Archive for the ‘Healthy Home’ Category

Plants Used As Living Air Purifiers – NASA Study

Dr. Bill Wolverton, formerly a Senior Research Scientist at NASA’s John C. Stennis Space Center, did research into the use of common indoor plants for indoor air purification.

Sunroom with Air Purifing Plants

Based on this study, NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of American (ALCA) completed a two year study that suggest these plants provide a natural way of combating sick building syndrome where concentrated toxins are making people feel sick.

The most common symptoms of sick building syndrome are burning eyes and respiratory difficulties from out-gassing of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) which spreads the VOC’s such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene, all known irritants and potential carcinogens.  These plants are so effective at absorbing contaminants that they will be part of the biological support system on future space stations.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

Wolverton stated “We feel that future results will provide an even stronger argument that common indoor landscaping plants can be a very effective part of a system to provide pollution free homes and work places.”

He published a NASA report in l989 stating, “If man is to move into closed environments, on Earth or in space, he must take along nature’s life support system.”  Plants.

NASA recommends a six inch plant for every 100 square feet of living space.


Common Name Scientific Name Special Notes: Score Card
1 Areca Palm Shrysalidocarpus Lutescens Highest removal rate for formaldehyde; also great for putting moisture back into your home or office. 8.5
2 Lady Palm Rhapis Excelsa Not the most efficient at removing formaldehyde but is resistant to the majority of plant insects. 8.5
3 Bamboo Palm Chamaedorea Seifrizii Third most powerful plant for removing formaldehyde. 8.4
4 Rubber Plant Fiscus Robusta Provides moisture, takes away VOC’s and suppresses air based micro oranisms. 8.0
5 Dracaena “Janet Craig” Dracaena Deremensis “Janet Craig” Removes formaldehyde and xylene; very effective with new carpet and furnishings.
6 English Ivy Hedera Helix Great for allergies, asthma and mold; Caution: It is toxic so keep away from animals and young children so they don’t consume it. 7.8
7 Dwarf Date Palm Phoenix Roebelinii Removes VOC’s, formaldehyde 7.8
8 Fiscus Alii Ficus Macleilandii “Alii” Not as strong for removing pollutants but great to have where clear air is missing. 7.7
9 Boston Fern Nephrolepis Exalta “Bostoniensis” Highly rated for removing formaldehyde 7.5
10 Peace Lily Spathiphyllum sp. If you don’t have a green thumb, this might be the perfect air purifier plant for you; very easy to grow! 7.5

How To Clean Naturally For A Healthier Home

Many years ago I was wallpapering my dining room and Dad was so upset with me and telling me how the wallpaper is loaded with formaldehyde and how bad it is for your health!

My intention at that time was to have the dining room looking great, and I didn’t really want a lesson in toxic chemicals so I just smiled and said, “Thanks Dad…I’ll check it out.”  But of course, I kept wallpapering.

Woman Sneezing

Eliminate Toxins In The Home For A Healthier Life!

By the next day I was miserable…my head pounded, my lungs were congested and my throat hurt.  I thought of what Dad had said and truly wished I had listened and stopped this project.  If we hadn’t had this conversation, I might never have realized why I got so sick…I would have just thought I got a bad cold.

Well not much time went by after the wallpapering episode that Dad buys me some books to read about toxins in the home.  Together we make quite a pair, and I’m very thankful for the influence he has had on my life and health!

I was overwhelmed by the information he gave me…shocked and saddened.  We all think we are being protected in some magical way from this toxic world, but the truth is that we are being bombarded with chemicals.

Products we use every day in the home are having a major negative impact on our bodies and most people are oblivious to the dangers of exposure to them and their children!

Those who do “wake up to the possibility of toxic overload” can often become overwhelmed, but I want to encourage you to take one step at a time because you will be so much healthier…you owe it to yourself and your family to provide a clean, toxin free environment…it is well worth the effort!

Here’s some easy things you can do right now to start having a cleaner, healthier home and a healthier body:

Eliminate candles, perfumes, colognes and air fresheners that are loaded with synthetic fragrances, paraffin and petroleum bi-products. These products are highly toxic to the body!  You can substitute with several drops of essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water to naturally give your home a pleasant scent.  I prefer sage, lemon or peppermint but it’s important to find an essential oil that works for you as you could be very sensitive to certain oils.  Also, you can add a touch of atmosphere with battery operated tea lights for those special occasions; and if you must have candles, you can try 100% pure beeswax candles.

Get rid of the toxic cleaners including window cleaners, toilet bowl cleaners, dish washing detergent, furniture polish, laundry detergent, and dryer sheets and substitute with organic products or make your own. (It’s really easy and saves a lot of money.)

It feels good to keep things simple and inexpensive…here’s a great little list of cleaning products:

Baking Soda (sodium bicarbonate) packs a great punch for deodorizing, cleaning, laundry booster and water conditioner.

Grapefruit seed extract (GSE) can be mixed with water to disinfect practically everything in your home.  It’s inexpensive, last a long time and is very effective.


Salt is great for scouring …abrasive but mild.


Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds is excellent for cleaning the bathtub, shower, toilet, washing dishes, floors and laundry.

Lemon juice can be used to remove grease and stains and is also a natural whitener.


For the laundry, there’s Borax, Seventh Generation, Soap Nuts, Dr. Bronner’s Sal Suds, and one of my favorites is Sun & Earth (


White Vinegar is another good general cleanser…not just for windows… but you can also remove mildew, shine up those metal surfaces, remove stains and grease, and you can add it to your rinse cycle to soften your clothes…and NO, it won’t smell bad!

What you put on your
skin, spray or use in your
home can be absorbed
into your body.
Becoming aware of what you
are using is the first step
to having healthier home!

Cornstarch can be used for general cleaning by mixing 2 quarts of warm water with a half cup of cornstarch.  It’s also amazing for absorbing grease – just sprinkle, let it absorb and wipe…also good for cleaning rugs and carpet.  How easy is that!

Washing Soda is a salt (sodium carbonate) and can remove stains, soften water, use for general cleaning or to make your own laundry detergent.  It’s sometimes hard to find so look in the detergent isle for Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not the same as baking soda).

Micro fiber cloths work great for dusting…just mist it lightly with water and dust away.

Everything you put on your skin, spray or use in your home is absorbed into your body.  Becoming aware of what you’re using is the first step to understanding how toxic your environment is.

But remember, don’t get overwhelmed…just start taking action to have a healthier home!

Dr. Norman Walker
"The key to health is simple: If we do not eat the kind of food, prepared properly, which will nourish the body constructively, we not only die prematurely, we suffer along the way."
Dangers of MSG – Pt. 1

"Natural forces within us are the true healers."

"Let thy food be your medicine and your medicine be your food."