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Ph.D. Student Creates “Healing Spot” at Kerala University for Students to Relieve Stress

A 4th-year Ph.D. student Reshma PR has created a relaxing space by incorporating plants on the first-floor balcony of Kerala University's Kariavattom campus.

Kritika Madhukar
According to Dr. Bindu, healing gardens are a popular notion in other nations, and when combined with medication, they help patients recover faster
According to Dr. Bindu, healing gardens are a popular notion in other nations, and when combined with medication, they help patients recover faster

On the first-floor balcony of Kerala University's Kariavattom campus, there is a particular green spot. Strong sunshine streams in, vibrant greenery sprouts from terracotta pots, a little waterfall bubbles in the backdrop, wind chimes tinkle in the breeze, and stones cover the floor. The Viridescent Haven, located near the library, is a peaceful spot for visitors to unwind and revitalize, complete with stools and seats for students to lay on.

It was created by Reshma PR, a fourth-year Ph.D. student whose research, 'Checking the Efficacy of Plants in Removing Common Indoor Pollutants,' focuses on indoor air purifying plants. She is particularly concerned about the indoor contaminant formaldehyde.

According to her research, certain indoor air purifying plants may reduce formaldehyde molecules present in paints, detergents, and other products. "And, between homes, offices, and transportation, humans spend the majority of their time indoors, she says. These plants absorb formaldehyde and boost oxygen levels in the air, cleaning it.

Reshma created this indoor garden with the help of Dr. Bindu R Nair, a botany professor whose research interests include biosystematics, a taxonomy based on the study of plant and animal genetic evolution; phytochemistry, a branch of chemistry concerned with plants and plant products; and molecular biology.

Sansevieria, spider lily, hemigraphis, drosera, and lucky bamboo are among the indoor air purifying plants found in the vertical garden. 

Based on NASA research Reshma said, they were chosen for their purifying properties. The facility also adheres to the university's "green policy," which means that the pots and other materials utilized are biodegradable and environmentally beneficial.

"Its primary component is that plants and other natural components have the ability to minimize indoor air pollution," Reshma explains. According to studies, the brain needs 20% of the body's oxygen to function. Cleaner air promotes mental clarity and increases attention and concentration.

Advantages of Healing Gardens

Reshma characterizes the university-funded 50-square-foot room as an indoor healing garden. According to Dr. Bindu, healing gardens are a popular notion in other nations, and when combined with medication, they help patients recover faster. 

They promote emotional and physical healing and are especially beneficial to people recovering from lengthy hospital stays. Healing gardens give an area for patients to enjoy and provide temporary alleviation from some of their symptoms, as well as an overall sense of well-being and hopefulness.

"Healing gardens are often established in other countries, particularly in hospitals." Healing gardens come in a variety of forms, including psychiatric hospital gardens and nursing home gardens. "So we thought, why not adopt the concept for a home garden to experience the therapeutic potential of plants?" Dr. Bindu explains.

According to their brochure, the Viridescent Haven is "a synthesis of nature's therapeutic ingredients." Every component of the room is intended to soothe and revitalize the mind, providing mental healing.

Mental healing decreases stress and anxiety, improves emotions, allows for clearer thoughts, boosts self-esteem, strengthens relationships, and lowers the chance of depression. It also enhances physical well-being, memory, energy levels, and the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which improves neurotransmissions.

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