Why do people love plants so much? Our love of the colour green
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
Have you ever paused to consider why people love plants? I mean, have you ever come across someone that hates them? pretty sure I haven't, just look at the millions of people subscribed on instagram...#plantsofinstagram, #plantparenthood, #houseplantlove, #plantsmakepeoplehappy, #planttherapy, #urbanjungle....
There are of course a huge list of great things about them that we've all heard...
plants have been proven to: relieve stress, provide a sense of calm, remove toxins from the air, improve oxygen levels and increase emotional stability. They lower pain levels, help us heal and boost our mood. Plants, especially house plants, give us something to nurture for minimal cost and commitment. They are portable, they bring the outside in to us and they provide a sense of ownership to those of us who can't afford to own our own homes. In short, they're amazing!
But deeper than that, have you ever thought what is the essence of plant life? When you take away all the extraneous bits, what is the standout feature of a plant? to me it all comes down to one colour, green. Green is the colour of chlorophyll, the basic element that makes a plant function and it has a deeply felt connection for us as humans.
It turns out that when we see the colour green, there is a chain reaction that is set off in our bodies. The pituitary gland is stimulated, our muscles relax and blood vessels dilate. Blood histamine levels increase, muscle contractions become smooth and we feel calm. Basically, green relieves stress and yet invigorates us.
The colour green sits right in the middle of our visual wavelength. It's balanced and restful to our eyes. We don't have to work to see it, so we can discern more shades of it than any other colour in the spectrum.
Green was such a valued colour historically that impressionist artists continued to use their favourite paint, paris green, even though it was made with arsenic. The same with victorian wallpaper, Scheele's green was considered a status symbol for decades (until the poison in it started to harm people). Which also brings up a good point, how does our psyche relate to it? Although we do connect green to some negative things like poison, sickness (green around the gills), and jealousy, green is overwhelmingly positive. Green equals: safety (traffic lights, fields full of food), ecology, hope (spring blooms) and wealth (cash). It's connected with revitalization, paradise (it is the sacred colour of Islam), freshness (greenhorn), beauty (jade) and most importantly love (green is the colour of the heart chakra).
So next time you encounter some plant life, take a minute to really look at it. Checkout all the shades of green and take in all of the benefits that it has to offer, because plants are amazing on so many levels.
P.S. even the name 'green' is connected to plants, it comes from the old english growan, which means 'to grow'.
- Sara-Jane & Alicia from Simple Leaf Design