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How to avoid man flu - the perfect Christmas present for a bloke!

Does Santa suffer from man flu?  Probably not, we understand he loves flues and spends one night of the year sliding down them.

Do you  know a  Neanderthal man (or perhaps you are one?) If so, he (or you) will probably suffer from man flu from time to time. So what can we do about it, and, more to the point, is it real?

Well, (sorry girls),  it appears that men  aren't just wimpy about being ill. Recent news stories have revealed that they might NOT be over-reacting to a bit of a sniffle. Research suggests they could have a generally weaker immune response to viral respiratory infections which include flu. This could cause the symptoms to last longer and in some cases they could even die from it.  Spike Milligan, British-Irish comedian who died in 2002 and is buried in Saint Thomas the Martyr Churchyard, Winchelsea, East Sussex. His grave displays the famous epitaph (in Gaelic): I told you I was ill. The British Medical Journal found evidence from studies in mice that testosterone tends to dampen immune response whereas female sex hormones have more of a boosting-effect on the immune system's reaction to bugs.

Not everyone agrees, however. Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, chair of the Royal College of GPs, points out than man flu does not exist. Although she did admit that respiratory tract infections can create more severe symptoms in men than women. She also made the link with Neanderthal man, stating that opting out of hunting when sick was an important strategy to aid survival.


So, what can we do to help our cavemen avoid bugs and therefore save some of the drama that results from colds and man flu? Here's a really easy solution: buy some house plants!

These Alocasia have the most amazing foliage. Indoor plants are great air cleaners. They move chemicals in the air down to their roots. They absorb not only toxins and impurities but also bacteria and pathogens.  Some plants manage this better than others because they have higher transpiration rates and move greater amounts of air. Plants strive to balance humidity levels by releasing moisture from their leaves, thus creating ideal conditions for people as well as themselves.

House plants are good for you. And they can look great too! Low humidity tends to dry the respiratory system which makes people more susceptible to colds, viruses and allergens. And man flu. What’s more, when plants transpire, they emit substances that actually suppress airborne mould spores and bacteria. Rooms with plants have been found to contain up to 60 per cent fewer mould spores and bacteria than the same space without plants.

Some people worry that indoor plants cause humidity levels to rise too high, which will cause mould and mildew – known allergens. But in fact, more up-to-date information has proved otherwise because the atmosphere provided by plants is both healthy and microbial-free. Mechanical humidifiers, on the other hand, have been shown to provide a potential source of mould.

Plants will work tirelessly to remove known pathogens in the air.

Eight of the best plants to fend off man-flu

Here’s our round-up of excellent house plants that will help protect against man flu. Team them with a lovely pot and you have a perfect Xmas present for those troublesome men in your life! What’s more, it’s probably not a coincidence that all these plants are really easy to look after. It means that the recipient receives all the benefits without having any associated angst:

Aglaonema 'Stripes' is one of the best air-filtering plants available.

Aglaonema, commonly known as Chinese evergreen. There are several different types including one called Stripes. These are house plants with beautiful foliage which is a highly efficient air-cleaner.

    Chamaedorea, the parlour or bamboo palm  For an exotic-looking plant, it's really easy to care for and the palm fronds are really good at absorbing pathogens from the air.

      Dracaena, the dragon tree. This house plant comes in a range of varieties and all are good at improving air quality. What's more, this is a highly structural plant which adds an architectural highlight to a room. Another low-maintenance addition that will promote good health.

        Weeping fig, Ficus benjamina. With its delicate, weeping leaves and elegant shape, a weeping fig looks good in contemporary or traditional settings. The host of leaves work tirelessly to keep bugs at bay.

        Philodendron 'Xanadu' is a particularly attractive 'jungle' plant that is one of many Philodendrons that are efficient air-cleaning house plants.

        Philodendron  will add a touch of jungle to a room and all highly individual varieties will work tirelessly to clean the air that you breathe. They generally have dissected leaves and, quite simply, they look stunning.

          Sansevieria laurentii is one of the most popular 'mother-in-law's tongue' house plants, and not without good reason.

          Sansevieria, (above) otherwise known as the snake plant. For a stylish, almost static plant that has stiff, succulent foliage, you can't go wrong with the mother in-law's tongue. How amazing is it that this silent, dignified embellishment has such a positive impact on the indoor environment?

            The spider plant is SO easy to please and it works hard for you all the time it is hanging around!

            Spider plant, correctly called Chlorophytum. Who would have thought that the simple spider plant would have re-emerged in such a dramatic way? They are one of the most popular purchases for two reasons: one is that they are great air cleaners and the second is the fact they are virtually 'kill-proof'!

              Scindapsus can either hang or climb and they are really easy to look after. They do a great air-clean up every day of their long lives.

              Scindapsus , is our final selection and this, again, is an easy plant. It is naturally a climbing or hanging plant and every leaf works tirelessly to maintain the perfect environment.

                Want to know more about palm trees? Watch the video:

                Give the gift of health during the festive season and throughout the year! All these house plants and more, available from    

                By Perfect Plants


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