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On average, a human being breathes more than 10 to 20 thousand liters of air on a daily basis. Being one of the most vital functions of the human body, it is important to ensure that you are inhaling fresh air. However, clean and fresh air has become a scarce resource lately.
According to research, the air inside the house is much more polluted as compared to outdoors. This is because the air in our houses is more likely to be trapped. But luckily, there are a bunch of ways in which one can improve the air quality of their home.
Aloe vera is capable of purifying and detoxifying the air containing formaldehyde and benzene, substances that are commonly found in floor finishes, varnishes, and detergents.
According to certain experiments conducted, aloe vera is quite effective in eliminating certain Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) from the air. But how true and reliable are these experiments today and what makes this sweet little plant so effective? Let us talk more about how aloe vera helps in purifying the air and whether it will be equally effective inside your house.
Removes Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Some VOCs can be very easily found in a typical house. Benzene is commonly present in things like paint products, dyes, plastics, and rubber. On the other hand, formaldehyde is usually found in insulation materials and even laminate flooring and particle-board furniture. So, if you think your household is free from VOCs, there is a high chance that you might be wrong.
However, with the right plant, you can make the air inside your home cleaner. Aloe vera is proven to be quite beneficial in eliminating volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air.
Moreover, aloe vera can remove xylene (another VOC) from the air in your house. It is usually found in elements like paint thinners, solvents, and varnishes. Other than houses, it is also found in the printing, rubber, and leather industries.
These compounds are chemicals usually released from building materials, furniture, and cleaning supplies. Since these compounds are released through products used in the house on a daily basis, it can make the air inside the home quite polluted. So, having an aloe vera plant can prove to be effective in removing these VOCs.
Aloe vera can eliminate these VOCs from the air in your home by:
- Absorbing and sequestering the volatile organic compounds in the cells of the plant.
- Breaking down carbon chains of the compounds and using them again to create safer chemicals such as amino acids or other organic compounds.
- Attracting microorganisms that can help in breaking down the compounds. This process is usually carried out in the root system of the plant.
In the studies carried out, aloe vera was shown to eliminate benzene and formaldehyde which are two of the most commonly found VOCs in a usual household.
Not only the plant was really good at filtering and detoxifying the pollutants, but it also makes it quite easy to monitor the air quality of your house.
This is because the plant will start developing brown spots if there is constantly a high level of specific VOCs, transforming itself into a natural air quality monitor.
Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) Pathway
It is a known fact that plants are the fundamental oxygen pumps on this earth and are responsible for the survival of human beings. But other than the basic function of photosynthesis, some plants have additional and special features that help in fighting against air pollutants present in the houses we inhabit.
While all the plants are expected to absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into the environment, aloe vera does a little more than this.
An aloe plant uses something that is known as the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) pathway to exchange air with the environment.
These plants have evolved a rare ‘nocturnal breathing’ adaptation that helps them survive better in dry climates. The plants that use CAM are able to actively exchange air at night rather than during the daytime.
Thus, this does not only lead to cleaner air but also helps you get better sleep at night. Because of this function, the aloe vera plant is beneficial in the removal of xylene.
With the use of CAM, an aloe vera plant is able to absorb high levels of carbon dioxide from the environment at night and thus releases more oxygen when it is exposed to the sun again. It is not surprising that aloe vera is known as one of the many ‘oxygen bomb’ plants. According to NASA, aloe vera is as effective at producing oxygen in a room as 9 plants.
How To Improve Air Quality Indoors Naturally?
According to a recent study conducted by Bryan Cumming and Michael Waring, just one indoor plant would do nothing to improve the air quality in your home.
A home with 1500 square feet of space would need around 680 plants to be grown inside for the plants to be able to effectively cleanse and purify the air indoors.
But, 680 plants are a lot even for some of the most passionate gardeners. This means that a huge collection of indoor plants can have a significant effect on the air quality. However, housing so many plants would not be feasible or practical for many.
However, if you are planning on building an indoor garden, there are a bunch of benefits that you can avail. While it would somewhat contribute to improving the air quality of your home, having plants indoors can help in rejuvenating your mood and enhancing the overall vibe of your home. Growing plants has a bunch of mental and physical health benefits.
Is Aloe Vera the Best Indoor Plant For Improving Air Quality?
While aloe vera offers a bunch of benefits, it is not necessarily the best pick when it comes to improving the air quality indoors.
This is because it does not go beyond the scope of eliminating just a couple of VOCs – benzene and formaldehyde. There are a number of other plants that can prove to be more effective and can help in eliminating additional VOCs.
But other than this, aloe vera is still a great plant for your home. Other than being a low-maintenance succulent that can improve the air quality of your home, it is also a plant that enhances the aesthetic appeal of your house and comes with a bunch of medicinal benefits.
Where Should I Position My Aloe Vera in My House?
Aloe Vera thrives in the sunshine. So, the ideal location for an aloe planter would be a sunny windowsill if you are planning on growing the plant indoors.
Any place that will ensure that your plant receives lots of indirect sunlight would be a great pick. However, you should avoid placing it in direct or bright sunlight. To get a proper idea as to how much sun an aloe vera plant really needs, you can read this blog.
There are quite a few tips that will help you grow aloe vera in a hassle-free way. Watch this video to know more:
Other Articles On Growing Aloe Vera That Will Help You In Your Journey
Conclusion on Does Aloe Vera Clean The Air in Your Home
Growing plants indoors is a great way to bring some greenery into your house. And aloe vera is one of the most beneficial plants is one of the best options you can consider for your little indoor garden.
However, when it comes to improving the air in your home, you should not entirely rely on aloe vera and other indoor plants. You can consider improving the overall ventilation system of your house by opening up the windows and doors of your room for a while.
This will help fresh air to enter your home. But if you are someone who is residing in a region with a poor air quality index, you should consider investing in a good quality air purification system.
So, are you willing to grow aloe vera plants indoors and see how it elevates your mood, rejuvenates the aura of your home, and maybe even improve the air quality of your home?
If you would like to read a full care guide for growing Aloe Vera then I have you covered.
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