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Healing Houseplants, Part II

Over a month ago we discussed the amazing effects of healing houseplants and the wonderful ways they absorb toxins while in return send healthy oxygen into our living spaces. 1212376671_tmp_600px-big_yellow.jpgWell, this month we’re back on the topic with this brilliant healing houseplant diagram I discovered via SuperCute that I am pleased to bring to you! The chart explains some of the best of the bunch when bringing nature indoors to cleanse and heal.  The illustration focuses on plants that absorb trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and benzene, which are three commonly found toxins.

What is with these chemicals that create bad air? Most importantly how do we rid our sacred spaces of them? Well, we can begin by trying to avoid products with theses toxins in the first place and bring in plants that are known to eliminate the existing ones.

Formaldehyde is an indoor threat found in everything from carpets to paper goods to clothing, household cleaners and particle board. It may cause headaches, teary eyes, breathing difficulty and is known to be a nasty carcinogen to human beings. Luckily the common spider plant, bamboo plant, philodendrons, azaleas, chrysanthemums and poinsettias are effective in clearing the air of the problems created by formaldehyde.

Benzene is also known to cause drowsiness, dizziness, vomiting, and is known to be in everything from paint to plastics, inks, synthetic fibers, gasoline, detergents and especially aftershave, perfumes, and mouthwash, as it is known for it’s intense smell. Plants like the peace lily are great at eliminating benzene. Chrysanthemums and the lovely gerber daisy (pictured above) are also effective for this. 

Trichloroethylene is found in paints, dry cleaning, inks, varnishes, and more. It has effects similiar to alcohol poisoning and may bring on headaches, faintness and cause damage to the kidneys and liver over time. Luckily the beautiful peace lily, chrysanthemum and gerber daisy also help absorb this toxin. 

So next time you find yourself at a plant nursery, garden center, or farmers market, look out for some of these miracle indoor plants that will help keep your breathing environment as oxygenated as possible. I am not just speaking of cut flowers here, the best bet are plants that will grow and bloom for bouquets over and over again if you treat them right!  

Image Credit: josef.stuefer at flickr under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

Written by Lucille Chi

Lucy Chi loves good green design, ethical fashion, environmental art and education, renewables, holistic healing and more. She has been dedicating her energies toward finding and drawing attention to all the ways in which products, companies, and industries are moving toward creating a more sustainable world on the global scale, as well as the way individuals are moving toward living sustainably, and healing at the personal level.

Sustainability studies: &
B.S. Cornell University, College of Human Ecology, Dept. of Textiles and Fiber Science.

Contact: lucillechi (at)


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