Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Wellness Goes Green

We hear a lot about the importance of going Green, using sustainable products.  But research shows that we can go Green or we can go green.  I know you think I’m trying top lay a joke on you but the green I’m talking about are plants.  We know that plants have medicinal qualities, but we’re finding out that they have other benefits as well.

I’ve always thought is was a bit creepy bringing flowers to someone in the hospital.  The idea of bringing someone who is sick something that will die didn’t make any sense.  I understand that it’s part of the cycle of life, but do we have to have it so in our face?

I recently read an article citing the work of researchers at Kansas State University.  The researchers looked at patients have appendectomies and the impact of having plants in their room.  The outcome of the study showed that these patients (with plants in their room) need up to 36% less pain medication than those without plants in their room (we’re talking real plants, not those silk wannabees).  The plants created a more peaceful environment lowering the patients stress level.  We know that stress leads to the body tensing and in turn causing more pain, so reducing stress lowers the bodies inclination to clench and thus needing less pain meds.  I’d bet their anxiety levels were also lower (that’s not scientific, just my guess).

The key point is that something as simple and inexpensive as a live plant can have medicinal value for the body.  It impacts the physical and emotional aspects of care.  We can’t ignore this type of information because the ramifications are too big.  The recommendation in the article is bring a hearty plant because let’s face it, the plant will not be the star of the show in the hospital, it’s playing a supporting role.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s