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Nature Deficit Disorder: What is it and what can we do about it?

Written by Ruth Weaver

Humans are a part of nature. Unfortunately in modern life many of us are severed from it. This has consequences on our wellbeing, and this article explains how a disconnection from the natural world affects us.

Many of us, who live in urban or suburban areas will have experienced the yearning that comes with time spent too long away from nature. It is those moments spent outdoors, where we experience the simple, yet fundamental pleasures of listening to the wind in the trees, watching butterflies and birds going about their day or catching the scent of a fragrant bloom that brings us back to our true nature.

Many of us experience this yearning to some degree, a thirst that many who have had the privilege of growing up close to nature know how to quench. However it is clear that those living in more urban areas such as towns and cities, are often living lives that are lacking in even the most simple experiences in or with nature.

‘Nature Deficit Disorder’ or NDD is a term used where this under-exposure to nature is chronic and potentially causing one to become unwell. Nature Deficit Disorder refers to a state of being in which there is emotional and physical disharmony associated with prolonged lack of exposure to nature, this can be experienced by both adults and children.

The notions around health-promoting effects of contact and interactions with ‘nature’ have been around for some time, yet they have more recently been subjected to more attentive scientific exploration and in some views, as a matter that needs addressing in urgency. A number of studies have been carried out to determine the true effects it is having on human health and the findings are compelling.

NDD is a common anomaly of modern Western societal life, yet at this pivotal time in human history, the solutions to this epidemic have become a point of focus. In this article we will take a closer look at what is causing NDD, who is affected, the views of NDD among the scientific community and what can be done to curb this modern problem.

The Apothecary Forager, Ruthie Weaver is a Medical Herbalist living, teaching and practising in the beautiful county of Cornwall, her place of birth and upbringing. Ruth studied at the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, Glasgow and The University of Lincoln where she completed her Herbal Medicine BSc. (Hons). Since then (2012) Ruths Practice in West Cornwall continues to grow, working with clients with acute and chronic illness and of mind body and spirit.

The roots of Ruth's practice are in Traditional Western Herbal Medicine, maintaining both a deeply holistic, intuitive and energetic approach to treatment. Ruth has sought diversity in her inspirations having worked with and learnt from many leading herbalists from around the UK. Ruth has also spent a number of years working with a collective of Herbalist first aiders at events around the UK providing orthodox and herbal first aid.

In the work of writing on medicinal plants, through monographs and articles, Ruth works to a balanced view of traditional, scientific, energetic and practical insights

Sharing the herbal wisdom is where Ruth's passion lies, she believes everyone should be empowered with the knowledge and skills to treat simple conditions at home with the powerful medicines growing so abundantly around us. Ruth also offers walks, talks, workshops and courses both in Cornwall and beyond.

Ruth Weaver

The Apothecary Forager, Ruthie Weaver is a Medical Herbalist living, teaching and practising in the beautiful county of Cornwall, her place of birth and upbringing. Ruth studied at the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, Glasgow and The University of Lincoln where she completed her Herbal Medicine BSc. (Hons). Since then (2012) Ruths Practice in West Cornwall continues to grow, working with clients with acute and chronic illness and of mind body and spirit.

The roots of Ruth's practice are in Traditional Western Herbal Medicine, maintaining both a deeply holistic, intuitive and energetic approach to treatment. Ruth has sought diversity in her inspirations having worked with and learnt from many leading herbalists from around the UK. Ruth has also spent a number of years working with a collective of Herbalist first aiders at events around the UK providing orthodox and herbal first aid.

In the work of writing on medicinal plants, through monographs and articles, Ruth works to a balanced view of traditional, scientific, energetic and practical insights

Sharing the herbal wisdom is where Ruth's passion lies, she believes everyone should be empowered with the knowledge and skills to treat simple conditions at home with the powerful medicines growing so abundantly around us. Ruth also offers walks, talks, workshops and courses both in Cornwall and beyond.

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