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Types of Indoor Plants that Purify the Air

Written by Viki, Plant Lover

We all know that fresh air is vital for our health and well-being. There is something about the process of leaving the city and going back to nature that regenerates us. Taking that first gulp of fresh air in the countryside is real food for the soul. Your nervous system begins to slow down and you always tend to sleep better, funny that.

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Our Top Pick: Indoor Plants that purify the air

Whilst our inner-wisdom tells us what we already need to know about the connection between nature and health, there have been some studies to back this up, with particular regard to how indoor plants purify the air.

Going back to our roots

In 1989, the clever people at NASA conducted an experiment known as The NASA Clean Air Study analysing how plants can purify the air in closed-air space environments, to find ways to keep their space stations clean and their astronauts healthy, and found that indoor plants could remove some nasty cancer-forming toxins from the air, including benzene and formaldehyde. If you ever decide to colonise Mars, you’ll be sure to take your houseplant with you.

A large number of common household plants were tested in the study, and you’ll be glad to know the vast majority were found to reduce harmful pollutants. The Peace Lily was seen as a real winner in the NASA study, being able to remove benzene, formaldehyde, the somewhat hard to pronounce trichloroethylene, and finally, the Peace Lily also did a great number on Xylene, toluene and ammonia.

This plant sweeps up a lot of chemical nasties and should be on your list if your mission is to get cleaner air in your home with indoor plants that purify the air. Not only do plants look beautiful, but they fight the bad guys and make your home a healthier place to be.

These ominous-sounding chemicals are part of a particular group of pollutants that are known as volatile organic compounds and definitely aren't welcome to stay the night. This group of chemicals are particularly pesky for human health and emit from internal environments. In fact, studies show that our homes can have three to five times more pollutants than outside, which is a bit gross.

Fortunately, our green buddies, who are welcome to stay the night, are great at reducing VOCs. If you like clever-sounding Latin words, here's one for you: Phytoremediation. That is the scientific process by which plants and their root microbes remove contaminants from both air and water.

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Peace Lily

Top indoor plants to purify the air

In addition to the NASA study, A study by Vadoud Niri and his colleagues at the State University of New York found that particular species of plants had a higher rate of VOC removal compared to others. Here are some of air-purifying winners:

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1. Chinese Money Plant

The Chinese Money Plant (Pilea Peperomioides) was seen to be very fast acting in removing VOCS from the air. This fella is usually found high up in the mountains in China and is a great plant for not only purifying the air but making your home more zen.

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2. Corn Plant

The Corn plant, also called the Dracaena Plant, was fantastic at absorbing VOCs, and the researchers recorded a whopping 94% of the chemical acetone, used in nail polish, reduced from the air – clearly a must-have plant for nail salons.

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3. Rubber Plant

The Rubber Plant is also a great remover of formaldehyde, not to mention is a real beauty and easy to take care of.

Whilst the fresh air of the forest of the sea freshens you like nothing else, you can get a similar effect with indoor plants that purify the air. Instead of investing in an expensive gadget to purify the air (and lead to more co2 emissions) why not invest in detoxifying houseplants that make both your lungs and the world better? A perfect win-win. It’s time to bring the forest to your home with our selection of super air purifying plants.

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