With the many stresses of everyday life, a bouquet of flowers can do someone a world of good. Beyond their looks and sweet scents, there are a whole host of health benefits that flowers can offer. From easy breathing to mental health, what is it about flowers that gives us a health boost?
We all learned in biology that plants emit oxygen that our bodies need to survive. We also learned that plants eat up the carbon dioxide we exhale. By purifying and detoxifying the air, this relationship helps us breathe better. Fresh plants and flowers can also help add humidity to a space. A healthy level of humidity can improve minor conditions like dry throats, dry skin, coughs and blocked nasal passages in an otherwise dry area.
Keep in mind that you may be allergic to some flowers and the pollen they produce, which unfortunately does the opposite for your breathing. Find the ones that don’t affect your allergies and try incorporating them into your home.
Plants promote wellness for a variety of reasons. From constantly pulling toxins out of the air, to creating humidity, flowers have soothing properties that can aid in relaxation and healing. Research has proven that patients take less pain medication and less anxiety when there are flowers and plants in their hospital room. Other stories show improvements in blood pressure, heart rate, lower pain, and fatigue. It was also found that long-term hospital patients who start caring for their flowers and plants actually reduced their recovery time.
Flowers that promote healing:
- Echinacea: May help enhance your immune system
- Lavender: Promotes a feeling of relaxation, lavender water can act as a skin wash to treat acne
- Rose: High in Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory properties, treats coughs and colds
- Chamomile: Soothes anxiety and headaches, aids sleep and digestion, and helps relieve stomach cramps and indigestion
- Evening primrose: May help relieve depression and balance hormones
- Pagoda flower: Used in the treatment of bleeding disorders
- Chrysanthemum: Treats dry eyes, fevers, and headaches; used to aid digestive, circulatory and nervous system issues in Western medicine
- Magnolia: Nasal congestion, effectively clears nasal passages and relieves sinus headaches
- Lotus: Treats bleeding disorders, irritability, and fevers
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
While there are many things you can do to manage your stress, flowers can help restore calm for a short period of time. Just think how revitalizing it can be to take a nap in the park. When surrounded by greenery, we immediately feel less stressed. Bouquets especially boost positive feelings because they are associated with thoughtful gifts, special occasions, and happy events. A 2008 study found that hospital patients who had flowers in their room felt less anxious. They were also more positive about their recovery and needed less post-operative care than patients without plants. The shapes and colors of flowers help stimulate our minds and bodies in positive ways. So go to your nearest greenhouse or nursery because there is nothing stopping you from filling up your home or garden with beautiful blooms to take your mind off of everyday stress.
We really don’t think past the moment where we give someone flowers and see a huge smile. However, the impact of flowers goes much further than that moment. Along with lower levels of stress and anxiety, flowers also add a dose of happiness and energy. A study showed that when frequently exposed to flowers, people reported lower levels of depression and anxiety and lower stress levels. It also reported higher enjoyment levels and a stronger sense of life satisfaction. With our busy lives and office jobs, most people don’t get as much contact with nature as they’d like. Adding bright colors and natural elements to your home or office provides the visual stimulation you need to be more productive and promote positive emotions.
The best place to put flowers is in the kitchen or bathroom. You want to place them in high traffic areas where the most people can enjoy them. They can also be placed in the bedroom, so you can see them when you first open your eyes in the morning and have a positive start to the day.