You can load up on vitamin C, drink all the fluids around, and rest until you’re beginning to feel closer to 100 percent than earlier, but when it comes to preventing colds and the flu this winter, a few well-placed houseplants might just do the trick. And the experts at NASA just so happen to agree. Scientists long ago proved that plants have air-purifying powers, and can help to clear your air of toxins and impurities, but they can also help to clear the air against colds and influenza during the most treacherous parts of the year. So this winter, instead of grabbing all the prescriptions and taking sick days, prevent the regular cold and flu by adding these house plants into your indoor decorating to-do list.
1. Aloe Vera
It brings relief after painful sunburns, but the aloe vera plant works double during the winter months. Because the plant helps to eliminate benzene and formaldehyde from the air, it has anti-inflammatory healing powers, and is especially helpful in rooms of the home where you spend extended periods of time — like the bedroom.
2. English Ivy
Not only does English ivy naturally work to reduce mold in your home, but it also fights carcinogens like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, among others, and can help you breathe better and while removing VOCs from your space.
3. Spider Plant
Also known as a chlorophytum comosum, the spider plant is not only easy to keep in the home, but it’s also known for producing oxygen, all the while eliminating carbon monoxide, formaldehyde and xylene. This low-maintenance plant is also great because it’s safe for households with pets or little kids, so no need to keep it out of reach.
If you don’t have a ton of direct natural light in your home, the rubber plant is your ideal room addition. Better yet, it works diligently to rid your space of formaldehyde, a carcinogen found commonly in upholstered or wooden furniture, nail polishes and removers, and some plug-in fragrances.
5. Areca Palm
The areca palm, which can grow quite tall and make for an excellent living room or bedroom decorative addition, adds oxygen and moisture to the air. A plant that’s especially powerful in the winter months, the areca palm’s ability to detoxify while moisturizing makes it a good solution for cold-weather illnesses.