With the holidays in full swing it’s time you realize that just because something like a wreath or a batch of cider might look and taste good, there’s a chance it may not be good for you.
Consider this, many holidays spices happen to deliver potent antioxidant effects that can improve immune health and also fight cancer.
And your Christmas tree…well, it may be the key to clear skin, better sleep and much more.
Why Christmas Trees Are More Than Pretty Ornamental Decorations
While Christmas trees have long been valued for their appearance during the holidays, throughout the rest of the year various pine trees have offered up countless benefits to people.
Pine trees don’t just help provide shelter, other parts of the tree can be used to form several different kinds of elixirs that people have used to improve their health.
From the needle of the pine tree, we’re able to extract pine oil/sap, and from that oil, we’ve figured out how to create something known as a pine essential oil.
Pine essential oil has been used for hundreds, if not thousands of years, and has proven to be beneficial for a variety of purposes.
For instance, when pine essential oil is used as an aromatic in aromatherapy it has been shown to help improve mood and also boost a person’s general mental health. There have even been anecdotal reports that support the use of pine oil in aromatherapy as a possible deterrent to developing the common cold.
Many people use pine essential oil in diffusers and report that they sleep better at night because the natural scent promotes a sense of peace and calm that leads to better rest.
Another use for pine essential oil that may surprise you is as a hair conditioner and skin enhancer. There are several compounds in pine that are similar to menthol that encourage bacterial death and also help to lock in moisture. When diluted with either water or mixed with another carrier (like coconut oil), pine essential oil may help to cleanse the skin while also enhancing the smoothness and shine of hair.
In addition to that, there are also claims that pine essential oil helps to prevent scalp dryness which may stop dandruff in its tracks.
In addition to that, pine oil can also be used in massage applications not just to promote relaxation, but to enhance your body’s resistance to infection and illness.
Pine essential oil has been shown to decrease inflammation in the body which helps to ease things like muscle soreness and pain.
Additionally, pine essential oil can also help to stimulate circulation at the vascular level (it works like menthol).
Not only will this improve blood flow but it can help with topical skin issues.
Make Your Own Pine Essential Oil
One of the best things about using pine essential oil is you’re able to procure it for little-to-no cost.
Leaf.tv has a handy article on making it from your Christmas tree which we’ve chosen to post below.
If you don’t want to make your own, you can purchase it for a fair price from online retailers or in health-food stores.
“Harvest fresh pine tree needles from the pine tree of your choice. Don’t use old pine tree needles that have already fallen to the ground as these are more likely to mold and ruin your essential oil.
Clean the pine tree needles with warm water and a mild detergent soap to remove any contaminants that may be on the surface. To clean your needles, fill a container or your sink with warm, sudsy water. Place the needles into the sink and gently swish around to remove any dirt. Drain the water and rinse the needles well with clean water.
Place the pine needles on a layer of paper towels to dry. Blot the needles to remove all moisture from the surface.
Place the pine needles into a mortar and pestle and gently bruise the leaves. If you’re using a small pestle, bruise the needles in small batches.
Pour sweet almond oil into a large-mouth glass jar. Add all of the pine needles to the jar. Cap the jar tightly and gently shake to coat the pine needles with the sweet almond oil.
Store the jar out of direct sunlight in a warm room with an ambient temperature of at least 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Shake the jar at least once a day for a week at minimum. After one week, store the jar in a dark location and allow the pine tree essential oil to age for 10 to 14 days. Don’t shake the jar during this period
Remove from the dark location, shake and strain the oil through a piece of cheesecloth or fine-mesh cotton gauze. Squeeze the gauze to drain out as much of the pine tree essential oil as possible.”