Stressed? Doctors are Prescribing Time Outdoors, and this Supplement Can Bring the Outside In
There’s something about a little time outdoors when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed. A few lungfuls of fresh, clean air, and everything just feels better. Now, science is backing up what so many of us already know intuitively — nature works wonders on the mind, body, and soul. And doctors everywhere are taking note.
The power of nature.
At his office in Washington, D.C., Dr. Robert Zarr, a pediatrician, writes prescriptions for parks. In the United Kingdom, a COVID-19 recovery strategy is “green prescribing,” or prescriptions directing people to spend time in nature. In Japan, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has been formally encouraging visits to forests as a method of relieving stress and improving health for decades.
This idea of medicalizing nature is based on research that shows a laundry list of benefits from exposure to forests and trees — everything from lowered blood pressure and boosted immune systems to more energy, less stress, and improved mood. That’s the case in true rural forests and in urban green spaces alike. And get this — we reap the same benefits whether we’re exercising in nature or just out there admiring the trees.
Meet the phytoncide.
So how does it work? What’s the secret? Much of the credit goes to tiny airborne chemicals called phytoncides. Plants and trees emit these compounds, which make up that telltale aroma of the forest. But they don’t just smell amazing. Phytoncides have antibacterial and antifungal properties — they help plants and trees fight disease. When we breathe them in, they trigger a specific white blood cell known as the natural killer cell, which boosts immune system activity. That’s reason enough to spend some time in nature, but there’s more. Exposure to phytoncides has also been shown to significantly improve1 mental and physical relaxation by reducing stress hormones, blood pressure, and pulse rate.
Sounds pretty great, right? But what if your access to a forest or even an urban green space is limited? Well, in that case, science comes to rescue in the form of a sensory supplement called FOREST LUNGS from The Nue Co. This functional fragrance is directly inspired by the concept of medicalizing nature and blends olfactory chemistry and patented technology to replicate nature’s own phytoncides.
Scent = Feeling.
It’s no secret that scent can influence mood. Actually, the olfactory system is one of the fastest ways to impact a cognitive state. That’s because scent has a direct line to three critical parts of the brain — areas associated with awareness, memory, and emotions and moods. And FOREST LUNGS, a unisex, anti-stress fragrance, is proving to be a handy shortcut if time is tight and you can’t squeeze in a trip to the woods on the way to work.
In consumer trials, the sensory supplement was found to reduce everyday stress and anxiety within just 30 minutes of use, and stress levels continued to drop over a 30-day period. Plus, since FOREST LUNGS was created by world-renowned perfumer Guillaume Flavigny with ingredients that are sustainably sourced in collaboration with local initiatives all over the world, it’s so much more than an innovative stress buster. Scent notes include, fittingly, wood, smoke, clean resin, and tart citrus.
If anything ups the ante on stress and anxiety, it’s the reality of life during a global pandemic. But as science continues to underscore the value of medicalizing nature, the antidote is surprisingly simple. If you can’t find the time or a socially distant way to get outside, cue the back-up plan. FOREST LUNGS is a simple, fragrant way to bring the outdoors in. And these days, that’s never been more important.
You can shop 30% off at The Nue Co. using code: MBG30
Jessica Timmons has been working as a freelance writer since 2007 and has covered everything from parenting and pregnancy to residential and industrial real estate, cannabis, stand-up paddling, fitness, martial arts, landscaping, home decor, and more. Her work has appeared in Healthline, Pregnancy & Newborn, Modern Parents Messy Kids, and Coffee Crumbs. When she’s not stuck to her laptop, Jessica loves hanging out with her husband and four active kids, drinking really great lattes, and lifting weights. See what she’s up to at her website.