Horticultural Therapy – Technology Times


Horticultural therapy is a form of treatment that uses plants and gardening as a way to improve the health of people with physical, emotional or cognitive disabilities.

By Muhammad Muzamil Ijaz, Muhammad Asad Shabir, Dr Adnan Younis, Dr Nasir Ahmad Khan and Dr Ahsan Akram


Horticultural therapy has many benefits, including improved physical fitness, improved self-esteem, reduced anxiety and stress levels. Horticultural therapy can be used with people of all ages, and it is especially beneficial for those who have difficulty interacting with other people. It is an ancient practice, but only recently recognized as a health profession and not widely taught. It can be used in many different ways, such as in hospitals and nursing homes, or at home for elderly people with physical disabilities. Home therapy may be offered to help seniors with a variety of conditions, including arthritis, cancer, depression, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and others.


Horticultural therapy is a form of occupational therapy that uses plants and gardening to help people with physical, mental or emotional problems. It can improve mood and increase social interaction by providing patients with a method of self-expression. Patients derive pleasure from their participation in the gardening process. In the 1980s, a gardening program for patients was started at Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis. The program has expanded to other Minnesota hospitals. In 1987, the first patient garden was planted in a hospital room in St. Paul, Minnesota. The program was sponsored by the Minnesota Chapter of the American Society for Horticultural Therapy (ASHT). The patient garden movement gained popularity in the 1990s and beyond. The patient garden movement was part of the larger environmental movement of the time. The importance of the Patient Garden as a therapeutic tool was recognized by the Minnesota Legislature in 1985, which declared June 1 through October 31 to be “Gardening Month.” In 1990, the Nurses Association of Minnesota took over the program and added a focus on nutrition. The program was then renamed “Gardening for Health”. In 1993, the name of the program was changed to “Gardening for Health” in an effort to broaden its appeal. The program has expanded to other states, and as of 2013 it was offered in 22 states. In 2007 the program was taught in all 50 states and in 2013 expanded to Canada and the UK. Gardening for Health was created by the late Paul F. Fortmann, a Virginia Tech horticulture graduate, and developed the program after his mother died of breast cancer at age 63. . “I was intrigued by the fact that we spend a lot of money on health care and yet millions of people die prematurely every year,” Fortmann wrote in his book, “Gardening for Health.” “Why did so many people die at such a young age?

What kinds of diseases can be treated with horticultural therapy?

Horticultural therapy can be used to improve mental and physical health, social skills, and quality of life. It has been shown to be helpful for people with a wide range of illnesses and conditions, including dementia, cancer, stroke, anxiety, and depression. The word “horticulture” comes from the Latin words “hortus”, which means garden, and “cultura”, which means culture. Horticultural therapy may aim to provide a person with the ability to grow and care for a plant. Herbal therapy for people with mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a relatively new field.

Horticultural therapy: new hope for mental health

Mental health disorders are increasingly common around the world. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), one in five Americans suffers from a mental health disorder. Although there are many treatments available for mental health disorders, such as medication and therapy, some people seek alternative treatment. It can be used to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia. It has been shown to be effective in reducing the symptoms of these disorders and improving quality of life. One of the reasons horticultural therapy is so effective is that it is a physical activity.

In a recent study, patients who received horticultural therapy showed significant reductions in depressive symptoms. Another study conducted by the University of Maryland found that horticultural therapy can help improve mood, lower anxiety levels, and reduce stress levels. The study also found that horticultural therapy can help improve cognitive function and memory.

What are the potential side effects of horticultural therapy?

Horticultural therapy is generally safe, but there are some potential side effects. These include skin irritation from contact with plants or soil, allergic reaction to plants, and infection from exposure to soil or water. Prevention of contact with poisonous plants includes the use of gloves, safety glasses and protective clothing. The first symptoms of plant poisoning are often nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. These symptoms may be followed by weakness, abnormal behavior, dizziness, lack of coordination and vertigo. The condition is more common in people who have had previous surgery or who are older. In a medical emergency, it requires immediate treatment by a medical professional.

Role of horticultural therapy in urban settings

A recent study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health highlights the importance of horticultural therapy in urban areas. The study found that engaging in horticultural therapy can improve mental well-being, social connections, and community engagement. Additionally, the study showed that horticultural therapy can help improve air quality and reduce noise levels in urban areas. These results suggest that horticultural therapy can play an important role in improving the quality of life of people living in urban areas.


Horticultural therapy is an integrative method of treating the whole person. It involves patient and practitioner working together to improve health and well-being by addressing multiple aspects of life. Horticultural therapy is based on the concept that physical, mental and emotional health are interdependent. Horticulture (gardening) is a commonly used therapeutic tool in horticultural therapy due to its importance in human development and healing. Many programs have been developed to integrate horticulture into the treatment of mental health problems. The goals of these programs are to increase patients’ involvement in their own healing process and to improve their quality of life while being treated.


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