5 Aromatic Plants That Can Help You Breathe Better

Spring has arrived in Austin—and along with it—the pollen. Millions of Ashe Juniper trees are creating thousands of runny noses and puffy eyes. Count yourself as one of the lucky ones if you aren’t among the many who suffer from “cedar fever” this time of year.

The pollen tends to cover every outdoor surface, including your car, the Lady Bird Lake trail and your front porch. The problem is only exacerbated by the fact that it’s the beginning of lawn care season in Austin, which means everyone’s lawn mowers and leaf blowers are spreading pollen everywhere.

Although Mother Nature is putting many of us through the ringer, we can also use some of her aromatic plants to help us breathe better in our homes. There are plenty of diverse plants that can help raise the air quality of your home. Some of the plants will combat common chemicals in your home while others will fight against smog and other irritants that can enter your home. Adding any one of these aromatic plants that can help you breathe better is a good idea this year.

aloe vera plant

Aloe Vera

This unique plant is a staple in homes all across the Lone Star State. Aloe Vera is a common healer of cuts and burns since the gel within the leaves heals skin. The plant itself is also great for ridding the air of common household chemicals. Benzene and formaldehyde are found in most household cleaners and can add to an allergy sufferer’s nightmare. Aloe vera is full of antioxidants and can boost your immune system. The plant clears the air and doesn’t ask a lot in return. The plant can go for days without water.

Peace Lily

The pure beauty of a Peace Lily is an excellent addition for a bedroom, guest room, or bathroom. Peace Lily is great at removing acetone and ammonia as well as other common household chemicals. It can also remove toxins and ease your sinus pressure by raising the humidity level in a room. Peace Lily is also a striking plant that offers a simple but gorgeous beauty to your home.

Rubber Plant

Known for its beautiful indoor foliage, a rubber plant is a rock star when it comes to removing formaldehyde from a room. Most furniture and mattresses have levels of formaldehyde that can be toxic to people. Placing this plant in a container in a shared living space such as the family room or bedroom will help everyone breathe easier.

Snake Plant 

Also known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, this rigid plant offers a wide range of benefits when placed indoors. Snake Plants remove smog, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air. The upright growth habit of the plant also makes it easy to add indoors as it won’t take up much floor space. Snake Plant is also great at removing carbon dioxide from the room and replacing it with oxygen.

Spider Plant 

This easy to maintain plant is another option for battling irritants within the air. Spider Plants love indirect sunlight and look great in a hanger or in a spot where they can easily grow. The long leaves of the variegated plant grow downward so make sure to place it in an area without any barriers. The plant helps battle chemicals like carbon monoxide and xylene as well as benzene and formaldehyde. If you’re lucky, your spider plant should grow flowers that turn into baby spider plants that you can transplant to another part of the house.


Kath Morgan Johnson is an organic cooking and gardening fanatic. She spends her free time testing different growing techniques to make her beloved fruit and vegetable garden flourish with flavor.

All opinions expressed here are those of their authors and/or contributors and not of their employer. Any questions or concerns regarding the content found here may be sent to info@austinymca.org

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