You probably only know that snake plant is a houseplant which can decorate your home. But, do you know that snake plant also have medical benefit for health? Same as other household succulent, snake plants are able to help to filter indoor air. This plant has the ability to change carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen at night. So, it is suitable for decorating your bedroom because it can help regulate healthy airflow.
These plants are also known because they have the ability to remove toxic air pollutants. In small contributions, they are able to absorb cancer-causing pollutants such as benzene, CO2, xylene, toluene and formaldehyde. By having the ability to absorb and remove dangerous toxins, these plants can function as an effective defense against airborne allergies.
Snake Plants for Removing Air Pollutants
Snake plants are able to get rid of toxic air pollutants. There are some compounds that can be absorbed by snake plants such as CO2, benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, and toluene. These are cancer causing pollutants which can be dangerous for our health.
According to NASA experiment of 1989 on indoor plants, plants which have more leaf surface area can purify air better. One of the plants is snake plant.
Now, let’s find out the explanation about each of compounds which are cancer causing pollutants.
- Carbon Dioxide
There was a study published in 2015 on Indoor CO2 consequences which indicates that humans who breathe more carbon dioxide in workplace, home, classroom and other places deal with difficulty in performing and learning. Why can it happen? It is because the level of CO2 which increases give effect to the cognitive skills and productivity. Even it can give the other effects such as nausea and dizziness.
There was a study which was held at Naresuan University, Thailand and from the study there is a finding that tall snake plants with 60 to 80 cm can reduce CO2 level in offices with 4 to 5 snake plants.
It is common that benzene exposes in the indoor environment where it can come from cooling and heating systems, paints, solvents, smoking cigarettes and many more things. You are able to suffer from nausea, headache and vomiting if you are exposed to benzene. The worse thing is that if there is chronic exposure to benzene, it can cause cancers which is related to blood cells. A lot of medical research have proved it.
The presence of snake plants in your home can absorb benzene. Look at NASA study, and you will find that snake plant could remove 52.6 percent in a sealed chamber.
Formaldehyde comes from smoking, cooking, paints, cosmetics, fuel combustion from traffic and many other things. On the WHO guidelines for indoor air quality, formaldehyde is on the list. If the level of formaldehyde increases, it can cause breathing issue and irritation in some parts of upper body such as throat, nose and eyes. If the exposure of formaldehyde is chronic, it can cause rare nose and throat cancers.
Snake plant can work to lower the formaldehyde levels. According to NASA experiment, a single plant of snake plant can remove 31,294 micrograms in a 24 hours exposure.
Do you know that xylene is dangerous for humans? You are able to be exposed to it from varnish, paint thinners, paint, pesticides, rust preventives and removers. If there is a small concentration of xylene in your surrounding, you will get nose and throat irritation.
If you have snake plants at home, xylene can be removed by the plants.
- Trichloroethylene and Toluene
In adhesive, varnishes, paint removers, lacquers, and printing inks, Trichloroethylene (TCE) can be found. TCE is carcinogenic. If there is short term exposure from TCE, it can irritate the upper respiratory tract and cause nausea, headache, and fatigue. Even, it can cause cancer as well.
Toluene can give an effect to mental health and causes dysfunction in the nervous system. If there is a long term exposure to toluene, it can cause necrosis. Even the reproductive system of females and development problem in children can also be caused by this. The main source of toluene are plastic and soda bottles, gasoline, solvents in paints, and paint cosmetics.
By planting snake plants indoors, it can lower the risk of Trichloroethylene and Toluene exposure. There was an experiment which showed that snake plants can remove up to 13.4 percent of TCE in 24 hours exposure.
Snake Plants for Absorbing CO2 At Night
Snake plants can decrease the level of CO2 at night because of the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM). What is it? CAM is the ability to do a particular type of photosynthesis. CAM plants tolerate to drought, dry climate plants, for instance succulents. They minimize the water loss in hot conditions by opening their stomata from evening.
Snake Plants for Fighting Allergies
There are some plants which are able to release oxygen, reduce CO2 and absorb dangerous volatile organic compounds. These kinds of plants have the ability to decrease the odds of airborne allergies. Snake plant is one of the plants which can do this thing.
If you think that you do not need to plant snake plants because you are using the air filters and purifiers, having snake plants can help you more to get cleaner air.
Well, having snake plants is precious because besides they can give you benefits as you have read above, these plants are also low maintenance. These do not need to be water everyday. If you put them indoors, you just have to water them when they need. You can check the soil whether it is time to water or not. Even, you are able to put the plants anywhere because they are also tolerant to low light, even though it is better for you to put them in a brighter area. Even repotting can be done 3 to 5 years. Fertilizer can also be added twice in a year.
Snake plants do not only work as decoration for your home, but they also have a lot of health benefits and low maintenance.