Indoor Plants and Health

The Chinese have for centuries used houseplants to create 'living energy' in their homes and workplace. Now scientific data proves that indoor plants are good physically, emotionally and psychologically.
Indoor plants:
  • Remove harmful chemicals from the atmosphere
  • Absorb noise and airborne pollutants
  • Help hospital patients recover faster
  • Promote feelings of well-being
  • Make rooms look more tasteful, expensive and welcoming
  • Lower blood pressure, aid memory and concentration

Over the last 20 years there has been a huge change in home and office environments. Air conditioning, improved heat retention, and energy-saving all reduce air-exchange, which can lead to health problems. In cities and on busy roads, we are unlikely to want to bring "fresh" air inside.
Modern synthetic furnishings, computers and electrical equipment together with everyday substances such as cleaning materials emit various harmful gases in small quantities. 

These problems have been recognised in the work environment as "sick building syndrome" since the 1970s. 

Indoor plants are an effective solution.*

Luckily, mother nature created the human/plant world in balance, so that each supplies each other's needs - we give plants carbon dioxide when we breath out, and they give us oxygen. Plants decrease carbon dioxide concentrations and air temperatures in buildings as well as raising humidity. What has not been understood until recently is the extra air cleansing properties plants can offer when located in an indoor environment.
NASA space research identified air pollution problems inside sealed space habitats. Their research showed that ordinary houseplants had amazing air purification capabilities. 

Spider plants for example removed 96% of carbon monoxide (the toxic exhaust gas). The researchers do not know exactly how it works but it is thought the whole plant and soil is involved.

All tests were carried out in airtight chambers at low light levels. Three of the chemicals that houseplants absorbed in the tests were benzene (found in car exhaust fumes), formaldehyde (a common preservative) and trichloroethylene (TCE dry-cleaning fluid).**

*Source - Flower & Plant Association.

**Source -NASA Space Station Research 1989 Dr Bill Wolverton