Spider Plant helps remove toxins in the air
As the weather starts to cool down, you’ll likely be spending more time indoors. In fact, the EPA estimates that Americans spend up to 90% of their time indoors. The air inside can contain 5 – 10 times more pollutants than the outside air. Why? Because the outside is exposed to wind, rain, and sun to naturally degrade the pollutants. Our indoor environments are perfect breeding grounds for all of these elements to build up and grow in our homes. Substances like dust, mold, pollens and other bacteria may make it hard to breathe and cause problems for those with allergies.
Luckily, there are easy, natural solutions to help you improve the air you breathe in your home. The first step to a healthy home is Dr. Doormat. Another natural way to keep the air in your home clean and improve your family’s health is by simply investing in a few houseplants.
5 Health Benefits of Houseplants
1. Breathe Easier
Your body takes in oxygen and releases carbon dioxide each time you take a breath. Houseplants do the opposite. During photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Adding plants to your indoor space will increase oxygen levels and make it easier for you and your family to breathe.
2. Prevent Illnesses
Plants also release moisture vapor into the air. The moisture vapor released into the air increases the humidity of a room. In the dry winter months, houseplants can help prevent respiratory illnesses, colds, coughs and sore throats. As an added benefit, your skin will stay hydrated!
3. Improve Allergies
A NASA study report showed that plants can remove up to 87% of VOCs (volatile organic compounds). VOCs are introduced to your home from common objects like rugs, vinyl floors, grocery bags, inks, man-made fibers and paint.
Peace Lilly helps remove mold and purify the air for allergy sufferers
Many houses also have pollen, dust and mold trapped inside. When your windows are closed during colder months, these particles can’t escape and can aggravate allergies and cause colds.
Air purifying plants pull VOCs into the soil and convert them to plant food. You’re left with cleaner and healthier air to breathe in your house.
4. Elevate Your Mood
Some studies suggest that houseplants can improve your mental health, too. Many companies put plants into offices to prevent fatigue, improve attentiveness and lift workers’ moods.
Plants are also used to help those suffering from depression. When patients feel sad or lonely, caring for another living thing helps them feel more of a sense of purpose in life.
5. Sleep Better
Most houseplants only produce oxygen during the day, but several will also produce oxygen at night. Higher levels of oxygen make it easier to breathe and promote deeper levels of sleep.
Choose the Right Plant
Not all plants will produce health benefits for your family. In fact, some are poisonous to children and pets and should be avoided.
The following plants are non-toxic and will purify and humidify your home’s air.
- Spider Plant: Great for living spaces, this plant purifies air quickly and removes toxins.
- Dragon Tree: This plant is also ideal for living spaces. It purifies air and removes toxins.
- Gerbera Daisy: Releases oxygen at night and purifies the air by removing toxins. Place this plant in your bedroom to improve sleeping.
- English Ivy: Removes toxins, especially those found in offices and studies.
- Boston Fern: Humidifies the air in your living spaces.
- Snake Plant: It has a scary name, but the snake plant won’t bite. It will purify the air and remove any toxins associated with fuel-burning appliances and fireplaces.
- Peace: This plant removes mold and is ideal for bathrooms or damp areas in your home.
English Ivy is perfect for removing toxins
Any amount of houseplants in your home will improve your air quality and mood. However, in order to get the full benefit from houseplants in your indoor space, experts recommend that you place one large plant (8-inch diameter pot or larger) for every 100-150 square feet.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to purify the air in your home with houseplants, try the book How to Grow Fresh Air.
This is a subject that is very dear to me since I have had allergies all my life and collect houseplants. It’s amazing how powerful mother nature is. To think that our forests are designed to be the clean up crew for the atmosphere and our rain forests are being threatened by human interference. I guess that makes me a treehugger.
May Every Step You Take Be Healthy!
Debbie Estis Greenspan
Dr. Doormat, Inc.