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Growing Fresh Air

By Narelle Haw, Building Biologist and Feng Shui Practitioner

If you or your one of your family members has allergies, suffers from asthma, suffers from headaches or simply lacks energy and vitality, one method of improving health and wellbeing is to “grow your own” fresh air. Indoor plants are one of the most essential and simple methods of improving health and wellbeing.

We spend more than 90% of our time inside. And indoor air pollution (now considered by many experts to be one of the major threats to health) is resulting in a dramatic increase in the number of cases of allergies, asthma, chemical hypersensitivity and even cancer.

Unfortunately striving to reduce our carbon footprint and create energy efficient “green” homes is only adding to the problem. By sealing our homes from the outside elements we are inadvertently trapping any harmful gasses released from the plethora of synthetic materials and products inside them. However, with foresight and common sense this does not need to be the case.

A study conducted by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) tasked with creating a sustainable, closed ecological life support system discovered that the easiest way to purify and revitalise air was the common household plant.

Did you know that one plant placed on your desk at work can effectively purify and revitalise the air you breathe, reducing your exposure to indoor air pollutants and microbes?

So, how do plants improve indoor air quality?

•             They absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen

•             They are natural humidifiers releasing water vapour from their leaves, soil and dishes

•             They absorb toxic chemicals through tiny openings in their leaves and filter them through their root system. (The Boston fern can remove up to 1.8mg of formaldehyde, a carcinogen found in particle board and some furnishings, every hour)

•             They reduce airborne mould and bacteria. (One study found that plant-filled rooms contain 50 to 60 percent fewer airborne moulds and bacteria than those without plants)

The top five air purifying plants are:

•             Palms, especially  – Areca Palm, Lady Palm, Bamboo Palm and Dwarf Date Palm

•             Rubber Plants

•             Dracaena

•             Boston Ferns

•             Peace Lily

•             Mother-in-law’s Tongue

For more information visit www.atharmony.com.au and download a free Toxic Free Living Checklist.