American Environmentalist and author, Luther Burbank was a firm believer in the healing power of flowers. Flowers have become one of the most common gifts people give, regardless of the occasion. Whether they’re being given as a sign of celebration, or as a sign of sympathy, flowers crop up again and again as the gift of choice.
In light of British Flowers Week, which is taking part throughout the whole of this week and serves as a celebration for all those within the UK flower industry, talkhealth would like to delve into the myth that flowers really can improve our health.
Healing Power of Flowers in Hospitals:
Experts have claimed that gardening is one of the best past times to improve your mood and lower stress levels. But for those of us without a green thumb, flowers themselves have been found to have many mood enhancing qualities. In 2008, neurologists Richard H Mattson and Seong-Hyun Park conducted a study which looked into the effects of flowers and foliage plants on patients recovering from abdominal surgery in hospitals.
90 patients were at random divided up into two wards, one with plants and one without. The patients were monitored based on stress, anxiety and pain levels among others to see whether there was a considerable difference between the two.
The results showed that those who had been in the ward with plants required less pain medication, felt less anxiety and fatigue, and were generally in a more positive psychological state.
Although plants and flowers aren’t going to eradicate the need for medication, it’s an interesting method which you can try for yourself. Go buy a bouquet and appreciate their floral scent. Floral scents have been found to be a great way to reduce anxiety and encourage happiness. Leafy green plants have been rumoured to encourage brain activity, so buy a ficus or two for the office. Here are a few more plants and flowers that may put a smile on your face.
Top 5 plants to improve your health:
Roses – The flower of romance doesn’t have to be limited to Valentine’s Day. Roses have been found to help prevent coughs and cold like symptoms. Their petals are full of vitamin C, which is a great help when it comes to strengthening your immune system. Beautiful flowers with added health benefits? We’ll take a dozen!
The Aloe Plant – found to have incredible healing properties and soothing qualities. It is used commonly in products aimed at soothing burns and cuts. Aloe also can monitor the air in your home and can help rid the air of pollutants, making it quite useful.
Dandelions – Put your weed killer away. This common garden pest may actually be the key to alleviating muscle pain and stomach problems. By incorporating it into your regular diet (blending it in with soups or putting it in with your tea) you get all their healthcare benefits as they are packed full of vitamins and minerals which boost your immune system.
English Ivy – This leafy green house plant comes NASA recommended. English Ivy has been classed as the number one plant for air-filtration. It’s very easy to grow and requires minimal care.
Hibiscus flowers – Along with being beautiful and bright, hibiscus flowers can also help reduce cholesterol levels and lower your blood pressure. They have also been used as a way of improving a loss of appetite. With hibiscus tea being readily available in many supermarkets and health food shops you won’t struggle to find this powerful plant.
So next time you’re walking past the florist, lusting over some pink lilies, take the plunge…it’s for your own good!
If you have any tips or advice regarding plants and flowers that have improved your health, please do share your thoughts in the comments box below.
You can find out more about British Flowers Week via their website. You can also join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #BritishFlowersWeek.