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5 Best Indoor Plants for Air Purification



No doubt about it, stress is a normal part of life. But there’s good news: stress can be managed in the most basic of ways with a helping hand from Mother Nature. A growing trend for stress relief and wellness is to integrate nature into our everyday lives, both indoors and out. How? By creating what experts call a “culture of wellness,” using stress relief techniques from Mother Nature.


I was surprised to learn that 90 percent of our time is spent indoors, at home and the workplace. Both rank high for indoor pollutants which can lead to health issues and stress. Houseplants can play a big role in simple stress relief techniques. The best houseplants for clean air absorb particulates from the air, making it cleaner and easier to breathe.

Aloe Vera: The Burn Plant

This is my go-to plant for burns and cuts. NASA scientists put aloe vera on the list of air purifying plants when they were researching houseplants to cleanse the air in space stations. Aloe vera  releases oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide at night, so it’s a good specimen for the bedroom. Aloe vera does well in both low and bright light conditions.


Aloe Vera

Peace Lily: Mood Lifter

Gaze at the lily in flower and you’ll feel less stressed. It’s one of the best plants for removing formaldehyde, benzene and other chemicals in cleaning products. If you don’t use green cleaners in your home or at work, this is the plant for you. It thrives under fairly bright or lower light conditions.


Peace Lily

Snake Plant: Iron Lady

Also known as mother-in-law’s tongue (I can imagine how it got that nickname!), snake plant is seen in workplace foyers because it’s hardy and an effective air purifier.  Put one in the bathroom. It filters out formaldehyde, common in personal care products as well as cleansers. Snake plant tolerates low light.


Snake Plant

Spider Plant: Teacher’s Pet

The mother plant sends out shoots with flowers that become baby spider plants, which are fun to share. Along with removing formaldehyde, spider plant removes xylene, a chemical found in floor polish, markers and paint. A favorite workplace plant of teachers. It grows nicely in a bright or indirect light.


Spider Plant

Golden Pothos: The Survivor

My mom gave me a golden pothos when I moved away from home. It has thrived these many years under both adverse and ideal conditions. Another powerful enemy of formaldehyde. Hang one in the kitchen window and garage. (Car exhaust is filled with formaldehyde). This cascading plant stays green even in the lowest of light but thrives in bright, indirect light.

Keep pothos away from small children and pets, as leaves are poisonous.



Stress Reducing Hues

Whether you’re freshening up your decor indoors or out, a Japanese inspired stress-reducing color palette is just the ticket. It’s all about the many hues of greens and blue greens.

Garden Therapy in Small Spaces

Garden therapy is on the radar, as well. You don’t need a plow and the lower 40 to plant a garden that offers both exercise and solace. Ron Wilson, a garden expert and host of a weekly national gardening show, has been an advocate of container gardening for years. He told me container gardening continues to be popular with all ages, from toddlers to millennials to seniors. Planting herbs in pots is fun and the process itself is rewarding since you control the environment for optimum growth. Some of these herbs have distinct health benefits. Rosemary improves memory and reduces headache pain. Sniff a few sprigs of calming lavender for herbal stress relief. Steep basil leaves in hot water, let cool to warm temperature, and splash on your face, avoiding the eye area. Basil removes environmental toxins from the skin and harmonizes the spirit.

I like to put potted herbs throughout my herb garden. They will be just as happy on a back door stoop or interspersed with flowers in window boxes. Bees and butterflies love herbs, so you’ll find your outdoor space populated by Mother Nature’s friends.


Potted Herbs in Herb Garden

One of my favorite places is in my herb garden, where herbal stress relief  is just a few sprigs away. The only sounds I hear are natural: the wind blowing gently through the Norfolk pines, the buzzing bees, the fluttering butterflies landing gracefully on the flowers, and the singing of native birds.


A Serene Spot In My Herb Garden

By using Mother Nature’s stress relief techniques, small changes made in your indoor and outdoor environment will blossom into a healthier, happier, less-stressed you!

What are your natural stress relief techniques? Let us know in the comments below.

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