10 Houseplants With Health Benefits

Fact: Plants work wonders at sprucing up a decor scheme. But did you know that some can literally make you feel better, too? No for real—it’s backed by science. We consulted the new book Houseplants for a Healthy Home for ten beautiful, living, breathing houseplants...that also have surprising health benefits.

These 5 Houseplants Are Scientifically Proven to Make You Feel Better

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1. Jasmine

With their soothingly intoxicating scent, jasmine blossoms can help to ease anxiety and depression, and even act as an aphrodisiac. Hubba hubba.

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2. Eucalyptus

This aromatherapy favorite boasts dozens of health-promoting compounds—including the ability to ease respiratory conditions, promote healthy skin and reduce the risk of bacterial infections.

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3. Selloum Philodendron

These giant, glossy leaves act as a vacuum, sucking pollutants from the air and increasing a room’s oxygen levels. Researchers at Colorado State University and University of Florida found them to be particularly effective at removing the nasty toxin formaldehyde.

south african geranium
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4. South African Geranium

Who knew? Granny’s porch-front favorite packs some serious health benefits. Oils from this pretty, flowering plant can be used to treat respiratory conditions and promote gastrointestinal health, as well as soothe and relax.

neem tree
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5. Neem Tree

Sure, sure, she’s pretty to look at. But neem leaves have also been a key ingredient in Ayurvedic medical systems for centuries. Steep its leaves in water to make a simple tea that relieves itchy eyes, fights inflammation and promotes oral hygiene to boot.

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6. Spearmint

This magical herb has been beloved for its health benefits since ancient Roman times, when it was used as a disinfectant, deodorant and stomachache remedy. Add it to your windowsill and let the soothing scent ease your tension and stress.

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7. Valerian

Nicknamed “heal all” during the Middle Ages, the pretty valerian plant both reduces stress and promotes sleep. In one recent study, its root extract was even shown to reduce PMS symptoms. Intriguing…

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8. Dendrobium

This gorgeous orchid is a huge pick-me-up on visual impact alone. But it’s also been used for hundreds of years in traditional Chinese medicine (certain leaves can be used to make teas that boost the immune system, promote weight loss and more).

bamboo palm
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9. Bamboo Plant

This perky plant is super effective at removing toxins like trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde (which are found in common household cleaning products). It also ups the humidity in a space, creating better breathing conditions.

goethe plant
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10. Goethe Plant

We adore this compact perennial succulent for its bell-shaped flowers. But how cool is it that its extracts double as a sleep aid and anxiety reducer?

(Excerpted from Houseplants for a Healthy Home: 50 Indoor Plants to Help You Breathe Better, Sleep Better, and Feel Better All Year Round by Jon VanZile Copyright © 2018 Adams Media, a division of Simon and Schuster. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Interior design by Colleen Cunningham and Katrina Machado. Interior illustrations by Nicola DosSantos.)


Home Editor

From 2014-2019 Grace Beuley Hunt held the role of Home Editor covering interior design, styling, trends and more.