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Not Just Talkin' The Talk

Detox Your Home With House Plants

By Linda Goldfarb
Certified Physical Fitness Specialist

CBN.comOne of the things I love about where we live in the Texas countryside is the array of vegetation; wildflowers, cactus, thistles, and various grasses grow freely in our great out-of-doors. Nature provides an offering of fresh air and it invites us to sit leisurely on our porch to enjoy its healthy properties.

Did you know the same healthy aspects of the outdoors can occur inside your home by inviting nature in?

When you go shopping for house cleaning products, consider adding large-leaved plants for every room in your home. They reduce unhealthy pollutants as well as airborne bacteria and fungi while adding the humidity needed to combat respiratory and allergic conditions. By adding houseplants to your living space, you improve the air and enhance the health of your family. Plants can purify and renew our stale indoor air by filtering out toxins, pollutants, and the carbon dioxide we exhale - replacing them with life sustaining oxygen.

It is suggested to allow one houseplant per 100 square feet of living area for the most effective results. The more vigorous (fast growing) the plant, the more air it can filter. Pollutants are absorbed through the leaves, so keep the leaves clear of dust by wiping gently with a damp cloth. For best performance, space the plants where they have good air circulation around them.

Here is a sample list of plants according to N.A.S.A. that you can place strategically around your house to clean the air:

  • Spider Plants: Grows best in bright but indirect light, so set this one near a window. Water freely when they are in their heavy growing phase. You can check to see if they need water by testing the dirt with your finger, press gently into the dirt about an inch into the soil, if your finger comes out wet, you’re okay, if not it’s time to water.
  • Golden Pothos: Water regularly but less so in cold weather. Leaf drop is a good indication of over watering. (Over watering is the No. 1 killer of house plants!) Pinch growing tips to encourage the branching off of new shoots.
  • Philodendrons: Among the best house plants for removing formaldehyde from the air, especially at higher concentrations. You can select from a couple of varieties, including the Heart Leaf and the Lace Leaf. These look great sitting in the corner of a room and the large leaves are very effective for purifying large rooms.
  • Gerbera Daisies and Chrysanthemums (Mums): Effective in the removal of benzene, a known carcinogen. Mums prefer sunshine and well-drained soil. There are numerous colors of these, so you can literally match them with your décor or at least in a complimentary fashion.
  • Palms, Ferns, Ivy, and Rubber Plants are good as well.

Visit your local nursery with the whole family. Make it an opportunity for each family member to choose his or her own plant to match a bedroom or family room. Ask the experts what they recommend, and write down a watering and feeding schedule for each child to follow. But be careful: many of these plants are poisonous if ingested and some cause skin irritation. You may want to Google the phrase “Air Cleaning Plants” for more information on their poisonous attributes.

Embracing good health is more than lifting weights, running, and a healthy diet. Taking the steps toward good health also includes our environment; what we look at, listen to, and surround ourselves with. Since God surrounds us with the beauty and benefits of nature, it just seems right to bring the same indoors.

Linda GoldfarbLinda Goldfarb is a national speaker, certified physical fitness specialist, and nutrition coach. She hosts the syndicated radio talk show Not Just Talkin’ the Talk, based out of San Antonio, TX. Linda’s show encourages listeners to “walk the walk” spiritually, physically, and relationally each and every day. Podcasts of the show are available on the radio tab of her Web site While visiting, sign up for the “Live Powerfully Now!” e-zine. Contact Linda to speak at your next corporate event or faith-based retreat. E-mail: with any questions or comments.

(Photo Copyright © Lisa Pittman Photography).

Before beginning any new fitness program that requires a change in diet or exercise, it is recommended that you consult your physician for input. This informational series is not intended for medical or nutritional claims dependent on substantial clinical studies and FDA approval, and should not be construed as a claim for cure, treatment, or prevention of any disease.  It is intended solely for information and educational purposes. Linda is not a physician or expert in the medical field. She has been involved in the health and fitness industry as a personal trainer and fitness instructor for numerous years. The information given in these sessions have been derived from  books and materials brought together over the years from many sources, including her personal life experiences.

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