Breath of Life – How Houseplants Improve Health
By Janet Pfeiffer
Air-Filtering HousePlants – Grow Your Own Fresh Air
I’ve always loved gerberas – those great big gorgeous daisy-like flowers with seemingly a zillion petals. Now I have even more reason for filling my home with their glorious color.
We know that the quality of the food we eat is vital to our wellbeing – just as we know that the quality of the air we breathe can have a significant impact on our health.
While we can easily make dietary modifications, what can we do to improve the purity of what we breathe? The answer is air-filtering houseplants – grow your own fresh air!
Not just any houseplants, however. In its Clean Air Study, NASA identified a number of plants which can produce significant oxygen level improvements. With these plants in your home, you can increase blood oxygen levels by 1% in 10 hours – not bad. They have the ability to reduce headaches, eye irritation, asthma and assorted respiratory problems.
A few of the friendly houseplants include:
Snake plant – otherwise known as mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’). This converts CO2 into oxygen at night.
Areca Palm – (Chrysalidocarpus lutescens). This removes CO2 and converts it into oxygen during the day.
Devil’s Ivy – aka Golden Pothos -(Scindapsus aures or Epipremnum aureum). This removes formaldehyde and other chemicals from your air.
Other air-friendly plants include English Ivy and Red-Edged Dracena (help remove xylene and toluene).
Pot Mum (Florist’s Chrysanthemum), the Peace Lily and my favorite – the Gerbera daisy – all help remove benzene, formaldehyde and trichlorethylene.
So, how many do you need? NASA recommends 15-18 good-sized houseplants in 20cm pots (exposed surface soil is also important – it can also remove benzene from the air) in a 170 sq metre home.
Hmmm … that’s a lot of gerberas … I love it!