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House plants do more than just brighten a room and make it look pretty. Although they can bring a room alive with their color and allure, they do much more than that. Most people use plants to make their livable space more vivacious and inviting. Many people do not fully realize how powerful these plants are to their overall health though. Dr. Leona Rogler claims that these plants decrease complaints about headaches, stress, heart/circulation symptoms and colds. This is because richly decorating a room with plants can help keep the air clean. A NASA study also found that common house plants could improve air quality. In that report, it was stated that houseplants were able to remove up to 87 percent of the air toxins in a 24 hour period of time. That study recommended 15 to 18 good sized house plants (6 to 8 inch diameter containers) for a 1,800 square-foot home. A general rule of thumb suggests a minimum of one plant for approximately 10 square yards of floor space, assuming that the average ceiling height is 8 to 9 feet. This means that you need two or three plants to contribute to improved air quality in the average sized domestic living room.

Plants remove a variety of toxic air emissions and convert them back into fresh clean air for us to breath. It's like a built-in air filtration system that benefits us without us doing a thing. Some of these emissions include: ammonia, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and trichloroethytene. These are pollutants that gather in all enclosed spaces, without us knowing it. They can affect our sense of well being, our susceptibility to illness, and our moods. Without something to counteract this process, air quality can become poor, which is not conducive to the quality of life that we might want. House plants counteract that process. Not only do they make us feel good and brighten our spirits, they are also a key ingredient for our health.

Here are the top ten houseplants that not only look good but are also air filtration work horses:

• Dragon tree
• Ivy
• Ficus
• Philodendrons
• Spider plants
• Peace lilies
• Ferns
• Chrysanthemums
• Palms
• Rubber plant

Plants can make you feel happier and houseplants have been proven to make people feel calmer and more optimistic. Dr. Bruno Cortis says that studies have shown that hospital patients who face a window with a garden view recover much more quickly than those who have a bed facing the wall. Study after study has substantiated this claim. If plants make us feel good and they filter the air so that we can remain healthier and more vibrant, why wouldn't we want to incorporate them into our homes so that we can reap the benefits that they provide? Taking care of plants is not that difficult and taking the simple step of introducing them into our domestic environment can bring huge benefits long-term.