Houseplants are a great way of brightening up the home and humidifying or even cleaning the air. But some may trigger allergies. According to the Swiss Allergy Centre (aha!)
, the culprits include euphorbia, yucca cacti, dieffenbachia, poinsettia and the rubber plant (ficus).
If you have one of these and suffer allergic reactions such as sniffles, red eyes, coughing or asthma, it could be down to the plant. Getting your allergies checked by a doctor will tell you whether the plant really is the cause of the problem. If it is, there's only one thing for it: the plant has to go.
House plants suitable for allergy sufferers
Allergy-friendly plants include orchids, papyrus, philodendron, ferns, spider plants, umbrella trees and bromelia. Since each person reacts differently to plants, however, you can't rule out the possibility that even these plants could trigger an allergic reaction.
Other indoor allergens and irritants
Besides house plants, the main potential triggers of allergies are house dust mite excreta, mould spores, animal fur and building materials.
To find out what to do about house dust mites, check out our health tip
on protection from these. For tips on preventing mould you can read the health tip on banishing mould from the home
. There's more information on animal hair allergies in the health tip on pet allergies
. And if you want to find out how to keep the air clean of irritants such as fragrances, paints and glues, check out the health tip on improving the quality of air indoors