- Some houseplants are known to help purify the air.
- A horticulturist told us that keeping a plant is also linked with therapeutic benefits.
- There are plenty of low-maintenance plants you can keep that could fit your lifestyle.
Eating plants isn’t the only way to reap their benefits. Science has shown that keeping a simple houseplant can do wonders for your health.
Horticulturist Marc Hachadourian, the director of the Nolen Greenhouses at the New York Botanical Garden, told us that plants benefit both your physical and mental state.
“There is actually a lot of scientific evidence that adding plants to any workspace or living environment actually does help to reduce stress,” Hachadourian said. “There are obviously therapeutic effects of caring for plants and gardening has been shown to decrease blood pressure and reduce stress, so the benefits go beyond […] helping to clean the air and add oxygen.”
Certain plants have been found to specifically clean the air of toxic chemicals like benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia, according to a clean air report from NASA. Hachadourian noted that although this data exists, whether you can use plants to filter your air totally has yet to be seen.
“There is some benefit,” Hachadourian said. “I think the debate now is how much of that occurs and whether it is enough to make a significant difference in the overall health and quality of the environment you live in.”
Although the air-purifying benefits may not necessarily be extremely significant, Hachadourian has found that the other benefits of nature are. He mentioned forest bathing, the tradition of being in the presence of nature and trees, and it even became part of Japan’s national public health program in 1982, according to The Atlantic. It’s documented health benefits include lower blood pressure and lower stress hormones.
Of course, not everyone has the ability to forest bathe. But, if you’re convinced you need more greenery in your life, Hachadourian recommended getting a houseplant that fits your environment and lifestyle. That way, you can reap all the benefits while actually keeping your plant alive.
Here are some of the most popular houseplants that are especially good for your air — and how to care for them.