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15 houseplants for improving indoor air quality

By: Julie Knapp on Jan. 29, 2016, 1:07 p.m.
aloe vera plant in pot

Photo: robertivanc/flickr

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Aloe (Aloe vera)

This easy-to-grow, sun-loving succulent helps clear formaldehyde and benzene, which can be a byproduct of chemical-based cleaners, paints and more. Aloe is a smart choice for a sunny kitchen window. Beyond its air-clearing abilities, the gel inside an aloe plant can help heal cuts and burns.

People have been using aloe vera for more than 6,000 years when it was known as "the plant of immortality" in early Egypt, according to the National Institutes of Health. It was used for skin conditions and to heal wounds, as well as used as a laxative. Today, although the science is lacking, aloe vera is typically used topically for sunburns, burns, abrasions and other skin conditions.