SEOUL, June 9 (Korea Bizwire) – A recent study showed that gardening activities such as transplanting herb plants and making grass dolls can help cancer patients fight depression.
Serotonin, also known as the ‘happy hormone’, is released in the brain when patients are involved in horticultural activities.
A horticultural therapy program developed by the Rural Development Administration (RDA) was administered at several cancer treatment centers in Gyeonggi Province once a week for eight weeks from August to December 2015. Blood samples collected from the cancer patients displayed an average 40 percent increase in serotonin levels after the conclusion of the program.
A survey conducted on these patients also showed that their levels of depression and stress were reduced by 45 percent and 34 percent, respectively, after the horticultural therapy.
Many studies in the past have shown that cancer patients who struggle with depression have a lower survival rate and are less likely to recover from the illness. In other words, the biggest battle against cancer is to overcome depression, with serotonin playing a crucial role.
“Mental stability is very important when fighting cancer, and horticultural therapy can be effective in helping the patients,” said an RDA official, confirming the effectiveness of the program.
By Nonnie Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)