LTTE: Horticulture therapy is undervalued

Guest Author

Editor’s Note: All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board. Letters to the Editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.

To the Editor,


As a community, we need take a collective long and hard look at horticulture therapy — why? In hospitals today, there is a heavy reliance on pain medications for patients, and if you have a general awareness of current issues, you will know that there is an ongoing opioid crisis.

Air plants look lovely in glass terrariums just like this one. (Photo by Kelly Peterson)

Hospitals rely on analgesics (pain medication) heavily in post-op wards, which can lead to an addiction and potential overdose. So how do hospitals avoid this? That’s where horticulture therapy comes in.

When introduced to a horticulture therapy program, patients have been shown to feel lower levels of pain. A lower pain level means less analgesics used on the patients, which can decrease the number of patients exposed to the highly addictive medications.

However, if a patient engages in a Horticulture Therapy program, there is a positive reaction that helps anxiety, fatigue and depression.”

Not only can horticulture therapy help with the opioid crisis, but it also has been shown to improve the mental state of patients. For any of you that have stayed in a hospital for even one night, you understand the almost cynical nature it projects — sterile rooms and the constant smell of hand sanitizer is good for a recovering body, but the impact on the psyche is not always great.

When a patient is introduced to a horticulture therapy program, they are shown to have reduced anxiety levels, fatigue and depression. Now, this is not to say it will cure someone who has clinical depression or anxiety. However, if a patient engages in a horticulture therapy program, there is a positive reaction that helps anxiety, fatigue and depression.

Therefore, as a community that is growing and trying to provide the best care possible, would you not want to take a moment and think about what could be improved?


Riley June

Third-year environmental horticulture student

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