Therapeutic gardens improve overall mental health and well-being by reducing stress.
Whether you are a beginner gardener or have quite a green thumb, here are six reasons to incorporate plant therapy as part of your wellness journey.
Therapeutic Benefits of Plants and Healing Gardens
Add greenery to your home to reduce stress and promote a feeling of overall well-being. The beautiful colors and fragrance of flowers and herbs improve mental health by reducing stress and anxiety. Plants help reduce fatigue symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and promote better sleep.
If you are a beginner gardener looking to enjoy the benefits of therapeutic gardening, start with low maintenance house plants that are easy-to-care. Some beginner-friendly houseplants are ferns, succulents, and air plants. Spider plants and peace lilies are also great apartment-friendly plants. Introduce botanical decor ideas in your home to boost positive mood, promote relaxation, and inspire creativity.
Improve Air Quality for Respiratory Health
Plants and indoor gardens help improve air quality by increasing humidity. Good humidity levels help reduce virus survival and transmission in the air. Increased humidity help reduce pollutants and harmful carcinogens such as benzene and nitrogen dioxide which increase inflammation of the lungs and can lead to chronic respiratory conditions and lung cancer.
While harmless in small levels, carbon dioxide can affect sleep and productivity at increased amounts. Having plants in the bedroom and home can help improve quality of sleep, respiratory health, and mental health.
Areca palms not only produce oxygen and reduce carbon dioxide, this amazing “toxic trio” reduces toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. This tropical plant also goes by the name “butterfly palm” or sometimes called the “golden cane palm” or “bamboo palm.”
Create a fun tropical vibe in your home with an Areca palm, a native plant of the islands of Madagascar. You can pick up an Areca palm from a local Home Depot or Lowe’s or order online from a nursery. According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, there are over 50 houseplants that clean the air. Mix and match any of these plants to create your own wellness sanctuary at home.
Better Sleep Environment
Plants naturally clean the air by releasing oxygen and taking up carbon dioxide. Greenhouse gases are harmful to the environment by trapping heat in the atmosphere. This causes air quality issues that lead to dangerous climate change. Greenhouse gases are responsible for aggravating respiratory diseases from smog and air pollution.
Higher amounts of oxygen in indoor air quality means your body and brain function more effectively. Your body feels less fatigued. Concentration and mental clarity become less foggy. Healthy air quality helps you be more productive, energetic and focused. Improved indoor air quality also reduces airborne dust and allergens to promote better sleep and overall health.
One of the best plants for increasing oxygen to support lung health is the snake plant. Snake plants produce night time oxygen and help purify the air. Snake plants remove pollutants such as benzene, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and formaldehyde, which can be found in furniture, cleaning products, toilet paper, and tissues.
Create a well-balanced look and feel in the bedroom with snake plants. Add greenery in your bathroom decor with this functional low-light plant. The beautiful dark green color of snake plants creates a gorgeous contrast in a neutral décor.
Mental Health Benefits
The mental health benefits of gardening are tremendous. Garden therapy helps relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and PTSD. It can even significantly lower the risk of dementia.
The physical activity of gardening also helps improve motor skills, flexibility, and hand-eye coordination for recovering patients and the elderly. A study of 16 years that tracked 2,800 individuals over the age of 60 showed a 36% less likelihood of developing dementia.
Gardening is an excellent way to spend quality time by yourself or with others. Take time to appreciate different plants and herbs or share your favorite fresh cut flowers with a loved one, a friend, or a neighbor. Express appreciation for an essential worker or surprise an elder in your local community with home grown flowers.
Beautiful Blooms to Uplift Mood
Visual aesthetics are powerful in influencing how we respond to stress which ultimately affects our mood. The human brain perceives certain patterns and rhythms to be soothing and pleasant. Studies show lower stress levels when we observe fractal patterns (infinitely complex, never-ending patterns) in art and nature.
Having a positive mindset and maintaining a good mood is important for well-being. An important part of self-care is making time to acknowledge and honor yourself. Flowers remind us to slow down, enjoy everyday moments, and practice gratitude. Appreciate what you do for yourself. Celebrate your daily accomplishments or “just because” with fresh flowers in your home.
Grow Your Own Herbal Home Apothecary
There’s something mysterious and magical about apothecaries. Imagine picking fresh herbs for a dish still cooking on the stove. Enjoying a soothing cup of organic chamomile tea from your own garden. Crafting your own essential oil blends and aromatherapy rituals. Or maybe you just want a beautiful room full of pretty plants and botanicals.
Starting your own home apothecary is a great hobby if you are interested in herbalism and aromatherapy. Peppermint, dandelion root, and echinacea are a few must-have herbs for your home apothecary. Whether you are an herbal enthusiast or holistic health professional, growing your own home apothecary will advance your knowledge about holistic health and wellness.
Horticulture therapy has been recognized since the earliest Mesopotamian gardens around 2000 BC. Healing plants and gardens have helped improve human health throughout history. From traditional Chinese medicinal practice to the discovery of germ theory and diseases in modern medicine during the recent 18th to 20th centuries, herbs have always been a major part of medicine.
However you decide to incorporate plant therapy in your life, a wellness garden is a beautiful and relaxing way to nurture your health and wellness. Plants not only add beauty and help clean air, they also boost your mood, encourage physical therapy, improve mental health, and promote emotional well-being.