Asthma and allergic diseases like atopic dermatitis – chronically itchy skin – are increasing in children who live in cities. Recently, a research paper (2015) provided evidence to support what forest therapy guides know – that the forest environment has beneficial health effects for participants with chronic diseases.
To find out about the favourable clinical and immunologic effects of forest, the study examined changes in the children’s symptoms before and after a short-term forest trip. The forest trips involved 21 children with asthma and 27 children with atopic dermatitis. All the children in the study were living in air-polluted, urban, inner-city areas. By measuring the children’s symptoms both before and after the trips, the study found out that short-term exposure to forest environment does appear to have beneficial clinical and immunological effects for these children with allergic diseases living in the urban community.
So this weekend, plan a family outing to a woodland or forest near you. The walk will literally do you good. And bring home a few beautiful small branches of pine trees to use as home fragrance, instead of commercial ‘home fragrance’ that is well-proven as an asthma and allergy trigger!
Read the full study to see which markers the study measured and the significance of the health improvements.