Flowers have played a key role all throughout human history. Traces of their usefulness can be found in various religious texts, folk tales, and myths. Some types of flowers were used as food and continue to be used as food until the present day; others have healing properties and are used as medicine. Early man also recognized the aesthetic function of flowers; in fact, some ancient cultures believed that they could appease the spirits of their ancestors by decorating their tombs with a particular type of flower.
The most important function that flowers have, however, is their power to convey profound human emotions and thoughts the way no other object can. Whenever your feelings are too intense for words – be it love, grief, happiness, or gratitude – try expressing them through the gift of flowers. You will find that, it will express your feelings perfectly.
The flower that holds the most obvious meaning is the rose, the eternal symbol of romantic love and desire. During the Renaissance era, roses were associated with Venus’s immortal beauty, whereas scratches made by the rose’s thorny stem symbolized the wounds of love. Christian symbolism also uses the red rose to stand for love and the blood of a martyr. White roses signify purity, innocence, and charm, while pink roses symbolize happiness.
Besides conveying messages, flowers can also affect our moods and influence our emotions. According to a recent behavioral study made in the State University of New Jersey, the presence of colorful flowers heightens feelings of life satisfaction, triggers happy emotions and memories, and influences social behavior in a positive manner. The healing properties of flowers have also been proven by scientific research. Environmental psychologist Dr. Roger Ulrich discovered that when flowers were visible to hospital patients, their need for pain medication decreased, their stress levels dropped, and their stay in the hospital were marked with an increased optimism.
Perhaps the positive effect flowers have on hospital patients also have something to do with the meaning they carry – they are tangible proof that someone cares about them and wishes them well. Flowers, therefore, have an immediate impact on our emotions and a long-term positive effect on our mood.
Flowers have been used for many purposes since the dawn of civilization and are the carrier of significant meanings to other people. From birthdays to funerals, flowers will always occupy a special place in human celebrations and rituals. The next time you send flowers to someone, place as much thought and meaning to your gift as you would place money into a beautiful, well-constructed bouquet.