Its really hard to believe that it is said the air inside the average home is up to five times more polluted than the air outside. It can be quite deceiving as unless you have ‘eco-friendly’ furniture, or organic flooring (if wooden varnished floor boards count) then I definitely don’t. It is more likely that there are some light to moderate off-gassing going off releasing harmful particles into the air. Here are a few of my favourites and most well known plants that can help counteract some of the effects, one of them I keep in my bedroom next to the bed and I am pretty positive that I wake up in good mood (usually quite neutral) than I ever did before I got him… introducing Al the Aloe!!
Aloe Vera (Aloe Barbadensis Miller)
I think most of us are familiar with Aloe Vera as we see it in our cosmetics, bath products and for sunburn, cuts and bruises. This is my favourite as is one of the most easiest plants to grow indoors and before long will be have baby Aloes that can be re-potted and placed around the house.
One of NASA’s Research Studies found Aloe to be one of the most powerful plant purifiers, helping to clear chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene (a by product of chemical based cleaners) for the air. It also has lower carbon dioxide levels, and unlike most plants, it releases oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide at night, hence a great plant for the bedroom giving a an oxygen boost whilst you sleep.
Spider Plant (Chlorophytum Comosum)
Another easy plant to keep, as you can tell I like the easiest ones, I’ve had a few just suddenly give up on me, though I’m doing well with my Curly Spider Plant and her babies!
Like the Aloe, the Spider Plant again absorbs formaldehyde and benzene, carbon monoxide and xylene (a solvent used in leather and rubber). So makes a great plant for either small workshops or garages. They are quite hardy and these plants are also safe for pets. I have a naughty Oriental Siamese who likes to have a nibble, which I found out the hard way when he decided to lick the pollen of a Tiger Lily! I am now ultra careful since.
English Ivy (Hedera Helix)
The English Ivy grows and survives in most of our weather in the UK, again one that crops up in the study as the most powerful due to the percentage of its absorption removing 94% of airborne faeces and 78% mold in as little as 12 hours. A great indoor plant to have around if you suffer from allergies or asthma.
This one is best kept high out the way either on the window sill, hanging basket or in the downstairs toilet room.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Best known as ‘Mother-in-Laws Tongue’ and another great one for having in the bedroom for an oxygen boost. Thrives great in indoor environments such as steamy bathrooms, along with purifying the air it has the ability again to absorb formaldehyde, traces of which are found in our toilet paper and tissues would you believe. Also great for offices that do not have much ventilation and little light. Quite sharp though at the ends, hence Mother in Laws! oops.
For a list of more plants that were used in the NASA Clean Air Study click on the link for more information. Its quite interesting to see if you already have them in your house and didn’t know much they were doing for us.