nail fungus treatment

Windowsill allergies: houseplants that can cause unwanted reactions


Are you allergic to pollen and looking for a rescue at home? First, look around for any indoor plants that can cause allergies. And note that not only the plants themselves can be the source of your symptoms, but also their pots. Details are below.


A clean environment is critical for allergy sufferers who are sensitive to pollen and household allergens. Therefore, when choosing plants for your home, keep in mind that you can bring another potential source of danger into your home. For example, such a popular ficus Benjamin. Surprisingly, as it turned out, on average, up to 6% of European allergy sufferers are sensitive to the allergens of this outwardly attractive and undemanding plant. And we’re not talking about pollen. After all, this plant never or almost never blooms, being planted in a pot. Sensitivity can develop to particles of leaves, stem and plant sap. They can cause a reaction similar to latex allergy. And the ficus allergen is the only allergen among indoor plants, the sensitivity to which can be diagnosed using molecular allergy diagnostics. It is already available in Ukraine too.   

However, among the potentially dangerous, ficus is the only plant that does not bloom. If you are sensitive to amboria and / or sunflower allergens (pollen or seeds), you should not keep marigolds, chrysanthemums and similar flowers at home. After all, they all belong to the Aster family. It also includes wormwood with ragweed – sources of almost the most important pollen allergens. And pollen from various plants in the Asteraceae family has high cross-reactivity.

Moreover, there is evidence that not only pollen, but also the sap of these plants can cause skin reactions – contact irritant or allergic dermatitis.

Dermatitis, but already in the form of a photoallergic reaction, can also cause the juice of indoor citrus fruits . Such a reaction can manifest itself as light spots on those areas of the skin where the juice has gotten. 

In severe cases, contact reactions to plants can lead to swelling around the eyes and mouth, or even anaphylactic shock. In addition to ficus and Asteraceae, the category of plants with potentially dangerous sap includes orchids, dieffenbachia and oleander . The toxicity of the latter, in general, is shrouded in legends that have come down to us since the Middle Ages. 


Do you like bonsai ? So you are an esthete! Are you sure it is not a source of allergenic pollen in your home? The described clinical case when a person with an allergy to birch pollen had symptoms and when he was at home. And the doctors did not immediately establish that the cause of the patient’s unpleasant manifestations was a dwarf birch , which secreted pollen synchronously with its street relatives.  

Dwarf junipers and yews , which are also home grown as bonsai, are also considered potential sources of allergenic pollen . After all, they emit pollen as well as their street relatives. 

If you are allergic to house dust mites, then you should also avoid violets . After all, their leaves, abundantly covered with hairs, are known for capturing and leaving dust on their surface. 


But the monstera , despite its name and myths about it, is considered safe. The only thing is that there may be sharp needles inside its leaves. And don’t be allowed to be picked and tasted by children and pets. 

The list of safe for people with allergies also includes palm trees and their relatives , for example, dracaena . But – only female plants. After all, men can, again, be a source of allergenic pollen. The list of safe plants includes:   

· Epiprenium golden      

· Philodendron      

· Dipis yellowish (hrizolidokarpus)      

· Palm Kentia (Hove)      

· Palm Rapis      

· Bamboo palm      

· Dracaena fragrant      

· Dratsenu fringed      

· Spatifillium      

· Sansevieriya three-band      

Crested chlorophytum is also useful . It is believed to effectively clean indoor air from pollution. 


And the fern is not recommended for those who are allergic to fungal spores. After all, this plant loves abundant moisture. And in moist soil, fungal spores easily multiply. The same goes for other plants that like moist soil.

Fungal spores can also settle on the needles of a Christmas tree and in its pot, or a jar of water, where the tree is sometimes placed to stay in the house longer.


Reactions to fungal spores, as well as to pollen, are classic symptoms of seasonal allergies. They include: 

• irritation, redness, itchy eyes, or watery eyes

• puffiness or dark spots under the eyes

• sneezing

• runny nose

• stuffy nose

• fatigue.

And the diagnosis of this type of home allergy is often difficult because the source of the allergen is not always obvious. As is the case with potted plant spores or bonsai plants.


The following recommendations should be adhered to:

  • Do not bring home more than one type of different plant at a time. So, if a reaction appears, it will be easier to track what exactly caused it.
  • If choosing a plant that blooms, make sure it has short stamens and potentially some pollen.
  • Choose plants with smooth, hairless leaves that are free from dirt and potential allergens, such as animal dander and dust mites.

After all, the plants at home are fresh air, interior decoration and just a source of aesthetic pleasure.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *