Can Plants Really Help Control the Flu and COVID-19?

According to the following news report on the flu by NBC affiliate KETK, aired in 2019, yes, they can!

Another recent study conducted by Dan Hess Research, shows that COVID-19 has a shortened life in relative humidity (r.H.) of 40 percent and above. Who else but your plant company hauls in gallons upon gallons of water into your space, where upon the water is gently released into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration? An average 6 ft tall plant might give off 2 to 3 quarts of water per week, depending upon the variety, light, and temperature. A gallon of water weighs 8.34 pounds. That translates into 6.25 pounds for the three quarts. A pound of air will occupy, or more appropriately share the space with 500 cubic feet of air at a relative humidity of 60%. So, if you want to do the simple math, you can see how a few plants can really add to the humidity level of a living space. And, as a bonus, the plants give off oxygen. But if that’s not enough there may be a sleeper effect of having plants in your office or home. It has been proven that plants absorb indoor pollutants such as volatile organic compounds (VOCS).

 And what do you think so many of those disinfectants and cleaning products contain? You guessed it, VOCS! I am going out on a limb here by suggesting that in an effort to protect people against the COVID-19 virus, disinfectants and cleaning products are being used in massive amounts if not overused. A study conducted on the health effects of disinfectants and cleaning products on people showed that respiratory illnesses are linked to over exposure. And, what we don’t need now is anything that will have a negative effect on the respiratory system. 

Plants have been the source of many lifesaving modern medicines according to Zhou et al. natural products and their derivatives represent more than 50% of all drugs in modern therapeutics. Along with providing both scientifically proven psychological and physical health benefits, plants may also be helping to fight the war on Corona virus. Talk to your FDS plant care provider to see how we can keep the plants alive and thriving, even in the face of these uncertain times. 


Ask, A. (2017, July 6). Just How Much Water Can Air Hold? Retrieved from

Dan Hess Research. (2020, March 13). Humidity helps in the fight against COVID-19, virologists report. Retrieved from

Su, F.-C., Friesen, M. C., Stefaniak, A. B., Henneberger, P. K., LeBouf, R. F., Stanton, M. L., … Virji, M. A. (2018, August 13). Exposures to Volatile Organic Compounds among Healthcare Workers: Modeling the Effects of Cleaning Tasks and Product Use. Retrieved from

Zhou, S.-F., Gao, S.-H., Yu, Z.-L., Zhang, S.-F., Tang, M.-K., Sun, J.-N., … Ko, K.-M. (2013, March 25). New Perspectives on How to Discover Drugs from Herbal Medicines: CAM’s Outstanding Contribution to Modern Therapeutics. Retrieved from

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