Comparative study of the effects of flowers on the mind and body


High healing effect from appreciating the flowers that one has arranged

Everyone has had experience of being healed by beauty—such as calming down and relieving stress—while looking at beautiful flowers, scenery, and fine works of art. In particular, it has been found that looking at flowers activates the parasympathetic nerves that work predominantly during relaxation, and reduces depression and fatigue.


Is there a difference between just appreciating the healing from flowers someone else has arranged or appreciating the flowers you arranged yourself? A research paper by Seiya Uchida, senior researcher at the MOA Health Science Foundation was published in the “Japanese Journal of Psychosomatic Medicine (no.7, 2020).”


After conducting a language recall test for five minutes that makes the brain of 51 subjects feel stressed; and in random order, (1) select and arrange one flower you like and watch it for five minutes (self-flower appreciation experiment), (2) watch the flower arrangement someone else has made (other-flower appreciation experiment) and (3) watch a photo of a flower arrangement (photo appreciation experiment). After each experiment, the autonomic nerve function measurement, muscle hardness measurement of both shoulders, and a questionnaire using the Nikkei version of the “Healing” evaluation scale was conducted. Parasympathetic nerves were activated among the “self-flower appreciation experiment” (Fig. 1). Within the same group, muscle hardness also decreased (Fig. 2), and the degree of healing in the questionnaire increased (Fig. 3).



In an article in “Health Science of the 21st Century” No. 61 (Spring 2021), a journal of the MOA Health and Science Foundation, Uchida said, “It’s soothing to watch the flowers, but we found out that it is more effective to watch the flowers that he arranged himself.” Since activation of parasympathetic nerves also leads to an increase in immunity, it may suppress the aggravation of infectious diseases such as the new coronavirus. Flowers can be easily incorporated in households. It may help to relieve the stress caused during the pandemic and improve health.