The allergens that are commonly suspected of triggering symptoms, such as itchy eyes and runny nose, are usually those allergens that come from our pets and those that are airborne. Few people would even think of pointing the finger at the plants in their homes. Plants, after all, are promoted as good air purifiers. The fact is that many plants do trigger allergic reactions, and this includes some of those that are commonly used in the homes. Here are a few of the most common indoor plants that trigger allergies.
1. The Ficus
This plant is widely used in offices and many private homes. The ficus (Ficus Benjamina) is an evergreen plant. It is also popularly known as weeping fig or Benjamin’s fig. The allergens come from the milky sap that can be found on the leaves of the plant. The sap attaches itself to dust particles, and that is the reason it has become known as an allergen. Ficus allergens are similar to latex proteins and will affect those who are allergic to those latex allergens. Symptoms would include itchy eyes, running nose, and respiratory problems (related to asthma) with the possibility of eczema developing a few hours later.
2. The Poinsettia
Commonly associated with Christmas, the poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima) is a regular feature in many households and business places. This plant’s allergens cause allergic reactions similar to those triggered by the ficus. The process is just the same, with the milky sap attaching itself to dust particles. Also referred to as spurges, some people who are allergic to latex allergens find that being in the same room with poinsettias causes them to develop an extreme reaction. Others have responses that are so mild; they do not associate them with the plant. Even though some people do not experience a respiratory reaction during exposure, they can develop an eczema-like rash a few days later.
3. Chrysanthemums and Daisies
Very commonly planted in gardens and included in the home for beautification purposes, these two plants come from the Asteraceae family. Their allergen capabilities should be of particular interest to those who do gardening. The extent to which they can cause allergic reactions are not well known, but the plants disperse their allergens like pollens. It can trigger sniffles or asthma with those that are most vulnerable to being people who suffer from mugwort allergy.
4. Tulip Bulbs and Primroses
People who always touch these plants may experience a case of contact allergy on their hands. The common primrose (Primula Obconica) is well known to cause this sort of allergic reaction. The allergen from the plant can be found on the underside of the leaves where it sits in waiting, or if the plant is wilting, it can be found on the top surface of the leaves. The only way to avoid the plant’s allergens is to avoid touching it.
Just about everything we associate with can end up being the source of our allergic reaction. If you use plants in your home, you should take some time to note any reactions you may have to it and note it carefully.