Louise Tomlin takes a look at gardens andplant related topics.

This time it’s oxygen bombs and green medicine…

Something caught my attention recently when I was doing some research for some other plant inspired articles and once I looked further I thought it was a fascinating subject and one that I would like to share with all of you. Those of you who have read any of my earlier ramblings will know that I have previously mentioned the health benefits of green spaces, it’s a recurring theme and one that I wholeheartedly adhere to.

However I stumbled across another area that proposes a possibly even more direct link tohealth benefits and plants, one thatis referred to as ‘Green Medicine’. Please don’t worry, I’m not going to start dishing out herbal remedies, or suggesting you start boiling up magic potions to cure all your ailments, there’s absolutely no hocus-pocus involved! This is all about the air purifying abilities of certain plants and how they can help improve the environment of our internal spaces like our homes or offices.

Now I guess most of us will know if we were paying any attention to our Biology teachers back in our school days, that there’s a thing called photosynthesis, ring any bells? Luckily for us plants and trees the whole world over do us the enormous favour of converting carbon dioxide into essential oxygen by a process called photosynthesis, otherwise we’d all be in big trouble.

It’s no big secret that this happens, but did you know that there are some plants that do this much more effectively than others and that at the same time they can also purify the air by removing harmful particles that exist in our interior spaces – hang on what harmful particles are these? Well apparently our homes and the other areas we spend time in, are contaminated by the chemicals we use in our daily lives like formaldehyde or formalin. Carpets, wall and floor coverings, paint, cleaning products and ironically air fresheners release nasty molecules into our air. Over time these can contribute to making the spaces we spend the most time in very unhealthy places to be and can result in all sorts of health problems like respiratory illnesses, eye, nose and throat irritations and worse stillcancer.

This is where the green medicine bit comes in. All plants do the wonderful photosynthesis thing, but some of them are muchmore effective at it and producemore oxygen and purify the air by  neutralising harmful particles by absorbing them. This isn’t mumbo jumbo or new world magic, it is based on absolute scientific facts

– NASA research has shown thatcertain plants effectively loweredthe percentage of harmful particlesand have created significantlyhealthier environments for us to live in. There’s masses of information onthis online if anyone wants to findout more. I even found a company called airsopure.nl based in Holland that uses it as their unique sellingpoint. They offer a handy guide ontheir website on how many plants you need to have in your home

per square meter, here’s a rough estimate: 75m square requires 3plants.

Here are just a few of the plants I have found that are great airpurifiers that will not only give yourhome green appeal but will help keep your interior spaces healthier:

Peace Lily (Spathiphylium), Aloe Vera, Jasmine, Spider plant (Chlorophytum Comosum).

These ‘oxygen bombs’ are allparticularly efficient at purifying theair and can even be safely kept in your bedroom to help re-oxygenate your environment as they carry out photosynthesis at night. I hope you will take a leaf out of my book and seriously consider installing a few green air cleaners in your home oroffice?

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