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Embracing Nature's Gift: The Healing Power of Phytoncides

In the quest for well-being, nature often holds the key to our health. Phytoncides, organic compounds produced by plants as a defense mechanism against harmful insects and disease, have been the subject of scientific interest for their remarkable health benefits to humans. These natural compounds, found in the essential oils of trees and plants, have the power to boost our immune system, reduce stress, and improve overall health. This article explores the benefits of phytoncides, how to incorporate them into our lives for optimal absorption, and their application in teas and body lotions.

Health Benefits of Phytoncides

• Boosting the Immune System: Research has shown that exposure to phytoncides increases the number and activity of natural killer (NK) cells, which play a crucial role in fighting off infections and attacking tumor growth.

• Reducing Stress and Improving Sleep: Inhalation of phytoncides has been linked to reduced stress hormones, such as cortisol, and improvements in sleep quality by promoting a relaxed state of mind.

• Enhancing Mental Well-being: Exposure to environments rich in phytoncides, like forests, has been associated with improved mood, reduced anxiety, and increased feelings of happiness and vitality.

Optimal Forms of Phytoncides for Absorption

Phytoncides are most beneficial when absorbed through inhalation or through the skin. Here are some effective ways to integrate phytoncides into your routine:

• Forest Bathing (Shinrin-Yoku): The practice of spending time in forested areas to breathe in the natural compounds released by trees. This is one of the most direct methods to absorb phytoncides and enjoy their health benefits.

• Essential Oils: Essential oils derived from trees such as pine, cedarwood, and eucalyptus are rich in phytoncides. Using a diffuser to release these oils into your environment can help you inhale these beneficial compounds.

• Plant-Based Diets: Consuming fruits and vegetables that contain phytoncides, such as garlic and onions, can also contribute to the intake of these compounds, albeit to a lesser extent than inhalation.

Phytoncides in Tea and Body Lotion

• Tea: While phytoncides are primarily absorbed through inhalation and topical application, certain herbal teas made from pine needles or other phytoncide-rich plants can provide a soothing way to enjoy the subtle benefits of these compounds.

• Body Lotion: Incorporating phytoncides into body lotions can harness their skin health benefits. These lotions can help in soothing the skin, reducing inflammation, and providing a mild antibacterial effect. The sensory experience of their natural fragrance also offers a calming effect, promoting mental well-being.

Conclusion

Phytoncides offer a fascinating example of how nature's complexities can contribute to human health. By embracing the natural world through practices like forest bathing, using essential oils, and applying phytoncide-infused products, we can tap into the healing power of plants. As we continue to uncover the benefits of these natural compounds, integrating them into our daily routines can lead to significant improvements in physical and mental health.

PHYTONCIDES

PHYTONCIDES :Phytoncides are antimicrobial allelochemic volatile organic compounds derived from plants. Going for a walk in a forest environment enhanced human natural killer (NK) cell activity, the number of NK cells, and intracellular anti-cancer proteins in lymphocytes, and that the increased NK activity lasted for more than 7 days after trips to forests both in males and females. The wonderful smell of a pine forest is from alpha pinene, a terpene (the aroma). It also helps with sleep. pinene, anti cancer, nk cells, natural killer cells, Forest bathing, Granulysin, Granzyme, NK activity, Perforin, Sleep, Gaba a a BZD receptor, Phytoncide, 3-carene, Sleep, GABAA BZD receptor, Phytoncide, natural killer cells, activating NK cells, forest trip, forest environment, urban environment, Phytoncide Antioxidant effect, Antimicrobial activity, anti cancer, phytoncides, Aromatherapy, essential oils, therapeutic uses, Cryptomeria japonica, Essential oil, Neuro pharmacological activities, Phytoncide, SPME, analysis, ASE, essential oil, extraction, fir, GC-FID MS, maritime pine, soxhlet, spruce, steam distillation, supercritical CO2 (SC CO2), terpene, terpenoid, turpentine, wood, hydrodynamic cavitation, extraction pine resin, pine needles, Abies alba Mill., antioxidant activity, coniferous trees, essential oils, flavonoids, food preservation, green extraction, hydrodynamic cavitation, nutraceutics,

