Adding houseplants to improve air quality in the home

Lately, I have been thinking about how to improve the air quality in our house.

Though hubby thinks we live in a place where the air quality is much better than Asia but with the cold sniffles and allergies at bay, I am finding other ways to help my tween breathe better.

Since last year, I have added some indoor plants to the house. Besides the aesthetic aspect and adding a touch to home decoration, they are definitely great in improving indoor air quality in the most natural way.

 

Image result for snake plant photo

Here’s some great indoor house plants that you may like to consider if you are like me:

1. English Ivy

This charming evergreen vine grows happily in low or indirect light conditions. The leaves are poisonous, so keep them away from pets and kids. Fortunately, English Ivy enjoys containers and hanging baskets, and brightens up shelves and dark corners beautifully. Studies have shown that English Ivy is effective at removing benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, as well as other allergens such as mold and airborne fecal matter. Hang one near your pet’s letterbox, or in the bathroom.

2. Peace Lily

The beautiful broad green leaves and cupped white blooms of the peace lily is a favorite in the NASA study for removing the three most common pollutants: formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. Peace lilies will thrive and flower in bright light. They can handle lowlight conditions, though they may not produce blooms. Keep the foliage and flowers clear of dust to maximize their detoxifying power. The plant is poisonous as well, so keep it out of reach of kids and pets.

3. Bamboo Palm

This sturdy palm can grow tall, between 3 to 6 feet, and is an elegant plant in any room. It’s effective at removing the formaldehyde often used in furniture, so arrange it next to chairs, couches, and end tables, in indirect light. During dryer winter months, the bamboo palm can also add a bit of welcome moisture to the air.

4. Ficus

Ficus is a tropical looking evergreen with twisting roots and bright green, shiny leaves. It’s effective at removing pollutants from furniture and carpets, though it can be a bit temperamental to grow. Keep the leaves clear of dust and water moderately.

5. Dracaena

The sword shaped leaves of the Dracena plant can come in a variety of colors and variations, and can easily reach ceiling height when cared for properly. This plant is best for ridding the air of chemicals found in lacquers, varnishes, and gasoline.  Also known as a Corn Plant, the Dracena is a dramatic, but fairly easy plant to maintain.

6. Chrysanthemum

You’re probably already familiar with these colorful flowers. Mums are popular in bouquets, but as a potted plant, they are excellent at filtering out chemicals found in glues, paints, detergents, and plastics. Chrysanthemums love bright light, and add a gorgeous pop of color to any room.

7. Golden Pothos

Pothos are excellent for filtering out formaldehyde and stays green, even if kept in the dark, which makes it ideal for basements and garages.  A proficient grower, Pothos is great in containers and hanging pots where its trailing vines can tumble over the pot’s edge.

8. Snake Plant

A common, if not slightly offensive, nickname for this blade-like plant is mother-in-law’s-tongue. It’s awesome at filtering out chemicals found in toilet paper, tissues, and other toiletry products.  It enjoys low light and humid conditions, which makes it ideal for bathrooms.

9. Spider Plant

Often considered a gift plant, since the Spider Plant produces runners with ‘babies’ that can easily be transplanted. Spider Plants filter out chemicals emitted from leather and rubber. This resilient plant takes very little maintenance, and can get by happily without water.  It will tell you it’s thirsty when the green of the long, skinny, striped leaves fade. A little water will perk it right back up!

10. Aloe

Aloe is an excellent low maintenance plant for sunny locations. It’s great at removing chemicals from paints and chemical cleaning products, and the gel inside the succulent spiked leaves can be used to relieve cuts and burns. Aloe is a slow grower, but it can get quite large.

Source: http://www.onegreenplanet.org/lifestyle/10-best-houseplants-for-improving-the-air-quality-in-your-home/

Natural Remedies and Asthma Breathing

Since asthma is related to inflammation of the lungs and constriction of the smooth involuntary bronchiole muscles, how can doing natural remedies such as breathing exercises help alleviate your symptoms?

For starters, it is estimated that about 30% of asthmatics suffer some degree of breathing dysfunction. Bad habits are easily learned when suffering from asthma symptoms and it is not uncommon for those habits to continue in between attacks ñ breathing through the mouth and short, shallow breaths for example.

This type of breathing deprives the lungs of their full potential to effectively exchange oxygen with carbon dioxide. Breathing exercises enforce good habits where the full range of lung function is used. Consequently, the body gets the oxygen it needs and you will feel better, particularly your energy levels. I met a group of wedding photographers raleigh nc recently and one of them was sharing with me about her experience with asthma.

And not only will it make the breathing process more efficient, there is evidence that breathing muscles (diaphragm and lung muscles) are strengthened. So even if breath training doesnít directly improve lung function, eliminating bad habits will improve overall health and quality of life. And this new energy level is important in getting stronger and finding the motivation to attack asthma with a total management plan that results in symptoms being completely controlled ñ with very little, if any, need for medications.

In addition to increased energy levels and stronger lung muscles, there is another benefit to breathing exercises ñeven if it doesnít directly result in increased lung function. And that is when actually enduring an asthma attack.

Anyone who has asthma knows what it is like to struggle for breath. You canít get enough air into your lungs and just as agonizing, you canít seem to get any air out. Asthmatics who practice correct breathing exercises are much more likely to be able to endure, in a controlled manner, an asthma attack than those that don’t.

Controlling asthma cannot be achieved by only using one tool. Multiple tools should be used ñ in addition to the control and relief medications prescribed by your physician. Diet, exercise, trigger controls are all essential components; and so is a good and consistent program of breathing exercises. Just one tool won’t get rid of your asthma symptoms. But using all the tools available to you can and there is no reason you can’t enjoy a symptom free lifestyle.

Natural Health Remedies for Sinusitis

[DFR::453647343-6374-ss|align_left_1]It is getting colder this week as we are entering winter down under. I’ve been taking lots of natural health remedies to keep that cold and sniffle away. Sometimes it works and other days it don’t.

I’ve been taking some propolis for my dry throat and I think I need to increase my water intake to overcome that dryness in the mouth. A lozenge will be helpful though I think a glass of warm honey lemon helps a great deal. I was trying out the Galaxy Tablet PC one morning and started sneezing non stop for a few minutes! I felt like a cold was coming on![DFR::456367387-6374-ss|align_right_1]

Some people suffer from sinusities and they need to take certain precautions. Keep your sinuses clear to avoid developing sinusitis by following these simple steps:

Use an oral decongestant or a short course of nasal spray decongestant.
Drinking plenty of fluids to keep nasal discharge thin.
Avoiding air travel. If you must fly, use a nasal spray decongestant before take-off to prevent blockage of the sinuses allowing mucus to drain.
If you have allergies, try to avoid contact with things that trigger attacks. If you cannot, use over-the-counter or prescription antihistamines and/or a prescription nasal spray to control allergy attacks.

Allergy testing, followed by appropriate allergy treatments, may also increase your tolerance of allergy-causing substances. Always consult medical professionals for advice. Your doctor can always perform diagnostic tests to find out if you have sinusitis. Once the doctor is sure that you have sinusitis, you can be given a prescription that would help treat the nasal infection.