A good houseplant is next best thing to a live-in housekeeper. They add a little pizazz and cosiness wherever you place them, and they can even help you .
With help from by Jon VanZile — available from Simon and Schuster this May — we rounded up some of the best plants to purify your air.
Get ready to grab your gardening gloves and take a big, deep breath of fresh air (in your bedroom).
In addition to being a dramatic accent in a room, rubber plants can remove airborne toxins and fight tropical diseases and parasites. Studies have proven the plant's ability to remove formaldehyde from the air, which is found in cleaning supplies and furniture.
VanZile just advises wiping the leaves with a moist paper towel every so often to keep their pores open for optimal air purification.
Look at this lush thing! Ferns are fantastic for removing common airborne pollutants — including formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene — which have been thought to cause headaches, trouble breathing, and the growth of cancerous cells. The Boston fern also combats winter dryness by raising indoor humidity.
A 1989 NASA study declared the Areca Plan to be one of the most powerful air-purifying plants, particularly for its ability to remove formaldehyde from an indoor environment.
Not only is the Peace Lily beautiful, VanZile calls it a "powerhouse for filtering air." NASA studies show that the lily can filter benzene, formaldehyde, tri-chloroethylene (TCE), xylene, toluene, and ammonia from indoor air. These toxins can cause headaches, respiratory problems, and an increased risk of cancer.
The Peace Lily can also remove airborne mold that aggravates allergies and asthma symptoms, and VanZile recommends placing a few in your bathroom to reduce mold growth.
Snake Plants have been popular houseplants in the United States for the past century, Van Zile says, and they can remove a wide range of pollutants — including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene (TCE), xylene, and toluene — from the air. The plants are easy to grow, and you can boil the leaves to make a holistic medicine to treat pain and irritation when applied directly to your skin. Just don't eat it.
Philodendrons are extremely easy to grow, and they clean the air of formaldehyde and xylene, a toxin found in glues and leathers.