The power of potted plants

November 26, 2008

The idea that plants can help your health is not a new one. I can remember everyone in my office in the 1970′s bringing in spider plants as there was a theory that they would help to have near a computer. It’s not just a theory, as many users have claimed they are effective in removing potentially harmful chemicals-including those in paints, varnishes, dry cleaning fluids, car exhaust fumes and tobacco smoke-from the air in your home.

The top 9 Air Purifying Plants are:

Dragon tree
Spider plants
Peace lilies

Till now this has been anecdotal evidence – the kind I most like as it means that real people have found real results with it – but now, Japanese scientists are developing genetically engineered plants that can absorb formaldehyde. This is a pungent chemical compound used as adhesive in building materials and furnishing and is seen as a major factor in what is known as sick-house syndrome. This is now more common as people experience headaches, dizziness and other health problems triggered by the chemicals now found in most homes.

Researchers expect the plants to absorb formaldehyde, along with carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, and they found that the level of toxic gas fell to around one-tenth of the original level. They are now trying to apply the technology to common foliage plants, but in the meantime I am going out to buy some more spider plants and a large bunch of chrysanthemums.


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