Scientists look at the therapeutic effects of Shinrin-yoku on blood pressure

Japanese scientists have conducted a systematic review of multiple studies that covered the preventive and therapeutic effects of Shinrin-yoku on blood pressure. They reported that the act of forest bathing has significant anti-hypertensive properties, being able to lower the blood pressure of practitioners by a large margin.

Researchers from Gunma University led this review, the results of which came out in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

  • “Shinrin-yoku” literally translates to “experiencing the forest atmosphere” in English. The age-old practice of bathing in a forest environment has drawn the interest of preventive medicine due to its reputed positive effects on blood pressure.
  • Several studies on the practice have surmised that the atmosphere of a forest possesses anti-hypertensive properties. There is no existing research on the potential health and medical applications of Shinrin-yoku when it comes to blood pressure.
  • To this end, researchers canvassed the medical literature in four electronic databases that dated before May 2016. The search was restricted to the English and Japanese languages; it included all materials that studied the effects of the forest environment on systolic blood pressure.
  • The researchers reviewed 20 trials with a total of 732 participants. They also performed a meta-analysis of the results. Systolic blood pressure for participants in forest environments is markedly lower than readings for participants in other environs. Diastolic blood pressure was also much lower for forest bathers.

Based on their review, the researchers conclude that forest environments possess anti-hypertensive properties for bathers, which is beneficial to patients with high blood pressure as well as middle-aged or older people. See more research at

The full text of the study can be read here.

Journal Reference:

Ideno Y, Hayashi K, Abe Y, Ueda K, Iso H, Noda M, Lee J-S, Suzuki S. BLOOD PRESSURE-LOWERING EFFECT OF SHINRIN-YOKU (FOREST BATHING): A SYSTEMATIC REVIEW AND META-ANALYSIS. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2017;17(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12906-017-1912-z.




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