The Purification Power of Plants

Begônias by pintomarta50
Begônias by pintomarta50

Once again TheGardenLady is recommending having plants in your house, especially now during the cold and flu season. It is important that our houses and offices have good air quality all the time so you don’t suffer breathing problems, but it seems doubly important when you are gasping for breath with a stuffed nose: you don’t want to worry about breathing in poor quality air if you can help it. According to Dr. Woverton, “Only recently have many physicians begun to associate the increase in respiratory problems with exposure to poor indoor air quality.”  Read this.

A scientist Dr. Bill Wolverton who worked for NASA is the  author of the book “How To Grow Fresh Air- 50 Houseplants That Purify Your Home or Office” and another book called “Eco-Friendly House Plants-50 Indoor plants that purify the air in homes and offices” and he is coming out in December 2009 with a new book coauthored with Mr Kozabura Takenaka “Plants -Why You Can’t Live Without Them” where “the authors delve into the latest research involving the use of plants  to improve indoor air quality.” This book will be interesting to read because it discusses “how plants grown in hydroculture (soil-free) are more effective in cleaning the air than plants in potting soil.” Dr. Wolverton says that “hospitals in Japan are adding plants to take advantage of their air-cleaning properties.”

Besides the role of the plant’s leaves and their root microbes removing impurities from the air, just by having plants in the house brings added moisture to the indoor air. So many houses are so extremely dry indoors when the heat comes on, so by watering the plants and or having them sit on stones over water or if you keep your plants or bouquets of flowers in water, you can breathe so much more easily.

Any of the plants you already have indoors or ones that we have discussed on TheGardenLady blog are helpful. For example, the Sanseviera, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue plant.  If you have low light or if you have good light, how about considering the lovely fancy leafed begonias.  TheGardenLady will be writing about these begonias in a future post.

Now that you have beautified your rooms with plants, TheGardenLady hopes that you will be able to enjoy the atmosphere and that you don’t get sick with a cold or the flu. But should you become ill you can rest easier knowing that you have done something to help the environment in your home.

If TheGardenLady’s readers wonder what the signs of the flu are, below is an easy chart to check to see if you have a cold or the flu. If you are sick, stay home and take loving care of yourself.  Make yourself happy with pretty plants in your rooms. TheGardenLady hopes that none of her readers comes down with the flu.

H1N1 flu is about to be upon us and we need to be on top of information regarding it. Here is a comparison to the normal cold symptoms that was sent to me.

Know the Difference between Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms



H1N1 Flu


Fever is rare with a cold.

Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.


A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.

A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).


Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.

Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.

Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.


Chills are uncommon with a cold.

60% of people who have the flu experience chills.


Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.

Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.


Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.

Sneezing is not common with the flu.

Sudden Symptoms

Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.

The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.


A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.

A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

Sore Throat

Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.

Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

Chest Discomfort

Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.

Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

The only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is to spread the awareness!

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