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Cleanse the Air: How Houseplants and Essential Oils Help Combat Indoor Pollutants

June 17, 2018


I'm your dedicated autoimmune wellness coach. My mission is to empower you to thrive despite the challenges posed by autoimmune conditions, so you can lead your fullest life.

I'm Jamie Nicole

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Breathing is a part of life that’s of utmost importance, but something we rarely spend much time thinking about — our bodies naturally take care of this task for us without any thought. There’s nothing sweeter than taking a deep breath of fresh air. But how often do you consider the air you breathe day in and day out in your living space?

There are many reasons to focus on creating a less toxic indoor environment. As a consequence of the energy crisis in the 1970s, today’s homes and offices are built to conserve energy, and the outcome has been a lack of air exchange, with the resulting increase in indoor air pollution.

The sources of chemical emissions that cause indoor air pollution include acetone, alcohols, ammonia, benzene, chloroform, formaldehyde, and xylene. These chemicals are found in everyday products such as cosmetics, cleaning products, adhesives, paints, carpets, and even cigarette smoke.

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Breathing in toxic air can have severe consequences on our health. The World Health Organization has stated that there’s probably more damage to human health from indoor pollution than from outdoor pollution. Symptoms associated with indoor pollution include allergies, asthma, eye, nose, and throat irritations, fatigue, headache, nervous system disorders, and respiratory and sinus congestion. In today’s society, more and more people exhibit these symptoms as a result of staying indoors the majority of the time.

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Mitigating Toxic Exposure: Taking Control

We have the power to improve the air quality in our indoor spaces by taking proactive measures to mitigate exposure to indoor pollutants. Incorporating houseplants into our living spaces is one effective way to combat indoor pollutants. Houseplants possess the remarkable ability to filter and purify the air, removing harmful chemicals and releasing oxygen. Additionally, essential oils derived from plants have been shown to have air-purifying properties, offering both a pleasant fragrance and potential health benefits.


Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is not only a popular plant for its soothing properties for burns and skin irritations but also for its ability to remove formaldehyde from the air. Formaldehyde is a common indoor pollutant found in various household products, such as cleaning agents, furniture, and carpets. Aloe Vera effectively filters out this harmful chemical, contributing to cleaner and healthier indoor air quality.

Additionally, Aloe Vera releases oxygen during the day and absorbs carbon dioxide at night, making it an excellent choice for improving air circulation in your living spaces.

Spider Plant: The Spider Plant is known for its impressive air-purifying qualities, particularly in absorbing various indoor chemicals and pollutants. It is highly effective in removing formaldehyde, carbon monoxide, and xylene, which can be emitted by paint, gasoline, and common household cleaning agents. This resilient plant is easy to care for and can thrive in different light conditions, making it a versatile option for improving the air quality of your home or office.

Fern: Ferns are not only visually appealing with their lush green foliage but also highly efficient in cleansing the air. They thrive in humid environments, such as bathrooms, and have the unique ability to remove xylene from the air. Xylene is a solvent commonly found in paint, adhesives, and cleaning products. By incorporating ferns into your indoor spaces, you can enjoy not only their aesthetic appeal but also their air-purifying properties, promoting a healthier and fresher environment.

Chrysanthemums: According to NASA, chrysanthemums are among the best natural air purifiers available. They are known for their ability to remove various air pollutants, including formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and xylene. These flowering plants not only add beauty to your living spaces but also contribute to cleaner and fresher indoor air. Chrysanthemums come in a variety of colors and are relatively low maintenance, making them an excellent choice for enhancing the aesthetics and air quality of your home.

Snake Plant: The Snake Plant, also known as Sansevieria or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, is a popular choice for those seeking an air-purifying plant that can thrive in low-light conditions. It is highly effective at filtering out toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and xylene from the air.

The Snake Plant is also known for its ability to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night, making it an ideal choice for improving the air quality in bedrooms or spaces with limited sunlight. Additionally, it is a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal care and attention.

Essential Oils

Lavender Essential Oil: Lavender essential oil is not only renowned for its calming and soothing properties but also for its air-purifying abilities. It has antimicrobial properties that help eliminate airborne pathogens, reducing the presence of bacteria and viruses in the air. Diffusing lavender essential oil creates a tranquil atmosphere while promoting better air quality, making it an excellent choice for relaxation and sleep environments.

Peppermint Essential Oil: Peppermint essential oil has invigorating and refreshing properties that can help purify the air and improve respiratory function. Its menthol content provides a cooling sensation and can help clear the airways, making it beneficial for individuals with congestion or respiratory issues. Peppermint oil also acts as a natural insect deterrent, keeping your space free from unwanted pests.

Rosemary Essential Oil: Rosemary essential oil is not only a popular culinary herb but also a valuable air purifier. It has antimicrobial properties that can help eliminate bacteria and viruses in the air, promoting a cleaner and healthier environment. The refreshing aroma of rosemary oil also has stimulating effects, enhancing focus and mental clarity.

Cedarwood Essential Oil: Cedarwood essential oil has a warm and woody scent and possesses natural deodorizing properties. It can help eliminate odors and neutralize the air, creating a fresh and inviting atmosphere. Cedarwood oil also has insect-repellent properties, making it a useful addition to your air purification routine, particularly in areas prone to pests.

Frankincense Essential Oil: Frankincense essential oil has been used for centuries for its spiritual and medicinal properties. When diffused, it acts as an effective air purifier, helping to eliminate airborne pathogens and enhance indoor air quality. Frankincense oil also promotes relaxation, reduces stress, and supports overall well-being.

By embracing the power of houseplants and essential oils, we can actively work towards improving indoor air quality and reducing the risks associated with toxic air pollution. Taking control of our environment and making conscious choices to mitigate exposure is an empowering step towards a healthier life.

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If you are looking for more tips and support, join me over on my group page, The Village – A Natural HEALing Community, to get tons of information and tips to help you take your HEALTHY EATING and ACTIVE LIVING to the next level.


Hi, Jamie Nicole

I'm a certified autoimmune health coach, fitness instructor, life coach, health equity advocate and your go-to chic for turning setbacks into comebacks. 

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hey there1

Before you dive deeper... hey there! i'm Jamie Nicole

I'm an autoimmune warrior, health coach, fitness instructor, life coach, health equity advocate and your go-to chic for turning setbacks into comebacks. 

I am your committed autoimmune wellness coach, dedicated to the restoration of your well-being. My mission is to equip you with the tools and guidance needed to thrive, even in the face of autoimmune challenges, enabling you to reclaim and lead your fullest life.

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