House Plants For Your Health

In my many years of teaching agriculture, crop production was one of the subjects/topics I taught at not only the high school and post secondary levels but also in my Veteran’s Farm Management and Adult Farm Management classes. I could write the following two formulas from memory then as I can now.

  • C6H12O6 + 6O2 –> 6CO2+ 6H2O + ATP(energy)
  • 6CO2 + 6H2O in the presence of sunlight & chlorophyl –> C6H12O6 + 6O2

The 1st is the formula for respiration and the 2nd, the formula for photosynthesis. One of the things I mentioned while discussing respiration was that “back in the old days” they would take the flowers a patient received while in the hospital, out of the room at night. They were under the opinion that the CO2 (carbon dioxide) given off at night was enough to hinder the recuperation of the patients. They later realized that there was not enough CO2 given off, so they let the flowers stay beyond visiting hours! They were onto something though. Instead of looking at the negative side of plants and flowers, they should have been looking at the positive side of plants.

My folks had a small forest in their living room along with an air purifier. Needless to say, indoor air pollution wasn’t a problem in their home. That isn’t always the case. Building materials made from synthetic products, cleaning products, carpeting, upholstery, artificial scents, molds and various other toxins in the air in some homes may add to the lack of health and wellness of the family living there. Some everyday houseplants may play a big part in eliminating or lessening the problem. Here are 6 suggestions for your consideration.

  • Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis) – We probably all have used an aloe plant for its burn-healing gel found in its leaves. The gel contains a combination of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Aloe also helps to rid our homes of benzene which is found in some chemical cleaning products.
  • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii) – Thriving indoors, this plant may grow to be over 10 feet tall. It is pet friendly which may be a plus to some people. It filters trichloroethylene and benzene from the air. It does not stand over watering.
  • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) – This is the plant often received as a gift. By reducing the level of spores in the home, it helps to keep mildew to a minimum. You will know when it needs watering, but be careful not to over water this plant. It does best in bright, indirect light. The blooms may contribute pollens or scents to the air, so be careful if allergies are a problem in your family.
  • Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) – Growing from 1 to 6 feet tall, this plant adds a vertical effect to the plants you have, while being low maintenance. It converts CO2 into O2 at night, so place this one in the bedroom. It requires little water, so if you are a ‘plant killer’, this plant is for you.
  • Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) – As these plants need little care, they are a good choice for the novice plant grower. The spider plant prefers bright, indirect sunlight and only needs a weekly watering. They remove small amounts of formaldehyde and xylene from our homes.
  • Weeping Fig (Fiscus benjamina) – This plant prefers indirect sunlight and requires infrequent watering. In warmer weather or climates, the weeping fig can be moved outdoors if desired. It reduces pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde from the air in our homes. Consider this plant if you want an easy keeper.

Keep your fork


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