(NaturalNews) Research now confirms what nature lovers have always known: plants have healing power. Even the simple presence of a potted plant can do wonders for speeding the recovery of surgery patients, says a study published in HortTechnology in October of 2008.
Seong-Hyun Park and Richard H. Mattson from the Department of Horticulture, Recreation and Forestry at Kansas State University examined the effects plants had on the recovery of 90 patients who had just undergone an appendectomy. Patients were randomly assigned to a recovery room with or without a plant. Details such as vital signs, anxiety, fatigue, length of hospitalization and the need for postoperative drugs were recorded.
The results showed patients in rooms with plants reported less pain, fatigue and anxiety. Heart rate and blood pressure were more favorable, and the use of pain medications was noticeably reduced in patients with plants in their rooms. These patients also showed a higher level of satisfaction with their stay, and reported the plants were the most pleasant aspect of their rooms. Interestingly enough, patients without plants in their rooms said the most positive quality of their rooms was the television.
This is great news for anyone looking to speed recovery time and lessen stress after surgery. After an operation, many patients turn to prescription drugs to help them through their recovery, but pharmaceutical medications are known for side effects like nausea, fatigue, vomiting and drug dependency. Some have even been linked to fatalities. It's in the best interests of both patients and practitioners to decrease the need for such strong medications. The presence of plants is an excellent alternative which is both noninvasive and inexpensive. It's natural healing at its finest.
The study suggests that potted plants are better than cut flowers since they last longer. They also invite patients in interact by way of watering, pruning and otherwise caring for the plant, as many patients in the study did as they recovered. Potted plants and flowers also offer the benefit of improving the environment around the patient by contributing to better air quality and humidity in the recovery room.
So, the next time you swing by the florist on the way to visit a loved one in the hospital, know you're doing more than just offering sympathy; you're also promoting the speed of their recovery while helping them feel more comfortable and less stressed during this time of need. And anyone should feel free to take these study results as a nudge to have more plants around, especially when you are ill or under a lot of stress.
Elizabeth Walling is a freelance writer specializing in health and family nutrition. She is a strong believer in natural living as a way to improve health and prevent modern disease. She enjoys thinking outside of the box and challenging common myths about health and wellness. You can visit her blog to learn more: www.livingthenourishedlife.com/2009/10/welco...