Doctors are prescribing these plants to help with anxiety, depression and loneliness

Photo credit: Kseniâ Solov'eva / EyeEm
Photo credit: Kseniâ Solov'eva / EyeEm

From Red Online

In a UK first, plants have been prescribed by doctors to help with anxiety, depression and loneliness.

Before the UK lockdown, a GP in Manchester offered patients the chance to care for plants, herbs and flowers at home to help their health. Once they'd grown the various plants, the patients would then return them to be replanted in the surgery's communal garden, giving others the chance to also enjoy the beautiful blooms.

As well as taking care of the plants, Cornbrook Medical Practice said they'd give patients the opportunity to get involved with further gardening and social activities, to help them on their recovery journey.

"The plants we will be giving people are mainly herbs – things like lemon balm and catmint, which all have mindful qualities," Augusta Ward, a medical secretary at the practice told the Metro.

"Having something to care for brings so many benefits to people – especially for those who may not have a garden or be able to have pets. ‘The plant was then a reason to come back to the surgery and get involved in all the other activities in our garden and make new friends."*

Many of the plants for the scheme were donated or funded by the enterprise group Sow The City.

Photo credit: Catherine Falls Commercial - Getty Images
Photo credit: Catherine Falls Commercial - Getty Images

Dr Philippa James, one of the surgery’s GPs, also commented on the new scheme saying: "I’ve seen how our patients relaxed in the garden – and how they then get involved in wider events like picking litter, which all adds to pride in our area."

From reducing carbon dioxide levels to increasing humidity, plants bring many benefits to both our indoor and outdoor spaces. As do flowers like Chrysanthemums.

And it's not just plants that can help with our health: whether it's walking in your local park or planting new flowers in your garden, spending time outside and in green spaces provides brilliant health benefits. In fact, a new study found that a walk in the park can even boost your mood as much as Christmas.

Time to schedule that lunchtime stroll.

*Disclaimer: This particular scheme was put in place before social distancing measures were put in place and any reference to planting in a communal garden is merely for descriptive purposes.

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