Cleaning the air with PLANTS

Most people spend a lot of time indoors. It’s good to take precautions, not just for the bacteria and viruses in the air, but also for chemical and electrical pollutants. Luckily, there are many non-harmful and effective ways provided by nature to help clean the air.

We cannot deny that our air, particularly in the cities, is full of both chemical and electromagnetic pollution. Chemicals and electromagnetic frequencies exist in nature, but there are some such as many man-made chemical damage our cells because of their toxicity. Electromagnetic frequencies of the earth that have healing properties[1], but high electromagnetic frequencies like those emitted from wireless devices have negative effects on our health and can drain our energy.[2]

We should really try our best to avoid or limit the use of the harmful chemicals and high EMF[3] emitting devices. Sometimes this can be challenging, but we can reduce our load a lot by being mindful of the products we purchase: like buying eco-friendly cleaning supplies, furnishings and paints, and being conscious about where we put wifi routers and the amount of time we spend on electronic devices without taking a break.

Nature offers solutions to help counteract the effects of these harmful chemicals and frequencies on our health. Probably one of the most affordable and appealing options is the use of plants. We know that plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air. That itself is enough reason to have plants in your home. NASA has done research on how plants can absorb Volatile organic compounds (VOCs[4]) from the air. Plants also emit negative ions. Negative ions remove dust, mould spores, bacteria, and allergens from the air; as well as help counteract the effects of radiation. With this being said we can realise that the release of oxygen and negative ions, and the absorption of chemicals can be beneficial to our health.

What exactly are harmful chemicals and electrical pollution, and what effects do they have on our health?

 Formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, trichloroethylene and xylene are all common household VOC chemicals. They are found in paints, cosmetics, hair products, cleaning products, dry cleaning, carpets, most wooden flooring and they are let off from cigarette or tobacco smoking or even from a fire.  These chemicals are inhaled, ingested or absorbed through our skin. They are toxic to our bodies which causes damage to our cells. Our cells fight back and this uses a lot of energy (and nutrients). This takes a lot of energy (and nutrients) from us. Many people are not aware of the invisible chemical and electrical pollution that they are bombarded with daily. We need lots of antioxidants in the diet to counteract this, which the modern diet does not offer. And the modern medical system seems to be giving out more chemicals to disguise the symptoms of damage.  It’s no wonder that people are experiencing a poorer, more lethargic quality of life with increasing health issues that doctors cannot explain.

Symptoms of exposure (short term – acute)

  • Eye, nose and throat irritation
  • Coughing
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness

Long term exposure can cause:

  • Leukaemia
  • Other cancers
  • Kidney and liver damage
  • Nervous system damage


What can we do about this?

Choosing the correct food / nourishment / natural supplements for our bodies is a key factor to help them fight these chemicals. But there are also many other things we can do to improve the quality of the air.

  • Good ventilation indoors (best if there are many trees and plants outdoors, otherwise you are just bringing in more pollution
  • Plants – this is a very comprehensive article by Groom + Style which gives a list of air purifying plants, the best ways to use and care for them as well as other air purifying tips (recommended read).
  • Choose environmentally friendly options for deodorising a room – such as essential oils and beeswax / soy candles
  • Himalayan rock salt lamps

What plants should you keep in your home?

 Most plants absorb pollution and are effective against radiation. The following plants have been specifically researched by NASA to improve the air quality in space. They are hardy, absorb common household chemicals and fuel emissions and reduce radiation and bacteria.

Here are some of the plants with the most benefits:

  • Peace lily
  • Bamboo palm
  • Golden Pathos
  • Ficus Tree
  • Snake plant
  • Spider plant
  • Cactus
  • Aloe vera
  • Azalea
  • Gerbera daisy
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clivia
  • Moth orchid
  • Interesting fact: The cannabis (marijuana) plant is probably one of the most effective in preventing the spread of nuclear radiation and it also absorbs radiation.

Tips for keeping pot plants:

  • Do not overwater your plants and have good ventilation to ensure that there is no mould growth
  • Mulch your plants
  • Keep a few pots together and keep them dust free for maximum air cleaning effects
  • You should have 1 large pot plant for every 9m2 area
  • If you have pets, make sure the plant you choose is ‘pet-friendly’

Plants are the perfect addition to any indoor environment. The cleaner the air, the more oxygen rich it will be. Oxygen is essential for life. The more oxygen we have the more energy we have.

Sanbonani 2016 615.JPG


[1] The Earthing Institute.

[2] Genser, J.

[3] Electromagnetic frequency

[4]  group of carbon-based chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperature

[5] Groom + Style. 12 Air Purifying Plants that will clean your air. 15 January        2018.



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