Nine indoor plants that every allergy sufferer should have!
I suffer from allergies. And it is NO. FUN. The sneezing, itchy eyes, itchy skin, and tiredness is annoying. I know that there are medications out there that alleviate allergy symptoms, but I have a serious aversion to man made medicines. I prefer to take a more natural route to my healthcare as much as possible. So, I did my research, started taking an all natural allergy medicine and added more plants to my home. Yes. You read that right. Plants. There are indoor houseplants that can help alleviate allergy symptoms by purifying the air in your home!
While most indoor plants will help purify the air to some degree, NASA did a study on indoor plants to find out which indoor houseplants were best for improving indoor air quality. These plants would be grown on Mars and Lunar bases to aid in improving indoor air quality. NASA was able to identify which indoor plants were best for improving the air quality. Indoor plants that purify the air alleviate sick building syndrome which is caused by formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, and other toxins. And when you have pure air, you help alleviate allergy symptoms!
Not only do indoor plants improve indoor air quality and thus allergies, but they also help maintain and stabilize humidity at recommended levels. The natural regulating effect of using indoor plants is much better than the heavy stagnant air that can be caused by an electric humidifier.
What do houseplants remove from the air during the purifying process?
Toluene is a colorless water soluble liquid that smells similar to paint thinner. It is used as paint, lacquer thinner, in dyeing agents, as well as fuel. It can also be found in nail polih remover, glues, and correction fluid.
Xylene is a colorless liquid and vapor with many uses, but is commonly used as a lubricant. Xylenes is a component of the lubricants that are found in paint and paint thinners, polishes and waxes, gasoline and motor oils, glues and even cigarettes. Other uses include disinfectants, pesticides, and in printer, rubber and leather processing.
Carbon monoxide is a well known odorless and colorless gas that can be deadly. Carbon monoxide is formed when fuels such as wood, coal, propane, and natural gas are not burned fully.
Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring colorless, strong smelling gas that is commonly used in making building materials and household products. It can be found in particleboard, fiberboard, and plywood, as well as adhesives. Formaldehyde is also used to treat paper bags, paper towels, napkins, and tissues. It is also used as a preservative in funeral homes and medical labs.
Benzene is a commonly used chemical that is formed from natural processes such as forest fires and volcanoes. It is a colorless liquid with a sweet odor. Benzene is mainly used in making other chemicals such as plastics, lubricants, rubbers, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides. Benzene is also naturally occuring in crude oil, gasoline and cigarette smoke.
Trichloroethylene is a colorless, volatile liquid that is used mainly in commercial applications. It is mainly used to produce hydrofluorocarbon chemicals such as refrigerants. Trichloroethylene is also used as a solvent to remove grease. You can also find it at the dry cleaners as they use it for spot removal and can also be found in some aerosol cleaning products.
9 indoor houseplants that improve indoor air quality and your allergies!
BENEFITS: Areca Palm is known to remove formaldehyde, xylene and toluene. It is also natural humidifier which improves nasal congestion and irritation.
CARE: The Areca loves bright, indirect sunlight and temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also important to make sure the Areca Palm has adequate drainage.
SAFETY: The Areca Palm has no known toxic properties making it safe to have in homes with children and pets.
BENEFITS: The Lady Palm is very similar to the Areca Palm in that it removes formaldehyde, xylene and toluene from the air in your home. It also removes ammonia making this a great houseplant for homes with cats.
CARE: Place your Lady Palm near east facing windows with indirect light for the best growing. It is also good to repot the Lady Palm every two years
SAFETY: The Lady Palm also had no known toxic properties.
BENEFITS: The Bamboo Palm converts carbon monoxide into oxygen. It also removes formaldehyde, benzene, and toluene.
CARE: The Bamboo Palm prefers a lot of light but can also grow in low light condition. The Bamboo Palm does need adequate drainage and only water when the soil feels dry. When it is time to fertilize use a time release fertilizer.
SAFETY: No known toxic properties are associated with the Bamboo Palm making it perfectly safe to have in your home if you have children and pets.
BENEFITS: Golden Pothos is rated in the top three by NASA for removing formaldehyde. Also studies shows presence of pothos in the workplace increases productivity!
CARE: It is very easy to grow. You can either grow in soil or water, and will grow in all kinds of light. However, for faster growth, place in bright indirect lighting.
SAFETY: While it does help to purify your air, it is not entirely harmless. The Golden Pothos is toxic to animals and humans, so keep out of reach of little fingers and paws.
BENEFITS: The Philodendron is great at controling levels of formaldehyde.
CARE: It lovesindirect sunlight, regular watering, and fertilizer once a month.
SAFETY: Philodendron is mildly toxic, so keep out of reach of pets and children.
BENEFITS: The Gerber Daisy is great for filtering out benzene among other toxins. It will also remove trichloroethylene.
CARE: Place Gerber Daisies in full direct sunlight in a pot with plenty of room for roots. They are susceptible to crown and root rot, so be sure to water correctly.
SAFETY: Gerber Daisies are not poisonous to humans or animals.
BENEFITS: The Dracaena removes multiple toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene and carbon dioxide.It also takes allergens out of air and holds it in leaves.
CARE: Care is simple, just prune to keep small (if you want). The Dracaena likes moist soil but not soggy, so keep that in mind. It is happy in most temperatures as long as not below 50-60 F.
SAFETY: Dracaena can be mildly toxic to pets if ingested, especially small pets. It is not known to be toxic to humans but could cause a reaction in those with heightened sensitivities if ingested.
BENEFITS: The Peace Lily cleans formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and benzene from the air as well as absorbs mold spores.
CARE: Peace Lilies love indirect sunlight and only water when soil is dry. Leaves will tell you when they need water, as they will begin to droop. You can also grow Peace Lilies in just water.
SAFETY: These beautiful plants are toxic to pets and humans, so keep out reach.
Snake plant or Mother in Law tongue
BENEFITS: The Snake Plant removes toxins such as nitrogen oxide, benzene, xylene, trichlorethylene, and formaldehyde
CARE: This hardy plant can handle low light but prefers bright light. Don’t over water as the Snake Plant loves dry soil.
SAFETY: The Snake Plant is toxic to humans and pets, so beware of placement!
A few tips how how to help your indoor plants alleviate your allergies:
There are a few things you can do to help your houseplants improve your indoor air quality. Dust your houseplants regularly with mild soap and water, this allows them to remove toxins more efficiently. Vacuum regularly to keep dander, mold, and pollen at bay and you can even invest in a good air purifier to maximize results!
So, if you suffer from allergies, add one (or two, or three, or fifty) of these amazing houseplants to your home!
Keep in mind that there are plants that are great for improving indoor air quality but are still terrible for allergy sufferers as they have higher pollen counts. Plants you should avoid are:
Best indoor houseplants for allergies
You may also find this blog post helpful if you have small kiddos and pets.
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