This Study Shows That Having Flowers and Plants Can Ease Pain and Anxiety

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There’s something about a surprise flower delivery when you’re sick or feeling down that makes you feel special and loved. But it turns out, fresh flowers may do more than just bring a smile to your face and brighten your room; they could also be good for both your mental and physical health.

The American Society for Horticulture Science conducted a study measuring the effects of having or not having flowers and plants in your hospital room after recovering from surgery. The study involved 90 patients recovering from an appendectomy. Some of them received flowers and plants in their hospital rooms during their post-op recovery periods while others did not. And the differences between the groups during their recoveries were shockingly apparent.

The patients who did have flowers and plants in their rooms had lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, and lower ratings of pain, anxiety, and fatigue than those who did not have flowers and plants in their rooms. They also took significantly fewer post-op painkillers.

“Findings of this research suggest that plants in a hospital environment could be noninvasive, inexpensive, and an effective complementary medicine for patients recovering from abdominal surgery,” the study concluded.

Even if you’re not in a hospital room or recovering from an appendectomy, having fresh flowers and/or plants around could still have a positive impact on your mental and physical health. The next time you’re at the market, pick up a fresh bouquet or a new succulent—or both. They could make a huge difference in your overall wellbeing.