April 15, 2020, most of the world was in “lock-down” so we could flatten the curve. We all complied, believing those in charge. We are now sixteen months into this new normal and much has come to light about how we can build our immune systems against the virus. One of these may surprise you.
Have you heard of that? This is a traditional practice for the Japanese. Dr. Roger Seheult, M.D. had a fascinating YouTube video (Link Here) on multiple studies done in Japan on the effects of Forest Bathing on Natural Killer cells. This study would indicate that lock-downs are probably the worst thing for our immune systems that we could do.
The concept of “forest bathing” (the ancient Japanese practice of simply “being in nature”). Shinrin-yoku (shinrin meaning “forest,” and yoku meaning “bath” in Japanese) refers to immersing yourself in the forest atmosphere and enjoying nature through your senses. Not to be confused with hiking or any sort of exercise, the key to shinrin-yoku is to connect with nature through your six senses.
As shown in multiple clinical trials, the naturally-occurring volatile organic compounds (VOCs) released can have a profound, measurable effect on enhancing immune function by increasing natural killer cell (NK cells) quantity and activity, among other health benefits. As white blood cells that support immune function, NK cells are a component of the first line of defense against cancer, inflammation, and virus infections.
These three clinical trials took twelve Japanese businessmen from Tokyo and either put them in a hotel in the forest, a hotel in the city, or a hotel in the city (they still worked) while using just essential oils, for three days. They all walked in the AM and the PM for 2 hours. They then did blood and urine samples over a period of three days. They were testing for natural killer cells, and in the last study, testing for adrenaline in the urine as well.
By far, the group that was in a hotel in the forest had much higher levels of natural killer cells than either of the other groups. Not only that, the results of those three days in the forest lasted for seven days! They still had higher levels even at thirty days. The group that was in the hotel in the city had barely any increase in natural killer cells. The group that used essential oils did have an increase in natural killer cells but a very little decrease in adrenaline (they were still working.)
The conclusion of the study indicated that the benefit for the forest group was due to something called “photoncides” emitted by the trees. In the hotel group in the city, they used extracts of pine trees in an essential oil diffuser to see the results. They did not get as good results as the forest group, but they did see a significant increase in natural killer cells.
Being outside in a forest is essentially like wearing an immune system inhaler around your neck! No wonder I love being in the forest, or even on a trail with trees, flowers, and bushes, it always makes me feel so good.
By 2050, 66% of the world’s population is projected to be urban, and the recent coronavirus outbreak has given us a glimpse of what the health concerns humanity needs to take into consideration as it continues to separate itself from nature.
If we go into another lock-down (hopefully not!) please do not stay inside for a week. You can safely walk out in nature and not be concerned about the transmission from another person to you (don’t wear a mask, defeats the whole purpose.) Almost every town and city has a park, go find yours and if you can, spend at least an hour outside. If the sun is out, expose your arms and legs for some additional immune boost, vitamin D!
Essential oils have been used since man has written recorded history. Ancient cultures knew the value of essential oils for many ailments. Maybe it’s time we take a personal interest in having these in our home and workplace.
Ideally, it would be great to get outside, on a trail, around some trees once a week. If that is not practical then consider using an essential oil diffuser.
Essential Oils and Cancer
Through a variety of mechanisms, according to a study published in the BioMed Research International journal, essential oils are very powerful for affecting the cell cycle called “apoptosis.” Apoptosis is when a cell naturally dies of old age, or the body senses it is defective and kills it. With cancer, this process does not happen and the damaged cell (cancerous) keeps growing.
Essential oils have also been shown to increase the detoxification pathways of enzymes such as SOD, catalase, and glutathione. All of these enzymes play a role in helping your liver to detoxify.
If you have cancer, have had cancer, or just want to prevent cancer, I highly recommend you get Dr. Eric Zielinski’s new book The Essential Oil Apothecary . It releases in September, I just ordered mine!
Mimic the Forest
If you want to diffuse essential oils that have the same photoncides, or another name they go by, Terpenes, here are some suggestions.
- Camphor Essential Oil
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Fir Balsam Essential Oil
- Fir Balsam Organic Essential Oil
- Fir Needle Siberian Essential Oil
- Frankincense Essential Oil
- Pine oil
This couldn’t be a better time to stock up on some essential oils and a diffuser. We are heading into the fall months, typically “flu” season (isn’t it interesting how we didn’t see the flu last year???), and with the continued concern about the COVID virus, now is the time to learn more about these amazing, ancient remedies.
I purchase my essential oils at Mountain Rose Herbs and look for organic ones. If you have an essential oil distributor that you trust, by all means, support their businesses.
Stay well my friend,
- YouTube Coronavirus Pandemic Update 56: What is “Forest Bathing” & Can It Boost Immunity Against Viruses?, Roger Sheult, M.D.
- The Truth About Cancer: Insiders Edition, Tree Medicine, How Essential Oils and Forest Bathing Boost Immune Function and Fight Cancer, Volume 7 Issue 7, July 2021
- VISITING A FOREST, BUT NOT A CITY, INCREASES HUMAN NATURAL KILLER ACTIVITY AND EXPRESSION OF ANTI-CANCER PROTEINS, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/039463200802100113