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Benefits of The "Snake Plant"

What is a snake plant? A common houseplant, the Sansevieria trifasciata is native to Asia and Africa. It can be recognized by its evergreen sword-shaped leaves that grow upright and almost resemble artificial foliage. Snake plants are often used as home decor since they’re pleasing to the eye, are easy to care for, and require little water to survive.

Snake plants are considered to be relatively safe, but they’re mildly toxic if consumed. Their leaves contain a poison that can cause swelling and numbness on the tongue if eaten in large doses. It’s wise to keep this plant away from children and animals who are prone to nibbling.

Snake plant benefits The snake plant, commonly referred to as mother-in-law’s tongue, is a resilient succulent that can grow anywhere between 6 inches to several feet. In addition to providing a bit of ambiance, snake plants have a number of health benefits, including:

  1. filter indoor air

  2. remove toxic pollutants

  3. may help boost mental health

  4. easy to care for

  5. effective against allergies

  6. may help enhance the “energy” of a space, according to feng shui

  7. can help with minor ailments

1. Filter indoor air, even at night Similar to other household succulents, snake plants help to filter indoor air. What’s unique about this particular plant is that it’s one of the few plants that can convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen at night. This quality makes it an ideal plant for bedroom decor, since it can help regulate healthy airflow.

2. Remove toxic pollutants Snake plants are also known for their ability to help remove toxic air pollutants. In small contributions, snake plants can absorb cancer-causing pollutants, including:

  • CO2

  • benzene

  • formaldehyde

  • xylene

  • trichloroethylene

  • toluene

With the ability to absorb and remove harmful toxins, snake plants may act as an effective defense against airborne allergies.

3. Mental health booster While the benefits of indoor plants on mental health still warrant further scientific research, the concept that plants play a positive role is well established, according to 2018 research. Horticultural therapy is even used in mental health treatment, due to its therapeutic effects. Indoor plants can be added to workplaces, schools, and medical facilities as a low cost and low risk way to improve these environments.

4. Low maintenance and easy to care for The snake plant is a common houseplant for many reasons. One is that it’s so easy to care for. “Potted Sansevieria plants are common for all continents,” explains NatureID botanist Halina Shamshur. “Being very undemanding, they’re often grown on windowsills in houses, apartments, and different public buildings.” According to Shamshur, snake plants can tolerate both shade and direct sunlight, underwatering, drafts, and dry air. They also don’t require frequent repotting and hardly ever get infested.

5. Effective against allergies By releasing oxygen and adding moisture to the air, snake plants can help lessen the impact of airborne allergens like dust and dander. Since poor indoor air quality has been linked to many health-related issues like allergies and asthma, this is a definite benefit.

6. A little feng shui can go a long way “The Chinese love the snake plant for its ability to absorb negative energy,” says Shamshur. “According to feng shui, placing Sansevieria in a classroom facilitates learning.” Shamshur notes that snake plants are believed to absorb negative energies and eliminate bitterness and jealousy. She suggests placing them in a room where people tend to argue or near appliances that emit harmful radiation. While this isn’t backed up by scientific evidence, there’s no harm in giving it a try.

7. Relieves minor physical ailments Shamshur shares that there are numerous other snake plant benefits that aren’t scientifically proven but are widely accepted by plant experts. For instance, snake plants are said to:

  • heal skin wounds and burns

  • reduce inflammation

  • support standard blood pressure

  • help strengthen the immune system

  • help flush out parasites

  • relieve headaches

“You can apply the sap from the plant’s leaves to wounds, burns, and inflammation,” she says. “Aromatherapy can help you get rid of a headache.” As a reminder, Shamshur says to be careful when using snake plants for healing purposes. Their leaves contain saponins, which are poisonous substances, in large quantities. Saponins are commonly part of many diuretic, choleretic, and laxative drugs.

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