One of the most cheerful and lovely ways to detoxify and go “green” during pregnancy is to increase the plant life around you.
We know from massive studies — including groundbreaking work from NASA — that plants do a tremendous job filtering the air we breathe of harmful chemicals. All plants boost oxygen, but there are particular houseplants that also significantly reduce the presence of harmful household toxins such as benzene, formaldahyde, and trichloroethylene. These carcinogenic chemicals are found in (and can off-gas from) many common synthetic products and materials from sofas to cleaning agents to appliances.
The recommendation from NASA is to use about 15 to 18 good-sized houseplants in six- to eight-inch diameter containers for every 1,800-square feet. (Plants are a lovely idea for the nursery, too.)
Here are ten houseplants that have not only been recognized for their excellent air-purifying properties via The NASA Clean Air Study, but are low-maintenance, long-lasting, affordable and easy-to-find:
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue 1 of 10The Mother-in-Law's Tongue (similar to the snake plant) is one of the toughest indoor plants. It can withstand diverse conditions and absorbs nitrogen oxides and formaldahyde.
Photo credit: The Palm Room
Peace Lily 2 of 10The pretty, white peace lily is not technically a lily, but it sure looks like one. And it like to bloom in fairly dim areas, making it a terrific house plant. As it helps with mold spores, putting it in the bathroom, kitchen or laundry can be especially useful.
Photo credit: HousePlantCare
Spider Plant 3 of 10This bohemian stand-by looks great with mid-century modern furniture and is, according to NASA, one of the top three plants for eliminating formaldahyde.
Photo credit: Bloomiq.com
Janet Craig 4 of 10These plants are big indoor favorites as they tolerate low light and dry air. The leaves sometimes need damp-cloth dusting.
Photo credit: Sunset Magazine
Bamboo Palm 5 of 10Easy to care for, fast-growing and gorgeously leafy, the Bamboo Palm or Reed Palm is a serious air-filter. It does well in most indoor areas — just avoid relentless sunlight or dark corners. According to NASA, it removes formaldahyde and is also said to act as a natural humidifier.
Photo credit: PlantCare
Chinese Evergreen 6 of 10Chinese Evergreens (Aglaonema Modestum) have gorgeous, flat-patterened leaves and prefer northern light or partial shade.
Photo credit: Wikipedia
Warneckii 7 of 10Warneckii requires only moderate sun and is very adaptable to indoor environments.
Photo credit: Sustainablebabymsteps.com
Dragon Plant 8 of 10The Dragon Plant or Marginata (Dracaena Marginata) can be very striking and it's easy to care for. IKEA now sells them for only 9.99!
Photo credit: Ikea.com
Corn Plant 9 of 10Also called Mass Cane or Dracaena Massangeana, this is another favorite (perhaps overused) indoor plant, but it's really gorgeous and substantial.
Photo credit: Plantz.com
English Ivy 10 of 10Often used as a hanging plant, this romantic foliage can also be trained to climb upwards on a "moss stick." Be creative with this colonizing plant; when I lived in California some English Ivy crept through a crack in the window and climbed up the bed-frame. I left it alone.
Photo credit: CoolGarden
Other detoxing plants include the Rubber Plant, Mums, Gerbera Daisies, Aloe Vera and the Boston Fern.