THE POWER OF THE FLOWER By Dr. David Eifrig Jr. 529734_455897044482365_1074271251_n Flowers…are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty outvalues all the utilities in the world. –Ralph Waldo Emerson. I love fresh flowers. Flowers (and babies) are nature’s way of saying that life will go on. No shopping list worth its salt (Epsom, of course) would be complete without flowers. It’s true… a simple, strategically placed arrangement of an inexpensive seasonal assortment is one of the easiest ways to lift your spirits and lighten your mood. Point in fact; months ago I attended a dinner party at a friend’s house where the food was excellent and the company superb. But guess what comes to mind when I recall that evening: a beautiful bunch of vibrant yellow tulips, casually placed in a simple, white ceramic pitcher. The hostess had picked up the vase several years ago at a roadside stand (turns out it was cracked even then) and the bright color and clean lines of the tulips fashioned feelings of joy in my heart… the vase could have been an aluminum juice can and been no less beautiful. The simple gesture of those beautiful flowers seemed to make the room warmer. There is something about looking at spring flowers (especially in the dead of winter) that reminds us that “this too shall pass” and gives us that extra little nudge to look forward to the future. This is perhaps the reason flowers have been shown to improve depression in people. 374783_10151062995310788_1214134930_nYouTube Preview Image In fact, the “health” value of flowers is not simply my opinion. Several interesting and many quite obvious studies show the power of the flower. In Eight Weeks to Optimum Health, the author, Dr. Andrew Weil, recommends purchasing flowers regularly to reduce stress and bring beauty into your everyday life. Furthermore, scientific evidence has shown that receiving (perhaps even the act of purchasing) flowers lifts our moods. An article published in Evolutionary Psychology reported the results of three studies showing the positive effects of flowers. In the first study, researchers documented that women smile virtually every time they receive flowers. The second study reported that women and men smiled genuinely and initiated conversation when given a large Gerber daisy versus a pen or nothing. The final study reported that men and women ages 55 or older who received one or more bouquets of flowers over a two-week period showed an improvement in mood as well as an improvement in cognitive function-memory. The conclusions are clear… cultivated flowers bring out positive emotions in humans. And with positive emotions comes health and longevity. Flowers are another simple and inexpensive choice for you to improve yours and your loved ones’ happiness and health. But the power of flowers doesn’t stop with just psychological improvements. Chinese researchers have shown that extracts from the beautiful hibiscus lowers blood pressure and even cholesterol. It turns out that chemicals in the flower are similar to the antioxidants in red wine… the poly-phenols and anthocyanins that are known to improve heart health in wine drinkers. However, things are not always rosy (excuse the pun). For example, other compounds in the hibiscus disrupt ovulation in rats and their cells. These chemicals, benzenes, are already known to be problematic in humans and, of course, more research is needed. But the point is that flowers hold power for our health and future. Drug companies are hot on the scent (that pun stunk) for new chemicals, and flowers are one big area of interest. When it comes to getting smiles on faces and having people relax from the stress of life… it’s hard to beat flowers. Flowers (both the sight of them and the extracts taken) have been shown to:

  • Improve sleep (Lavender)
  • Decrease anxiety (Lavender)
  • Decrease depression (Rose)
  • Increase energy (the sight of almost any flower)
  • Decrease cholesterol (Hibiscus)
  • Lower blood pressure (Hawthorn)
  • Improve resistance to colds (Echinacea)

When it comes to flowers… what do I do

I have been learning to garden the past five years.
I’ve planted more than 4,000 bulbs in my yard in the past two years.
I cut flowers from my yard and bring them to the clinic. Some go to the secretaries, and some go to the front desk staff (these are put on display out front).
I stop and look at flowers in other yards whenever I can. The older I get, the more I admire the work, thought, and energy it takes to produce flowers.
I always, always, always stop and smell roses.
At least monthly (I try to do it more often), I give flowers to my gal.

Here’s to our health, David Eifrig Jr., M.D., M.B.A. P.S. And another quote from Emerson… “Earth laughs in flowers.”

About Gaerian

Song writer, musician, graphic designer, spiritual seeker French man born in Paris. Living now in Spain see my website for more infos my page on Facebook The Spiritual Wonderful Starship
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