Soul Food: The Best Air Purifiers on the Market
People always ask me what is naturopathic medicine, or they automatically associate it with being "granola" or "hippie". To me, naturopathic medicine is getting your body to work for you. It's overcoming your genetic predispositions to have certain deficiencies, its using our knowledge of how the body works to maximize your body's ability to handle a particularly stressful time better, and it's supporting your body on coming off, or reducing the side-effects of chronic medication use. If being "hippie" or "granola" means getting back to eating real food, not processed or synthetic, and sustainable, proactive lifestyle , like cooking your meals. Than I'm guilty.
But naturopathic medicine is also plant medicine. Often we as naturopathic doctors will use food as medicine to help your body heal itself, but getting people to change their behaviour is hard y'all. Plus, nutrition is a very complex issue. So we, as accredited naturopathic doctors, also use a lot of plant based & organic materials, chosen for specific medicinal properties, concentrated in supplement form, for a therapeutic reason, for a predetermined amount of time, to look for specific effects. Often we'll measure your blood or urine lab test values before and after, to determine a change physiologically, and one you can recognize in your day to day life. With plant medicine, I can help detox excessive hormones seen in rosacea, acne, PMS, period-pains, and dizziness/tinnitus. Using plant medicine I can help heal non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, can reduce the body burden of extremely toxic medications for auto-immune disease and cancer. I can also help you have a more stable mood, less anxiety, and the list goes on. Plants really are incredibly amazing.
Keeping that in mind, the other thing I love about plant based medicine is that being in and around nature (not just consuming it) is also healing. We all know it soaks up harmful carbon dioxide and pumps out clean, abundant oxygen to breathe in. They are even noise buffers. But have you ever felt particularly calm when you're in a forest? Or more at peace with some greenery in your home? That's because plants are alive, and their dynamic state is actually as calming to our minds, keeping it active and in-tune, as is the tablet for our kids, or our Facebook scrolls in the middle of the night when we wake up. The oxygen they release is also stimulating for your mood. (Bonus if you're in a forest, it's actually proven to boost your immune system).
So how do you bring a little of this calm, soothing, air-filters indoors?
Grow these house-hold plants:
- Aloe vera. You get the practical application of the gel to help heal cuts & burns, while also thriving in a sunny kitchen window while air-purifying. Bonus: the gel of the plant is taken internally to soothe IBS and help with Chron's/ Colitis due to its anti-inflammatory nature. The latex/skin of the plant is taken internally for constipation. I don't recommend you eat your aloe plant, you can get a supplement product of it instead (search my online supplement shop). Also, aloe vera plants tend to be on the cheaper side.
- Spider plant: Indoors or outdoors, these guys are very hard to kill and the easiest to cut off a "spider" and place in a pot to re-grow and share with your friends! (Make 3 gifts from one?). Air purifying properties include: benzene, formaldehyde, carbon monoxide and xylene, a solvent used in the leather, rubber and printing industries and it is safe if you have pets at home.
- Snake Plants: also called "mother-in-law's tongue" are one of the best air-purifiers of formaldehyde, found in cleaning products, and incredibly hard to kill (if you want to be sure your investment lasts). Put it in your bathroom, and your bedroom as they also release oxygen at night (most plants do this during the day).
- Gerbera daisy: If you know what your doing with plants, and you have a spot with lots of light, this beautiful flowering plant removes trichloroethylene, found in the solvent used at the dry-cleaners. Put it wherever you keep your dry-cleaned clothes.
- Chinese Evergreen: Another low-maintenance plant that can bloom and grow berries for an added pop o colour, is a great air filter and grows in low-light and most places other plants wont.
- Areca Palms: bonus to the normal air-purifying properties as everyone above (formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene) it also adds moisture to the air (hello natural humidifier). Just dont' over-water it.
- Rubber Tree: This plant gets the low-maintenance award, while still being a great air-purifier.
Check out your local florist or corner-store for their supply of plants! Just make sure they are not moldy when you go to take them home.
Feed your plants with mineral water, they will grow fantastically, then eat those plants and veggies.