The Healing Power of Nature
I’m certain our ancestors have always known, and I believe that each of us has the innate wisdom to know that nature is healing. If you are like me, the clean, fresh air of the seaside is invigorating, the sound of the waves, soothing, and the feel of the sand, grounding. In the forest, I feel connected to the trees, as if I am “home.” I take in the aromatherapy of essential oils from trees such as cypress, pine, Douglas fir, cedarwood, and spruce.
Cypress is known for its antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antifungal properties. Pine essential oil with similar properties (as cypress), is known for its ability to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, and stimulate the mind and body (which I totally feel); cedarwood is said to help soothe the body and mind, promoting a sense of calm and spruce combines all the above with additional purported benefits in relieving pain and supporting the endocrine system!
Interestingly, since I have been recovering from post-concussion syndrome, I literally feel as if the trees are calling me. I believe it’s some ancient wisdom in my genetic code that draws me to the forest for healing.
I just spend a couple weeks at my parent’s home where there is nature abound: forest, the Hazel River, beautiful flowering plants both native and wild, and those that my parents have planted and nurtured. I definitely felt a greater sense of calm there and also had noticed that my eyes seemed much brighter than usual. It’s something that I have noticed over the years since my parents moved there. It’s where my best photographs are taken. I’m sure the calmness also softens my face, especially the furrows between my eyes from so much seriousness in my day to day life. A good reminder that taking more frequent outings into nature actually improves more than my inner self, my outer self looks better too!
In addition to the healing benefits of simply being and even moving in nature, our witness of the beauty, our awe, and our gratitude and appreciation also nourishes our soul. I personally feel a deep sense of oneness with all that is and that in itself, is deeply healing on an emotional level.
While it’s always wonderful to get out in nature, day to day, most of us spend most of our time indoors. It’s modern life. But can we harness some of that healing power and bring it indoors!
Indoor Plants Scientifically Proven to Filter Toxins
Indoor plants can bring beauty into a home. They can create the sense of calm, and more than that, they can actually filter indoor air from harmful toxins.
This is not just speculation, the NASA Clean Air Study, a project led by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in association with the Associated Landscape Contractors of America (ALCA) researched ways to clean the air in space stations as well as address the growing concern about phenomenon of “sick building syndrome.” Sick building syndrome is the dark side of energy-efficient buildings filled with modern furnishings and high-tech equipment that off-gas hundreds of volatile organics which possibly interact with each other. I actually remember a former co-worker getting very sick after the company we both worked for moved into a new building in the 80’s and this is exactly what she said was her issue. I remember feeling a little alarmed but also helpless.
The 1989 report resulting from 2 years of study demonstrated that certain common indoor plants may provide a natural way of removing toxic agents (commonly used in household and office furnishings and cleaning/repair products) such as benzene, formaldehyde, and trichloroethylene from the air.
Another study, Removal of Benzene by the Indoor Plant/Substrate Microcosm and Implications for Air Quality published in by Orwell, R.L., Wood, R.L., Tarran, J. published in Water, Air, & Soil Pollution (2004) concluded in the abstract: “The findings demonstrate the capacity of the potted-plant microcosm to contribute to cleaner indoor air, and lay the foundation for the development of the plant/substrate system as a complementary biofiltration system.”
While it’s still not conclusive how effective these plants are in a real life scenario vs. a controlled, sealed laboratory, the fact that plants themselves lend beauty to an environment and promote a sense of calm is reason enough to consider adding live plants to your home.
I grew up with plants around my home (and garden) and naturally added them to all my homes until I got cats who liked to chew on them and then promptly threw them up. Which leads to a concern…which plants are safe for animals?
There’s actually a really nice, detailed chart in the book, How to Grow Fresh Air by Bill Wolverton, the principal investigator of the NASA Clean Air Study which indicates which toxins the plant was shown to filter and also which plants are safe for animals. This chart can also be found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study.
I noted that one of the plants, the Bamboo Palm (pictured below), filtered 4 of the 5 chemicals tested in the NASA Clean Air Study and is listed as non-toxic to dogs and cats! I’m personally going to seek one (or more) of these out for my current home…crossing my fingers that my cats don’t chew on the leaves but even if they do, it’s a relief to know it likely won’t harm them. [Ideas on preventing cats from getting into plants are welcome!]
HOW ABOUT SAFER SKIN, EFFECTIVE, & BEAUTIFUL CARE?
When I heard about all that Beautycounter is doing to advocate for not only safer personal care products across the board, but also the removal of harmful chemicals in even other things we bring into our homes such as furniture, I wanted to be part of this company. My family and I were VERY affected by the side effects of flame retardants. Beautycounter’s part in changing the laws around these harmful chemicals really resonates with me. Besides, the products are high performing and beautiful.
Beauty should be good for you! As a nutrition professional I help my clients with food and other health supporting habits, such as what you put on your body. What you put ON your body matters just as what you put IN it. There is very little oversight in the personal care & cosmetics industry and consequently, there are a lot of harmful ingredients in many of them. The US only bans or partially restricts 30 ingredients, whereas the EU bans over 1400. Beautycounter: “The Never List™ is made up of more than 1,500 questionable or harmful chemicals that we never use as ingredients in our products.”
Cleaner, Safer beauty just got a SERIOUS UPGRADE with Beautycounter’s newest GAME CHANGER for anti-aging: Countertime! The star ingredients are a plant-derived Retinatural Complex of bakuchiol & Swiss Alpine rose, which provide a safer alternative to retinol, delivering similar skin benefits without the potential side effects.
I started sampling Countertime in July & had a handful of clients try it too…we are all in love! It feels & smells luxurious & is packed in this beautiful recyclable glass. Estheticians say we should start anti-aging in our 20’s. I love that I am in my 50’s & can still tell a significant difference in my skin – it has some serious age-reversing properties that can be visibly observed very quickly. I’d love to help you incorporate this into your daily regime! Let me know how I can help!
Switching your personal care products can be overwhelming. I would like to HELP! I can help you determine what’s best based on your skin type, your goals/desires, and your budget. Schedule a 15 minute consult with me! I’d love to chat! Speaking of budget…a fun way to get more bang for your buck is to host a social! Read on…
Host a Social & Earn Free Product + 50% off
My last social was super casual with a friend plus 2 of her friends. My friend earned enough to get 50% off 5 products plus she got 5 products for free! We were SO busy having fun playing with skin care and makeup, we didn’t even partake in any refreshments while I was there but they had a lovely brunch afterwards! If you are local to Portland, I’d love to do this with you in person if you are interested.
We have future plans for another social at at a local wine bar that has private room – so hosting doesn’t even need to be at your place! In fact, you can even do an online social if that works better or if you are not local!
You can read more about hosting a social and how to earn free products and 50% off here.
Schedule a 15-Minute Consult with me here!
ARTICLE SOURCES: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NASA_Clean_Air_Study