The snake plant is one of the plants known for both it’s attractiveness and its ability to improve air quality. Keep reading to learn more about the snake plant and its health benefits.
Mother-in-law’s tongue is a succulent commonly referred to as the snake plant, which grows between 6 inches to several feet.
Snake plants are similar to other succulents that help to clean indoor air. What makes them special is that they are one of the few plants that can convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen at night.
A house plant with this characteristic can provide a good airflow in a bedroom.
Snake Plant as Air Purifier
But besides functioning as a deep sleep facilitater, can air purifying plants really clean truly toxic air? Can they compete with the human industrial complex which has been the cause of considerable environmental destruction on the planet? In fact, the answer is yes.
Kamal Meattle, the successful CEO of a large Indian software company, has experienced a rapid decline in health due to the foul air quality in New Delhi, India. Not to be left behind, Kamal decided to act when his lung capacity threatened to dive below 30% of its usual capacity. As a means of finding a solution to his dilemma, Meattle worked with the Indian Institute of Technology and the Energy and Resources Institute to expand on NASA research on air quality.
When it came to long-term manned space missions, NASA had one small problem on their hands. They had to find a lasting, efficient source of clean air to ensure that astronauts survived and thrived during such extended interstellar journeys. They discovered that a few common houseplants, in particular the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (botanical name: Sansevieria trifasciata), helped filter the air wonderfully and were also powerful air purifiers.
In addition to NASA’s findings, Meattle and his team discovered two additional air purification plants ensuing a ‘holy trinity’ of clean air. Other plants other than Sansevieria trifasciata proved to produce a vast amount of clean air while simultaneously filtering out toxins. These plants include the Areca palm and the superstitiously named money plant.
After substantially improving his health with the combination, Meattle decided to scale up the project and purify the 50,000-square-foot facility that he shared with his employees for nearly 30 years. After a bit of testing and tweaking, they found that approximately six air purification plants were required per person in order to meet their needs for fresh, clean, highly oxygenated air.
According to our experience, using these plants increases human productivity by over 20%, as well as reducing energy needs by 15% because you need less fresh air. In his recent TED Talk, Meattle discussed his work and his plan to replicate this by putting 60,000 air purifying plants in a 1.75 million square foot building.
Meattle doesn’t stop there, and says, “If one stands inside this building for ten hours one is 42% more likely to have elevated blood oxygen levels. The Indian government has discovered or published a study proving that this is the healthiest building in New Delhi.”
Do all snake plant purify air?
Yes, all snake plants clean the air. They are an exceptional air purifier. Studies by NASA, for example, have consistently shown the plant to eliminate toxic compounds such as formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and nitrogen oxides.
Because the Sansevieria is hardy, it thrives in places with a great deal of chemicals, including automotive plants and stores, aircraft plants, plywood, carpets, paint manufacturers and also sellers, printing facilities, and offices.
For a 1,800-square-foot house NASA recommends at least 15 to 18 medium to large-sized plants for its research to find out how to clean the air on house spaces.
Extra Oxygen at Night!
This set is unique among the oxygen generating plants, because it converts a great deal of CO2 (carbon dioxide) into oxygen during the night, making it a good idea to have a few in your bedroom.
A person can survive in an air-covered area if they have 6-8 plants per person. Snake plants stop formaldehyde from entering the air.
Photosynthesis mainly consists of taking in and releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) throughout the day (photosynthesis), plus taking in oxygen and releasing CO2 at night (respiration).
Carbon Monoxide can be absorbed by above plants due to their ability to do another kind of photosynthesis called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM).
There are 2 paths in photosynthesis.
Light reactions in which O2 comes from splitting H2O.
In the dark reaction (Calvin cycle), CO2 is used to make sugars. The energy required to power these reactions comes from the sunlight. CO2 is taken in by stomata, while O2 is released through the same stomata. Under Crassulacean-Acid photosynthesis, the plant opens the stomata in the evening to decrease water loss. Carbon dioxide is obtained right now as well as stored in vacuoles as malate.
No More Allergies!
In addition, the Snake plant releases oxygen as well as removing contaminants from the air. The plant may also reduce airborne irritants and moisture. The Sansevieria perfectly meets these conditions.
Individuals with allergic reactions, therefore, need to find a close friend in such plants because they are an economically viable and natural way of staying healthy. Additionally, public rooms and workplaces in particular should be aware of the importance of air-purifying plants for these reasons.
Sick building syndrome (SBS) is a condition in which the health of a specific member of a particular building acquires mild to severe symptoms that are closely connected to the building while no underlying disease can be detected.
Some of the symptoms of SBS are related to poor indoor air quality, including ear, nose and throat irritation; coughing; itching; lightheadedness and nausea; exhaustion; even upper body rigidity and muscular aches. The signs disappear soon after people have left the building.
Here are some plausible reasons, including ventilation that does not distribute air properly, chemicals from rugs, furniture, copy machines, pesticides, and cleaning representatives; outside pollutants being pumped in; and also microorganisms, mold, and mildews. Can you see the alarming connection between formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and nitrogen oxides? This plant is a ready remedy for SBS.