Marianas Variety

Last updateSat, 20 Oct 2018 12am

Headlines:

     

     

     

     

     

    Sunday, October 21, 2018-6:24:28P.M.

     

     

     

     

     

Font Size

Settings

The importance of nature to one’s health

PEOPLE who live in the islands of Micronesia have the opportunity to be close to nature daily and to be involved in physical activities and socializing.

The islands also have many medicinal plants.

Christopher Kitalong

Dr. Christopher Kitalong, in his dissertation submitted to the Graduate Center, City University of New York, discussed such plants in Palau. His goal is  the “development of natural Palauan therapeutics, through validation of ethnomedically significant plants.”

Kitalong has validated his research through documenting several Palauan plant ethnomedical data, mapping the distribution of Palauan plants on the Rock Islands, and analyzing ethnopharmacological and phytochemical properties of a Palauan panacea, Phalerianisidai.

Based on its research, the University of East Anglia in England stated that exposure to natural green space reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure.

It said that evidence suggests that those who are exposed to natural green space,  and those who spend time in nature are healthier.

Moreover, people who  live close to nature are found to have reduced diastolic blood pressure, heart rate and stress, and reduced levels of salivary cortisol which is a physiological marker of stress.

 University of East Anglia Professor Andy Jones said exposure to health-promoting environments is increasingly recognized to prevent and help treat certain diseases.

He said these findings should prompt doctors and other healthcare professionals to recommend that patients spend more time in green space and natural areas.

He said policymakers and town planners should invest in the creation, regeneration and maintenance of parks and green spaces, particularly in urban residential areas and deprived communities.