Snake Plant Benefits: Important Facts To Know

The beauty of snake plants is not skin deep. Their sword-shaped, waxy, upright, and sometimes variegated leaves hold a surprising secret. Unlike most other plants that release carbon dioxide at night, the snake plant releases oxygen in addition to filtering microbes, toxins, and allergens out of the air.

In addition to the ornamental value from its striking beauty, snake plant benefits include making the atmosphere healthier by giving off oxygen, filtering out allergens , reducing the amount of toxins and bacteria in the air and absorbing harmful carbon monoxide.

Snake plants are very low maintenance and do well in low light conditions. They are drought resistant, almost indestructible, and come in over thirty varieties from India and various African countries.

Snake Plants Are Beautiful, Tough, and Need Little Maintenance

Snake plants are resistant to drought because of the method by which they exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide, called the crassulacean acid metabolism process. The micropores on the leaves open only at night to prevent water evaporation during hot sunny days.

They are popular, evergreen indoor plants because they don’t require much maintenance, and the leaves are highly attractive. The snake plant needs only infrequent watering because of its water-conserving habits. It can also be successfully grown outside in gardens in hot, dry climates and has become a weed in northern Australia.

Snake plants are recognizable by their narrow, sword-shaped, upright leaves and come in many varieties. Some can grow several feet tall, while the height of others is measured in inches. The leaves are leathery and tough and do not use photosynthesis to produce oxygen.

They s have almost no stems and look like a collection of vertical leaves in a pot. They produce an attractive profusion of white tubular flowers with a strong aroma when mature.

Snake Plant in a white pot

The Value Of Air Scrubbing Plants

Air scrubbing plants do not only benefit space stations. They are also valuable for filtering stale indoor air in the home or office environment. These plants can be highly beneficial for the occupants, especially those who suffer from asthma and allergies, promote workers’ psychological and physical health, and reduce their stress levels.

Studies have shown that office plants can reduce the number of employee sick days by improving workplace ventilation. Employees also perform better when indoor plants are added to their environment.

NASA’s Clean Air Study, conducted in 1989 in association with the ALCA, the Associated Landscape Contractors of America, with the intention of discovering ways to keep the air clean in space stations.

Results revealed that certain kinds of indoor plants provide a natural way of removing chemical pollutants like trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, and benzene from the air. One of these plants was Sansevieria trifasciata, or the snake plant.

Sansevieria trifasciata, a variegated variety, is sometimes called mother-in-law’s tongue, but there are many other Sansevierias to choose from. They are now included in the genus, Draecaena because scientists constantly change their minds about taxonomy, but people still refer to them as Sansevierias.

Also Check: Snake Plant Humidity: #1 Important Care Tips

Sick Building Syndrome

Sick building syndrome causes people to suffer from illnesses and chronic diseases at unnatural levels. It is peculiar to certain homes and buildings where they spend a great deal of time. The symptoms of sick building syndrome include headache, fatigue, nausea, nose, throat and eye irritation, and dizziness.

Scientists believe that poor air contributes to sick building syndrome, where the same air is often circulated repeatedly by heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning systems allowing toxins to build up. The

The NASA Clean Air Study showed that the snake plant could remove four of the five toxins associated with sick building syndrome from the air.

Snake Plants Oxygenate The Air At Night

Snake plants are unusual in that they purify the air by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen at night and absorbing toxins such as xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene, helping to create a healthy atmosphere. These chemicals can accrue in the air as a result of household cleaning products, carpeting, ovens, and synthetic materials used in the home.

Therefore, they are a wonderful addition to the bedroom, but you can also have several plants distributed around the house. NASA found that to gain the most benefit, you should have at least two or three eight or ten-inch pots for each one hundred square feet.

You are more likely to get a good night’s sleep in a well-oxygenated room where the air is fresh, and you can breathe easily.

Most other plants remove oxygen from the air at night, so they are not recommended for bedrooms. In hospitals, plants given to patients by their friends and relatives are usually removed at night because they emit carbon dioxide. Snake plants don’t do this.

 Snake plants can improve sleep quality by adding oxygen to the air and encouraging deeper sleep, leaving you more invigorated in the morning when you wake up. Sufficient, good-quality sleep is critical to mental and physical well-being and sets you up for the day ahead.

Snake Plants Can Help With Allergies

Woman with allergies

Snake plants are also suitable for allergies. In modern city environments, there are many air pollutants, dusts, and pollens that irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. Apart from causing sneezing attacks, they can exacerbate some people’s asthma. Snake plants can remove allergens from the air, leading to improved lung function and diminished allergy symptoms.

They are natural filters that purify the air in different ways and can absorb airborne molecules and restore ecological, atmospheric balance. Experiments have shown that indoor house plants can reduce airborne microbes by up to fifty percent compared to spaces without plants.

One of the best indoor plants for this is the snake plant, Sansevieria trifasciata.

A study that looked at the possibility of reducing COVID-19 transmission using indoor plants included snake plants. The researchers noted that several other studies have shown that indoor plants enhance air quality, reduce bacterial and fungal spread and remove pollutants. Still, no one had studied the effect of indoor plants on airborne viruses.

They reached no firm conclusions on indoor plants’ ability to filter out viruses and said that more research was necessary. However, they did note that using indoor plants for air purification can be a cost-effective and valuable way to improve air quality and reduce the spread of other disease-causing agents, as several previous studies have demonstrated.

Related: Snake Plant Leaves Curling? Main Causes And Solutions

Studies Have Shown That Snake Plants Improve The Air Quality In Office Buildings

Studies have shown that an abundance of snake plants in business and industrial environments helps staff function better during the working day. They also contribute to less energy consumption by reducing the need for ventilation because they scrub the air.

In New Delhi, India, the Paharpur Business Centre was judged to be the healthiest building in the city, thanks to the many snake plants dotted around.

Doctors told the Chief Executive Officer of Parharpur Business Centre that the air pollution in New Delhi had reduced his lung capacity by seventy percent. This was severely affecting his health, so he installed four indoor plants for every person working in the building and noticed remarkable improvements in the health and productivity of employees and himself.

Snake Plants Improve The Humidity In A Room

Snake Plant in a room

Snake plants have tiny pores on their leaves that open at night, releasing moisture and oxygen. This can be beneficial in dry climates where there is a lack of humidity in the air.

Air humidity levels have a significant impact on human health. Dry air can aggravate respiratory problems and allergies by dehydrating the sinuses.

Every component of our respiratory system – the lungs, the sinuses, and the interior of the nostrils- is dependent on a thin layer of moisture to function correctly. Wet mucus lines all our nasal passages. Even our eyes are irritated by low air humidity.

Researchers have discovered that viruses such as measles and influenza experience reduced survival rates and become less infectious at humidity levels of between forty and seventy percent. Plants that add to the humidity levels in a room can therefore help to prevent diseases and allergies.

Conclusions On Snake Plant Benefits

Not only is the snake plant a beautiful, hardy enhancement of your living space or office it brings multiple health benefits too. It scrubs the air of cancer-causing toxins, allergens, and harmful gases like carbon monoxide, improve ventilation, and increases oxygen and humidity levels at night. If you don’t yet have a few snake plants around the house, what are you waiting for?

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracaena_trifasciata

https://www.healthline.com/health/air-purifying-plants#more-tips

https://atriumplants.co.za/blogs/the-dirt/three-ways-houseplants-help-keep-you-healthy

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmolb.2021.709395/full

https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2014-30837-001

https://www.ikeuchi.eu/news/health-benefits-of-the-right-humidity-level-for-indoor-environments/