Plants that clean indoor air.

I just made this list for myself, so I thought I’d share.

Based on studies done by NASA  and others, these two plants filter the most chemicals from indoor air. They help rid your home of benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene and ammonia:

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum‘ Mauna Loa’)

Florist’s chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium)

These next three plants filter all of the above except ammonia:

English ivy (Hedera helix)

Variegated snake plant, also called mother-in-law’s tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata‘ Laurentii’)

Red-edged dracaena (Dracaena marginata)

All of the above plants are toxic to dogs and cats. For nontoxic options, try Lilyturf (Liriope spicata) or Broadleaf lady palm (Rhapis excelsa), which filter formaldehyde, xylene, toluene and ammonia, or Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii), which filters benzene, formaldehyde and trichloroethylene.

NASA recommends 1 potted plant per 100 square feet of indoor space. Here’s a 2009 TED talk on the subject. For more plant options, check out this table.

Small Triumph = Big Setback

I drove downtown yesterday to my acupuncture appointment for the first time in almost six months. I have driven a bit around my neighborhood, but this was my first time on the highway and I was so proud of myself. I was going to write a very excited post about this milestone, but, once I got into the acupuncture office, I realised I had misjudged my capabilities. Not because of the concentration needed and the bright lights and moving parts, but because of the physical effort needed. My god, you have no idea what a work out it is to drive a stick shift until you spend many months not moving very much and lose muscle tone you didn’t even know you needed. Turns out there is a very big difference between pushing in the clutch for a 20 minute round trip to my therapist’s office and an hour round trip to acupuncture and then therapy. Turns out there is a very big difference between parking your car at a curb on a quiet street and trying to get into a spot in an underground car park, reversing back and forth multiple times, turning your body left and right to look behind you.

Afterwards, I was broken. On the drive home, everything was seizing up. Shoulders, neck, back, glutes. Head was hurting, throat was sore. This was something I hadn’t felt in many, many months. I took an epsom salt bath and went to bed, praying that I would be okay today. And I am. But I’m not. I’m still broken. Cement injected into every muscle. Inflamed cement muscle attached to shaky brittle bones. Tight chest, burning eyes, throbbing brain, can barely sit in my chair to type this. In short, it feels like I ran a marathon without previous training, drank a bottle of whiskey, smoked a pack of cigarettes and am coming down with a cold.

I don’t know what to do with this illness. I wouldn’t have tried to drive if I didn’t think I was up for it. I needed a small victory. Do I really just do less, less, less? Never making forward progress? Or is this not a crash, but simply sore muscles that aren’t used to working? There are people in this world that don’t have the luxury to choose to do less ~ are they worse off or better off than I am?

I will hold onto the knowledge that I was able to do it, even if it hurt me and, once I feel better, that will be a triumph.

My daily gratitude: I am grateful that when it snows in Seattle, it never sticks for long. Brrrr….



And … then later that day …

The weather is as changeable as this disease.

The weather is as changeable as this disease.