Health and Fitness

The Doctor's New Prescription for Anxiety and Depression? Plants

Rx: Flowers.
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There’s enough evidence out there that plants can do wonders in improving mood and health, and it looks like doctors are taking this bit of knowledge seriously.

Family doctors in Manchester, United Kingdom, are now prescribing patients with anxiety, depression, and loneliness with plants. No meds necessary with this prescription—the new Rx is simply nature.

Taking care of house plants, whether they be vegetables or herbs, is believed to notably lift one’s mental health and social life.

“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,” explained Augusta Ward, medical secretary of the Cornbrook Medical Practice. “The plant is then a reason to come back to the surgery and get involved in all the other activities in our garden and make new friends.”

Countless studies have proved how humans were born to be surrounded by nature, and it might be time to return us to it. That doesn’t mean tossing us into the wild, but a few house plants certainly won’t hurt our case.

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“There’s a lot of evidence now about how two hours a week in a green space can lift moodand then that too has physical, mental and emotional benefits,” explained Dr. Philippa James of Manchester.

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There have already been cases in Scotland and Canada of doctors recommending that patients simply go out into nature to improve their mood and health.

After all, as Dr. Ruth Bromley, chair of Manchester Health and Care Commissioning, said, “So much of what keeps people happy and well isn’t medical.”

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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