Nature

Swap air freshener chemicals for these natural air-purifying plants

How a humble plant can improve your health

When things smell a little fusty inside, most of us reach for the Febreze or perhaps light a candle – both of which contain chemicals.

Even with no noticeable odour lingering after your Saturday night shindig, you could still be at risk of breathing in impure air.

The reason being that synthetic materials from furniture, paint, carpeting and flooring naturally degrade and release harmful particles into the atmosphere. So much so, the air inside the average home is said to be up to five times more polluted than the air outside.

While that might sound pretty shocking, there are natural ways you can clear the air.

It is all thanks to the humble plant that packs a punch when it comes to cleaning your home, due to its ability to pump out fresh oxygen and banish toxins to leave you breathing pretty.

Before you go on a wild splurge, check out the recommendations below from our friends over at Conscious Lifestyle magazine who have collated the top air-purifying plants to help you thrive.

[Credit: Kelly Sikkema]

1) Mother-in-Law’s Tongue

This magical plant has almost witchcraft abilities as it is said to remove over 100 known air pollutants, including the deadly carbon monoxide.

It also produces copious amounts of oxygen throughout the night, making it an excellent plant to keep in the bedroom to keep you healthy while snoozing.

[Credit: Xinyi Zhang]

2) Money Plant

Popular in the practice of feng shui to boost prosperity, this plant is used to harmonise indoor spaces via its strategic arrangement alongside other household items.

As well as its calming aesthetic, its air-purifying properties will clean the air in your house very effectively due to its particular affinity for volatile organic compounds (known as VOCs) most commonly in the form of off-gassing from synthetic paint or carpets.

[Credit: Maria Elizabeth]

3) Peace Lily

You may be familiar with this gem that is a great general cleanser capable of removing all common indoor pollutants generated by furniture, electronics and cleaning products.

The peace lily is such a force to be reckoned with, it is ranked as one of the top sanitisers by NASA, who made the initial discovery about air purifying plants in the late 1980s.

[Credit: Alex Perri]

4) Bamboo Palm

These green friends excel at getting rid of harmful formaldehydes (found in building materials), benzene (often found in plastics, resins or detergents) and carbon monoxide.

As an added bonus, they are also natural humidifiers due to their ability to produce a litre of water every 24 hours making it a brilliant option for those with breathing troubles.

Looks like a trip to the garden centre has just found its way onto our to-do list.

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