The secret health benefits of flowers
Flowers are often reserved for special occasions and the part of our spending budget that we label frivolous. But what if you were told that flowers can actually bring health benefits? Would you purchase them more often? As more and more people move into cities away from nature, it could be important to invite more plants indoors and enjoy those fresh cut flowers.
Humans have always depended on plants for our wellbeing, survival even. We breathe out carbon dioxide which they convert with the help of some sunlight and water into oxygen. But beyond some elementary school science, they can also bring some real benefits when in our homes. Research has been done by Kansas State University to prove that patients in hospitals who have fresh flower bouquets in their rooms require less pain medication and experience lower levels of anxiety during their recovery.
Flowers can also help humidify the air which can physically help us breathe easier and boost immunity.
“Lack of humidity creates an environment in your body that breeds infections,” Dr. Dasgupta, MD, a pulmonary sleep doctor and professor at the Keck School of Medicine at University of Southern California, told Elle Magazine. “That’s why in the dry wintertime you see so many people getting the cold and flu. Water released naturally by plants will help with sore throats, dry skin, and heavy dry cough.”
Fresh flowers in our homes can also offer many psychological benefits. Rutgers University conducted a 10-month study on the emotional impact of flowers and found that they are a natural moderator of moods. Participants even reported that they felt less stressed and agitated when they consistently had fresh flowers.
Another study by Harvard University found links between waking up with a happier mood and seeing flowers first thing in the morning.
“The morning blahs, it turns out, is a real phenomenon, with positive moods – happiness, friendliness and warmth, for example – manifesting much later in the day,” says lead researcher Nancy Etcoff, Ph.D. “Interestingly, when we placed a small bouquet of flowers into their morning routines, people perked up.”
Flowers can even help increase productivity. Modern schedules no longer revolve around seasons or even the sun, flowers at home can help increase mindfulness on the passing of time and even encourage the accomplishment of goals in a timely manner.
“Flowers help people measure time and track goals, whether they be fitness goals or career goals, because different flowers are in season at different times and act as a positive symbol of the passage of time” Dak Kopec, PhD, a design and environmental psychologist, told Elle.
It’s commonly known that the color green can help reduce stress levels, a big positive of indoor potted plants, but adding a boost of natural color with flowers can also promote stronger emotions of well being and happiness since we associate them with positive life events.
Next time you’re at your local farmer’s market or checking out at the grocery store, it may be just as important to bring flowers home as it is to stick to a wholesome healthy diet. Health is a good enough reason to make everyday an occasion for flowers.