As a whole, we humans spend the majority of our time indoors. We are missing out on the sunshine and fresh air that our bodies crave for optimal health. Our homes, offices, and gyms are places that can be stale and even toxic.

A good way to make your indoor environment healthier is to bring the outdoors inside by introducing house plants. House plants take in the carbon dioxide we exhale and return the favor by giving off the oxygen we need to survive. Plants are natural filters for indoor pollutants that can cause respiratory problems and neurological issues. Some plants have natural healing properties for minor scrapes and for promoting better sleep. Plants also give off moisture that can help to humidify a dry home during the winter months.

Let’s look at 5 indoor house plants that you can get started with to improve your quality of life inside.

1. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

If you are new to indoor gardening, spider plants are a great place to start. These are fast growing and don’t require much maintenance. Spider plants don’t always have to be in direct sunlight and they don’t need to be watered daily. This is the perfect plant for filtering the air of formaldehyde that is off-gassed from cabinetry and flooring and for absorbing carbon monoxide from HVAC equipment. Spider plants are ideal for those who don’t have the time or patience to nurture plants.

2. Lavender (Lavendula)

Lavender, especially French lavender, is a flowering plant that is very attractive and fragrant. The purple flowers give off a pleasant aroma that is welcoming and calming. Placing lavender in your home office or meditation area can help to reduce restlessness and anxiety. It is recommended that you place a lavender plant in each bedroom to promote restful sleep. Lavender does require plenty of sunlight and water. It is best to place the plants near a window, but away from cold drafts.

3. Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

The peace lily is, just as the name implies, a peaceful plant. It is native to the tropics with dark green leaves and lovely white blooms that resemble the calla lily. You are likely to see a peace lily displayed in healing environments, such as an acupuncture clinic or massage therapy center. Peace lilies are known for their ability to remove toxins from the air, such as acetone, ammonia, and alcohol. This is a fairly easy plant to care for that doesn’t require direct sunlight or a lot of water. You can place a peace lily on the floor and allow it to grow quite tall, usually up to 3 feet.

4. Aloe Vera (Aloe barbadensis)

Aloe vera is a succulent plant that is known worldwide for its medicinal properties. Like a cactus, aloe plants prefer dry conditions and plenty of southern exposure to sunlight. The gel inside the leaves of has been used for centuries to sooth irritated or sunburned skin, to heal scrapes, and to moisturize hair and skin. The juice of the plant can be extracted and consumed to help heal a compromised intestinal tract. Aloe vera is also ideal for absorbing indoor air pollutants and toxins. Keep an aloe plant on your kitchen window sill for emergencies, such as a minor burn, and for freshening up the air.

5. English Ivy (Hedera helix)

English Ivy is an evergreen climbing vine. It is colorful all year long. Because ivy grows vertically, it is often placed in a hanging basket and should be trimmed to keep from attaching to moldings and walls. English Ivy is terrific for removing toxins, such as benzene and xylene. The bigger benefit of English Ivy is that it is known to help rid the home of air-borne mold spores. This is a plus for those with respiratory issues and mold sensitivity. Ivy generally thrives in cooler environments and can do with less direct sunlight than other house plants.

If you are looking to improve your indoor environment and your health, consider adding some of the house plants that have been suggested. Looking for even more ideas? Check out these 9 indoor house plants. Start by choosing the plants that best fit your daily routine and the amount of sunlight your space receives so that you can care for them properly. Plants are very much like pets. They need regular attention and care.