Molecules We Breathe: Volatile Phytocompounds for Forest Medicine
Forests are a fundamental source of a cornucopia of compounds with unquestioned benefits provided to human health. A considerable number of pharmaceutical compounds are isolated by plants or are nature-inspired. However, in this topic we would like to focus on particular plant-produced compounds that, being volatile, we continuously inhale every time we visit a forest, a green area, or even an urban park, especially in particular periods of the year. Biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted by plants are well known and characterized under analytical and structural perspectives; however, the messages trees send the other organisms, and especially human communities, through plant-emitted VOCs and phytoncides is a theme that needs urgent development, as it deserves wider exploration. The volatile phytomolecules can have protective effects on human health and also contribute to the beneficial outcomes of spending time in forests, which is a well-known practice in Japan and other countries, mainly in Asia, under the name of forest bathing (Shinrin Yoku) or forest therapy. We invite scholars who work on topics related to plant volatile compounds, phytochemistry, forest protection, environmental and human health to contribute to this Topic so that their work could lead, in a holistic way, to an advancement in forest-based strategies with potential effects on environmental and human wellness. Both research and review articles concerning analytical studies, biomolecular interaction assessments, computational investigations, etc., on volatile phytomolecules are very welcome. We hope that this work can inspire new therapeutic strategies sustaining the importance of innovative concepts, such as plant-based inhalable drugs (for example phyto-nasal sprays), or reinforce the awareness that forest bathing is not a simple walk in the woods, but a precise and scientific medical practice that doctors should prescribe more often even in Western countries and the rest of the world. In this respect, environmentalists, botanists and forest specialists are welcome to propose their ideas and present novel urban green plans or methodologies to make forest medicine more feasible in a world that becomes less green every day, and where worrying scenarios of zoonoses seem to be the revenge of nature against a disrespectful humanity.
Dr. Giovanni N. Roviello
Dr. Francesco Meneguzzo
- forest therapy
- forest bathing
- biogenic volatile organic compounds
- gas chromatography
- computational science
- human health
- plant biology
- urban parks
|First Decision (median)
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
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