Today we're going to learn a new word. But first, an unnecessarily long and probably too detailed backstory (stick with us, it’s worth it).

Do you remember a time when being chained to your desk, with spreadsheets on one screen and pictures of cabins in epic locations on the other, was sufficient? For a while, perhaps those pictures and day-dreaming of being in them was enough of a dose of nature to get us through the day...until it wasn't.

We needed to be IN and around nature, not just looking at it from a screen. We needed to smell the pines and eucalypts in the air, feel the brush of the wind on the back of our necks, hear the birds chattering, and bask in the open space and freedom all around us. Those warm fuzzy feelings we first got when we were looking at photos of cabins on a screen? Sure, they had physiological effects. But when we were out there, it felt So. Much. Stronger.

Don’t worry, we can hear you, "Where's that new word? That's really the only reason I read this whole thing!" 

It's this: Phytoncides.

This awesome sounding word (fy-ton-sides) is one of the reasons why you feel the way you feel out in nature. Phytoncides are natural compounds that are released as part of a tree’s natural defence system. When humans come into contact with these crazy little guys they have some pretty profound effects on us including lowering stress levels, enhancing the immune system, reducing blood pressure and improving mood.

Yep, there’s a name for that.

What's the moral of this story? It's that sure, looking at a picture of a forest is powerful and if that's all you have time for today, get that into your routine! But, if you really, truly want to access the benefits of nature, whether it's slowing down, lowering stress, or turning a bad week upside down, you just have to get out there. We promise you'll be grateful you did.


Ready to get some of that sweet phytoncide action? Climate Salad is collaborating with Unyoked to support founders and members with discounted access to Unyoked nature retreats and content to act as a friendly reminder to take a moment, connect with nature, and prioritise your wellbeing.

Apr 17, 2024

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