When you go into the forest, you recharge your batteries, because trees are life, they are natural medicine in its purest form. The many different sensory impressions to which we are exposed in the forest have a calming effect on our nervous system; the chirping of birds, the sight of green leaves, possibly the babbling of a stream, the soft forest floor underfoot and, above all, the smell of conifers. Terpenes are contained in their needles, but also in the bark of conifers and deciduous trees as well as in the leaves. These are scents that the trees secrete to communicate with each other. By means of terpenes, trees can warn each other of pests or “call up” useful insects. However, these fragrances are not only beneficial for the trees, but they also stimulate our immune system. People who move among trees have a significantly increased number of defence cells in their blood, and this health-promoting effect can even last for several days!
The term “forest medicine” has its roots in Japan. Forest medicine is a recognised branch of research at universities there. In Japanese, they say “Shinrin-yoku”, meaning the healing power of trees as a health-promoting measure. In fact, forest air contains around 90 percent less dust particles than city air. This is another reason why we can breathe easy in the green!
But not only a walk in the forest is pure relaxation. We can take a break from everyday life and relieve stress under all trees. Even at home, it is possible to make use of the healing effects of trees, for example through room scents that create a purified atmosphere and can even dispel germs in the air. The extracts from the needle-shaped leaves and twigs are even contained in many bath essences. They make “forest bathing” possible in the literal sense and show their effect in a warm, soothing way in the water.
On Arbor Day on 30 April, we want to honour all the trees on our wonderful earth and express our gratitude to them. As scientists have discovered, the entire nature is quite capable of perceiving our feelings, both positive and not so positive ones! When we walk among blossoming trees, forests and meadows, an exchange takes place between us and the trees that can do both us and nature a lot of good! The trees are definitely very receptive to our gratitude on “their” holiday. – So what are you waiting for? Off to the forest, because there is no substitute for “bathing” in the green cathedral of nature!