Welcome to our in-depth exploration of plant therapy and the significant benefits of incorporating plants in hospitals. In this article, we will dive into the various advantages that plants offer in medical environments, backed by scientific research and studies. If you’re interested in learning more about the positive impact of plants on patients’ well-being, stay tuned!
Improved Indoor Air Quality
One of the primary benefits of plants in hospitals is their ability to improve indoor air quality. Plants play a vital role in absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, which can help offset the high levels of carbon dioxide commonly found in medical settings[^1]. Moreover, certain plants have the ability to remove harmful volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air. These compounds, often present in hospital environments due to the use of cleaning products and disinfectants, can have adverse effects on patients’ health. By incorporating plants that have air purification capabilities, hospitals can create a healthier and cleaner atmosphere for both patients and healthcare professionals[^1][^8].
Reduced Stress and Anxiety
Hospital visits can be overwhelming and stressful for patients, visitors, and even healthcare professionals. However, research has shown that exposure to nature, including plants, can alleviate stress and anxiety levels. Incorporating plants and green spaces in hospitals allows patients to feel connected to nature, creating a soothing and calming environment that promotes a sense of well-being[^1][^4].
Enhanced Recovery and Healing
The presence of plants in hospital environments has been found to contribute to the overall well-being and recovery of patients. Several studies have indicated that patients who have access to natural elements, such as plants, experience less pain, require fewer pain medications, and have shorter hospital stays[^1][^4].
One notable study from 1984 demonstrated the healing power of gardens. Patients recovering from gallbladder surgery who had a view of leafy trees healed faster, required less pain medication, and experienced fewer complications than patients with a view of a brick wall[^4]. This study highlights the therapeutic value of nature and the potential for plant therapy within healthcare facilities.
Hospitals can be noisy environments due to medical equipment, conversations, and other activities. However, plants can aid in reducing noise levels by absorbing and diffusing sound waves. The presence of plants in hospital rooms and common areas can create a more peaceful atmosphere, allowing patients to rest and recover more effectively[^4].
The presence of plants in hospitals provides a positive distraction for patients, helping them take their minds off their condition or discomfort. Feeling connected to nature brings a sense of comfort and normalcy, contributing to a more positive mindset and overall well-being[^1].
The Importance of Healing Gardens
Healing gardens, also known as therapeutic gardens, are specifically designed to promote relaxation, stress reduction, and overall well-being for patients, visitors, and healthcare professionals[^4]. These gardens incorporate certain features that contribute to their effectiveness, including tree-bordered vistas, water features, lush greenery, and naturalistic landscaping[^1].
Research suggests that spending time in healing gardens and connecting with nature can lead to significant improvements in patients’ physical and psychological well-being. These improvements include reduced stress levels, decreased blood pressure, improved mood, enhanced cognitive function, and even expedited recovery times[^4].
The inclusion of plants in hospital environments offers a wide range of benefits, including improved indoor air quality, reduced stress and anxiety, enhanced recovery and healing, noise reduction, and positive distraction for patients. These benefits are supported by various scientific studies and research.
The incorporation of healing gardens, specifically designed to promote relaxation and well-being, has been shown to have even more profound effects on patients’ health outcomes. By providing a connection to nature, healing gardens contribute to faster recovery times, reduced pain, and improved overall well-being[^4].
Plant therapy and the integration of plants in hospitals are simple yet effective approaches to improve the patient experience, reduce stress, and promote healing. As medical facilities continue to prioritize holistic and patient-centered care, the presence of plants will undoubtedly play a crucial role in creating healthier and more soothing environments.
[^1]: How Hospital Gardens Help Patients Heal. (n.d.). Scientific American. Retrieved from <a href=”https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nature-that-nurtures/“>https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nature-that-nurtures/](https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/nature-that-nurtures/)
[^4]: Why Hospitals Are Planting Gardens. (n.d.). Forbes. Retrieved from <a href=”https://www.forbes.com/sites/lakenbrooks/2021/05/29/why-hospitals-are-planting-gardens/“>https://www.forbes.com/sites/lakenbrooks/2021/05/29/why-hospitals-are-planting-gardens/](https://www.forbes.com/sites/lakenbrooks/2021/05/29/why-hospitals-are-planting-gardens/)
[^8]: Ornamental indoor plants in hospital rooms enhanced health outcomes of patients recovering from surgery. (n.d.). PubMed. Retrieved from <a href=”https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19715461/“>https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19715461/](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19715461/)