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Pretty and Purposeful: Houseplants Clean Air and Serve as Stylish Décor


Gardening is a rewarding hobby that can pay a host of dividends, both for the planet and the people doing the gardening. Healthy plant life can help clean the air by absorbing carbon dioxide and various air pollutants, while the act of gardening can help gardeners combat stress and serve as an expression of personal style.

Published in 2011 in the Journal of Health Psychology, a study from researchers in the Netherlands found that gardening promotes relief from acute stress. In the study, two groups of participants were asked to complete a stressful task and then instructed to either read indoors or garden outdoors for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, the latter group had lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and even reported being in a better mood than the group instructed to read indoors.
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Bring the benefits of outdoor gardening indoor in preparation for the fall months ahead by creating succulent arrangements, buying artisanal or locally made plant potters, or mothering an indoor tree. According to an article published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, houseplants can work wonders when it comes to improving overall health, removing toxins from air, soil and water by metabolizing some toxic chemicals and releasing harmless byproducts while sequestering such toxins by incorporating them into plant tissues.

Clean indoor air is important for everyone, but especially so for those people who suffer from respiratory ailments like asthma. The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology considers indoor air filtration an essential part of any strategy to improve respiratory health. Filtration systems and air purifiers are often not enough, and those who want the air in their homes to be as clean as possible may benefit from introducing certain houseplants into their homes. The following are a handful of plants that can help to improve indoor air quality:


Aloe Vera : 


This plant is a succulent that even novice gardeners should have no problem growing. It can clear indoor air of formaldehyde and benzene, two common byproducts of chemical-based cleaners many people use in their homes.

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Spider Plant :


Spider plants are resilient, and that makes them great houseplants for busy men and women who tend to be forgetful when caring for their plants. In addition, spider plants are pet-friendly and can be used to combat benzene, carbon dioxide, formaldehyde and xylene.

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English Ivy :


NASA researchers exploring the possibilities of long-term space habitation found that certain houseplants were more effective at cleaning air inside energy-efficient, non-ventilated buildings than others. One such plant was English ivy, which can effectively combat the formaldehyde found in certain household cleaning products.

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Bamboo Palm :


Bamboo palms also found their way onto NASA’s list. Bamboo palm plants thrive indoors, where they are especially effective at filtering out the chemicals benzene and trichloroethylene.
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Gardening has been proven to be a soothing hobby that helps reduce stress, but the health benefits of gardening can extend indoor as well. Find your favorite plants, create an arrangement, or randomly place them throughout the home; whatever your style, express it with houseplants while reaping the benefits of cleaner air and reduced stress.



Courtesy MCC

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Lifestyle Magazine: Pretty and Purposeful: Houseplants Clean Air and Serve as Stylish Décor
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