After learning these Snake Plant Benefits proven in research and studies of top organizations, you would like to grow this houseplant immediately!
Common Name: Mother-in-law’s tongue, Viper’s bowstring hemp
Botanical Name: Sansevieria trifasciata
A study published recently claims that indoor air pollution can be as deadlier as outdoor air pollution. There are many ways to reduce indoor air pollution; these two articles from the University of Kentucky Extension and NASD point out the sources well and control them.
Check out our article on growing Snake Plants here
Snake Plant Benefits
1. A Great Oxygen Producing Houseplant
An abstract of the study published in Harvard University Extension observes that the snake plant is one of the most oxygen-producing houseplants. Ficus and pothos are other plants that made to the list.
2. It Looks so Nice!
Apart from being one of the best air-purifying houseplants, it looks so nice and unique. The unsloped, thick, and tall foliage without stems look so artificial, and on top of it, the shades of green, yellow or gray with the horizontal stripes make it a desiring indoor plant.
3. It Removes Air Pollutants
One of the best snake plant health benefits is making its small contribution to eliminating toxic air pollutants. Other than CO2, it can absorb benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. These cancer-causing pollutants are harmful to our health, a well-known proven fact.
The famous NASA experiment of 1989 on indoor plants proved that plants with more leaf surface area (leafier and bigger plants) do better air purification, and the snake plant is one of them.
A study published in 2015 on Indoor CO2 consequences indicates that humans who breathe more carbon dioxide in the home, workplace, and classroom face difficulty in performing and learning. Raised CO2 levels directly affect our cognitive skills and productivity; dizziness and nausea are other consequences.
Snake plant, aka Mother-in-Law’s tongue, absorbs CO2 effectively. A study conducted at Naresuan University, Thailand, with 60-80 cm tall snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) revealed that CO2 level in offices was reduced with 4-5 snake plants. Check it out here!
Exposure to benzene in the indoor environment is widespread. From heating and cooling systems, solvents, paints, smoking cigarettes, etc. Check out this educational article from WHO. Headaches, nausea, and vomiting can be caused if you are exposed to benzene. Chronic exposure to benzene causes cancers related to blood cells, proved in a lot of medical research.
Besides taking other measures, you can grow snake plants in your home. It absorbs benzene. If you look at the NASA study, you’ll see that the snake plant (Mother-in-Law’s Tongue) removed 52.6 percent in a sealed chamber. The initial p/m was 0.156, which reduced to 0.074 p/m in the final reading after 24 hours.
The significant sources of formaldehyde emission are cooking, smoking, cosmetics, paints, fuel combustion from traffic, etc. Newly-made homes, flooring, furniture, and new products must be considered as well. Formaldehyde is also on the list of WHO guidelines for indoor air quality. This educational article at ATSDR on formaldehyde provides great information. Raised level of formaldehyde causes breathing problems and irritation in the eyes, nose, throat. Chronic exposure to it can cause rare nose and throat cancers.
Snake plant is one of the finest indoor plants that lower formaldehyde levels! In the NASA experiment, a single plant removed 31,294 micrograms in a 24 hours exposure.
Xylene is hazardous to humans, and it has been reported well here. You can get exposed to it from paint, varnish, rust preventives, paint thinners, removers, and pesticides. You’ll experience nose and throat irritation if xylene is present in a small concentration in the surrounding.
Here again, snake plants and many other houseplants like mum and areca palm are your friends when it comes to xylene removal.
Trichloroethylene & Toluene
Trichloroethylene (TCE) is found in printing inks, lacquers, paint removers, varnishes, and adhesives. Here’s a list of some TCE products. TCE is carcinogenic and can irritate the upper respiratory tract and cause nausea, fatigue, and headache.
Toluene affects mental health and causes dysfunction in the nervous system. Long-term exposure to toluene is also known to cause necrosis. It also affects the reproductive system of females and causes developmental problems in children. Gasoline, solvents in paints, plastic and soda bottles, paint cosmetics are its major source.
To lower the risk of Trichloroethylene and Toluene exposure, grow a snake plant indoors. In the experiment, it removed up to 13.4 percent of TCE in 24 hours of exposure.
4. It Absorbs CO2 in the Night
It’s a question of confusion and disbelief that snake plants or any other plant continuously release oxygen in the nighttime. We don’t find any substantial evidence to prove that. However, snake plant indeed reduces the CO2 even in the night.
Due to the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), the capability to perform a particular type of photosynthesis. CAM plants are drought-tolerant, dry climate plants, for example, succulents. They open their stomata from the evening to minimize the water loss in hot conditions.
5. It is Effective against Allergies
A plant that releases oxygen, reduces CO2, and absorbs harmful volatile organic compounds can surely decrease the odds of airborne allergies. The snake plant is one such plant! Even if you’re using the air filters and purifiers, surrounding yourself with indoor plants helps.
Check out this educative article available at the University of Hawaii Extension.
6. For Protective Energy and Feng Shui
Some people believe that the snake plant is not a good plant when it comes to feng shui. It is far from being true. If placed in an ideal position, it brings protective and purifying energy to the home or office.
In feng shui, spiky plants are considered excellent against negative Chi. As they are so aggressive, you need to place them in less trafficked areas. Some of the best spots are Southeastern, Southern, and Eastern corners.
7. It is Low Maintenance
With all the other Snake Plant Benefits and facts listed above, one more to add is it’s one of the best low-maintenance houseplants in the world. It can thrive in full sun, in full shade, in lack of water. Basically, it thrives on neglect. We also added it to our list of Easiest Houseplants. Check it out here!