7 Houseplants with Secret Health Benefits

Nature is restorative: A walk in the woods or on the beach can do wonders for your mental and physical well-being. Even the tiniest dose of greenery—in the form of a houseplant, for example—can bestow special benefits on the beholder. Read on to learn which houseplants contain hidden healing power.

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  1. Chrysanthemums: The Superstar Air Purifier

    Chrysanthemums

    Want to keep your home clear of toxic trace chemicals? Consider the common mum. NASA studies analyzed a variety of houseplants and determined that mums have a stellar ability to absorb volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and trichloroethylene, all of which are found in many household products.

    Related: 11 Reasons Your Houseplants Are Dying

    istockphoto.com

  2. Aloe Vera: The Amazing Healer

    Aloe plant

    Aloe gel has antibacterial and antioxidant properties, shortens wound healing time, soothes burns, and moisturizes skin. Be sure to use this beneficial houseplant for external first aid only—and keep it away from pets!

    Related: 9 Bright and Colorful Houseplants You Can't Kill

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  3. Mint: The Instant Energizer

    Mint plant

    There are more than 600 varieties of mint, many of which do well in a pot on the windowsill. Mint is easy to grow, and because studies suggest that its peppy scent may boost memory and mood, it's doubly worthwhile to cultivate this hardy plant at home.


    Related: 12 Easy Herbs to Grow on Your Windowsill

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  4. Gardenia: Nature’s Sleep Aid

    Gardenia

    If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from insomnia, take a whiff of your gardenia plant before turning in. Researchers in Germany discovered that compounds in gardenia's fragrance have the same effect as prescription-strength drugs—without the side effects.

    Related: 8 Plants Never to Grow Indoors

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  5. Lemon: Proven Mood Booster

    Lemon balm

    Does aromatherapy really work? Researchers at Ohio State found that lemon had a stronger measurable effect on mood than lavender oil. For houseplants that bring a lemony scent indoors, consider lemon trees, lemon verbena, and lemon balm.

    Related: 10 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on Your Windowsill

    flickr.com via Jessie Hirsch

  6. Spider Plant: The Kid- and Pet-Friendly Choice

    Spider plant

    Do you want to purify your air but not have to worry about your houseplant being mistaken for salad? Try a spider plant! It's easy to grow and nontoxic if ingested. Spider plants have the additional benefit of removing trace levels of carbon monoxide from your home environment.

    Related: The Best Plants for Every Room of the House

    istockphoto.com

  7. Golden Pothos: The Garage Purifier

    Golden pothos

    Detoxify your garage and other low-light rooms the natural way with houseplants that thrive in low light, such as golden pothos, ZZ plants, and areca palms. These varieties scrub the air of pollutants, a trait that's especially important in areas of your home that are exposed to car exhaust, paint fumes, cleaning agents, and other chemicals.

    Related: Here’s What Your Favorite Houseplants Look Like in the Wild

    istockphoto.com

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