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Indoor Plants Could Save Your Life

Indoor Plants Could Save Your Life

Posted in Eco-Living
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Indoor Plants Could Save Your Life
(OrganicJar) New research shows that ornamental plants can drastically reduce levels of stress, ill health and boost performance levels at work because they soak up harmful indoor air pollution. Researchers have now identified five “super ornamental plants” which every workplace should have to clean up indoor air. They include English ivy, waxy leaved plants and ferns (see a full list below).

According to a World Health Organization report in 2002, harmful indoor pollutants represent a serious health problem that is responsible for more than 1.6 million deaths each year. Indoor air is up to 12 times more polluted than outdoor air in some areas, with air quality affected by chemicals from paints, varnishes, adhesives, furnishings, clothing, solvents, building materials and even tap water. These produce so-called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, that have been shown to cause illnesses in people who are exposed to the compounds in indoor spaces.


Now horticulture experts in the US have tested a number of ornamental indoor plants for their ability to remove harmful VOCs from indoor air. Stanley Kays, the lead researcher at University of Georgia, said some indoor plants have the ability to effectively remove harmful VOCs from the air and not only improve physical health, but also someone’s wellbeing. Adding these plants to indoor spaces can reduce stress, increase performance at work and reduce symptoms of ill health.

The research team tested 28 common indoor ornamental plants for their ability to remove five volatile indoor pollutants. Of the species tested, purple waffle plant (Hemigraphis alternata), English ivy (Hedera helix), waxy leaved plant (Hoya carnosa) and Asparagus fern (Asparagus densiflorus) were rated best for removing air pollutants. The purple heart plant (Tradescantia pallida) was rated superior for its ability to remove four of the VOCs.
Prof Kays, writing in the journal HortScience, said: “The volatile compounds tested in this study can adversely affect indoor air quality and have a potential to seriously compromise the health of exposed individuals.”

The study concluded that simply introducing common ornamental plants into indoor spaces has the potential to significantly improve the quality of indoor air.

The recommended plants are listed below. Note that all the plants in the list are easily available from your local nursery.

  1. Purple Waffle Plant – (Hemigraphis Alternata)
  2. English Ivy – (Hedera Helix)
  3. Waxy Leaved Plant – (Hoya Carnosa)
  4. Asparagus Fern – (Asparagus Densiflorus)

What’s Your Favorite Houseplant? Leave a Comment Below.

Source: telegraph.co.uk

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  1. This is great because I love plants.It’s amazing because one of our dear friend actually gave us the Purple waffle plant years ago but I didnt know what its real name until today.Gardenia is actually one of my favorites eventhough it wasn’t in your top four…Love it!Great info…Thanks

  2. Thanks for the compact and highly helpful article on house plants that are good detoxifying air purifiers.

    Plants in the house is a no-brainer. The life-long evolutionary partnership we have developed with plants is remarkable and we should take advantage of it in our homes; especially, like you remarked on, when there is an overabundance of toxins in modern homes.

    I think it was great you focused on the plants that have the greatest ability to purify vs. prettify living space. I will work these subtle beauties into our home biosphere.

    Again, thanks for the work you do on this site, it is much needed in the world. Jason’s story on the “About” page is also very inspiring and is an excellent catalyst for people to take their health and wellness into their own hands and make a transition to optimum and true “organic” living with the wisdom they find in this Organic Jar.

    I will continue to read and refer people your way. If you are ever in need of a guest blogger, I would consider it an honor.

    In Wellness, Purpose, and Abundance,

    Jason Cote

  3. Yes. I love plants and have them all over my house. I don’t have any particular variety. Right now, I have the big elephant ears, basil, spider plants, peppermint in gallon pots, etc. I love plants!!

    Good article.

    Nonya Afiya

  4. A great thing about growing houseplants is that they help you to enjoy plants and gardening all year long. Additionally, there are houseplants for all skill levels and interests.

  5. The only plant on this list that is safe for dogs and cats (meaning non-toxic) is the Purple Waffle Plant. The other 3 listed are toxic to dogs and cats, so if you have pets, please check the ASPCA’s list for ones that are pet safe!

  6. thanks for letting us all know! cheers! : )

  7. Plants can brighten up the dullest of rooms, and I agree with Jason, plants in the home or an office is an absolute must as they are proven to reduce toxins and improve health.

  8. Detoxing my house 1 plant at a time!

  9. LIKE IT…

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  1. From Tweets that mention Indoor Plants Could Save Your Life -- Topsy.com on Aug 20, 2010
  2. From Different Growing Methods for Indoor Plants | Indoor House Plants on Sep 11, 2010

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