Everyone knows that growing plants inside your home can bring beauty, vitality, and life into any living space. Although I did have an Aunt Margaret who hated the spiders that came with them and would never have living plants as a consequence.
However did you know that growing certain plants in your home can also have wonderful health benefits? Everyday household objects can release harmful gases into the air that we breath. These pollutants can have a serious effect on our health. Plants are able to breathe in bad air and turn dangerous toxins into harmless substances.
A healthy home has approximately 1 houseplant per 100 square feet. It is a good idea to have more plants per square feet if you live with multiple people or pets.
1. Aloe Vera: Helps clear chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene from the air, it also lowers carbon dioxide levels at night. This rare ability to absorb CO2 levels in the dark makes Aloe a wonderful bedroom companion that can help you get a more refreshing sleep.
Aloe vera is very easy to care for, needing minimum water and attention. The Egyptians called it the ‘plant of immortality’ because it is so resilient. It is important to keep it in direct sunlight.
2. Snake Plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue): A study shows that the snake plant can reduce respiratory symptoms, eye irritation, and headaches, while also reducing the need for ventilation. Snake plant is also a great bedroom companion because it can provide a significant amount of oxygen to indoor environments at night. Snake plant can be neglected for periods of time because it is a sturdy plant. It will thrive in the sun or shade, but should not be kept in an environment below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Areca Palm: It can purify benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. It is also a very effective air humidifier.
Areca palms prefer bright sunlight but too much light can scorch the leaves. It is important to not overwater these plants and they do best in moderate temperatures.
4. English Ivy: A NASA study concluded that English Ivy is the number one best air purifying houseplant because it is the most efficient plant to absorb formaldehyde. Its leaves can improve symptoms of allergies and asthma.
English Ivy is easy to grow and survives in moderate temperatures with medium sun exposure. The vine looks great in a hanging basket or on a ledge where the leaves can
trail down. This plant can be toxic if ingested by kids or pets so make sure to keep it out of their reach.
Note: English ivy is a noxious weed in some aread like the Dandenong Ranges
5. Chrysanthemum: The name “Chrysanthemum” is derived from the Greek words “gold” and “flower”. The flower also has many medicinal benefits. It can be used to treat chest pain, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, fever, cold, headache, dizziness, and swelling. When combined with other herbs, it can also be used to treat prostate cancer. Chrysanthemum tea is a very popular summertime beverage in areas of southern China.
Chrysanthemums need bright sunlight to flourish indoors. It is important to find an area that gets sun even in the winter. Water the plant often, keeping the soil damp at all times.
Reference: Ariana Marisol of Real Farmacy