Tackle Pollution and Allergies with Plants

If your kids have allergies, head out to your local florist, garden center or greenhouse to find natural remedies for cleaner household air. Tropical plants commonly grown indoors all year round in the north offer health benefits beyond swapping carbon dioxide for oxygen. Many can help clean indoor air and remove allergens and pollutants in newer homes with tightly sealed windows, synthetic carpets and other man-made materials. 

Chinese EvergreenTop air cleaners include the

• Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum);
• Corn Plant (Dracena massangeana);
• Money Tree (Pachira);
• Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum);
• Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum).

Research from NASA, and additional reports by Wolverton Environmental Services, Inc., and founder B. C. Wolverton, PhD., author of How to Grow Fresh Air (Penguin Books, 1999), provide evidence that such plants reduce or remove toxins in the air.

Involve your kids in the plant selection. This can inspire them to help care for and appreciate the plants.

Plan to nurture approximately 15 standard-sized plants for best results in an average-sized room.

Refer to the plant tags at the nursery to find the right match for your home’s lighting conditions. Your home’s layout and window positions influence how much light your plants will receive.

Cover your indoor plants’ soil with a layer of gravel or activated charcoal to reduce mold spores and other allergens.

Ask your children if they notice an improvement in the air once the plants are thriving in your home. Together you’ll be on your way to alleviating allergy symptoms, naturally.

– Deidre McHugh-Tichner