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The Power of Nature: Healing Properties of Pine

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By Rachel Derry
Staff Writer LIFamilies

One of the first signs of the holiday season is the influx of special “holiday scents” into the usual candle and scent infusers that consumers use in their homes. One of the most popular scents, year round, is the scent of fresh pine. It reminds people of the holidays and the special times that they've spent with their families; it reminds them of fresh cut Christmas trees and gathering around the fireplace waiting for Santa to come. Everyone assumes that the happy emotions and relaxing effects of the scent of pine are associated with these happy memories; no one even gives the credit to the “pine,” itself. In reality, the memories may be happy due to the pine and not vice versa.

Think of the smell of pine; it’s hard to inhale the scent and not think of the holidays, to not smile and reminisce. Although you may just associate this feeling with memories of past, in reality natural pine essence has the property to act as a natural stress-reliever and anti-depressant. Traditional aromatherapy recommends the scent of essential pine oil for soothing upset emotions and tension. In the Japanese culture they even have a therapeutic practice of shinrin-yoku, or “taking in the atmosphere of the forest,” which is simply walking through a pine forest, absorbing the air and element around you.

Pine oil also has soothing properties for sore muscles as well. There are many bath salts and body rubs with abrasive scents of menthol and eucalyptus. Too soothe your aching muscles, without the overpowering smell, add a couple tablespoons of pine oil to your hot bath water. Make your own muscle rub by combining a ½ tsp of pine oil to 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. In both instances, just make sure to use pine oil and NOT scott pine oil, as scott pine main irritate your skin.

As a gentle alternative for nasal or chest congestion (like with the muscle rub): pine also has the ability to help clear block passageways. When you’re using steam to help clear out congestion, add a couple drops of pine oil to your hot water source. Fill up a large bowl of hot water, add 3 drops of pine oil, and then inhale the vapors, leaving a towel over your head to confine the steam. If you’d prefer steaming in your open bathroom, consider bringing in an oil warmer to have warming while the shower steam up the room. (Oil warmers act AS steamers; evaporating the water in their trays, carrying the scent of the essential oil in the vapor.)

Long Island Green Living Articles > The Power of Nature: Healing Properties of Pine

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