Horticulture for health is a term referring to multiple capacities and applications where horticulture can be used to address, manage and improve human health. These include a full range of activities, models and programs, identified by the categories in the FLHHN’s Resource Hub. This overview section includes: Scope & definition of Horticulture for Health Health benefits of gardening
SCOPE & DEFINITION OF HORTICULTURE FOR HEALTH “Horticulture for health, [is] an umbrella term referring to wide-ranging activities, programs and services, where horticulture used in various capacities and applications can positively impact health.... the horticulture for health framework captures the exponential growth and scope of activities across disciplines and sectors, where practices in health services, education, food production, business, landscape architecture and green industry promote human health….The framework categorizes diverse initiatives like mobile food trucks, digitized horticulture technology, ecotherapy, parks Rx, forest breathing, and therapeutic horticulture, as parts of a greater whole, where “the multi-sectoral nature and horticulture-specific commonality of [these] each focus on improving human health and where horticulture plays a significant role” (Fleming, 2021; Fleming et al., 2021).
Fleming, L., Davis, A., Bos, L., Carter, J. & House, B. (2020). Nova Scotia horticulture for health activity. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 30(1); 57-65. Relf, P.D. & Lohr, V.I. (2003). Human issues in horticulture. Hortscience 38 (5), 984-993 https://doi.org/10.21273/HORTSCI.38.5.984.
Examples of horticulture for health
The wide ranging models, programs & services are best articulated and identified on the Florida Horticulture for Health Network’s website & it’s Resource Hub, of which this is a part. Refer to other categories within the Resource Hub for examples of the scope of this paradigm.
Videos & webinars on horticulture for health
Still in compilation.
Still in compilation.
Written & compiled by Lesley Fleming, Oct 2021
HEALTH BENEFITS OF GARDENING Gardening is an integral component of horticulture for health. This very broad subject spans many related topics. These resources focus on the health benefits of gardening. Other categories within the horticulture for health framework may also present information on specific aspects of health and gardening (i.e. category Food, Nutrition & Food Action).
Research & articles on gardening: health benefits
Recently published selected research & articles:
Bahamonde, A. (2019). Mental health through the art of gardening. Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture 29(2), 27-44.
Blum, W.E.H., Zechmeister-Boltenstern, S. & Keiblinger, K.M. (2019). Does soil contribute to the human gut microbiome? Microorganisms 7(9), 287. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms7090287
Botts, B. (2020). Gardening and wellness. The American Gardener 99(6), 30-33.
Chang, CY. & Lee, AY. (20xx). Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology to analysis the benefit of horticultural activities. Acta Horticulturae (in press).
Chu, H.Y., Chan, H.S. & Chen, M.F. (2021). Effects of horticultural activities on attitudes toward aging, sense of hope and hand-eye coordination in older adults in residential care facilities. International JournalEnviron Res Public Health 18(12), 6555. doi: 10.3390/ijerph18126555
De Rui, M., Toffanello, E.D., Veronese, N., Zambon, S., Bolzetta, F., Sartori, L., Musacchio, E., Corti, M.C., Baggio, G., Crepald,i G., Perissinotto, E., Manzato, E. & Sergi, G. (2014). Vitamin D deficiency and leisure time activities in the elderly: Are all pastimes the same? PLoS One 9(4):e94805. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0094805
Fleming, L. (2021). Health benefits of food gardening. Digging In 7(2), 1-5.
Hall, C.R. & Knuth, M.J. (2019). An update of the literature supporting the well-being benefits of plants: Part 2 physiological health benefits. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 37(2):63-73. Hall, C.R. & Knuth, M.J. (2019). An update of the literature supporting the well-being benefits of plants: A review of the emotional and mental health benefits of plants. Journal of Environmental Horticulture. 37(1):30-38.
