3 Reason Why You Need Houseplants

Houseplants are amazing.  Most people only think of them as a living decoration to have in their windows, though.  Very few people realize the healing power and air cleaning ability they have as well.

In the 1980s, NASA commissioned a series of experiments to be conducted to find out if plants could remove toxins from the air inside a space shuttle.  The results of the experiment ended up showing that plants were very good at removing the toxins and that they would be beneficial in homes for the very same reason.

Houseplants That Remove Trichloroethylene

Trichloroethylene is a chemical that is man-made.  Nowhere in nature will you find this particular chemical occurring naturally.

In your home, you will find it in carpet cleaner, paint remover, metal cleaners, and varnishes.  Too much exposure to this chemical can lead to irritation (in the eye, nose and throat), headaches, liver problems, heart problems and vomiting (Wisconsin Department of Health Services).

To keep your home free of this chemical, you can either not use any of the above products, or you can grow the following houseplants to help remove the chemical from your home:

  • Bamboo Palm
  • Gerbera Daisy
  • Peace Lilly

Houseplants that Remove Benzene

Benzene is found in cigarette smoke, oils, glue, paints, plastics, furniture wax, rubber, dyes, pesticides, detergents, and many other products.  Many of these products are found in our homes, which increases the level of benzene we are exposed on a daily basis.

The effect that benzene has on our health is longer than the list of products you can find it in.  Exposure for even just a short period of time to very high levels of benzene can result in death.  Exposure over a long period of time to lower levels has been shown to possible lead to leukemia and other health issues (National Library of Medicine).

To keep benzene at healthy levels in your home, put one or more of these houseplants in your windows to absorb the chemical and remove it from the air:

  • Mums
  • Peace Lilly
  • Gerbera Daisies
  • English Ivy
  • Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

Houseplants that Remove Formaldehyde

We have all heard of formaldehyde.  Our first exposure to it was most likely during science class when the frogs we were to dissect were taken out of their formaldehyde liquid storage.

Did you know that there is formaldehyde in our homes as well?  Formaldehyde is used in foam insulation, particle board and many other building materials.

Too much exposure to this chemical in the air can lead to difficulty breathing and even possibly cancer (Illinois Department of Public Health).  In addition to opening your windows frequently to allow fresh air in your home, here are some plants that can also remove formaldehyde from the air for you (Economic Botany, 1984, pp. 224-228):

  • Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
  • Dracaena Warneckie
  • Peace Lilly
  • Bamboo Palm
  • Dracaena Marginata
  • Green Spider Plant
  • Golden Pathos

As you can see houseplants not only make the inside of our home look nice, they can also have a positive effect on our health.

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