Having Plants Can Help Prevent Colds

Medscape Staff

May 04, 2023

Plants don't just clean air; they may protect us from colds, COVID, and other viral and bacterial diseases, according to researchers at the University of Victoria.

What to Know

  • There's evidence that filling a home or office with plants could help protect against a wide range of bacterial and viral infections, and they cleanse the air through a natural filtration system.

  • Plants produce hydrogen peroxide during photosynthesis, which is released into the atmosphere and neutralizes viruses by safely disinfecting the air.

  • Hydrogen peroxide is a caustic substance used for disinfecting surfaces and for bleaching hair. It is spontaneously formed by plants in microscopic droplets of water in tiny amounts that are harmless to humans.

  • Hydrogen production produced by plants may have possibilities as a viable nature-based solution for air filtration systems to help cleanse air indoors, and it can also improve the quality of air in high-density cities or regions and rural regions affected by forest fires.

  • The findings have potential major implications for the role of plant-mediated atmospheric cleansing, climate change, and urban and indoor air quality, in addition to reducing the damaging effects of planet-warming greenhouse gases, such as methane, carbon monoxide, and nitrous oxide in the atmosphere.

This is a summary of the article, "Spontaneous Generation of Exogenous Hydrogen Peroxide by Plants," which was published on March 20, 2023. The full study can be found on assets.researchgate.com.

For more news, follow Medscape on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.


Comments on Medscape are moderated and should be professional in tone and on topic. You must declare any conflicts of interest related to your comments and responses. Please see our Commenting Guide for further information. We reserve the right to remove posts at our sole discretion.