10 Best Indoor Plants That Reduce Respiratory Problems

Back in the past, when covid didn’t exist, people didn’t pay too much attention to lung health. But now things have changed. We’re more concerned about caring for our lungs to keep them healthy, safe, and away from any infection. But what if I told you there are some indoor plants that can actually purify the air you breathe?

As a result of the recent outbreak, a lot of people spent most of their time indoors which made them exposed to air pollutants found in most homes. Indoor air pollution is associated with oxidative stress and a decrease in lung function. But here come the plants, the saviors of our lungs! They are extremely important in our homes, and everyone should have at least one plant in every room.

Now, if you’re struggling with respiratory problems, there are some indoor plants that can help you with this issue. Not only do they boost your health, but they also make your home more lovely providing the owner an opportunity to reconnect with nature. Also, using indoor plants to freshen up your house may lift anyone’s spirits.

We’ve found the 10 best indoor plants that do a great job for your lungs reducing respiratory problems, so start growing them right away!

Spider plant
Photo by Bozhena Melnyk from Shutterstock

1. Spider Plant

Spider plants work as an antioxidant as they successfully eliminate harsh chemicals found in furniture and cleaning products such as benzene, xylene, formaldehyde and ammonia. This indoor plant is pretty easy to grow and improves air quality immediately. According to this study made by NASA, the spider plant can remove up to 90% of the indoor air pollutants in just two days. Amazing, isn’t it?

So, if you’re struggling with asthma or allergies, consider purchasing some indoor plants. If you already own a few, you’re already one step ahead. Research suggests that older plants are actually doing a better job purifying the indoor air and processing out pollutants — so take care of your plants, and they will take care of you.

2. Snake Plant

The Snake Plant is extremely effective at absorbing harsh chemicals such as benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide — all of these chemicals can cause nose and throat irritation —  and other harsh pollutants found in indoor air. It also produces oxygen while absorbing CO2 at night, and has been shown to help with airborne allergies.

A study made at Naresuan University, Phitsanulok, Thailand confirms that the snake plant can absorb CO2 in a closed system at 0.49 ppm/m3.

Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue in different parts of the world, this indoor plant is very easy to take care of. They grow in both low and full light conditions and don’t need a lot of water. As a result, the snake plant is definitely ideal for beginners.

3. Peace Lily

The peace lily does an excellent job of preventing many respiratory and lung issues. According to one Japanese study, this indoor plant absorbs volatile organic compounds — also known as VOCs — through its leaves just as well as golden pothos. It also absorbs acetone, which can cause fatigue, hypotension, and slurred speech.

Even the NASA study mentioned earlier has found that peace lilies are quite effective at removing pollutants from the air. They absorb the chemicals from the air through their leaves sending them to their roots, where microbes found in the soil break them.

This indoor plant can even absorb mold spores as food! This makes the peace lily very useful in areas with high humidity, such as bathrooms because it keeps the mold at bay.

4. Rubber Plant

Rubber plants are very good at improving indoor air quality because they produce more chlorophyll than other indoor plants, which means more oxygen. Allergies, asthma, illness and frequent headaches are some of the issues caused by airborne particles in your house. According to the same NASA study, rubber plants also remove toluene, xylene, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde, all of which are the main drivers of indoor air pollution.

They can eliminate up to 90% of the chemicals found in your home in just two days! The leaves grow pretty fast and contribute to the absorption of toxic substances like mold and other allergens, making it an ideal plant for those who struggle with common dust allergies.

Areca palm
Photo by New Africa from Shutterstock

5. Areca Palm

Two of the main pollutants found in your house — toluene and xylene — can have some serious negative impacts on your health. For instance, xylene can cause headaches, and dizziness, but also nose, eye, and throat irritation while toluene can cause tiredness.

Since these two airborne particles are so harmful to human health, it’s fantastic that the areca palm keeps them at bay. If you want to improve the quality of the air you breathe, you should definitely grow this indoor plant!

Not only will you have these two chemicals removed from your house, but you’ll also breathe fresher air because areca palm adds moisture to the air preventing it from getting dry.

6. Aloe Vera

A lot of people already own aloe vera in their homes since it has a great healing ability. But this indoor plant is also excellent when it comes to improving the air quality. In the same study made by NASA, it has been shown that aloe vera removes formaldehyde and benzene, two main VOCs found in a typical house.

The plant was proven to be very effective in constantly filtering out formaldehyde. Even though it’s pretty simple to maintain an aloe vera, don’t worry if you see some brown spots on your plant. This doesn’t mean it will die, but the opposite. Those brown spots are the sign that your aloe vera absorbs a high level of benzene, so the plant acts as a natural air purifier.

7. Pothos Plant

According to recent research, the pothos plant — also known as pothos ivy or devil’s ivy — can filter the surrounding air from toxins and volatile organic compounds. Some reputable institutions have even ranked the pothos plant as the best air-purifying indoor plant since it can remove benzene, toluene, and carbon monoxide from the ambient air.

If your house is located in an industrial area or near a busy road, your indoor air has a high amount of pollutants. This means you’re constantly inhaling those toxins which can seriously affect your health. But your green pal pothos plant can rescue you.

Tip: The pothos plant does best in medium sunlight, but it will withstand very low light as well.

English Ivy-indoor plants
Photo by ArtBackground from Shutterstock

8. English Ivy

Many studies have shown that English ivy is one of the top air-purifying plants out there. It’s very effective in removing many VOCs like toluene, benzene, trichloroethylene and octane. It’s also a great plant that improves respiratory health, particularly for people who struggle with asthma or allergies.

Other studies concluded that English ivy can decrease the number of mold particles which can be seen as black and green spots showing up in the damp corners of your home. They can be quite harmful to people who suffer from mold allergies.

This plant also has one of the greatest transpiration rates boosting the humidity levels of a room. It minimizes the amount of carbon monoxide which improves the quality of the air you breathe.

9. Rubber Plant

These indoor plants were part of the research made by NASA as well, where they showed an incredible potential to remove carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde from the surrounding air, which are quite dangerous to lung health.

According to another research published this year, the rubber plant does a great job removing acetaldehyde, a biomarker responsible for acute respiratory distress syndrome. Also known as ARDS, this life-threatening condition can cause breathing problems by allowing fluid to leak into the lungs.

If you struggle with asthma or respiratory issues and you’re worried that the air you breathe isn’t helping you at all, get yourself a rubber plant!

10. Eucalyptus

Everyone knows that drinking lots of fluids and sipping some chicken soup may ease symptoms of flu or cold-related illness. What if we told you there’s another way to relieve those symptoms?

Hanging a bundle of eucalyptus in your bathroom provides an aromatherapeutic addition to your shower routine since the essential oils of the herb are released by the steam and heat. But this indoor plant doesn’t just smell good. The anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties found in eucalyptus’ natural oils can help reduce congestion and beat back colds. The tannins found in the eucalyptus plant also increase healthy fluids in the body’s respiratory system.

If you’re looking for ways to enhance the beauty of your garden, here are 10 Beautiful Plants That Grow Under Any Conditions!


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