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The Economical and Health Benefits of Flowers

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Picking or buying flowers has long been considered both a romantic and a thoughtful gesture. While they do serve that purpose, flowers and flowering plants are more than that. Most people don't think of all of the other ways that flowers can affect their lives, but they're important to the environment, and they can give a boost to businesses and one's health and state of mind.

How Flowers Affect Health, Memory, and Recognition

Flowers are thought to positively affect the mental state of some people. Studies have shown that the presence of flowers can improve an individual's mood. This is due to a number of factors, including a flower's color and scent. A flower bouquet can lift one's spirits when depressed or ill. Flowers have also been shown to stimulate one's senses and improve memory as well as the ability to concentrate on a given task. Flowers have also been used to help people with schizophrenia to improve their memory. Working outdoors with flowers may even improve an individual's ability to retain information by as much as 20 percent. Eating flowers can also benefit one's physical and mental health. Squash blossoms, for example, contains B vitamins, which can help prevent memory loss associated with age. Violets contain anti-inflammatory compounds and are a source of vitamin C and vitamin A that can help strengthen immunity.

Studies have also indicated that patients who are recovering from illness can get a healing boost from the presence of flowers. When planted in plain sight outside of the recovery room of individuals who have undergone a medical procedure, the presence of flowers has shortened the amount of recovery time needed, research has shown. The same occurred when patients were able to touch and care for flowers as they recovered.

The Economic Impact of Flowers

Flowers affect the economy in a number of ways. Flowering plants serve as a source of food, with the actual flower being edible in some instances. Flowers are also important in the pollination process, which is crucial for the continued production of food. Because of the importance of food crops, flowers have a significant economic impact. They are also sometimes used for medicinal purposes.

Ornamental flowers, particularly cut flowers, are also an economic factor, particularly around certain holidays when flowers are popular gifts, such as Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. However, these days, cut flowers are a larger economic factor in South America, where the majority of these blooms are grown, than in the U.S., where they are arranged and sold. Overall, the international cut flower industry is worth more than $40 billion annually, with a significant amount of this business coming from the perfume industry, which relies on flowers as the raw ingredients for fragrance products.

Cut flowers also have an indirect benefit for retailers and other types of businesses, as adding flowers to a space can help make it more appealing to potential customers. The presence of flowers often makes consumers feel less stressed, more confident, and more relaxed. It's perhaps unsurprising, then, that real estate companies will sometimes plant flowers to improve curb appeal and make properties seem more inviting, well-kept, and attractive.

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