What Are the Benefits of Flowering Plants in the Home?

People recognize instinctively that flowers can lift their mood and make them feel better, but now there's scientific evidence to back that up. Not only do flowers make people feel better, they can actually improve your health. If you keep flowering plants in your home, you are safeguarding your own--and your family's--health and well-being.

Houseplants Enhance Health

Researchers have compiled a slew of studies that show the positive effect plants have on health, both personal and environmental. Andrew Smith of John Moores University in Liverpool found that houseplants decreased the amount of carbon dioxide in the air by half. They also increased the humidity and lowered the amount of sickness by 59 percent in a sample group, an office where houseplants were added. A study published by Science Daily in 2008 found that hospital patients who had plants in their rooms had lower blood pressure and heart rate and needed less medication for pain. A study released by the Agricultural University of Norway found a reduction in the number of sick days taken because of stress when plants were added to the office.

Flowers Lift Moods

Flowers make people happy, according to common wisdom, and Evolutionary Psychology published a study in 2005 that proves it. For the study, people were given flowers and their reactions were tested using an indicator of happiness known as the Duchenne smile. Women who were given flowers responded with the Duchenne smile and reported elevated moods three days later. Both men and women demonstrated an increase in positive social behavior after receiving a flower in an elevator, and with elderly people, not only did their moods lift, but their ability to remember increased.

Floral scents enhance mood

Dr. Alan Hirsch, founder and neurological director of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, is known as "Dr. Smell." He has conducted more than 200 studies on sensory phenomena, including the effect of scent on mood and behavior. Dr. Hirsch stated in an article for the Hispanic PR Wire that floral scents are a natural mood enhancer. "There is no question that certain scents have the power to inspire moods," Dr. Hirsch stated.

Keywords: houseplants health, flowers and mood, plants health benefits

About this Author

Janet Clark has worked as a professional writer for nine years. She has had more than 400 articles published. Her work has appeared in The Iowan, Iowa Gardening, Friends Journal,The Des Moines Register, Today Magazine, Fort Dodge Business Review,The Messenger, and CareerApple.com. She has also written a novel, Blind Faith. Clark has received several awards from the Iowa Press Women for her work.