Coughs, Colds, or Flu? Evergreens to the Rescue!
Can’t shake that nasty flu everyone’s struggling with? Winter cold won’t let up its grip on your chest? The solution could lie in the tree right outside your window. Evergreen trees, like spruce, fir, and pine hold medicine that’s been used for generations to help us get and stay healthy. That gorgeous tree isn’t just another pretty face!
Evergreens also known as conifer trees, hold medicinal qualities that many Native American tribes, like the Utes, Navajos, and Apaches, utilized to keep themselves healthy. Can I interest you in a spruce-needle tea? You might want some if you’re experiencing an upset stomach, or a nagging cough you can’t get rid of. How about rubbing some pine pitch on a wound or skin problem? You could give a few fir boughs to your friend, to wish her good luck and abundance. You could also make an herbal remedy from various parts of these trees in order to get pain relief, from aching backs or sore muscle spasms. Native Americans utilized these trees for all these ailments, and we can apply them for these issues too, plus lots more. An easy way to do that is to use the essential oils from these hearty trees and skip all that preparatory work.
Did you know these impressive trees have been around since the time of the dinosaurs? Millions of years ago, conifers were the most prevalent plants around, since flowering plants were not yet in full swing. That’s a long history of supporting the earth. What do I mean by that, well oxygen production for starters, but did you know these tall trees act as sentinels for our forests? They create and support microcosms beneath them, that they care for and protect. When a plant in an ecosystem gets sick, say it’s attacked by a fungus or bacteria, it sends out an SOS signal via a mycelial (that’s a technical term for fungal) network to its neighbors. Those neighbors in turn send medicine back, sometimes even medicine they have never created before, but is just what their ailing buddy needs. That’s impressive stuff. Now, imagine what their wisdom and creativity can do for you.
Conifers also hold the record on the tallest and oldest trees, even almost the smallest tree too. Methuselah, a tree in California (yes it has its own name), is said to be over 5,000 years old. (There’s some debate if it’s the oldest or another nearby tree is, but we’re in the ballpark.) A giant Sequoia, in California again, is said to be the tallest tree. Look at California, the tree record holder x2!
How do these trees help us stay healthy? Every single evergreen tree contains an estimated 50,000-60,000 different types of “medicine” chemicals, called phytochemicals or phytonutrients. These are the properties or components within the tree that our bodies can utilize for our own health and healing. We currently have only discovered less than 100 of them, so we’re not even scratching the surface of all the medicinal possibilities. When you make a top-quality essential oil from the trees, you get those phytochemicals in a bottle, that you can use to heal yourself. This is also the case when you make that needle tea or use the pitch therapeutically.
One of the most important uses of the conifer trees is helping your immune system heal you. Those same phytonutrients that tree uses to remedy itself, aka support its own “immune system” and to help its sick neighbor, are the same you can use too. Evergreens are known major immune boosters – the true healer of the body. Anything that helps you get well, does so by helping your immune system do its job better. Conifers are also known for helping with colds, coughs, and flu. They do this by not only boosting your immune system, but by also supporting the entire respiratory system itself. Any sinus or lung issues benefit from the medicine in the trees too.
All conifers help with body detoxification, which is usually what’s behind our getting sick or having immune weakness in the first place. You know how sometimes you feel invincible in the face of everyone else’s illness, and at other times every little sniffle you’re around feels like an assault to your wellness? That’s often an indicator of how toxic you are. Have you been burning the candle at both ends, eating junk or drinking too much? You’re feeling toxic and know you’re vulnerable.
Conifers are a big support your adrenal glands as well. They can help you to heal from adrenaline fatigue and exhaustion. That is huge in our over-busy, over-stressed, over-caffeinated, crazy modern extreme lifestyles. We all know that “stress kills” but what are we actually doing to prevent stress in our lives? Using some Ponderosa pine or Englemann spruce essential oil could be an excellent part of your stress-busting program. Adrenal issues can often be at the root of all kinds of hormonal imbalances, like PMS or thyroid issues. Regardless of what type of hormonal issue you’re suffering from, evergreen tree remedies can support your entire endocrine system.
Last, but not least, of today’s sample of healing benefits, these ancient trees help us ground, which calms us down, centers us, and makes our lives feel right again. Grounding makes all the difference during a stressful time. We all feel better when we feel like we’re standing on firm ground within ourselves. We know the feeling of being trapped in our heads too much and spinning out. Using the healing energy of the conifers, drops the energy back down, through our whole body through our feet, and into the ground, just like the deep roots of these magnificent trees. For a special bonus try using white fir, white pine, or white spruce in your daily (or however frequent) meditations. They are known especially for opening up your crown chakra and encouraging the energy to flow through your entire body.
Let’s end on a fun fact, did you know you can eat the core of the Ponderosa pine tree? The inner bark is sweet and is a nutritious food source. Native Americans ate it raw, rolled it into balls for a treat, and even baked it into cakes. Who knew all the amazing uses of these beautiful awe-inspiring trees!
If you’re in the Aspen area, come learn more this Saturday, February 23, at my “Aspen Plants Heal” class, offered through the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies. To learn more or register, Click Here.