Asthma and atopic dermatitis are common allergic diseases, and their prevalence has increased in urban children. Recently, it is becoming understood that forest environment has favourable health effects in patients with chronic diseases and this abstract, from a paper published in 2015, set out to measure the effects on children.
To investigate favorable clinical and immunologic effects of forest, the study examined changes in clinical symptoms, indirect airway inflammatory marker, and serum chemokines before and after a short-term forest trip. The forest trips were performed with 21 children with asthma and 27 children with atopic dermatitis. All participating children were living in air polluted urban inner-city. Airborne mold and PM10 levels in indoor were significantly lower in the forest accommodations than those of children’s homes; however, TVOC levels were not different between the two measured sites.
Read the full study to see which markers the study measured and the significance of the health improvements.
The study concluded that short-term exposure to forest environment seems to have beneficial clinical and immunological effects in 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!