Breathe Easier with the Best Plants for Asthma

Breathe Easier with the Best Plants for Asthma

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In India, an estimated 30 million people have asthma, and even more cases of this illness are misdiagnosed or untreated. Additionally, 4%-20% of children carry this illness with them throughout their lives.

So, what causes asthma? Respiratory illnesses have become increasingly common with all kinds of pollution being at an all-time high. Consistent and continuous exposure to environmental irritants and low-quality air is often a rampant cause of asthma in adults. Moreover, childhood asthma is another phenomenon commonly observed where particulate matter and chemical irritants play a major role in causing severe respiratory issues that can stay with children their whole lives.
So, for something so common yet serious, what could the solution be? Is there a simpler way to improve the quality of our lives?

Understanding Asthma and Its Symptoms

There are different levels and types of asthma - ranging from simple to severe. Some may even have the illness and not realize it because it may only manifest as a normal cough when triggered by environmental pollutants. On the contrary, for others, it may look like a life-threatening illness that degrades the quality of their lives.
In simple words, asthma is a respiratory illness that narrows airways, causing swelling and excess mucus production. This can make it difficult to breathe, and cause coughing and wheezing when breathing. Unfortunately, asthma does not have a cure.

However, symptoms of asthma can be controlled to a great extent. But you must know them in and out to do so. As a rather flexible illness, asthma symptoms vary from person to person. Some might experience them often while others may be less frequent victims of vicious asthma attacks.

1. Chest pain or tightness is a very commonly experienced symptom for asthmatic patients.
2. Shortness of breath
3. Wheezing (making a whistling sound) while exhaling is regularly noticed as well and is a common symptom in children who may have or may be developing the illness.
4. Bouts of coughing and wheezing that are almost always worsened by the common cold and flu.
5. Difficulty sleeping due to this coughing & pain

While these are the most commonly observed symptoms, there are additionally a few signs that your asthma is getting worse that you must watch out for:

a. Needing to use the quick-relief inhaler more often
b. More frequent asthma attacks and shorter intervals
c. Increased breathing difficulty because of the more frequent attacks

Initially, asthma was viewed just as an umbrella term for an illness. However, it can now be classified into types based on its causes and severities. Based on the types of asthma that people get diagnosed with, any prescribed asthma treatment will follow based on the type of diagnosis.

1. Allergic Asthma:

This type of asthma is usually caused by breathing in common allergens like pollen, mold particles, pet dander, environmental irritants, and certain types of particulate matter.

2. Cough-Induced Asthma:

As the name suggests, this type of asthma presents itself only in the form of a cough. This is often the most common cause of chronic cough and if untreated, can progress to become classic asthma.

3. Nighttime Asthma:

Also called Nocturnal Asthma, this type manifests at night as chest tightness or pain, and extreme coughing and wheezing, making sleep an almost impossible feat to achieve. Even if you do get to sleep, you might just be woken up too many times.

4. Occupational Asthma:

This type is often reversible and occurs due to inhaling too many chemical irritants at workplaces. Symptoms can and may disappear once this exposure stops.

5. Exercise-Induced Asthma:

As the name suggests, this manifests during sessions of heavy physical activity. It can present as chest pain or tightness, blockage and swelling of the airways, leading to difficulty in breathing and extreme coughing.

plants for asthma
While the causes of asthma cannot be understood and classified as such, there are still some common causes such as genetics, consistent exposure to low-quality & polluted air, and things like pollen or pet dander. So, how can we improve air quality to ensure controlled environments for lighter, less frequent symptoms? Here’s one way how:

• House Plants and Air Quality: How Do They Help?

Controlling the environment outside isn’t just difficult, it’s impossible. The condition of the outside world keeps going from bad to worse with the constant climate change and ever-increasing population. So, while it’s useless to cry over spilled milk, we can still control what’s in our hands. You might wonder what could possibly be in our hands in such severe cases. But the answer is right in front of you - the atmosphere in your home is completely dependent on and controlled by you. This gives you the liberty to create & maintain a clean, healthy environment indoors so that you can breathe easier.

However, many of us don’t realize just how polluted our indoors are. From cleaning product chemicals to external pollutants from passing traffic, harmful particulate matter is just floating around in our spaces. But expensive air filtration that additionally takes up more electricity isn’t always an accessible air purification method for everyone.

So, here is where the praise for house plants comes in. They make for the best, cost-effective, and functional air purifiers. They have always been beloved for their glorious benefits. But who knew that these benefits could extend to asthma relief?

Plants for Asthma Relief: How Do They Help?

You may not have known it but plants and asthma symptoms are deeply correlated. Why? Because house plants improve air quality. They do so by absorbing pollutants that our bodies cannot otherwise handle. There have been countless studies to understand how plants help to purify the air and how they absorb pollutants to make use of them for their own processes. In such studies, it was also found that the potted soil of these plants tends to absorb even more pollutants than the plant itself. This means double filtration and better results for air purification.

