Plants boost outcomes, mood in surgery patients

Plants boost outcomes, mood in surgery patients

If your stress levels are high, or if your body needs a healing boost, be sure to surround yourself with the right support. We’re not talking about helpful friends and family, or the best doctors, although those are important, too. We’re talking about plants.

According to a study by the American Society for Horticultural Science, patients recovering from an appendectomy, surgery to remove the appendix, recovered better with plants and flowers in their hospital rooms.

After an appendectomy, patients stay in the hospital up to five days. The study found patients in rooms with foliage had lower blood pressure and heart rates than those in no-plant rooms and showed less anxiety and tension. By Day 3, they also reported lower pain levels and less fatigue, and needed less pain medication.

Compared with plant-free rooms, ones with plants were rated more comfortable, relaxing and satisfying, and better smelling.

What a ringing endorsement for plants! How do plants achieve all of this?

It’s well-known that plants improve air quality by pulling pollutants from the air and giving off oxygen. Plants also can provide positive distraction and meaningful tasks to do. Caring for plants by giving them water, trimming dead foliage or moving them to sunnier spots helps take patients’ minds off their own ailments. Plants also may bring up positive memories.

If plants can do all this for surgery patients, think what a lift they might provide in everyday life. Facing an extra intense work week? Buy a few potted plants to disperse around your home and work area. You may find yourself feeling more focused, relaxed and refreshed.

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