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Flower Power: For Memory and Depression

Flower Power: For Memory and Depression

Flowers are known around the world to symbolize love, friendship, compassion, and celebration. Flowers are a part of our every day – they enliven our homes with their beauty and fragrance, grace our gardens with color and creativity, delight us, seduce us, and remind us of the beautiful, transitory life we share together on Earth. When we sip a calming chamomile tea, smile at an unassuming daisy, or find freshly cut stargazers at the farmers market; we behold the healing power of flowers.

According to research conducted by Jeannette Haviland-Jones, Ph.D., director of the Human Development Lab at Rutgers University, “flowers have immediate and long-term positive effects on reactions, mood, social behaviors and even memory for both males and females.”

All age groups in the study exhibited emotions of extraordinary delight and gratitude after receiving flowers, encouraging more positive behavior in social activity – such as eye contact and sincere smiling. The mere presence of flowers in subjects’ homes led to increased contact with friends and family, indicating that we share with our loved ones when happy emotions are triggered. Flowers are a natural mood booster with direct long-term positive effects on emotional well-being; authenticating our compassionate instinct to send flowers to sick or healing friends.

When wildflowers spring up each year for their seasonal appearance, we too invite the concept of rebirth into our homes and our families with spring cleaning, sowing new seeds, and gathering for family celebrations. Cross-culturally, many spring holidays include bright colors and flowers in the annual rituals of renewal and rebirth.

Another Rutgers University psychology study noted the effects flowers have on seniors (also conducted by Haviland-Jones). The study finds flowers decrease depression, encourage companionship and enrich short-term memories in seniors, proving that flowers have the power to ease us into a peaceful place of old age – while perhaps reminding us of the vitality in all life forms.

Botanists estimate there are more than 240,000 types of flowering plants on Earth. Flowers and their essences have been used in medicine for ages. Many of today’s herbal remedies are based on the ancient wisdom of Mother Nature. Some flowers that appear in natural products include immune-enhancing echinacea, anti-inflammatory calendula, stress-relieving passionflower, relaxing lavender, and stimulating patchouli.

As sensual human beings, we are attracted to the majesty of each flower’s individual fragrance, color, and symmetry. Flowers are supposed to be sexy – they must seduce the buzzing birds and bees into intimacy for their own successful reproduction through pollination. We, too, respond to expressive colors, sweet scents, bold patterns and inspiring sacred geometry.

When we celebrate springtime underneath cherry blossoms, or spot a summer sunflower, be sure to breathe in the naturally occurring therapy – inviting you to stop and smell the roses, as often as you like.

Related Articles:
Violets for Health
How to Keep Your Cut Flowers Fresh
Your Favorite Flower: What It Says About Your Personality

Read more: Health, Home, Self-Help, , , ,

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3:39PM PDT on Aug 29, 2014

Say it with flowers.

2:51AM PDT on Aug 28, 2014

There are very few flowers that carry any fragrance in BC, Canada. Sometimes, roses have a slight fragrance and I've also noticed a pink sweet-pea which had a lovely fragrance. That doesn't stop me from always checking if there is any fragrance..... I live in hope, because then it will be planted in my garden.

4:50PM PDT on Apr 20, 2013

Thank you for the amazing information. Nature soothes the soul.

7:29AM PDT on Oct 22, 2011

I love to have flowers around the home.

5:47AM PDT on May 16, 2011

Plants have a very interestig built torsion field of energy around them, different from people aura. People often loose part of their aura, but plants never loose it before they are cut, so more sense is to be beside alive growing plants, than cut plants, because growing plants' aura cover us and that way help to rebuild our damaged aura, especially if we sleep close to growing plants...any plants. Trees, grass, flowers, shrubs...But cut plants' energy goes back to other plants. We can not use that energy to build our aura...Alive growing plants are the best friends for us :) by many ways. They cover us with their wonderful aura, they produce oxygen for our breathing, we can eat them and we can make many useful things from them, but always must remember to plant them again.

4:39AM PST on Feb 17, 2011

Now you know why we send flowers to others

2:14AM PDT on Sep 2, 2010

great nature!! hope man's destructive capacity also has some such remedy!!!!!!

5:57PM PDT on May 18, 2010

More power to flowers.

2:03PM PDT on May 16, 2010

This is a great article. I'm sending it to my friends. Annick

8:25PM PDT on Apr 23, 2010

The sentiments expressed in this article are so accurate. When I was still working, I had a large office, but it had no windows. I did everything I could to make the room feel brighter and more alive. I had the wall a painted a bright white, put in full-spectrum lighting, etc., but it wasn't until I started bringing flowers into my office everyday that it really felt comfortable.

It wasn't just the colors, but it was their sweet fragrance, too, which made the difference. I particularly noticed it each time I left my office and then returned. It was as though that wonderful perfume welcomed me back into the room every time I returned. It made my workday ever so much better.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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