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April Showers Bring May Flowers

Karen Alexander, Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

April 4, 2022

April Showers Bring May Flowers

Flowers play an important role in human life. There is evidence that living in spaces with little or no vegetation can lead to negative behaviors such as irritation or hostility. However, studies show that flowers can have immediate and long-term effects on emotional reactions and moods. There have been many discoveries regarding flowers and their influence on human behavior, including how colors of flowers influence moods and feelings such as anxiety.

A study published last year found that viewing yellow and red flowers for about three minutes resulted in significantly higher senses of relaxation, calm, cheerfulness and comfort, rather than when viewing white flowers. Furthermore, viewing yellow and red flowers increased the parasympathetic nerve’s activity significantly, which induces a state of relaxation, reduces heart rate and significantly reduces the sympathetic nerve’s activity, thereby alleviating stress.

The combination of flower essences from impatiens, cherry plums, white chestnuts, and beech flowers significantly reduces anxiety in individuals with high levels of anxiety only, compared with placebo group.

Interesting facts

  • Flowers are used to express religious feelings and in some religions are considered the direct route for spiritual communication.
  • Edible flowers have been used around the world for ages. They contain antioxidants and minerals, the content of which are comparable with that of the fruits and vegetables.
  • A variety of flowers such as roses, marigolds, chrysanthemums, garden nasturtiums, etc. can be consumed either fresh or after drying or freezing. Just make sure they have not been sprayed with herbicides or other chemicals!

References:

  1. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph181910258
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/147470490500300109
  3. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/262146721_Effects_of_Flower_Essences_in_Individuals_with_Anxiety
  4. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344580014_Flowers_a_potential_source_of_human_nutrition
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