If you're not familiar with the term "phytoncides," you're not alone. While this term may not be a household name, it refers to a type of natural chemical that is produced by certain plants and trees. These chemicals are known for their ability to protect the plants from insects and other threats, and they have been found to have a number of health benefits for humans as well.
Phytoncides boost the immune system
One of the most well-known benefits of phytoncides is their ability to boost the immune system. Studies have shown that exposure to these chemicals can increase the production of white blood cells, which are critical for fighting off infections and diseases. In addition, phytoncides have been found to reduce stress and anxiety, and they have even been linked to improved sleep quality.
Spend time in a forest
So how can you get your daily dose of phytoncides? One of the easiest ways (and the way we recommend) is to spend time in nature. Forests, in particular, are rich in these chemicals, and research has shown that spending time in a forest setting can have a number of positive effects on both physical and mental health.
Phytoncides in functional fragrances
If you don't have the opportunity to spend time in nature on a regular basis, don't worry. There are other ways to get your fix of phytoncides. Certain essential oils, such as pine, cedarwood and hinoki, are high in these chemicals, and using them in aromatherapy or as a natural cleaning product can provide some of the same benefits. We choose to use hinoki daily as our phytoncide functional fragrance because of its relaxing smell.
Overall, phytoncides are a fascinating and largely untapped resource when it comes to improving our health and wellbeing. So the next time you're feeling stressed or run down, try taking a walk in the woods or using a woodsy functional fragrance. You may be surprised at the positive impact these natural chemicals can have on your body and mind.
To learn more about the power and science of spending time in nature, read our post What is Forest Bathing?