Best plants for clean air and allergy relief

According to the World Health Organization there are seven million premature deaths every year due to air pollution. Indoor air contaminants are ranked as one of the top five environmental risks to people’s health. Stagnant air inside a room or building allows toxins to build up indoors. This is why indoor air is often more dangerous to mankind’s health than the air outdoors.

Richelle Torres’ grotto garden in Better Living is laden with air purifiers and mosquito repellants.
Living and working in places where there are dangerous amounts of toxins can cause what they call the ‘sick building syndrome.’ This can cause dizziness and headaches, eye, ear and nose irritations and nausea.  The bad news is that humans spend around 90 percent of their time indoors. So how do you improve the air you’re breathing right now, especially in your home and office? The good news is there are plants that purify the air we breathe.

Sansevieria is among the variety of plants that help purify the air indoors—these plants are available at Marleina’s Garden
The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) tested plants that remove pollutants from the air—pollutants such as formaldehyde, ammonia and benzene. These contaminants come from many sources around us including pollution from automobiles, gas stoves, photocopiers, paint, adhesive on floor and wall tiles, and upholstery. NASA’s research concluded that indoor plants are an effective way of cleaning the air indoors. These plants also remove allergens that can cause asthma and sinusitis attacks. Placing potted plants inside a room has been proven to remove poisons from the air.

Three types of sansevieria in a pot
 “When landscaping, I advise my clients to put three vital things into consideration. Air purifying plants, mosquito repelling plants and I also encourage them to grow their own food in their yard,” author and publisher Marlene Aguilar, who is also a landscape artist, said. 

Sandra Torre’s santol tree is embraced by 3 varieties of sansevieria plants.
According to Marlene, when considering air purifying indoor plants, you must consider the varieties that will last the longest inside your home and office. She says she has sansevieria, fortune plant and pothos in every room in her home.  She also has them all over her garden.  “These plants absorb contaminants from the air in just the same way that they take in carbon dioxide.  In addition, there are microorganisms in the mixed soil that are associated with these plants that also purify the air. One of our clients who own a popular chain of food stores had us install several pots of sansevieria around her veranda and inside her home in Forbes Park. She returned over a month later to our garden shop. She said her son told her the quality of air he’s breathing in his room has improved tremendously since the air purifying plants have been placed in their home. So, she bought more potted sansevieria for her offices. Another client of ours claim that she stopped having sinus attacks since she put potted sansevieria in her condo. But you will need to have sufficient plants in every room. Based on my research, you will need around eight to 10 waist high sansevieria plants per person per room to clean the air.”

For further information on other air purifying plants, contact Marleina’s in Katipunan Ave., White Plains, Quezon City at (02) 911-5558 or visit

Topics: World Health Organization , Air pollution , Plants , National Aeronautic and Space Administration , Plants that remove pollutant from the air , Formaldehyde , Ammonia , Benzene , Sanseveria , Marleina's Garden
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