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.
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- 7 Houseplants with Secret Health Benefits
7 Houseplants with Secret Health Benefits
Chrysanthemums: The Superstar Air Purifier
Aloe Vera: The Amazing Healer
Mint: The Instant Energizer
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.
Gardenia: Nature’s Sleep Aid
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
Lemon: Proven Mood Booster
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.
flickr.com via Jessie Hirsch
Spider Plant: The Kid- and Pet-Friendly Choice
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.
Golden Pothos: The Garage Purifier
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.