Scientifically proven benefits of fresh flowers

Fresh flowers, Eight baby pink roses and two buds, one slightly open, the other closed, on a wooden bench tied with grey lace fabric

The 21st century has seen a dramatic increase in stress levels in the lives of people around the globe. Simply because we have a lot to accomplish in a little amount of time. Today, we hardly take time to appreciate the beautiful things around us which, by all means, can help make our days better. Loved by some and neglected by others, fresh flowers are in fact more than just decorative items.

Flowers and their importance in our lives

Ever since we can trace history, flowers have played an important role in communication. We use them

  • to convey emotions,
  • in religious ceremonies,
  • to treat diseases,
  • as food,
  • for commercial purposes,
  • to help maintain biodiversity,
  • for personal adornment and
  • decoration.

In fact, our ancestors saw flowers as a sign of prosperity. Migrating groups settled their camps in places where there were visible flowering plants. Intelligent as they were, they knew that flowers would eventually bear fruits and so they would have food in those particular places.

small red roses meadow; scientific benefits of fresh flowers
Our ancestors settled in areas where there were visible flowering plants as they knew they would have food in those particular places; Photo by Tuân Nguyễn Minh on Unsplash 

Why are we so impacted by fresh flowers, unlike artificial flowers?

As it is, humans evolved in the natural environment. Going by the principle that humans descend from apes which themselves are animals that inhabit jungles, we can thus make the link.

Basically, the natural environment calls to us and impacts us in various ways. The sight, smell and touch of fresh flowers go directly to our senses and touch us.

In contrast, artificial flowers merely have aesthetic values or are used to fill empty spaces in some places.

Proven Benefits of fresh flowers

1.      Lower stress levels

A study by Ikei et al. reveals that smelling fresh flowers decreases tension in our bodies by causing the brain to go into a relaxed mode [1]. The same applies to people who view flower pots inside or outside their office windows.

This is of profound importance when we realize that, today, we are mainly stressed by our jobs. A bunch of roses on the office table can thus help to alleviate some of the concerns!

2.      Fresh flowers decrease recovery times in hospitals

Generally, it is a common gesture for us to take flowers to our loved ones who are in hospitals. But this simple gift has far more effect on the person’s recovery time compared to someone else who doesn’t receive flowers. The sight of flowers actually decreases anxiety levels and puts the receiver in a happier state. Consequently, it then shortens the person’s bed stay time [2].

white tulips, with green stalks in brown paper on wood; scientific benefits of fresh flowers
Fresh flowers can help decrease recovery times in hospitals; Photo by Roman Kraft on Unsplash 

3.      Ameliorate moods

Have you ever given someone a flower and saw that beautiful smile? Or have you ever received a flower from someone and instantly felt happy?

Believe it or not, studies show that offering flowers to someone can greatly impact that person’s mood, sometimes even for days. The sight or the smell or both causes our brain to release chemicals that put us in a good mood [3].

4.      Fresh flowers boost memory in elders

Generally speaking, elders in retirement homes or away from communities usually feel sad and lonely. This state of mind has an effect on their memory capacities and overall social behaviour. Researchers found that on presenting flowers to this category of people, the memory is boosted and social ties are reinforced [3].

How about sleeping with plants in the same room?

Indeed, we have all heard that we should not keep fresh flowers or potted plants in the bedroom. Because plants suck up all the oxygen in the room and can suffocate us.

As it is, an average human normally uses about 71 litres of oxygen in an hour while 450 g of flowers use 0.1 liters in 1 hr, that is, 0.15%. In other words, the amount of oxygen that plants use, as well as the amount of carbon dioxide released, is quite negligible. In short, you will not die by having a bouquet in your room.

Red roses in vase next to blurred laptop with words 'scientifically proven benefits of fresh flowers', written
Benefits of fresh flowers


  1. Ikei, H., Komatsu, M., Song, C. and Himoro, E. (2014). The physiological and psychological relaxing effects of viewing rose flowers in office workers. Journal of Physiological Anthropology. Vol 33 (2):6
  2. Ulrich, R.S. et al. (1984). View through a window may influence recovery from surgery. Science 224, 420
  3. Haviland-Jones, J., Rosario, H.H., Wilson, P. and McGuire T.R. (2005). An environmental approach to positive emotions: Flowers. Evolutionary Psychology 3:1

4 Comments on “Scientifically proven benefits of fresh flowers

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  4. I didn’t know that our brains go into a relaxed mode when they smell fresh flowers. My wife is constantly stressed with her job and being a mom. I think I’ll buy her flower bouquets more often to help her relax when at home and work. Plus, she would find it romantic and love them.

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