will add beautiful color to a desk or inside window box, while efficiently clearing formaldehyde and other toxins from the air. Florists’ Mums and Azaleas will work too.
#7 – Palm Trees – Palms are at the top of NASA’s air-detoxifying list, and they add ambiance to the corner of any room. Palms are excellent air-purifiers and very easy to care for – they like indirect sunlight and plenty of water. Some effective varieties are Bamboo Palm, Dwarf Date Palm, Areca Palm, Parlor Palm and Lady Palm.
On average, we spend 90% of our time indoors. With this checklist of living air-purifiers, you are ready to add some living décor and reap the benefits. You and your children will enjoy watching your houseplants grow as you enjoy a toxin-free environment. Add as many plants as you like because you will multiply the benefits, so you and your family will enjoy better health.
Dr. Josh Kantor is an NYC Chiropractor, Applied Kinesiologist, Clinical Nutritionist, and Owner of Chill Space NYC, a leading health and wellness spa in Manhattan, New York City. Learn more by visiting his website at ChillSpaceNYC.com
By Josh Kantor