For centuries, humans have harnessed the power of plants with healing qualities. They may be medicinal or dietary, but healing plants and their uses are a time tested powerful cure and medicine for a host of ailments. The benefits of indoor plants in hospitals may be more than visual and stimulating in form, scent and color.
There are plants with healing energy through their herbal qualities and oils, but also using live plants in hospitals brings a promise of life and renewal of hope. They soften the sterile white corners and naturalize what is otherwise a very unnatural experience, creating a sense of calm in patients and reducing their stress. These effects are a winning combination from which any patient can benefit.
What are the Benefits of Indoor Plants in Hospitals?
I remember being stuck indoors as a sick child, looking longingly out at the sky, trees, grass and world outside the window, feeling the healing power of nature. The outdoors brings with it a positive energy and recharging influence that enhances wellness and encourages health. Sick individuals who end up in the sterile, impersonal confines of the hospital may benefit greatly from plants with healing energy.
Not only do plants enhance oxygen levels but some studies indicate a plant nearby can lower blood pressure, reduce the need for painkillers and enhance the overall mood of a patient. Incorporating indoor and outdoor viewing gardens into hospital plans, has been undertaken for several years now, and the evidence is clear regarding healing plants and their uses.
The reasons are not clear but some scientists think they elevate mood and health because we recognize how essential plants are to our survival.
Using Live Plants in Hospitals
You may find potted houseplants in the doctor’s office, lobby, and common areas of hospitals. Atriums and large windows also feature an attractive planted landscape that is beautiful for visitors and patients alike.
Some of the new ways to harness the benefits of plants with healing qualities are through roof gardens and special landscape efforts just outside patient windows. Restful courtyards, protected by ornamental trees and attractive to interesting critters like birds and squirrels, offer an oasis of interest and interaction for the patient with cabin fever.
Even the simplicity of providing a potted plant as a bedside companion has been shown to elevate mood and enhance the recuperative system.
Guidelines for Bedside Companions
If you are providing a loved one or friend in the hospital with a plant, choose a live, potted specimen. The studies didn’t include cut flowers, although who doesn’t love receiving such a gift. A potted plant can be brought home after the hospital stay for future enjoyment, while cut flowers are just added to compost.
Additionally, choose an organic plant if possible. Many commercially available plants were grown using pesticides, hormones and herbicides. Exposure to chemical run off gases from the plant could be dangerous for a seriously ill patient. Source an organic grower, if possible, to minimize any threat the plant might pose.
Plants with healing qualities are often enhanced when they are accompanied by unique form, flowering and scent. Scent is an especially appealing aspect when bed ridden but be cautious of any allergies or asthma the patient might experience. The last thing you want is to make their condition any worse but, fortunately, there are numerous plants with healing energy from which to choose.