Plymouth Medical Society

Founded 1794
Dr Benjamin Mee gave a lecture to the PMS on Fri 20th March on “Biophilia Incarnate”.

The term was described some years ago, but is not commonly known. He described how people/patients with mild depression benefited from outdoor activities in a team, among living things, and described the experience he had of encouraging teams of volunteers working in the grounds of Dartmoor Zoological Park.

After giving his talk, he wished to provide some references and local contacts, in case members had patients they thought might benefit.

His list of references is below.

JMC 9/4/2015  
With apologies for lateness, some further reading on Biophilia: Comprehensive, but ripe for further studies. 

Benjamin Mee, The Independent 2000

This newspaper article summarises the pioneering work of Dr William Bird, who first began actually prescribing biophilia.

Sandifer et al Ecosystem Services 12 (2015) 1-15

This is a thorough literature review and discussion. The references within the more than 200 reviewed papers probably cover most of what has ever been written about biophilia, focusing on biodiversity.

The discussion concludes that despite papers like

Ulrich 1984 Science 224 (4647), 420-421 ,

Which shows that a view of nature speeds surgical recovery, the literature as a whole contained “.. tantalizing hints that exposure to biodiverse surroundings ..may impart direct health benefits.. but the number of studies that directly measure specific benefits is small.”

A good cortisol trial is :

Harumi Ikei et al Journal Physiological Anthropology 2014 33 (1) :6

Physiological and Psychological relaxing effects of viewing rose flowers in office workers:

“Thirty fresh and unscented pink roses (Rosa, cultivar name Dekjora) trimmed to as length of 40cm were used for viewing.” Arranged in a cylindrical glass vase 12cm in diameter by 20cm in height. The distance from the subjects eyes was 37 to 40 cm, adjusted to the height of the subjects.”

Nature, delivered like a pill, physiological responses measured. Worth looking at for the stark pixelated graphics of Figure 1 alone.

Prescribing Gardening: Making green care a natural part of the health service

Location: Phoenix High School, Shepherds Bush - Hammersmith

27/05/2015 11:00 am - 4:30 pm

A conference for healthcare professionals by Hammersmith Community Gardens Association and Growing Health, supported by The Federation of City Farms and Community Gardens.
Suggested donation £20

Grow for Good at Dartmoor Zoo stats:

55 GPs contacted
10 responses declining engagement with the project.
3 (now 4) GPs engaged

Contact Dave and Liz  at G4G SW through

Or Mike Capstack at Dartmoor Zoo volunteering: