Flowers to help your health and wellbeing

by Charlotte.Barnes on January 4, 2012

Health, fitness and wellbeing are all things we strive to improve and there are a lot of products and fitness regimes available to help. But did you know that flowers can play a part in helping you to become healthier? Belle from flowersandchocos.com has kindly contributed a guest article telling you which flowers are good for what. Enjoy! – Mark

Who could have guessed that those brightly-colored, ornaments in your vases can be more than just a decoration? Our flowers inside our homes, in our gardens, our porch, also have health benefits to us humans. They make us well inside and out.

Physical Health Benefits

Edible Flowers

Not all flowers can be eaten. In fact, some are even poisonous, so drop that flower you instantly grabbed after reading the sub-heading and pay attention! Some types of flowers do not only make your stomach full, but also healthy! How about that?

Examples of edible flowers and what they can do to improve your health include non-white Rose petals, which contain polyphenol which acts like an antioxidant to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Daylilies are packed with Vitamin B, Squash Blossoms have Vitamin A in them, Orange Marigold petals contain lycopene and other cancer-fighting nutrients, while Yellow Marigolds have lutein which is good for the eyes.

It is more advisable to just use home-grown flowers for health purposes instead of the florist-bought ones. These flowers may have been exposed to chemicals and you wouldn’t want to eat them!

Floral Tea

Floral Teas are of course, teas which come from flowers. They are hand-picked and are preserved to save the aroma and taste. They are far better than your usual tea, as they are caffeine-free, and because you get it in a natural way, phytochemicals can be derived from it such as vitamins, terpenoids and flavonoids.

Each flower differs in health benefits because each one has its own unique properties. Some good floral teas are: Chamomile, which helps relieves toothache and insomnia, and helps with better digestion. Lemon Balm is a summer tea that is useful as a relaxant. Jasmine contains anti-bacterial and anti-aging components. Chrysanthemums are cool flowers, literally, as they have cooling effects that are good for people with fever, sore throat and other illnesses.

Flower Pollen

First of all, flower pollen is NOT bee pollen. Bee pollen has high potential for allergic reactions. Based on some studies, flower pollen can help in weight loss. Ingesting flower pollen decreases hunger pangs, so you won’t feel hungry every now and then. They can also be very helpful in avoiding the simplest illnesses like colds and allergies because pollen can strengthen one’s immune system.

Although flower pollen is ultimately tiny, it is loaded with nutrients such as amino acids, enzymes, strings of minerals (including trace minerals), all known vitamins, antibiotic substances and steroid hormones.

Hibiscus

You can find this flower in warm, tropical locations. They can charm their way to you not only with their vibrant colors but also with their health benefits. In some places like Jamaica, it is mixed with soft drinks, while in other places, Hibiscus is commonly made into tea. This flower is popularly known to contain Vitamin C, and its leaves are sometimes also used to cure some ailments. Based on studies made in China, extracts from Hibiscus can lower cholesterol levels.

Roses

Do not be surprised that roses have more to offer than we already know. Maybe this is why they are the crowd favorite. These popular Valentine’s Day flowers are claimed to have therapeutic effects, physically, emotionally and psychologically.

Stemming (No pun intended) from 10th Century Persia, rose water and rose oil have already been used in skincare, as it acts as astringent to the skin, getting rid of the redness caused by enlarged capillaries. Roses can also serve as antiseptic to eye infections.

Ultimately, the scent of the rose itself does wonder to the human body. It relieves stress, and we can all testify to that. It can combat certain types of stress, specifically nervous tension, peptic ulcer and heart disease. Some also use it as a mild sedative and anti-depressant.

It is important to remember to only use genuine rose oil, rose water or rose hips or else it may offer zero therapeutic benefits.

Ylang-ylang

Ylang-ylang is a flower that can be widely found in the Asia Pacific region. It can be used as an antidepressant. This is very helpful when you want to forget your stress and anxiety. It is also an antiseptic as it works well with burns, cuts or abrasions. In some cases, Ylang-ylang can serve the lovers out there, as it is also known to be an aphrodisiac.

Another benefit we can all get is that it is a hypotensive herb, as it is an agent in lowering blood pressure. It does not stop there, it also makes the nervous system stronger and helps in healing nervous disorders. And of course, like most flowers do, it acts as a sedative, calming every part of our body and feelings. Our skin benefits from it too as it can keep it moisturized and balances oil in the skin. That is a lot of benefits from just one flower.

Emotional Health Benefits

For Women

Females have a very special attachment to flowers. Seeing it as a display or walking through the garden, flowers have the tendency to calm women down. Moreover, when they receive flowers, it’s like a wave of happiness consuming them very slowly but surely. After that, the whole day ahead of them seems bright and sunny. Normally, that is what happens when flowers surround women.

Studies show that flowers are obviously preferred to be seen or received more often compared with other gifts such as food or candles.

For Men

There are some men who do appreciate flowers but not as much as women do. Flowers are usually given by men to women and not the other way around. In that sense, having their loved ones receive the flowers they’ve given is the emotional benefit for men. It gives them great satisfaction knowing that their efforts are truly appreciated.

For the Elderly

According to studies, older people react in the same way as the younger ones do when they receive flowers. Their mood shifts to a more positive note. They become more interested in doing things like talking to peers and are generally happier. They are easier to talk with and the elated mood may last for a quite some time.

According to the studies done in New Jersey, there is no definite correlation that the elderly improved their memories upon receiving the flowers, although the participants in the study score high in the episodic test.

Flowers at Home

After waking up, it is almost as good as drinking your favorite coffee when you spot flowers brightly greeting you with their splash of colours reflecting around the bedroom. Generally speaking, as mentioned before, flowers have this irresistible effect in them, that they can turn a bad mood upside down, erasing that unpleasant frown (Yes, I attempted to rhyme a little). So it is very advisable, no matter how big or small your home is, to make it cosier by adding touches of flowers in the main areas like the living room or the porch. You may not notice it, but mornings will be less hard on you.

Flowers at Work

For us working people, we constantly need inspiration to get us going through the day. We always want to be productive when we go to work. Unfortunately, sometimes we have a bit of mental block when all we see everyday is that large pile of papers and cabinets full of more pending paperwork. A study in Texas showed that having some flowers in the office instantly brightens up the room, leading to more innovative thinking and better problem solving techniques.

Being in a nice environment puts you in a mood to be creative, like you are walking in a park while admiring nature at its finest. So bosses, stock up on flowers if you need to get a lot of work done with your people!

Now that we are far more convinced that flowers are abundant blessings to us all, we are more aware of how to utilise them. They are more than just mere decorations. If we take good care of them, they might be the ones to take good care of us someday, too.

Belle is a blog editor at Flowers and Chocos. She loves gardening, doing handicrafts and taking pictures of the beautiful environs.


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Charlotte Barnes

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