The Healing Power of Flower

Written by Mita Majumdar, M.Sc. | Medically Reviewed by Dr. Sunil Shroff, MBBS, MS, FRCS (UK), D. Urol (Lond) on Aug 01, 2018
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The Healing Power of Flower

Happiness in human beings facilitates both social and cognate functions. Since flowers directly influence the human emotional niche, they also have a beneficial effect on cognitive functions and social behaviors.

Flowers can bring about happy emotions, heightened feelings of satisfaction in life and can positively affect social behavior. One such behavioral research study from the Rutgers University in New Jersey found that flowers eased depression, improved social interaction and enhanced memory in older adults. The researchers found that among the seniors who received flowers daily over a 2-week period, 81 percent experienced reduced levels of depression, 40 percent became more socially interactive and 72 percent of the seniors scored very high on memory tests.

Not just receiving flowers, the mere presence of flowers can have mental and emotional health benefits. For example, the results of a study conducted by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital revealed that presence of flowers in the home at the bedside or outside on a window can trigger feelings of compassion, decrease anxiety and boost enthusiasm at work.

Secondly, being open and empathizing with a person’s expression of distress not only helps their recovery from mental illness or distress but also changes the negative attitude of a society toward mental illness. One of the ways you can empathize is by expressing it with flowers.

Aptly said by Roland A Beowne:

‘I don't know whether nice people tend to grow roses or growing roses makes people nice.’

Interestingly, in Australia, the flannel flower (Actinotis helianthii) is a national symbol to promote awareness of mental health. The silvery grey leaves that are velvety in texture give the flower its common name. The flowers are white, with 10 velvety petal-like bracts giving it a daisy-like appearance. The Australians believe that the soft silky texture encourages contact (touch), so this beautiful flower helps people express their feelings verbally and to develop sensitivity.

Flowers can heal the mind in other ways as well. Who hasn’t heard of aromatherapy in the treatment of stress and other related conditions! At one time diseases were thought to be transmitted through bad odors, so flowers and scents were used to ‘ward off’ the disease and purify the air. Sweet smells, especially, flower essences affect one’s mood positively and are used as a form of psychotherapy since ages.

Flower essences work on the concept that every flower has a particular vibrational energy that is different in some way from the other flowers that is, all flowers have a unique vibrational pattern. This vibrational pattern can be ‘imprinted’ in water in different ways, such as, making tea or placing fresh flowers in glass bowls containing spring water. It is assumed that we, human beings, too have our unique ‘vibrational pattern’. Now, Dr Edward Bach discovered that flower essences can alter our energy patterns in a positive way. For example, Bach agrimony flower essence is considered helpful in overcoming anxiety and emotional pain. Similarly, aspen flower essence can counter apprehension, hidden fears and nightmares.

While still on aromatherapy, dry flowers of different colors and fragrance a modern day replacement to potpourri. Place them in bowls or vases and enjoy the aroma for three to six months.

Soothe your mind; uplift your mood with flowers.

References:

  1. Katz SR, Newman RA, Lansky EP. Punica granatum: heuristic treatment for diabetes mellitus. J Med Food. 2007 Jun;10(2):213-7.
  2. Chen HN, Hsieh CL. Effects of Sophora japonica flowers (Huaihua) on cerebral infarction. Chin Med. 2010 Sep 27;5:34.
  3. The Flower Workshop in psychosocial rehabilitation: a pilot study - (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19148821)

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