For thousands of years, plants, trees, and fungi served as medicine for humans. In a modern world of advanced medical science, we often forget that many common drugs are derived from plants: aspirin from willow bark, morphine from poppies, digoxin from foxglove, and pseudoephedrine from the ephedra plant. This week, Caitlin Keddie takes us on a walk through the pharmacy of the forest, and identifies a variety of plants with beneficial uses.
When taking a relaxing walk in the great outdoors, we often allow nature to clear our minds and bring our attention to the present moment. The practice of forest bathing emphasizes the use of our senses to interact with our surroundings. But how does the history of the land we walk on affect our experience in it? In this week's article, Linda Karlen proposes important questions about the intersection of past and present in nature therapy.
Exercising in the great outdoors can be exhilarating and rewarding. The fresh air, beautiful scenery, and wildlife serve as a magnificent backdrop for maintaining our physical well-being. But what happens to our experience in the outdoors when our routine changes? This week, Lucien Meadows recounts the tale of a personal journey through recovery from an injury, and how it allowed him to discover a new world in a place he once thought familiar.
We invite you to join us for Forest Bathing Day, when Forest Therapy Guides worldwide lead a connected walk experience for all people. This day emphasizes connection with the Earth and other nature enthusiasts, no matter the distance between us.
Flowing water, emerald hillsides, and mossy forests can give us a sense of relaxation, even if viewed in a picture. This week, photography student Cara MacNally shares her work with us, which focuses on the calming effect of nature through the lens of a camera.
This week's poetry showcase depicts the transformative experience of spending time alone in nature. Hannah Smith describes through poetry how a solo camping excursion helped her see the world, and herself, through new eyes.
The thought of death can be worrisome and uncomfortable to us. But this week, Rebecca Lexa discusses death as merely a new beginning - both as a transition of matter and chemicals, and as a beautiful process of nature that perpetuates life.
What role do animals play on our journey to developing meaningful connections with nature? This week, F. R. Gagliano depicts her encounter with a deer in the woods, and how the experience brought her closure and hope.
Sometimes as we get older we lose touch with our inner child. But playing isn't just for kids. Becky Howie's article shows how unstructured play is beneficial for adults in a myriad of ways - and how nature amplifies those benefits.
This week, Clare Kelley explores darkness as a positive and restorative facet of the natural world, and shows us ways that we can learn and heal from it.
Blog pieces are written by ANFT writers, guest contributors, and introduced by the Blog Editor. Questions can be sent to