Plants have been known to be friends of mankind since the beginning of time. From producing oxygen, which is important for human survival, to cleaning the air, plants play a very important role in our lives. Plants not only grow in gardens but can also be grown and kept inside the house. All across the world, people are now focusing on keeping indoor houseplants because of various reasons including purifying air, adding colour to the house and above all fighting allergies and harmful chemicals. This blog identifies some houseplants for allergies sufferers that they can keep in their house for better health and how to care for them.
Keeping Houseplants For Allergies
In 1989, a team at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) conducted a study to explore the filtering properties of plants and how effective they can be. Different plants were studied to find the best and most effective houseplants that can keep with allergies and favour a better and healthy indoor environment. The study concluded that there are a few plants that can act as natural air filters and clear air pollutants which can be potential causes of allergies and asthma.
Some houseplants require a lot of care; you have to maintain a certain temperature range and humidity level for their survival, while others don’t. If the optimal conditions for houseplants are maintained, the plants can filter chemicals like benzene and formaldehyde which can be major causes for frequent headaches, irregular heartbeats, dizziness, burning sensations and throat and skin rashes.
Let’s see which plants you can keep in your house that will be best to create a better and safe environment.
Peace lilies are the easiest to manage and care for if you are looking for something that requires low maintenance. It is also one of the best air-purifying plants and is preferred by many people because it has pollen that is stickier and heavier than other plants. The plant is known to remove toxic gases and other chemicals from the air that could affect human health such as carbon monoxide, benzene and formaldehyde.
The is very less demanding and requires indirect light for survival but can also survive in lower light conditions. Peace lilies signal the gardener if the light is too much by yellowing its leaves. The plant can survive in tropical conditions but if the temperature gets too low or cold, it will not be able to tolerate that.
Dracaena is a plant that is capable of trapping allergens in its leaves and purifying the air for a better surrounding. In addition to carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and benzene, dracaena can also purify the air from the traces of trichloroethylene. The plant is known for its superior air cleaning ability which is why it is popular among those who suffer from allergies due to airborne elements.
A variety of cultivars of dracaena are available that are different in colour. The plant does not require direct sunlight exposure and can also survive in artificial light if exposed for 12 to 14 hours a day. This plant too cannot withstand lower and higher temperatures due to its tropical nature and requires high humidity.
Named in the NASA clean air study list, Areca palm is, hands down, one the best natural air purifiers. The plant is also a natural humidifier and increases water vapours in the air which help an individual in improving their allergy symptoms such as irritation and nasal congestion. Among chemicals and gases that areca palm removes from the air include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, toluene and xylene.
The plant requires indirect sunlight or can also survive under artificial light if exposed to it for 14 to 16 hours a day. The plant needs a highly humid environment to thrive so mist it daily and use a humidity tray for a better humid environment.
You may have often seen these plants in different houses and are the ones with big and thick leaves. These are also tropical plants and are capable of removing strong chemicals from the air that could otherwise cause irritation in the throat and nose making allergies even worse.
The plant is commonly known as a money plant in different households and can survive even the harshest conditions. However, these thrive in bright and indirect light and prefer warm temperatures as compared to other plants. You will only need to moist the soil, mist the leaves and maintain medium humidity to provide ideal growing conditions.
Snake plants are best for those who cannot grow anything due to their busy schedules. It requires very little attention and can survive even for days and weeks. It has long erected leaves and works best for those who have allergies. Placing a snake plant in your room at night can prove to be very effective and give you relief because that is the time when allergies are most active.
For growth, the snake plant requires bright light but it can survive in very dim light too. For its moderate growth, the plant needs to be in temperatures that are pleasant but temperatures below 10 to 12 degrees Celsius can cause it to lose its health. It requires low humidity and less watering (once in two to four weeks).
Instead of spending money on electric equipment to increase humidity and purify the air, investing in plants is better. These are natural sources to maintain a better and healthier environment inside your house and are best for allergies and removing chemical toxins from the air.
This is all for now. If you are interested in winter tips for house plants, you can read our comprehensive guide. For more lifestyle blogs, head over to Pakistan’s largest lifestyle blog, Zameen Blog.