Having a “green thumb” isn’t just something to brag about- it’s good for your health, too!
For centuries, humans have turned to nature to unwind and de-stress. Gardening provides food, natural remedies, and a chance to connect to the Earth around us. While humans began gardening more than 23,000 years ago, in modern times, we call turning to nature for our health Horticultural Therapy.
Horticultural Therapy is the engagement in gardening and plant-based activities to achieve specific treatment goals. This unique type of healing began in the 19th century and gained mainstream popularity in the mid-1900s.
Researchers and doctors have studied how spending hands-on time in nature can benefit people of all ages by improving memory, increasing cognitive abilities, strengthening muscles, building coordination skills, and much more. In soil, you’ll find an organism shown to improve gut and brain health! Check out the Mayo Clinic’s benefits of gardening.
Some of the many ways to get started can include:
- Take nature walks and explore your local ecology and native plants
- Use indoor planter boxes for year-round gardening in smaller spaces
- Learn more about what to expect when working with a Horticultural Therapist
- Attend local classes and garden clubs
- As a beginner, start small and build knowledge at your own pace
- While gardening, focus on mindful movement and see your strength and agility improve
The American Horticultural Therapy Association is one of the best resources for exploring how to begin. For our friends in Florida, check out the Florida Horticulture for Health Network for information about local programs and online webinars.
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