Benefits of Outdoors
By Jamie Busby
All articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.
Did you know the color green, such as the color of trees in nature, makes exercise feel easier?! There are many benefits to experiencing nature. Outdoors helps boost brain function, it helps with Vitamin D absorption through sun exposure, and it increases a since of well-being. Our psyche knows plants are life giving, and feels happy in nature. There are certain rhythms, only found in nature, that support the healthy rhythms in the body, such as brain wave activity. One study reports “getting outside on a daily basis may help older people stay healthy and functioning longer” (Wise, 2014). The outdoors is anti-aging? Sign me up! But what about those pesky bugs? Should you be concerned?
Dangers of bug bites
Bug bites are a part of the outdoor experience. A main culprit of annoying bug bites is from mosquitos. Mosquitos are notorious for carrying pathogenic diseases. One often thought of disease, tied to mosquitos, is Malaria. According to the CDC, malaria is not a threat in the US. Don’t get too comfortable though, West Nile Virus (WNV) is a threat in the US. The CDC reports, due to the extensive distribution of WNV, it is now the most frequent cause of arboviral disease in the country. Ticks are the next well known villain, especially those carrying Lyme Disease. Did you know there are at least 13 other pathogenic (disease causing) viruses spread by ticks? We just learned the great outdoors is beneficial to health and wellness. Let’s find a way to coexists with these pests.
Danger heightened for kids
Remember that kid’s immune systems are still developing, and are daily exposed to new germs, and any other exposure that involves the immune system. It is vital to keep our little ones safe from bug bites! So let’s all play together nice!
Essential oils offer a chemical free solution to a harmonious relationship between humans, bugs, and the great outdoors. A common bug spray is known as DEET, and poses a threat to health in the following way:
“A 2009 study found that DEET can interfere with the activity of enzymes that are vital for the nervous system to function properly. In the study, the researchers found that DEET blocked the enzyme cholinesterase, which is essential for transmitting messages from the brain to the muscles in insects. The researchers noted that DEET may also affect the nervous systems of mammals, and that more research in this area is needed” (Melina, 2010).
This study further instructs the user that DEET does not pose too much of a threat, and to remember that Lyme Disease and West Nile Virus are worse than the side effects of DEET.
There is a blend of essential oils which provides protection from a wide array of bugs. Simply apply a small amount to the body, and the oils enter the blood stream and protect the entire body for a few hours.
What are these magical oils? Here is a list:
citronella (disambiguation), cedarwood (juniperus virginiana), eucalyptus (eucalyptus radiata), citronella (cymbopogon nardus), lemongrass (cymbopogon flexuosus), skimmia laureola oil, catnip (nepta cataria), amyrus bark oil (amyris balsamifera), african sandalwood (rachyleana hutchinsii), cabreuva balsam (myrocarpus fastigiatus), wild orange peel (citrus sinensis), white fir (abies alba) needles, hawaiian sandalwood (santalum paniculatum), genet (spartium junceum), rose flower (rosa damascena)
So, go have some fun playing outside, soak up some sun, and defy aging (hopefully)!
Melina, R. (2010, July 4). Is Bug Spray Dangerous? Retrieved May 18, 2017, from http://www.livescience.com/6687-bug-spray-dangerous.html
Wise, A. (2014, June 22). Here’s Proof Going Outside Makes You Healthier. Retrieved May 18, 2017, from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/22/how-the-outdoors-make-you_n_5508964.html
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Articles written by students are the opinions, research and voice of the student and not Heart of Herbs Herbal School. We encourage our students to explore and grow in their profession.
Disclaimer: For educational use only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. Students articles reflect the views of the student and not necessarily Heart of Herbs Herbal School. Educational programs are available at www.heartofherbs.com and you can find all of Demetria Clark’s books at Amazon.
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