As we enter the Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) period, it seems that Malaysians have taken a new interest – beautifying their houses with plants.
And one of the plants that have gone viral is none other than the snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata
), or also known as pokok lidah jin
in Malay, with many claiming that it can help “filter” the air in your house.
However, it seems that the plant may pose more health threats that benefits.
A hot bed for bacteria
According to Bernama
, chemist Dr. Fatimah Salim expressed concern that growing the plant indoors could lead to microorganism multiplication that could affect the health of certain groups.
She said that the soil contains different types of microorganism such as bacteria, algae, fungus, protozoa, actinomycetes and ciliata, and they are very harmful to those with suppressed immune system.
"A single gramme of soil may contain 10 billions of microorganism cells, especially around the plant roots (rhizosphere).”
"That's why soil should not be kept indoors as it may be harmful especially to those with suppressed immune system because they can be easily affected by the presence of these microoorganism," said the research fellow at the Atta-ur-Rahman Institute for Natural Product Discovery, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Puncak Alam campus.
Dr. Fatimah offered other alternatives for those who wish to grow indoor plants indoor: substituing soil with lightweight expanded clay aggregate (Leca), coconut coir, padi husks, a form of volcanic glass known as perlite and the use of hydroponics method.
The National Poison Centre also issued an advisory about the snake plant via its Facebook page, advising Malaysians to be wary of the plant, which contains Saponin, an active substance that can cause vomitting, diarrhea and rashes if consumed.
The viral plant is even more lethal to your pets, especially cats and dogs, as it can cause severe damage to their health.
So guys, the snake plant may be the in thing right now, but you’ve got to remember to place it at the right place and not put your family members or pets in danger.