Understanding the Benefit of Fresh Flowers in Your Home

by Deborah Hale

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Have you ever picked up a bouquet or glanced at a flower shop from across the street and felt an overwhelming appreciation of nature's beauty that suddenly puts you in an unusually calm, mellow mood? 

Well, that’s the power of flowers. 

Now imagine feeling that way (even if occasionally) from the moment you wake up and throughout the day. That would be great, right? 

We’re not talking about buying yourself a bouquet or visiting flower shops every day, but instead, bringing the flowers home. 

Your house doesn’t have to look anything like a floral garden – just a few fresh flowers or vases around the home can do the trick.

Fresh flowers are underappreciated. We only see them for their flirting beauty and as elements of decoration and gifts. However, there is a lot more to flowers than their vibrant colours. 

Several studies show that being around fresh flowers, and plants in general, boosts physical and mental health as well as emotional wellbeing. In other words, having flowers in your home can help improve your quality of life by increasing happiness and vigour while instilling a positive outlook on life.

There is something innately human about drawing inspiration from nature, particularly from fresh flowers. 

Let's look at six great health benefits of flowers in your home:

Flowers purify the air

You probably already know that plants take in carbon dioxide and give off oxygen. In doing so, they naturally replenish the vital oxygen supply that all animals breathe and maintain healthy carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. In fact, life as we know it wouldn’t exist without plants, at least for us humans. Bringing plants and flowers indoors has the same air cleaning effect. Fresh flowers can play a significant role in purifying the indoors atmosphere.

Besides replacing carbon dioxide with oxygen, fresh flowers and plants can also remove other toxins from the air. Extensive research by NASA, The Plants for Clean Air Council, and Wolverton Environmental Services show that plants help reduce airborne volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Everyday household items such as detergents, ovens, paints, aerosol sprays and some building materials emit VOCs into the air. Flowers can absorb these toxins and percolate them into the soil, where microbes break them down into viable plant nutrients.

We spend most of our time indoors, which can cause sick building syndrome (SBS). But with quality indoor air, you can live comfortably in your own house for extended durations without worrying about SBS.

They help reduce stress 

Reducing stress is one of the key wellness benefits of fresh flowers. A behavioural study conducted by psychologist and researcher Nancy L. Etcoff at Harvard Medical School concludes that living with flowers decreases feelings of anxiety, worry and depression while increasing feelings of compassion. Etcoff noted that participants of the study simply felt less negative after being around flowers in their homes for only a few days. This also seemed to boost their enthusiasm, happiness and energy at work.

In another more thorough study, researchers gave a group of women fresh roses for their rooms and ran MRI scans to measure the results. The researchers concluded that the presence of flowers significantly increased feelings of relaxation and comfort and generally improved the participants' mood states.

The results from only these two studies clearly demonstrate the positive impact that flowers can have on psychological relaxation.

They can alleviate physical pain

Thanks to flowers’ air purification properties, your household will be less prone to common cold and allergic reactions resulting from airborne toxins. This is especially helpful for those with weak immune systems. But the health benefits of flowers do not stop there. Flowers can actually help relieve physical discomfort, fatigue and pain, speeding up recovery from disease or injury.

A study involving 90 patients recovering from hemorrhoidectomy confirms the therapeutic significance of having plants and flowers in the living space. Half the patients were randomly assigned recovery rooms pampered with various plants and flowers, while the rest recovered in standard hospital rooms. The patients placed in the company of plants and flowers showed a more positive physiological response, recovered faster and experienced less pain than those in the control rooms.

Other similar studies also support the therapeutic benefits of flowers, especially during post-surgery and post-trauma recovery.

They boost cognitive functions 

Flowers make you not only feel better but also think more clearly. The pleasant view and scent of flowers can soothe your mind and stimulate your senses, making you more creative and focused on mentally intensive tasks.

The olfactory sense is closely linked to both conscious and subconscious memory. The faintest fragrance or scent from a flower can paint vivid memories of past experiences, loved ones and even learnt skills. Just like triggering nostalgia, living with flowers can also boost your brain’s productivity by increasing memory retention and attention span. That means having flowers in your home can motivate and empower your household chores, study and office work (when working from home).

They bolster relationships 

Traditionally, flowers are known to represent beauty, affection and love. In fact, the art of giving and receiving flowers is one of the oldest romantic gestures that still holds today. What you might not know is that living with flowers can help strengthen your family, friendship and romantic relationships.

In the earlier cited study by Nancy L. Etcoff, participants who lived with fresh-cut roses in their rooms were found to be more compassionate and kinder to others. And it’s all true. People who spend a lot of time surrounded by flowers seem to enjoy and care about their relationships more than those that do not live with flowers. Even without you realising it, flowers can help you develop this caring and compassionate character trait. Placing a few flowers around your house might just be what you need to bond with your family, lover or old friend.

Fresh flowers can help you sleep better 

Getting a good night’s sleep has several physical and mental health benefits. Sleep is a natural way of recharging the batteries that you slowly ran down during the day and pressing a reset button on your mental and emotional states. After a 7 to 8-hour restful night’s sleep, you’ll wake up feeling rejuvenated, focused, energetic and in a good mood, ready to boldly face the new day.

But the stresses of fast-paced modern life make it hard for many of us to get the much-needed beauty sleep every night. Some people desperately turn to sleep pills, which sometimes do more harm than good, unaware that a surprisingly effective solution to sleeping better is simply placing a few flowers in the bedroom.

Researchers in Germany tested hundreds of fragrances to see if they’d activate GABA receptors (the receptors that inhibit or reduce neuron activities) in mice and humans. They discovered that two fragrances, Vertacetal-Coeur (VC) and its chemical variation (PI24513), were just as strong at soothing the mind, relieving stress and promoting sleep as common prescription drugs. Interestingly, Vertacetal-Coeur is a common natural scent in several flowers and is particularly prominent in jasmine flowers.

Other flowers known to have this effect include chamomile, lavender, gardenia, orchid and valerian.

Flowers Have a Positive Impact on our Mental & Physical Wellbeing

The many benefits of fresh flowers go beyond their aesthetic qualities. But then again, it’s that pleasant visual appeal that allows us to connect with nature through flowers and soothes our senses. Besides beauty, flowers also have a lot going for them. They are natural air purifiers and fresheners, fill the surrounding with lovely fragrances and express art, personality and affection. All these attributes combine to make flowers therapeutic for both the body and the mind.

The next time you see a flower, don't just admire its beauty from afar – bring it home and enjoy all these benefits of living with flowers. 

And if you’re considering sending the gift of flowers to someone special, Flowercard has your back.

Visit our online flower shop to place your order or call 0344 482 4422 for any enquiries about our selection of gifts for any occasion or purpose; from birthdays, weddings and engagements to livening up a home.