The Physiological Effects of Red Roses

What reaction do flowers, and in particular red roses, have on the human eye?

By: THURSD. | 26-01-2023 | 4 min read
The visual effects of red roses header

Flowers appeal to every individual, regardless of age group or gender. Whether they are planted in gardens, given as gifts, or used in decor, flowers readily enhance the experience of occasions, holidays, or events. This time you'll explore the physiological effects that red roses have on the human eye. For some common sense, for others an eye opener that gives an understanding of why we need more flowers, like red roses.

The Physiological Effects of Seeing Red Roses

According to the online magazine Complementary Therapies in Medicine, viewing images of red roses can help people relax physically and mentally. The physiological calming influence of nature is becoming more and more apparent in recent years, but it has been proven nowadays that many workers find it challenging to be around nature while at work.


Red Rose girl by Victoria Krivchenkova
Photo by Victoria Krivchenkova on Unsplash


Fresh flower exposure gives people a chance to include nature in their working lives. In a recent investigation that was conducted, researchers looked into the physiological and psychological impacts of red roses and their exposure on office workers' heart rate variability, pulse rate, and subjective reactions.

Experimental Study Conducted to Prove That Roses Stimulate Happiness

The experimental site to prove the physiological effects of red roses was Mizuho Information & Research Institute, Inc., in the Tokyo metropolitan area. Thirty-one male office workers were included in the present study.

The subjects were exposed to thirty unscented red roses arranged in a cylindrical glass vase for around four minutes. In the control condition, the subjects were not exposed to flowers. After the experiments, the subjects completed a questionnaire. The order of exposure was counterbalanced among subjects. Among subjects exposed to roses, the high-frequency component of heart rate variability was significantly higher than in controls. Similarly, 'comfortable,’ 'relaxed’ and 'natural’ feelings were more common in subjects exposed to roses.


How red roses affect stimulation of the eyes
Comfortable and relaxed: Time-dependent oxyhemoglobin (oxy-Hb) concentration changes per 1 min in the right prefrontal cortex during visual stimulation by roses vs. the control. Photo: Semantic Scholar


Roses Are the Most Uplifting Flowers

While having any flowers at home feels lovely and uplifting, there are some that are proven to work a little bit harder than others.


The physiological effect of red roses makes people smile more
Photo: Proflowers


Ever heard the expression ‘stop and smell the roses’? That’s because the physiological effect that red roses produce is wonderful mood-boosting endorphins. A study in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology exposed office workers to red roses, and the results showed that they brought significant physiological and psychological relaxing effects to the participants. So there seems to be a running theme that roses can help people to feel happier and more relaxed.

Can Flowers (Roses) Actually Make Your Brain Happier?

It's a complete YES! Not only red roses and roses, in general, can generate an instant mood boost of happiness, love, and joy, but overall, all types of flowers have an amazing impact on human mood and lives.


Physiological effects of red roses
Photo: Unsplash


Numerous brain chemicals, including dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, are known to be stimulated by flowers. The 'happy' compounds are those. Additionally, our brains automatically associate beautiful flowers with positive, gratifying experiences whenever we see or receive them. In essence, it's nearly difficult to feel depressed while admiring some lovely bouquets!

Why Do Humans React So Positively to Flowers?

Research has shown that having a bunch of beautiful blooms around triggers happy emotions and helps lift feelings of depression and anxiety. But why do humans react so well to flowers you ask? Well, for more than 5000 years people have been cultivating flowers for their aesthetic and medicinal purposes as well as the chemical effect they have on us.

Lowri Dowthwaite, a lecturer in psychological interventions at the University of Central Lancashire shared:

"When we're stressed we release something called cortisol this is the stress hormone but actually engaging with flowers, smelling flowers, and being mindful with flowers can actually reduce the levels of cortisol and help you feel more relaxed."


Red roses and flowers make your brain happier
Photo: Unsplash


Now that Valentine's Day is coming up, how about having some fresh red roses around to make your day more colorful and loving? Red roses are the way to your heart, always remember that.



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