Saving this schefflera by taking it inside during the winter could be a mutually beneficial proposition – according to a new study.

A recent study conducted by Vadoud Niri, Ph.D. and his team of researchers at State University of New York at Oswego is pointing to the health benefits of having houseplants in our homes – particularly bromeliads and dracenas (which are thankfully fairly easy to grow indoors).

Using five common houseplants and eight common sources of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) (such as formaldehyde coming off that gorgeous new carpet or nail polish streaming out of your daughter’s bathroom), Niri and his team found that some plants absorbed more than 80% of the compounds that can cause allergies, dizziness and asthma and can be carcinogens.

They’ve still got much to research – these studies were conducted in closed chambers, not in rooms – but I think that most of us feel a little better when we’ve got plants to keep us company.  Now we know it’s not just about the green – or the extra oxygen.

You can watch a quick video here – or read a bit more of the press release from American Chemical Society. where the research was recently presented at a Society meeting.