But how many plants would you need to ensure proper filtration? This is a question posed by many and while it’s true that you will need quite a few plants to ensure that the air in your indoor space is purified and remains clean, we believe it’s fully possible! This is why we are here to tell you about some of the best plants for indoor air quality improvement and their benefits! 

• Benefits of Indoor Plants for Asthma Relief

snake plant for asthma


 As we mentioned, there is no shortage of benefits that plants bring with them into your home. Additionally, if you’re someone who suffers from asthma, certain plants will be absolute lifesavers when it comes to giving you the best quality indoor air. Apart from this, there are added benefits that will have you sold on the concept of indoor plants for asthma relief!

1. Improved Air Quality

Indoor plants have the remarkable ability to purify the air by absorbing harmful pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene. These volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are commonly found in indoor environments and can aggravate asthma symptoms. House plants improve air quality by filtering out these pollutants, leading to cleaner and healthier indoor air, which can reduce the risk of asthma attacks.

2. Increased Humidity

Many indoor plants release moisture through a process called transpiration. This natural moisture release helps to increase indoor humidity levels, which can be beneficial for individuals with asthma. Dry air can irritate the respiratory system and trigger asthma symptoms, whereas higher humidity levels can help to soothe the airways and promote easier breathing.

3. Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Plants and asthma have more of a correlation than just air purification. Studies have shown that indoor plants can have a calming effect on individuals, reducing stress and anxiety levels. For people with asthma, stress and anxiety can sometimes trigger or worsen symptoms. By creating a more relaxing indoor environment, plants may also help to mitigate these triggers and contribute to overall asthma management.

4. Oxygen Production

Through photosynthesis, indoor plants absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen, thereby increasing oxygen levels in the surrounding air. Improved oxygenation can enhance respiratory function and may provide relief for individuals with asthma by ensuring a constant supply of fresh air. Some perfect plants for people with asthma can be those that release oxygen 24/7, meaning there will always be a fresh supply of renewed air to breathe in.

5. Aesthetic Benefits

Beyond these benefits, some of the best houseplants for asthma also add aesthetic value. A well-decorated indoor space with greenery can promote a sense of well-being and comfort, which can positively impact overall health, including asthma management. Additionally, caring for indoor plants is a therapeutic activity that further reduces stress levels.

While cures for asthma don’t exist, there are ways that you can combat severe symptoms to ensure a better quality of life. Indoor plants do just that and there are a few of these that work perfectly for asthma relief.

Top Best Indoor Plants for Asthma Relief :

♦ Foliage Plants for Asthma Relief

Some of the best air purifying plants for asthma happen to be foliage plants. They seem like your regular yet stunning plants but their benefits are heroic! Here are some beneficial foliage plants that you can adorn your home with:

1. Areca Palm Plant

The Areca Palm, known for its lush foliage, is a standout indoor plant for asthma relief. Beloved for its exceptional air-purifying capabilities that allow it to efficiently reduce harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs), the Areca Palm promotes cleaner and healthier indoor air, thus alleviating potential asthma triggers. Its ability to enhance air quality, coupled with its low maintenance requirements and aesthetic appeal, makes the Areca Palm an ideal choice for individuals seeking natural solutions to control asthma symptoms and create a more breathable indoor environment.

• Pollutants and Particulate Matter Removed:

It absorbs and removes pollutants like formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene from indoor environments. These pollutants are commonly found in napkins, paper bags, plastics, glue, paint, and wax.

2. English Ivy


The English Ivy is another potent air purifier, absorbing common pollutants all around the home. Its trailing vines also contribute to increased humidity levels, further enhancing respiratory comfort. With its ability to thrive in low light conditions and its cascading growth habit, English Ivy is a versatile and aesthetic choice if you are looking for natural remedies for asthma management.

• Pollutants and Particulate Matter Removed:

The English Ivy effectively filters out formaldehyde, benzene, and airborne mold spores. Fungi spores can easily be created in moist environments and grow rapidly in colonies. Such plants help with their elimination.

3. Snake Plant

The Snake Plant, revered for its succulent-like, sword-shaped leaves and air-purifying abilities, is an excellent indoor plant for asthma relief. By removing these harmful substances, the Snake Plant also helps reduce asthma triggers, promoting easier breathing and respiratory health. Additionally, its unique ability to release oxygen at night makes it an ideal choice for bedrooms, enhancing indoor air freshness during sleep. With minimal care requirements and its striking architectural form, the Snake Plant is a practical and visually appealing solution for asthma management indoors.

• Pollutants and Particulate Matter Removed:

It absorbs pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and trichloroethylene, commonly found in indoor environments. Xylene is commonly produced through industrial sources and in automobile exhaust.

