Flower power: Horticulture therapy 101

Flower power: Horticulture therapy 101

Healing blooms

Text: Snezana Krdzic

Image: Getty Images

Harnessing the power of nature, flowers are a surprisingly powerful ally in treating various conditions

Horticulture therapy is a practice that has really stood the test of time. The power of flowers and gardens has been used for centuries. While it began as a form of therapy to help individuals coping with mental illness, it has since evolved as a means of alternative treatment for other conditions. It has been proven to improve memory, socialisation, language skills, endurance, balance, and coordination. Below, some benefits one can yield from these healing blooms.

Natural mood boosters

Some of us are familiar with how therapeutic it is to create floral arrangements. Flowers stimulate the senses, promote relaxation, enhances one's mood, and serves as a catalyst for a range of feelings. A single colour or a combination of colours can be used to evoke strong feelings of calmness, romance or sensuality. For example, red roses help to set the mood for love while white roses have the power to console someone in grief.

Enhances emotional health

Behavioral studies conducted at the Rutgers University suggest that flowers have the power to improve emotional stability because they trigger feelings of satisfaction and happiness, therefore evoking pleasant memories.

Improves interaction and socialisation

A bouquet of violet flowers
Each flower has a personality of its own. It follows that therapeutic properties vary from one variety of flowers to another. In horticultural therapy, patients are not only advised to look and smell flowers, but to nurture and interact with them as well. Seeking help in therapeutic gardens is getting increasingly popular and favoured by an increasing number of people who stray from traditional Western medicine.