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Which Plants Are Best For Allergies?

As homes continue to get built over the years, they become increasingly airtight to keep out the cold in the winter and keep out the heat in the humid summer. While this can be great for your electric bill, it can wreak havoc on your allergies.

If you suffer from pollen or any other indoor pollutant, you’ll find yourself with increased symptoms including itchy eyes and a running nose. Believe it or not, there are several houseplants on the market that can bring you relief.

The best part? Most of these houseplants don’t require a lot of upkeep. They can also remove dangerous chemicals like formaldehyde from the air in your home. Sounds like a win-win to us

Can Plants Really Help With Allergies?

In the 1980s, NASA conducted a now-famous Clean Air Study. During this, they tested how indoor plants impacted the air inside. They did this to see which options were best for keeping the air clean inside of the International Space Station.

The study let everyday people like you and me in on which plants could bring a meaningful change to our lives. Surprisingly, the study found that there are over 50 common houseplants that can remove toxic things from your home. This includes:

  • Trichloroethylene
  • Benzene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Carbon Monoxide

The Clean Air Study also showed huge changes for allergy sufferers. It also proved that these same houseplants can decrease stress levels, boost moods, and increase productivity levels. This is one reason it’s a good idea to have plants in the office!

Allergy Symptoms and Plants to Avoid

It’s important to keep in mind that just because you add a few plants to your home doesn’t mean you should stop taking any prescription or antihistamine medication. It’s a good idea to know which plants pair best with your specific allergy symptoms.

You’ll want to make sure the plant you choose doesn’t give off pollen, which could make your allergies much worse. To do this, steer clear of any floral bouquets or elaborate centerpieces. Real Christmas trees can also trigger allergies.

African violets may be beautiful but they’re known to attract dust. If you have an allergy to dust mites, don’t even think about bringing this plant into your home. Lastly, if you’re allergic to latex, stay away from fig plants due to their latex-like sap.

The Best Plants For Indoor Allergies

While we know according to NASA there are 50 common houseplants that can bring relief for allergy sufferers, we’re going to focus on the top five. Let’s take a look at what they are and how you can directly benefit from them!

Spider Plant

Spider plants are one of the most popular household plants ever. They have leaves that are skinny and nearly two feet long. The long leaves do the job when it comes to purifying the air. They can get rid of harmful pollutants and of course, indoor allergens.

A spider plant is a great option for someone looking for a quick fix. It often takes less than three days for the spider plant to start removing bad things in the air, including formaldehyde. According to the Clean Air Study, spider plants remove 95% of toxins in the air.

Gerbera Daisy

Earlier you read that floral bouquets are bad for those with allergies. Thankfully, you don’t have to say so-long to beautiful florals. Believe it or not, Gerbera Daisies are great for controlling something called Benzene.

Benzene is harmful in many ways. You’ll also find it in oil, cigarette smoke, and petrol. It can cause:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness
  • Tremors
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Unconsciousness
  • Death

Be sure your gerbera daisy has a plethora of drainage holes to prevent water build-up. Place it in a sunny spot in your home and worrying about Benzene will be a thing of the past.

Peace Lily

Speaking of gorgeous flowers, a peace lily is also an option. According to the NASA study, this minimalist plant can improve air quality by 60%. It’s known to neutralize the following:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Benzene
  • Carbon Monoxide

English Ivy

If you like vines, you’ll love having an English ivy. NASA says that this is one of the best plants for purifying the air in any space. It’s known for combating mold. Too much exposure to mold can lead to respiratory issues, which is not something someone with allergies needs.

For this reason, it’s best to place this plant in an area prone to a lot of water. Bathrooms, kitchens, and basements are perfect spots for an English ivy vine.

Snake Plant / Mother-In-Law’s Tongue

Going by two popular names: Snake plant and Mother-in-law’s tongue, this is one of the easiest plants to take care of. If you don’t have a green thumb or find yourself away from home a lot, this may be the best choice for you.

The long, wide leaves are known to quickly remove several air pollutants, including:

  • Benzene
  • Xylene
  • Formaldehyde
  • Toluene
  • Trichloroethylene (TCE)

All of these toxins can bring about a number of harmful symptoms to your body. You want to limit your exposure to all five of the toxins listed above. This is especially crucial for homes with small children, pets, and those with upper respiratory issues.

If you’re really focused on reducing the number of toxins in your home, a snake plant will do the trick. They’re affordable and look great in any room. They also require minimal watering and can grow to be quite tall.

Things To Remember About Caring For Plants

While having a plethora of greenery in your home can alleviate your allergy symptoms, if they’re not properly cared for, they can increase some symptoms. The placement of your plant plays a major role in this.

For example, if you put a potted plant in a corner of a room or on a shelf, it’s more likely to collect dust. Dust can increase allergies. To prevent this, be sure to wipe down the leaves with a wet towel every week.

Excessive water in a plant pot can also be bad for your allergies. Only water the plant if the solid is dry on top. Plants that have too much water in their soil can begin to grow mold.

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