December 29, 2008 | David F. Coppedge

Plants Heal Humans and Vice Versa

Flowers in your hospital room do actually make you heal faster.  A study by Kansas State researchers reported by PhysOrg found that more patients recovered from abdominal surgery faster with flowers in the room.  It may be due to more than the psychological benefit of enjoying their colors, fragrances and the get-well wishes behind them: plants also moisten and clean the air of mold and germs.  Potted plants are more beneficial than cut flowers, the article said.  Patients also benefit from the positive activity of pruning and caring for their plants.
    Once out of the hospital, you might want to keep it up.  PhysOrg also reported that gardening is a good way for older adults to stay fit.
    Humans might be able to return the favor by donating a renewable resource to plants: their hair.  Another article on PhysOrg said that waste hair from barber shops and beauty salons can be packed into nutrient-rich cubes as fertilizer for crops.  It doesn’t help that much without other fertilizers but it works better than nothing.  Hair degrades into nutrients plants can use.

Here’s a science project you can do at home.  Use an electric razor or brush over one potted plant; leave another as a control.  If the plant dies, it might not falsify the theory; it just might mean you use too many chemicals on your hair.  Your precocious kid could do a science project testing different hair colors or animal furs.
    If this theory is right, we might get a nice symbiosis going with our house plants.  When you feed the plant your hair, it grows more vigorous, it cleans and humidifies the environment, making you healthier and thereby growing your hair faster.  It’s a win-win situation.  Love a potted plant today while you can; someday soon, you may be pushing daisies with more than just hair, or whatever is left of it.  Hair today, gone tomorrow.  We hope by then you will be doing fine in a better place (Warning: don’t assume!).

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Categories: Amazing Facts, Health

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