Terpenes in the forest air strengthen the immune system
Hiking in the forest strengthens health. The fresh forest air gets the circulation going and the encounter with nature relaxes psychological conflicts. But forests also protect directly against diseases.
Japanese scientists from the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo found that people who live in forest areas are significantly less likely to develop cancer than people without rich trees in their environment. Studies in the United States suggest that the more trees grow in the living environment, the better the general health.
The immune system benefits
Studies have shown that a long and regular stay in the forest increases the immune cells by 40%.
The Japanese doctor Prof. Li developed a “forest therapy” and tested the direct impact of forests on the immune system. Conclusion: After two days in the forest, the participants' immune cells doubled and stayed at this high level for a whole month. The doctor suspected substances in the forest air as the cause.
What are the substances?
Plants emit so-called terpenes, which are messenger substances that warn other plants of pests. These terpenes breathe in people when they move about in the forest, and they could be key to why our immune cells multiply.
People communicate with trees
The biologist Clemens G. Arvay writes: “Our immune system communicates with the forest! We can decipher terpenes. The forest not only increases the number of important defense cells in our body, it also makes them more active. ”
No esoteric imagination
It is not a supernatural contact with nature spirits, but biochemical processes: Our organism understands the information of the terpenes and reacts like the trees that warn the terpenes of pests. It upgrades the immune system.
A big organism
Arvay writes: “We can think of the forest as a single, huge and communicating organism. Trees, shrubs and other plant dwellers, for example, inform each other about pests that are approaching
are. This enables everyone to activate their immune system together and protect themselves collectively. ”
Forest air in the laboratory
Li and his staff isolated the main terpenes and poured them into locked hotel rooms. The next morning the subjects who had slept with terpenes in the room air had significantly higher immune values than those in "normal rooms".
Forest therapy established
This proved that the terpenes in the forest air really strengthen the immune system. As a result, forest therapy became established in Japan and is now an official method for strengthening health and supplementing medical treatment.
Effect against diseases of civilization
The research of forest air on the human organism is just beginning. But there is already a reasonable suspicion that staying in the forest has a positive effect on cardiovascular diseases and high blood pressure.
International healing method
Researchers in South Korea, the United States, Russia, New Zealand and Germany are working on forest therapies. In Germany, “Mensch & Wald” and the “Deutsche Gesellschaft für Naturtherapie, Waldmedizin und Green Care” (German Society for Natural Therapy, Forest Medicine and Green Care), created two specialist societies that focus on applied forest medicine.
"Forest therapists" work in Germany with tested methods: "Ordinary member of the" German Society for Nature Therapy, Forest Therapy / Forest Medicine and Green Care "(DGN eV) can be, who a training and further education in methods of nature therapies according to the standards of DGN eV has completed and / or has been active in clinical, curative education, sociotherapeutic, preventive and personality-building areas with the help of new natural therapies for three years and has the appropriate academic training. Deviating from this regulation, the equivalence can be recognized if comparable qualifications are available. ”
Forest therapy is a new nature therapy. So far, success has been particularly evident in depression, stress and psychosomatic illnesses.
Terpenes in cancer medicine?
Studies suggest that among the terpenes, limonene and pinene in particular promote the defense against tumors. They are found from conifers and other evergreens. This could be a great opportunity for chemotherapy.
No wilderness education
Forest therapy is neither wilderness education nor survival training.
Civilization weakens the immune system
Arvay concludes: “Contact with ecosystems on a material and mental level
Level leads to a rebalance of our organ functions and our immune system. We humans are natural beings and this is the fact that medicine of the future must do justice to. ”
Naturopathy: Medicine from the rainforest
The rainforest is the largest pharmacy in the world, and it may hide much more powerful substances to fight disease than the terpenes of temperate climates.
Shamanism: the archetype of medicine
Shamans among so-called primitive peoples believe that spirits live in plants with which humans can connect. Even if chemical messengers have no consciousness, the shamanic idea was and is correct. The biochemistry of humans and plants communicates really real.
Regular forest walks
The consequence of the communication between the human immune system and the message from the trees is simple: the more regularly we hike in the forest, the stronger our immune defense becomes, and the more stable it remains at a high level. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)