Flowers are not just decorative elements.

Although it might be thought that their only function is to embellish for a moment so that it stays captured in our memories, scientists around the world have discovered that their presence brings many other benefits besides the aesthetic ones that we all know about.

It’s universal knowledge that the sight and scent of flowers give us a boost – indeed, it’s hard to think of an instance where the gift of a bloom could be misinterpreted. It really does seem that we are meant to enjoy them.  And, as a matter of fact – there are real scientific benefits to having flowers and plants in our lives!

Did you know that the positive effects of having some green in our lives are well-documented? Horticultural Therapy has been a recognized discipline since the 19th century. Today, the American Horticultural Therapy Association sums it up perfectly in one of their Mission Statements: “Curiosity and attraction to nature are inherent human qualities; individuals respond positively to green plants and colorful flowers.”

Read ahead to learn about some of the fascinating facts about leaves, blooms, and our health!

  • They reduce stress

When used in settings where stress can be measured – like universities – there is a clear relationship between plants and lower anxiety. Areas in buildings with plants attract more people, and the effects are positive.

The feelings of increased energy and happiness affect everyone the same way, no matter what their age or lifestyle. It’s nice to know that you don’t have to go outside to receive the benefits, isn’t it?

  • They purify the air

Indoor plants help clean the air by simply going about their lives. Not only do they remove toxins through their version of breathing, but healthy plants also help maintain proper humidity levels in your home or office.

Some plants are even better than others: The popular and handsome Peace Lily is one of the superstars in this category.  In one famous NASA study, it excelled at removing toxic benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia from room air – all while releasing oxygen.

  • They make us more productive and energetic

Would you believe that greenery can make you more creative? You bet! One long-term study at Texas A&M actually measured the ability of participants to use their creative problem-solving skills when they worked in a space with plants and flowers. They performed much better!

That brilliant idea you had last week may have been helped along by the plant on your desk.

  • They make us feel happy and healthy

First, there’s the fragrance factor: Studies have shown that people had happier thoughts when they are exposed to floral fragrances. From smelling the bouquet on your table to getting outside and working in the garden, plants are a way to improve our moods and even get some exercise. The movements that are involved in working on a garden can be gentle or more vigorous – another reason that it is such a popular form of rehabilitative therapy for patients of all types.

You might be pleasantly surprised to learn that a half hour of digging and planting will burn almost as many calories as jogging. It also works a lot of major muscle groups and can help your flexibility.

  • They make public spaces more pleasant

Any public space can be improved with plants and blooms. It may seem like an obvious conclusion, but studies have also shown that plants in restaurants increase customer satisfaction with their experience, that they help provide fresher air and increased energy levels in fitness facilities, and that the lower stress levels at business meetings.

Beyond the scientific findings, your own experience will tell you that it’s just more uplifting and enjoyable to be in a place that has an abundance of plants.

Spread the joy! When you send a green plant or a beautiful bouquet to someone, you’re also sending a whole basket of healthy benefits along with your best wishes!

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