These ten plants can treat your colds and even beat insomnia

Posted by
Jasmine Andersson

It’s that dreaded time of year where everyone has got the lurgy.

Sure, you may have avoided sitting next to the hacking cougher on the tube, and trapped your significant other in an infected room far, far away, but unfortunately the imminent threat of flu and a cold can be sitting right in our own bedroom.

But according to the boffins at NASA, there is both a beautiful and effective way to stave off illness: through plants.

The research, which the world-renowned organisation conducted with the American College, suggests that there are certain inexpensive house plants that can reduce everything from allergic reactions through to aiding better sleep.

With no further ado, here’s a rundown of these healthy horticultural hotshots:


aloe vera

Aloe Vera is not only a purifying plant, but is counted as a superfood

Peace Lily

The moisture given off by the lily can boost humidity in your room by up to 5%. This suppresses allergy-inducing airborne microbes, and relieves those irritating dry throats that keep you awake all night.

Spider Plant

The Spider Plant, which tends to be a staple of most British houses, is an every day hero. 

As it absorbs odours and fumes as well as sustaining oxygen levels in the room, it helps promote better sleep.

Aloe Vera

According the study, the plant continuously releases oxygen through the night which makes it a fantastic air purifier. 

Thanks to this release, it also makes for a more peaceful night’s sleep for its owner. 

And when you get bored of the plant sitting in your room, it can be eaten as a classified superfood, or even treat minor burns. 

Dwarf date palm

These tiny and low-maintenance plants are also good for cleaning out the air, and are said to omit the toxin xylene.

English Ivy

English ivy the is one of the top 10 air-purifying plants

Boston Fern

The large and sprawling Boston Fern is often contained to South American rainforests and swamps, but thanks to its air-purifying properties, may also be welcome in your bedroom.

Chinese Evergreen

A highly clever plant, the Chinese Evergreen becomes more able to purify air as it ages. 

Lady Palm

The Lady Palm is one of the few house plants that clears out ammonia, which is often found in household cleaning and beauty products.

Stick it in your bathroom for the best results.

Weeping Fig

Far more likely to make you smile than cry, the weeping fig is known to exorcise pollutants from household furnishings and appliances. 

The weeping fig, however, is toxic to cats and dogs.

English Ivy

The often underestimated English Ivy just needs twelve hours to omit nearly 80% of airborne mould from the air, making it a great addition to your bedroom.

As mould can greatly affect our breathing, especially during the night, the English Ivy is great to have on hand. 

It is worthwhile to note that this plant can be toxic for children and pets.

Areca Palm

Originating in Madagascar, the Areca Palm is said to be great for those who often catch colds or have sinus problems. 

Images: Cari Corbet Owen and Pixabay


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Jasmine Andersson

When she isn't talking about her emotional attachment to meal deals or serenading unfortunate individuals with David Bowie power solos in karaoke booths, Jasmine writes about gender, politics and culture as a freelance journalist. She wastes her days tweeting @the__chez