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The Healing Pine
Photo: Studiomill
As a child, I loved laying down in a bed of pine needles and listening to the soft, whispering breeze blow through the trees. My grandmother told me that my great-grandfather had planted a row of them along the north side of their country home to help break the cold Minnesota winter winds. When I visited her, I sometimes escaped to the peaceful seclusion between two rows of evergreens. It remains a warm and secure memory from my past.

There’s more to the fragrance of pine than meets the nose. These conifers, that hold their green foliage throughout all seasons, have a variety of compounds that are healthy for our bodies and minds. The Japanese describe a therapeutic walk in the woods as shinrin-yoku, which means to take in the atmosphere of the forest. Research shows that even a 15-minute stroll through evergreens lowers stress, hostility, and depression. 1

Have you ever noticed how many household cleaners smell like pine? People associate the scent with good health. Hippocrates discovered a healing effect on the respiratory system from pine. Native Americans noted that bedbugs and lice did not like a bedding of pine needles. Pine oil can help with psoriasis, acne, Athlete’s foot, eczema, and itching. It’s known to be an anti-viral agent and toxic to harmful organisms that cause infections. But be careful, pine oil is strong and can irritate your skin.

Medicinal Properties

The Christian writer, Ellen White, once wrote, “... there is health in the fragrance of the pine, the cedar, and the fir. And there are several other kinds of trees that have medicinal properties that are health programming." She loved driving with her husband through a forest of pines and spoke of the “health-giving fragrance” she breathed.

The Bible speaks of the pine bringing beauty to God’s sanctuary (Isaiah 60:13). Pine trees were to be a reminder of God’s care for Israel (Isaiah 41:19, 20). Perhaps if God’s grace had a smell, the scent of His love for us would be from everlasting pine trees.

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By Curtis Rittenour. Copyright © 2014 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.



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