Nature Deficit Disorder is a very real thing. For those of us who have spent a lifetime working in and enjoying the Great Out Doors, this is guaranteed fact. I live in a big city and I love walking. I try to walk whenever I can rather than driving there. Mapping out my walks with the help of a map app shows I clock between 10-12 miles per week. Although my routes are not what anyone would consider nature walks, exercising in fresh air and sunshine is good medicine. I have no idea what biochemical effects I receive from working in my garden 6 hours a day – but I know it’s good.
This post quotes the good Dr. Mercola with a link to solutions from Japan.
“Americans spend 80 to 99 percent of their lives indoors — a trend that has led to “nature deficit disorder,” a term used to describe a lifestyle deficit that contributes to poor psychological and physical health”
“Ecotherapy employs methods that cultivate the health benefits of being in nature. Research shows nature therapy lowers anxiety and depression, improves self-esteem, reduces blood pressure and more”
“Spending time outdoors can significantly lift your mood, and outdoors activities such as gardening and nature hikes have been found to be good therapy”
A bitter scale? If there is such a thing. Taste, well… IS a matter of taste isn’t it? I eat hot peppers like candy but others avoid even the mildest peppers for their entire lifetime. What I really avoid is sour. The important thing that no one really says is that there is not, nor can there be any truly accurate way, to scale taste.
We can only strive to make general indicators for wide groups of people. Connoisseurs of beer, wine, coffee and chocolate have their own scales but are limited to the ingredients or preparations of those products. Genetic research will no doubt figure out the specifics as they have done already with the Cilantro gene. Then we’ll know why people have different reactions to the same stimulus.
So here goes my simple list of plants you could easily access, perhaps in your own garden, from the mildest bitter down to strongest:
Melissa (Lemon Balm)
Mugwort (Cronewort) – a VERY common “weed”
Lesser Periwinkle (Vinca minor) – a VERY common ground cover
Bacteria in the gut microbiome drive the formation of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCMs), clusters of dilated, thin-walled blood vessels in the brain that can cause stroke and seizures. The research team’s research suggests that altering the microbiome in CCM patients may be an effective therapy for this cerebrovascular disease.
So many great studies about the relationship between our co-evolved symbionts and dreaded diseases came out in May of 2017. I hope you looked at The People’s Pharmacy article for the wide range of effects of these simple critters which live in our gut. Including, most surprising to me – Depression!
It’s like a jungle in there. The thing is, I like to bring it back to herbs and nutrition because whether or when the scientists have caught up with what herbalists knew thousands of years ago or not, you can experiment on yourself for cheap. Eat right – feel better. Since June is Burdock month, I’ll point out that it contains inulin, a carbohydrate not found in many American’s diet but one uniquely suited to encourage and feed several types of healthy gut critters. Inulin is a diabetic’s friend, sort of an anti-sugar. Sugar does not promote or encourage healthy critters, it does the exact opposite.
So try doing Burdock for one month and see if your: