Most people think of indoor plants as a simple piece of furniture. Yet, some research conducted by NASA on the subject has shown that some of them can even improve the quality of the air in the home, absorbing substances harmful to the body such as benzene in detergents and pesticides.

According to NASA, among the plants that perform this useful function there are the gerberas, which appear to the view as large coloured daisies. Although they originate from very hot continents such as Africa and Asia, they also hold up well at home as long as they are well exposed to sunlight.


Chrysanthemum morifolium, which belongs to the chrysanthemum family, is similar to gerbera. Its flowers in yellow, white and pink are the ones that prove the best in eliminating toxic substances.

If, on the contrary, one looks for something more elegant and therefore easier to combine with the rest of the furnishings, one can opt for the spatafillo, characterised by long dark green leaves. Despite its purifying power, its white flower can irritate the skin: so be careful if there are animals or small children in the house.


Another ally against the “bad” air of domestic spaces is ivy, an evergreen decorative plant of which there are numerous varieties. Being a climber, it is recommended to cultivate it on the balcony or on the walls where it can grow luxuriantly. In small apartments, as an alternative to ivy you can buy aloe vera, which has many benefits, including that of absorbing toxins released for example from paints and inks.

In the list compiled by NASA there are also the potos, capable of eliminating 73% of benzene in just 24 hours, the Boston fern, unbeatable against formaldehyde, a potentially carcinogenic substance present in paper bags, in plywood and even in tissues. On the other hand, there are two great classics of offices and waiting rooms in general under the heading of plants and shrubs: ficus benjamin, one of the best in the elimination of pollutants emitted by furniture and carpets, and the dracena or log of happiness, which requires very little maintenance and lots of sunshine.

Finally, the so-called “Ilsien in-nisa” cannot be missed, with its unmistakable snake-shaped leaf that, during the night’s rest, transforms the molecules of anhydride into oxygen, and the ribbon also known as a “spider plant” which, thanks to its pointed leaves removes large percentages of carbon monoxide .