Keywords: pinene, anti cancer, nk cells, natural killer cells, Forest bathing, Granulysin, Granzyme, NK activity, Perforin, Sleep, Gaba a a BZD receptor, Phytoncide, 3-carene, Sleep, GABAA BZD receptor, Phytoncide, natural killer cells, activating NK cells, forest trip, forest environment, urban environment, Phytoncide Antioxidant effect, Antimicrobial activity, anti cancer, phytoncides, Aromatherapy, essential oils, therapeutic uses, Cryptomeria japonica, Essential oil, Neuro pharmacological activities, Phytoncide, SPME, analysis, ASE, essential oil, extraction, fir, GC-FID MS, maritime pine, soxhlet, spruce, steam distillation, supercritical CO2 (SC CO2), terpene, terpenoid, turpentine, wood, hydrodynamic cavitation, extraction pine resin, pine needles, Abies alba Mill., antioxidant activity, coniferous trees, essential oils, flavonoids, food preservation, green extraction, hydrodynamic cavitation, nutraceutics,

Summary of Abstracts:

a-Pinene Enhances the Anticancer Activity of Natural Killer Cells via ERK AKT Pathway [ a-pinene activates NK cells and increases NK cell cytotoxicity, suggesting it is a potential compound for cancer immunotherapy. ] Natural killer (NK) cells are lymphocytes that can directly destroy cancer cells. When NK cells are activated, CD56 and CD107a markers are able to recognize cancer cells and release perforin and granzyme B proteins that induce apoptosis in the targeted cells. In this study, we focused on the role of phytoncides in activating NK cells and promoting anticancer effects. Our findings demonstrate that a-pinene activates NK cells and increases NK cell cytotoxicity, suggesting it is a potential compound for cancer immunotherapy.

Forest Volatile Organic Compounds and Their Effects on Human Health: A State-of-the-Art Review Inhaling forest VOCs like limonene and pinene can result in useful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects on the airways, and the pharmacological activity of some terpenes absorbed through inhalation may be also beneficial to promote brain functions by decreasing mental fatigue, inducing relaxation, and improving cognitive performance and mood. The tree composition can markedly influence the concentration of specific VOCs in the forest air, which also exhibits cyclic diurnal variations. Moreover, beneficial psychological and physiological effects of visiting a forest cannot be solely attributed to VOC inhalation but are due to a global and integrated stimulation of the five senses, induced by all specific characteristics of the natural environment, with the visual component probably playing a fundamental role in the overall effect. Globally, these findings can have useful implications for individual wellbeing, public health, and landscape design.

Effects of a Forest Walk on Urinary Dityrosine and Hexanoyl-Lysine in Young People: A Pilot Study [ Forest walks are better than urban walks. ] The purpose of the current study aimed at examining whether there is any difference in urinary levels of oxidatively modified proteins or lipids dityrosine (DT) and hexanoyllysine (HEL), respectively, after a forest or urban walk. We found a decreased tendency in urinary DT and HEL (p < 0.05) in most participants after the forest walks, but not after the urban walks. We further found the total levels of air phytoncides in the forest field were 1.50 times higher compared with those in the urban field. This study suggests the possibility that regular immersion in a forest environment might contribute toward weakening of the oxidative modifications of proteins or lipids in the body.

Effect of forest bathing trips on human immune function In Japan, a forest bathing trip, called Shinrinyoku in Japanese, is a short, leisurely visit to a forest; it is regarded as being similar to natural aromatherapy. This review focuses on the effects of forest bathing trips on human immune function. Beginning in 2005, adult Japanese individuals, both male and female, participated in a series of studies aimed at investigating the effect of forest bathing trips on human immune function. The increased NK activity lasted for more than 30 days after the trip, suggesting that a forest bathing trip once a month would enable individuals to maintain a higher level of NK activity. In contrast, a visit to the city as a tourist did not increase NK activity, the numbers of NK cells, or the level of intracellular granulysin, perforin, and granzymes A/B. These findings indicate that forest bathing trips resulted in an increase in NK activity, which was mediated by increases in the number of NK cells and the levels of intracellular granulysin, perforin, and granzymes A/B.

Sleep-enhancing Effects of Phytoncide Via Behavioral, Electrophysiological, and Molecular Modeling Approaches It has been widely accepted that the various beneficial effects of forest, such as relieving stress and anxiety and enhancing immune system function, are caused by plant-derived products, also known as phytoncide. Recently, it has been reported that the sleep-enhancing effects of phytoncide are derived from pine trees such as a pinene and 3 carene.

3 Carene, a Phytoncide from Pine Tree Has a Sleep enhancing Effect 3-Carene, a bicyclic monoterpene, is one of the major components of the pine tree essential oils. It has been reported that, in addition to its known properties as a phytoncide, 3-carene has anti inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anxiolytic effects. These results indicate that, similar to a pinene, 3 carene shows a sleep enhancing effect by acting as a positive modulator for GABAA BZD receptor.

