It is happening. Finally, nature is formally being prescribed as a treatment for mental health. British Colombia has started giving Nature Parks passes to patients during their medical reviews with doctors since February 2022.

This is a new collaboration between a nature prescription program called PaRx and Parks Canada. How cool is that? (Don’t you feel like migrating to Canada one day?)

Alberta, Canada (Pic by Jaywwild)

Practically majority of us do spend some time out in the sun daily.

A good question is how much time should one be out in the outdoor green zone?

What is the minimum duration of the Nature dose that would work?

Recent research has investigated what the idea of a weekly ‘dose’ of time in nature could be.

120 mins or two hours of weekly exposure to nature has been found to be a dosage that significantly boosts health and wellbeing (White et al., 2019). The two hours can also be broken down into shorter duration of 20 mins to 30 mins over a few times a week.

The Stress Reduction Theory (SRT) (Ulrich et al. 1991) explain our need to experience the natural elements. When we observe natural scenery, such as forests, rivers, beaches, we experience pleasant emotions that have a restorative effect.

Studies of Japanese Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) also confirmed the calming effects of being in nature,  benefiting us both physically and mentally (Rajoo et al 2020).

Prolong exposure to stressful work and living conditions, chronic medical illnesses and grief etc. dysregulate our nervous system and weaken our immune system.

The healing powers of forests is partly due to PHYTONCIDES, a substance emitted by plants (Song et al. 2016). Even indoor exposure to phytoncides can improve health and immune function.

Basically, Phytoncides reduces T cells and adrenaline (stress hormone) !

When we think about nature, we might think about forests, wilderness spaces and national parks in the great outdoors. But nature can be found all around us in the cities and towns we live in.

The good news is you don’t always have to climb a Himalayan Mountain to feel the benefit – there are simple ways and options to bring nature into your everyday or weekly routine.

Snake Plant is known to give out Oxygen and improve bedroom air flow (Pic by Nasser)

Keeping plants in your home and gardens are therapeutic since you are caring and growing these plants, which generate more oxygen indoors. Phytoncide is found in authentic woody essential oil as well. This can be administered via a vaporizer or ceramic burner. Walking your pet dog, visiting local parks around your neighbourhood, offering to volunteer in a garden project could all be useful.

A Vaporizer to Induce Phytoncide in Wood Essential Oil. (Photo by Urirenataadrienn)


  • Mathew P. White, Ian Alcock, James Grellier, Benedict W. Wheeler, Terry Hartig, Sara L. Warber, Angie Bone, Michael H. Depledge, Lora E. Fleming. Spending at least 120 minutes a week in nature is associated with good health and wellbeingScientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-44097-3
  • Ulrich, Roger & Simons, Robert & Losito, Barbara & Fiorito, Evelyn & Miles, Mark & Zelson, Michael. (1991). Stress Recovery During Exposure to Natural and Urban Environments. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 11: 201-230. Journal of Environmental Psychology. 11. 201-230. 10.1016/S0272-4944(05)80184-7.
  • Rajoo, Keeren & S.K., Daljit & Abdullah, Mohd Zaki. (2020). The Physiological and Psychosocial Effects of Forest Therapy: A Systematic Review. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening. 54. 126744. 10.1016/j.ufug.2020.126744.
  • Song C, Ikei H, Miyazaki Y. Physiological Effects of Nature Therapy: A Review of the Research in Japan. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2016 Aug 3;13(8):781. doi: 10.3390/ijerph13080781. PMID: 27527193; PMCID: PMC4997467.