Living and Wellness So Sweet: The Surprising Health Benefits of Flowers By UPMC, February 17, 2015 Flowers have become a universal sign of love and affection, but are there other reasons to love these colorful plants? Not only can a bouquet of colorful flowers lend a touch of beauty and a pleasant aroma to the room, they can actually have a whole host of other health benefits, too. Many studies show there are both mental and physical benefits to embracing flowers, from their petals down to the roots. In fact, one study showed that patients with flowers in their hospital rooms needed less pain medication, had lower blood pressure, and were less anxious and tired than patients without flowers at their bedside. So, the next time you’re feeling blue, skip the comfort food and try treating yourself to a bouquet! In addition to brightening up a room, flowers can also be used in teas or taken medicinally, if prepared properly. Here are just a few flowers with proposed medicinal benefits: Echinacea: May help enhance your immune system Lavender: Promotes a feeling of relaxation, lavender water can act as a skin wash to treat acne Foxglove: Used to treat cardiovascular issues (atrial fibrillation and heart failure); The drug Digitalis, is made from foxglove extract Lily of the valley: Helps treat heart conditions and dropsy. In the past, it was used to help WWI soldiers recover after gas poisoning. Rose: High in Vitamin C, anti-inflammatory properties, treats coughs and colds Chamomile: Soothes anxiety and headaches, aids sleep and digestion, and helps relieve stomach cramps and indigestion Evening primrose: May help relieve depression and balance hormones Lonicera Flower: Antiviral and antibiotic properties, used to treat colds, flu, and sore throats in Eastern medicine, part of the remedy for swine flu Viola Flower: Anti-inflammatory and anti-pyretic properties; used to treat fevers and infections; used to treat snake bites Pagoda flower: Used in the treatment of bleeding disorders Chrysanthemum: Treats dry eyes, fevers and headaches; used to aid digestive, circulatory and nervous system issues in Western medicine Safflower: Used to treat blood clots, heart disease, joint pain, menstrual cramps and flat warts Magnolia: Nasal congestion, effectively clears nasal passages and relieves sinus headaches Lotus: Treats bleeding disorders, irritability and fevers Some plants may interact with certain medications, so please to talk with your doctor before adding anything new to your health regimen.