Pine essential oil, cedar wood, fir needle, spruce, and juniper essential oils have unique super powers for healing that are just being discovered by scientists. But you don’t have to wait until all the research is in before you start using this natural fragrance in your own home for your family’s well being.
My favorite part of this time of year isn’t the presents. It isn’t the Christmas music, although I love that, too. It isn’t the cookies, the cheese cake, the turkey with stuffing, or even the gathering of family and friends around a common table. Even though that is extra special when you have grand children.
But my favorite part of the holidays is the wafting scent of pine essential oil and fir needle fragrance that fill my home. I love walking into the house after being outside and getting tickled by the fresh evergreen scents mingled with oranges and peppermint that trigger all those other happiness moments of Christmas past. And as I was doing research for this month’s DIY Herbal Fellowship Masterclass, over on my Member’s site, I found out something amazing about the tantalizing scents of pine esssential oil, cedarwood, juniper, spruce and fir. They are actually healing.
As I was doing the research I discovered dozens of scientific papers written in the last 2 to 8 years by scientists in Japan. These papers looked at the benefits of being outside in a pine forest environment for 2 hours once a week or even once a month. The effect of that single visit to a forest lasted seven days to an entire month. How amazing is that!
Shinrin-yoku or Forest Bathing
These scientists found that Shinrin-yoku or Forest bathing lowered blood pressure, reduced blood glucose levels, reduced stress hormones in the blood, increased feelings of relaxation and well being, lifted the mood, supported digestion, improved sleep, increased natural killer T cells, reduced cancer mortality, caused apoptosis of cancer cells, and improved immune function without triggering pre-existing autoimmune disease. And it did this without exercise, just by breathing in the pine essential oil that is naturally occurring in the forest environment. Doesn’t that make you go, “Wow!”?
It did me. And even more, scientists found that people who lived close to forest environments, even if they got cancer, had lower death rates than those who didn’t.
Plus scientists found they were able to get the same effects just diffusing pine essential oil, as well as other evergreen essential oils into a room. These are the same essential oils that are commonly used in natural cleaning products. The ones tested by scientists were found to be effective against MRSA and other antibiotic resistant bacteria — pine essential oil, spruce bud, fir needle, citrus and clove essential oils.
Doctors in Scotland have started prescribing”Walks in the Forest” to patients. It’s that effective.
How can you get this natural evergreen super power working on your side?
If you have a natural Christmas tree, evergreen wreath, or fir garland in your home that is wafting noticeable forest scents through your house right now, you’re golden. That’s all you need to get this beneficial effect. Replenish the greenery as you notice the scent fading or the needles dropping. Before essential oils people tossed evergreen needles on the floor of their homes to give off scent when they were trodden on. These were called strewing herbs. I’m not suggesting that you toss needles on the floor, though. Just having the greenery in your home works.
If you live in a pine forest like I do, sleep with your window open. Besides those beneficial forest scents rich in A-pinene, B-pinene, D-limonene, and eugenol, you’re also breathing in negative ions that will improve your health and well being. The synergy between negative ions from falling snow or wind through the pine trees, plus the evergreen scent is powerful medicine.
If you don’t live close to a forest, pine essential oil or any blend of evergreen essential oils diffused for 5 hours each day at low concentrations can have similar benefits to Shinrin-yoku.
One caution though. Lab created pine scents like you’d find in commercial cleaning products won’t have the same healing prowess. In fact these lab fragrance oils can actually cause harm. So skip the toxic pine scented air freshener and the chemical pine cleaning sprays and bathroom sprays. To get these super charged forest benefits you need the real thing, with its natural volatile oils, just as God created them.
This is really the best time of year to find these essential oils in diffuser blends. They are sold as Holiday blends or Christmas blends, but even if you don’t celebrate Christmas you can still enjoy these essential oil blends and gain their benefits. However, I only see these sold at this time of year. If you want them all year you might have to make your own blends. I’ve included the blend ingredients so you can make them up yourself. You might even already have these essential oils on hand.
If you are new to essential oils here’s some basic info:
What I’m diffusing today:
Plant Therapy ‘s Frosted mint Kidsafe synergy (Fir needle, spearmint, cardamom, cedarwood, and Tea Tree.)
Plant Therapy ‘s Candy Cane (Peppermint, Spearmint, Peru balsam)
Rocky Mountain Oils’ Evergreen Dream (Fir needle, Frankincense, Pine)
How to use an essential oil diffuser
Fill the tank of the diffuser with water up to the fill line — usually less than 1 cup of water. Add 4 to 8 drops of the essential oil blend of your choice. Place the chimney or top piece. Turn on the diffuser. Diffusers have an automatic shut off so they will stop when they get empty. You can safely diffuse all day or during the night without worrying that your diffuser will burn out.
Do be mindful of pets and small children when you diffuse essential oils though. Some essential oils should be used with caution around very young children or pets. Pets are usually fine provided they can leave the room freely. They will self – censor. Use only kid safe blends around very young children.
If you don’t have an automatic essential oils diffuser you can quickly and easily make a reed diffuser using items you have on hand.
While you are breathing deeply of the pine essential oil fragrance and evergreen forest scent feel your stress leave and smile. Your body is enjoying this.
Learn more about how to use essential oils safely here.
Enjoy the scents of the season!