What house plants are suitable for allergy sufferers?
It is believed that indoor plants help cleanse the air of toxins, impurities of heavy metals and allergens. But for those who suffer from allergic reactions, they themselves can become a source of allergies. In addition to the legendary filter plants, which emit volatile and absorb harmful substances, there are many plants from the group of allergic allergies. Therefore, people prone to allergies to pick up any plants for gardening at home need to be wisely. What houseplants are suitable for allergy sufferers, we will tell in the article.
How is an allergy to indoor plants manifested?
The choice of plants for gardeners suffering from various types of allergies, especially contact or respiratory, is a big challenge. And one hundred percent recommendations or guarantees even with the “safest” plants can not be given by anyone. All allergic reactions are individual.
It is always necessary to start from the search for “your own” indoor plant from which particular allergens are dangerous in each particular case. Aroma, pollen, fringe or rough leaves, prickly needles or juice - all possible hazards must be analyzed and taken into account.
When purchasing indoor plants that are theoretically safe, allergy sufferers should pay attention to quarantine and try to adapt not only the plant, but also themselves to its company. Carefully monitor how you react to the proximity of any pet while it is isolated from the main collection. If any signs of allergic reactions occur when you enter the room with a new plant, you should immediately isolate it from contacts.
Symptoms of allergic reactions to indoor plants can be as follows:
- dry, most often angry cough;
- sneezing, uncontrolled and repeated;
- severe nasal congestion or, conversely, a “current” nose;
- redness and itching on the skin, usually in open and most tender areas;
- lacrimation, redness, swelling of the eyelids, itching in the eyes, conjunctivitis;
- with prolonged contact or severe manifestation - shortness of breath, asthmatic reactions, severe headache, depression, drowsiness, apathy.
Even a properly selected plant for an allergy sufferer can still become a source of problems if you do not care for the flower. Dust accumulation, soil contamination (especially mold development on top of the substrate or in pallets) even in the most “friendly” species can enhance all reactions. Not plants, but dust and dirt accumulated on their leaves remain the main enemy for flower growers prone to allergies.
In order for the plants to purify the air and bring only benefits, they need to be kept clean and “sparkle”. So, it would seem, not too dangerous and even recommended palm trees or ficuses with small leaves (for example, Benjamin's universal favorite ficus) can become a source of allergy without hygiene. The number of leaves also means a huge area for collecting allergens and dust.
Rubbing the leaves (wet on unrefined crops) and stifling are procedures that allergy sufferers should carry out more often than recommended. Access to fresh air, frequent airing are necessary not only to plants, but also to prevent the accumulation of allergens.
How to choose the perfect plant for allergy sufferers?
Choosing indoor plants to decorate the interior, it is worth looking for a balance between safety and decorativeness. It is not necessary to sacrifice the latter, because flowering crops can also be conditionally hypoallergenic. Be sure to pay attention to the labeling on the labels and feel free to ask the seller for details.
Before buying, you should definitely talk to the plant closer - stand nearby for at least 5 minutes, touch the leaves, sniff. As a rule, with close contact, the first signs of an allergy appear brightly and immediately. If in doubt, you should ask to take the plant away from neighbors and make sure that they do not cause irritation in you.
Flowering plants are the most difficult to select, but there are some rules that will allow you to find lush flowering accents without risk to the health of the allergic person:
- First of all, you should pay attention to pollen and stamens: the smaller and less noticeable, the better (for example, orchids and begonias do not emit pollen into the air, and spatiphyllum cobs can be cut off before it ripens);
- double flowers are always safer - varieties with thick double flowers are obtained by sacrificing the number of stamens, so they are much safer than semi-double and non-double variants;
- tropical species that require high humidity are almost always safe for allergy sufferers - pollen enters the air many times less, and dust accumulates in a completely different way.
And it is worth remembering that even for “doubtful” species it is always possible to install a flower showcase that completely isolates the room from pollen and essential oils, or put the plant in a personal florarium.
Among the safe species for gardeners suffering from allergic reactions, many favorites are included, which can be safely placed even in the bedroom:
- orchids lacking a strong aroma (first of all, phalaenopsis is considered a hypoallergenic species);
- begonias (both flowering and decorative deciduous);
- heathers and eric;
- pineapple, bromeliad and all its relatives (vriesia, guzmania, etc.);
- carioca, butia, trachicarpus and other types of compact palms;
- non-blooming cacti or forest blooming cacti, with the exception of species with easily breaking thorns (primarily prickly pears);
- indoor (forcing) bulbs - crocuses and daffodils;
- annual or perennial garden-room plants - roses and hydrangeas.
“Enemies” are best known in person
The best plant selection strategy for allergy sufferers is to exclude species that may be harmful. Pollen most often causes allergies, but some plants actively release alkaloids, enzymes, and essential oils into the air, which can lead to allergic reactions in case of individual intolerance.
Plants belonging to the class of skin irritating or poisonous are also dangerous (if, for allergy-prone plants, the edge, thorns or juice can become only a small irritant, leading to inflammation, then for allergy sufferers contacts can become a source of much more dangerous reactions).
When selecting plants that would be “compatible” with allergies of various types, it is first of all worth analyzing a group of flowering plants with large stamens and anthers and ferns. Spores of the latter can cause the same reaction as pollen. The type of allergy and the tendency to react to allergens is a key factor.
If there is any allergic reaction to plants and pollen in the garden or nature, it is worth abandoning all the rapidly blooming fragrant plants. If reactions to flowering have never occurred, you might consider introducing the safest indoor flowering species into the collection.
To plants that need to be attributed to list of "forbidden" for allergy sufferersworth adding:
- all poisonous houseplantsstrongly irritating to the skin (aglaonema, philodendrons, dieffenbachia, alocasia, euphorbia, acalifa, oleracea, cyclamen, etc.);
- herbs and plants (Kalanchoe, lavender, oregano thyme, rosemary, etc.);
- garden-room views with basket inflorescences (gerbera, aster, chrysanthemum).
Plants with a very intense aroma, especially nocturnal (eucharis, krinum, allamanda, cataractus, lilies, aristolochia, oleander, rhododendron, camellia, abutilon, citrus, etc.) must also be excluded for any type of allergy. And plants that actively release essential oils (pelargonium, myrtle, cypress and other indoor conifers).