What is the Evidence for Nature as Medicine?
Everyone knows fresh air is good for you. But did you know that exercising outside or in view of outside is more effective than exercising inside? Or that dementia gardens can improve memory? Or that PTSD and ADHD can improve with nature guidance?
How does nature work? Behavioral activation? Cortisol, vitamin D and serotonin level change? Phytoncide inhalation? Immune system desensitization?
The science of specific environments (blue or green, garden or meadow, VR or forest) is just being revealed. But studying and then prescribing specific nature therapies is reasonable, smart and innovative. Below are some places, videos and organizations with which to learn more.
How are Culinary Medicine and Nature Therapy Connected?
With food! Where it comes from, how it is raised, and how it acquires and provides nutrition, energy and protection. Click the Superfood/Superdoctor video below for more.
Top Nature Therapy Books
Claire Cooper Marcus, Naomi Sachs
- Therapeutic Landscapes: An Evidence-Based Approach to Designing Healing Gardens and Restorative Outdoor Spaces 1st Edition
- Vitamin N: The Essential Guide to a Nature-Rich Life,
- The Nature Principle: Reconnecting with Life in a Virtual Age
- Vegetable Literacy: Cooking and Gardening with Twelve Families from the Edible Plant Kingdom, with over 300 Deliciously Simple Recipes
- Blue Mind: The Surprising Science That Shows How Being Near, In, On, or Under Water Can Make You Happier, Healthier, More Connected, and Better at What You Do
- Go Wild: Eat Fat, Run Free, Be Social, and Follow Evolution’s Other Rules for Total Health and Well-being
Eva Selhub, Alan Logan
Daniel Winterbottom, Amy Wagenfield
Key Nature Therapy SubSpecialties
Animal Assisted Therapy
- Animal Assisted Therapy: is it undervalued as an alternative treatment (Medical News Today)
- Animal-Assisted Therapy Linked to Psychological Benefits (Psychiatry Advisor)
- The Blue Mind Rx Wild Waters Can Be Lifelong Medicine for All People (Google Docs)
- It’s time to move to the beach…for your mental health (Washington Post)
- CareFarming UK (Care Farming UK)
- Current Status and Potential for Care Farms (NJAS – Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences)
- What is Culinary Medicine (TEDMED)
- What is Culinary Medicine and What Does It Do? (Population Health Management)
- The Nature Cure: Why Some Docs are Writing Prescriptions for the Outdoors (The Atlantic)
- Benefits Of Ecotherapy: Being In Nature Fights Depression, Improves Mental Health And Well-Being (Medical Daily)
- How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain (NY Times)
- Rx: Exercise Daily in Nature: Doctor’s Orders (Medscape)
Forest Walking/ Shinrin-Yoku
- This is Your Brain on Nature: The Power of Parks (National Geographic)
- The Japanese practice of ‘forest bathing’ is scientifically proven to improve your health (Quartz)
Nature Deficit Disorder
- Children and Nature: Academic Reference Library (Children and Nature Network)
- Connecting With Nature Boosts Creativity and Health (National Geographic)
- NDD: Resources for Treatment (Last Child in the Woods)
Nature Therapy Related Organizations
Nature Therapy: A Video Primer for Clinicians
The Natural Power of Certified Organic Produce
as seen on Simply Living TV with Ashley Koff RD