So today I thought we'd learn about the "Christmas Tree" and how they "affect" us.
Did you know that the history of the Christmas tree goes back to the symbolic use of evergreens in ancient Egypt? And that it continued with the German tradition of candlelit Christmas trees?
You see . . . ancient people hung evergreen boughs over their doors and windows because they believed that the evergreens would keep away witches, ghosts, evil spirits and "illness".
And the first person to bring a Christmas Tree into a house, in the way we know it today . . . was a 16th century German preacher named Martin Luther. The story is told that one night before Christmas . . . he was walking through the forest and looked up to see the twinkling stars shinning through the tree branches.
It was so beautiful . . . that he went home and told his children that it reminded him of Jesus . . . who left the stars of heaven to come to earth at Christmas.
And thus, the Christmas tree tradition began. He went back to the woods and brought a tree home for his wife and children as a gift and reminder of their savior. They decorated their tree with edible things such as gingerbread and gold covered apples to try and imitate the twinkling of the stars.
After that . . . others in this time of gratitude, would build Christmas pyramids of wood and decorated them with evergreens and candles. And later . . . glass makers made special small ornaments similar to some of the decorations used today.
In 1851 . . . the Christmas tree tradition began in the U.S. It now became a commercial business and trees were cut randomly from the forests. But . . . sadly today . . . most of us have lost that intimacy of being one with nature and bringing home your gift from the heavens.
Today, we have become commercialize. With only a hope that someday we can return to this tradition.
So the question for today is this . . . Why does evergreen smell so good and what health benefits could it possibly have???
Well . . . the scent of pine and other coniferous trees help purify the air and help to defend the human immune system.
This beautiful smell can do everything from calm a restless mind and spirit to reduce pain and inflammation. It can increase self-esteem and confidence, soothe respiratory issues, calm muscle spasms and coughs, encourages clear breathing, ease a sore throat, help overcome fatigue, assist emotions when dealing with anger and frustration, reduce fluid retention, promote sinus health, promote healthy circulation and best of all . . .
It reduces the presence of bacteria and increases immunity, which will help to keep the immune system healthy.
How you ask???
Well . . . this scent of evergreen actually has the ability to increase our NK (natural killer) cells for immunity.
You see, many evergreen trees give off aromatic compounds called "phytocides" that increase our "natural killer" (NK) cells, which are our immune system's lead defense against "viruses" and "disease".
As we know from previous Health tips . . . our NK cells are suppressed by chronic exposure to "stress" hormones, remember that's "cortisol", which can lead to a weakened immune system and even cancer.
So this holiday season . . . take a deep breath and not only enjoy that sweet smell of the outdoors . . . but help your body's "immunity" as well.
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