Over the past few weeks I have been making a real effort to treat my body better. No fancy diets or mountains of exercise, simply because I don’t have the force of will to maintain it, but an effort to think a little more about what I am exposing my body to, inspired by the age old belief that what we put in our bodies effects not only our health but our beauty.
At the end of the day this, like so many things in life, has been known for a long time, the old, ‘you are what you eat’ moto effectively. But in my quest for better health, and very importantly for me, better skin, I started thinking… ‘Am I the air I breath too?’
The average human takes between 17,280 and 23,040 breaths a day, that’s a lot of air going in and out. I think we often take the purity of our air for granted in this country, I certainly do, and it wasn’t until I started looking into it, that realised just how important the quality of our air is for our health.
Research shows that air pollution is linked to skin issues, heart disease, stroke, and can cause or worsen asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema and pneumonia. On a more serious level cancer, lowered immunity, disorders of the nervous system, and interference with child development have also been linked with the presents of serious pollutants such as such as sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury. Elements within our home and workplaces have also been increasingly recognized as threats. The most common being radon, combustion products, biologicals (that’s, molds and pet dander mostly), volatile organic compounds, lead dust and asbestos.
We only have a certain amount of control over our environments, and if you work in a big city you know the air you’re breathing may not be the cleanest, but I like to at least think I can control the air in my home, and as ever, we can use the power of plants.
There are so many that can help do the job, but these are my favourites.
The Peace Lily – I have mention my favourite house plant ‘Steve’ in the blog before (see here), but as a Peace Lily he is not only one of the few that house plants that will bloom indoors, but he will also help purify the air I breath.
The Boston Fern – Ferns are pretty much all fantastic, but the Boston a Fern removes more formaldehyde than any other plant.
The Kimberley Queen Fern – Kimberly Queen again is one of the best ferns, she is larger, broader-leafed and is great if that’s the aesthetic you prefer. She is also a much better choice if you have particularly dry indoor air, an environment in which palm trees often also do well also.
The Rubber Plant – To my eyes the rubber plant is not the most attractive, but if you have limited sun light it is a great choice. It will last really well and cleans air amazingly, particularly from electric heaters, and will love your kitchen.