Howarth, M., Brettle, A., Hardman, M. & Maden, M. (2020). What is the evidence for the impact of gardens and gardening on health and well-being: A scoping review and evidence-based logic model to guide healthcare strategy decision making on the use of gardening approaches as a social prescription. BMJ Open 10(7), e036923. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2020-036923
Kim, S.O., Jeong, J.E., Oh, Y.A., Kim, H.R. & Park, S.A. (2021). Comparing concentration levels and emotional states of children using electroencephalography during horticultural and nonhorticultural activities. HortScience 56(3):324-329.
Koay, W. I., & Dillon, D. (2020). Community gardening: Stress, well-being, and resilience potentials. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health17(18), 6740. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186740
McQuillan, S. (2021). 11 ways plants enhance your mental and emotional health. Psychologytoday.com
National Gardening Association Editors. (2021). Food is medicine. The National Gardening AssociationLearning Library. https://garden.org/learn/articles/view/2512/
National Institutes of Health. (2016). Plants: Partners in health? https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2016/04/plants-partners-health
Ohly, H., Gentry, S., Wigglesworth, R., et al. (2016). A systematic review of the health and well-being impacts of school gardening: Synthesis of quantitative and qualitative evidence. BMC Public Health 16, 286. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-2941-0 Park. S.A., Lee, A.Y., Lee, G.J., Kim, D.S., Kim, W.S., Shoemaker, C.A. & Son, K.C. (2016). Horticultural activity interventions and outcomes: A review. Horticultural Science & Technology 34(4):513-527.
Park, S., Lee, A.Y. & Park, H. (2019). Benefits of gardening activities for cognitive function according to measurements of brain nerve growth factor levels. International Journal of Environmental Res. Public Health 16(5). doi: 10.3390/ijerph16050760
Park, S.A., Son, S.Y., Lee, A.Y., Park, H.G., Lee, W.L. & Lee, C.H. (2020). Metabolite profiling revealed that a gardening activity program improves cognitive ability correlated with BDNF levels and serotonin metabolism in the elderly. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17(2):541. Porter, C.M., Wechsler, A.M., Naschold, F., Hime, S.J. & Fox, L. (2019). Assessing health impacts of home food gardens with Wind River Indian Reservation families: Protocol for a randomized controlled trial. BMJ Open 9(4), e002731. doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2018-022731
Savoie-Roskos, M.R., Wengreen, H. & Durward C. (2017). Increasing fruit and vegetable intake among children and youth through gardening-based interventions: A systematic review. Journal of Academy Nutrition and Dietetics 117, 240-50. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2016.10.014
Schmutz, U., Lennartsson, M., Williams, S., Devereaux, M. & Davies, G. (2014). The benefits of gardening and food growing for health and wellbeing. Garden Organic and Sustainability. http://www.sustainweb.org/resources/files/reports/GrowingHealth_BenefitsRe port.pdf
Shoemaker, C.A., Relf, P.D., Park, S. & Dorn, S. (20xx). Hortophilia hypothesis. Acta Horticulturae (in press). Soga, M., Gaston, K.J. & Yamaura, Y. (2017). Gardening is beneficial for health: A meta-analysis. Preventative Medicine Reports 5, 92-95. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2016.11.007
Thompson, R. (2018). Gardening for health: A regular dose of gardening. Clinical Medicine (London, England), 18(3), 201–205. https://doi.org/10.7861/clinmedicine.18-3-201
van Den Berg, A.E. & Custers, M.H. (2011). Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress. Journal Health Psychology 16, 3-11. doi: 10.1177/1359105310365577
Wang, D. & MacMillan, T. (2013). The benefits of gardening for older adults: A systematic review of the literature. Activities, Adaptation & Aging 37, 1533-81. doi: 10.1080/01924788.2013.784942
Wood, C.J., Pretty, J. & Griffin, M. (2016). A case-control study of the health and well-being benefits of allotment gardening. Journal Public Health (Oxf) 38(3), e336-e344. doi: 10.1093/pubmed/fdv146.