4. Aloe Vera



Aloe Vera, renowned for its medicinal properties, serves as a beneficial indoor plant for asthma relief. Its gel, rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, offers potential benefits for respiratory health, potentially soothing asthma symptoms when ingested or applied topically. Additionally, Aloe Vera emits oxygen during the night, enhancing air freshness. With its low maintenance needs and versatile uses, Aloe Vera is a valuable addition to indoor spaces, supporting asthma management and overall well-being.

• Pollutants and Particulate Matter Removed:

While some other plants can be better absorbants of pollutants, Aloe Vera plants still absorb common indoor pollutants like formaldehyde and benzene. Additionally, the 24/7 oxygen production makes them wonderful plants good for asthma relief.

5. Bamboo Palm

The Bamboo Palm is a wonderful addition to indoor spaces even without the added benefit of air purification. However, as the all-rounder that it is, it comes with the benefit of being an excellent air purifier that absorbs common indoor pollutants. Additionally, its lush foliage and graceful appearance enhance indoor aesthetics, creating a tranquil and refreshing atmosphere. With its low maintenance requirements and air-cleansing properties, the Bamboo Palm is a valuable addition to indoor spaces, allowing you some basic asthma relief and protection from regular asthma attacks.

• Pollutants and Particulate Matter Removed:

It absorbs and removes indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, common triggers for asthma symptoms.

♦ Flowering Plants that Do Not Adversely Affect Asthma Symptoms

Flowering plants often tend to be problematic for asthma patients. However, if you’re a lover of flowers, you’re in luck! These are a few flowering plants that are good for asthma relief as they do not produce harmful pollen and absorb dangerous indoor pollutants:

1. Peace Lily

The Peace Lily is a wonderful indoor plant in itself and the fact that it can act as one of the best indoor air purifiers makes it a brilliant addition. Among the list of plants that help with asthma, Peace Lily ranks high up there and if you’re looking for flowering plants indoors, it is just perfect! This plant filters out common pollutants to leave your space cleaner and healthier.


• Pollutants and Particulate Matter Removed:

It effectively absorbs indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, trichloroethylene, and ammonia. Cleaning solutions and particular window cleaners are very commonly used indoor products that produce ammonia & other pollutants, giving the Peace Lily a chance to filter them out!

• Other Things to Remember When Buying Plants

1. Look Out for Pollen Producers

Asthma symptoms are worsened by pollen. So, as an asthma patient, when you’re on the lookout for plants to add to your collection, do not opt for plants that produce a lot of pollen. This includes plants like lavender, chamomile plants, chrysanthemums, daisies, and sunflowers. While these are mostly outdoor plants, the risk of symptom-worsening that they carry can be immense.

2. Grow Native Plants

Plants that are not suited to your environment will decay faster, resulting in sped-up spore or mold production. These kinds of plants, while beautiful, can be very harmful to your asthma, worsening the symptoms quite a bit.

3. Other Tips to Keep Plants for Asthma-Friendly

  • Avoid over-watering to prevent mold build-up.
  • Remember to add fresh soil as needed and clear away moldy areas in the old soil.
  • Also get the right pot for perfect drainage to avoid root or plant rot, thus preventing mold production.
  • Keep your plants in the right place and temperature according to their requirements.
  • Make sure to use natural means of fertilization to ensure your plants are well fed and grow well, while reducing the risk of chemical pollutants.

4. Plants to Avoid

Any plant with visible pollen is a strict no as it is a clear indicator that it produces a lot of allergens. Additionally, any plants with fuzzy leaves should be kept away. However, if you’re still looking for a plant like that, the Philodendron Micans can be a brilliant substitute as it is safe and has velvety, fuzzy leaves!

In conclusion, we now know that plants are undefeated companions to keep indoors, whether you have severe allergies or asthma. Although they cannot treat or cure asthma, they can still play a big part in easing your asthma symptoms. So, if natural remedies are what you prefer for ailments that you may have, plants can very often be your best bet! Elevate your decor and create a cleaner, safer, and healthier environment for yourself with these indoor plants good for asthma and allergies relief!



  • What flowers are good for people with Asthma? 

While flowers are often known to worsen symptoms of Asthma, there are still a few flowers that you can fully enjoy. Some of these flowers are Peace Lily, Hydrangeas, Crocus flowers, and Tulips. 

  •  What are the Ayurvedic medicinal plants for Asthma?

Some good ayurvedic plants for asthma are turmeric, garlic, ginger, and Kaiphal (scientifically called Myrica esculenta).  

  • Which plant triggers Asthma?
Some flowering plants such as Marigold flowers, Chrysanthemums, and daisies are known to worsen asthma symptoms. Other foliage plants can also trigger symptoms if they develop mold after not being cared for well enough.