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Hospital Plants

January 20, 2009

Putting plants in hospital rooms may help people recover from surgery.


"Green" medicine. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Putting plants in a hospital room may actually help surgical patients recover. This according to Kansas State University horticulture professors Seong Hyun Park and Richard Mattson. They studied 90 patients recovering from appendectomy. Half had plants in their recovery rooms; the other half didn’t. Mattson says that within three days, patients in the green rooms felt significantly better, and were requesting less pain medication, than their plant-deprived counterparts.

RICHARD MATTSON (Kansas State University):
Many of the individuals requiring moderate medications in the control room – we didn’t find this in the plant rooms.

Patients in the plant rooms also had lower blood pressure and heart rates, and reported less anxiety and fatigue. Mattson says that plants may prove to be a highly cost-effective aid to healing, with no side effects. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.