Can you relate to those times where you can’t seem to get comfortable inside your home? Maybe the air is too dry or overly humid, or maybe it feels like you’re surrounded by an old dust-filled air filter. In either case, the wrong kind of air (which may differ from person to person) can lead to several health problems. Fortunately, filling your home with the right plants will not only give it a nice splash of living color. You’ll create an ideal microclimate that promotes good health, too!
Negative Effects of Different Kinds of Air
Climates vary from house to house let alone state to state or country to country. In addition to changes in temperature, air pollutants also play a significant role in our overall health. From dryness to humidity to pollution, each at heightened levels comes with its own set of risks.
We tend to experience dry climates most during the winter months. The combination of below zero temperatures and heaters on blast can result in:
- Dry, ashy, or cracked skin
- Irritated sinuses and throat
- Itchy eyes
This kind of climate can be a challenge to prepare for because the humidity makes it feel hotter than it is. Highly humid weather can make you feel sluggish and unenergetic which will likely be accompanied by:
- Muscle cramps
- Heat exhaustion, fainting, or heatstroke
Bad Air Pollution
Every one of us experiences air pollution daily. From dust in your room to cigarette smoke and car exhaust to city smog, how you’re affected depends on your current health status. In extreme cases of pollution, however, you can be at risk of:
- Sped-up lung aging as well as decreased lung function and capacity
- A heart and lungs that are overworked and overstressed from trying to supply your body with oxygen
- Damaged cells in the respiratory system
- Cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses (e.g., asthma, bronchitis, or emphysema)
- A shortened lifespan
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Plants You Need For A Perfect Indoor Environment
Plants That Keep the Air Dry
- Citrus limon plants fill any room with a lemony fresh fragrance when they flower. In addition to absorbing excess moisture in your house, it also contains curative substances that help to sterilize its surroundings. It thrives in direct sunlight, regular watering, and dry soil.
- Myrtus plants will help restore your home’s microclimate to a healthy one. And while they’re at it, they’ll also help you! The Myrtus releases phytoncides from their leaves and flowers that help kill of microbes in the air.
- Laurus nobilis is a tropical plant that loves high humidity which is what makes it so effective at absorbing the air’s moisture. But don’t to water it generously with lukewarm water and keep it shaded.
- Spathiphyllum (or “women’s happiness”) absorbs excess moisture in the air. This will simultaneously help normalize your home’s microclimate and destroy mold spores. It thrives most if the general temperature is around eighteen degrees Celsius.
- Coffea plants require good watering and prefer shade. In addition to giving off a tropical aroma when they flower, the coffea is also great at sucking up excess moisture.
Plants That Humidify the Air
- Sansevieria is a plant that can freshen the air, produce a lot of oxygen, and help neutralize (synthetic) air pollutants. They store a lot of moisture in their leaves which make them easy to care for with minimal watering all well helping keep your microclimate balanced.
- Rubber plants grow into unique shapes and require moderate watering and moist soil, especially in dryer seasons. It loves bright, filtered light but keep it away from cats and dogs because it is toxic.
- Chamaecyparis is an evergreen plant that adds moisture to your home as well as a fresh smell. It requires regular watering and a lot of shade. If you keep the plant healthy, however, Chamaecyparis can help to ease symptoms of migraines and headaches.
- Kalanchoe is a plant that is native to Madagascar and thrives in dry environments with a lot of sunlight and moderate watering. Because they accumulate a lot of moisture in their leaves, they can help balance an otherwise dry climate.
- Cissus is an ivy-like plant that adapts seamlessly to dry air and provides it with moisture. For it to be most effective, cissus requires a shaded area and you to mist it regularly.
Plants that Purify the Air
- Aloe vera can be finicky because it cannot thrive in standing water. But once you find a way to drain them effectively, aloe vera can remove formaldehyde and be used as an anti-inflammatory and to help soothe cuts.
- Bamboo palms are versatile because they can grow well in full sun or bright light. Growing up to twelve feet high, the bamboo palm removes benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and trichloroethylene.
- Snake plants are easy to keep because they only occasionally require watering. In fact, they prefer dryer conditions and some sun. This plant removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.
- Peace lilies bloom flowers with a beautiful fragrant throughout the summer and thrive in shady areas. Pollutants they remove are ammonia, formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.
- Dracaena plants give you a lot of option with over forty varieties to choose from. You may want to look elsewhere if you have pets, however, because the dracaena is toxic to cats and dogs. It removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.
- Spider plants are incredibly easy to grow and thrive on bright, indirect sunlight. Pollutants this plant removes are formaldehyde and xylene.
- Garden mums are inexpensive and you can plant them both inside and outdoors. Pollutants this flower removes are ammonia, benzene, formaldehyde, and xylene.
Are you unsure if you need air-purifying plants in your home or office?
Here are some warning signs and how you can make your spaces more beautiful and breathable!
These are three indoor plants that will also help grow your personal supply of fresh air.
* All plants were referenced from the sources above.
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