Health effects of a forest environment on natural killer cells in humans: an observational pilot study [ Exposure to forest environments might enhance the immune response of NK cells and activating NK cells in humans. ] Health effect assessments based on natural killer (NK) cells are an important emerging area of human health. We recruited 90 forest staff members in Xitou, Taiwan and 110 urban staff members in Taipei to investigate the health effects of forest environment exposure on NK cells. This study suggests that exposure to forest environments might enhance the immune response of NK cells and activating NK cells in humans.

Gastroprotective effect of phytoncide extract from Pinus koraiensis pinecone in Helicobacter pylori infection For centuries, herbs have been used by traditional therapists around the world to treat gastrointestinal tract disorders, such as gastritis. We hypothesized that the anti-Helicobacter pylori properties of phytoncide, which is extracted from pinecone waste, would facilitate use as a natural gastroprotective product to treat gastrointestinal tract disorders. In conclusion, phytoncide significantly inhibited the growth of H. pylori in gastro tissue, possibly due to the abundant a-pinene present in the phytoncide as detected by HPLC analysis. Further studies are needed to validate our findings, but we suggest that phytoncide has the potential to be used as a natural ingredient in anti H. pylori products.

Antioxidant Effects and Antimicrobial Activites of Phytoncide Physiological activities of four types of phytoncide solutions (A, AB, CY and D types), prepared from various plants widely distributed in nature, were examined. We assayed these phytoncide solutions, testing for active oxygen inhibition, DPPH radical scavenging effects, nitrogen monoxide inhibition, and lipid peroxide inhibition. The AB and D types of phytoncide solutions especially showed comparably potent antioxidant effects. Antibacterial and antifungal assays were conducted using the AB and D types, with results showing significant inhibitory activities with these solutions.

Effect of phytoncides from forest environments on immune function We found that phytoncides significantly increased NK activity in a dose-dependent manner and significantly increased the expression of perforin, GrA and GRN. The phytoncides also partially restored NK activity and perforin, GrA and GRN levels reduced by DDVP. We found that pretreatment with phytoncides partially prevented the DDVP-induced inhibition of NK activity. These findings suggest that phytoncides can increase human NK activity. Phytoncide exposure significantly increased NK activity and the numbers of NK, perforin, GRN, and GrA/B-expressing cells, and significantly decreased the concentrations of adrenaline and noradrenaline in urine. These findings indicate that phytoncide exposure and decreased stress hormone levels partially contribute to increased NK activity.

Phytoncides (Wood Essential Oils) Induce Human Natural Killer Cell Activity To explore the effect of forest bathing on the human immune system, we investigated the effect of phytoncides (wood essential oils) on natural killer (NK) activity and the expression of perforin, granzyme A and granulysin in human NK cells. Pretreatment with phytoncides partially prevents DDVP-induced inhibition of NK activity. Taken together, these data indicate that phytoncides significantly enhance human NK activity and this effect is at least partially mediated by induction of intracellular perforin, granzyme A, and granulysin.

Phytoncides A Novel Anti-Oxidant with Protective Effects Against Cancer Phytoncides are natural compounds emitted by trees which are volatile and have antibiotic properties. Studies have reported that phytoncides have the ability to improve patients with disorders such as allergies, asthma, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and aging. Various chemical and pharmacological studies have also shown that they exhibit anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Its anti-oxidative properties involves up regulation of anti-oxidative capacity and radical scavenging abilities of cells, which was found to be able to provide significant protection from UV, hydrogenperoxide damage as well as an inhibitory effect on melanoma cells. In addition, it also modulates NK cell activity thus providing a protective effect and making it a possible alternative for cancer management. Exposure to phytoncides, especially through visits to the forest has therefore shown potential to be beneficial to cancer patients both early and terminal ones not only through psychological aspects of stress reduction and peace, but also scientifically by increasing the number of NK cells and the level of various intra-cellular anti-cancer proteins.

Aromatherapy The Power of Scent An alternative (in medicine) is a substance that speeds up the renewal of the tissues so that they can carry out their functions more efficiently. Aromatherapy is one such method of healing, using volatile oils. This article was prepared to give the reader more information on the usage of essential oils.

Much More Than a Pleasant Scent: A Review on Essential Oils Supporting the Immune System The augmenting acceptance and application of herbal medicine in prevention and treatment of diseases also involve the use of plant essential oils (EOs) through different routes of administration (aromatherapy). The anti-inflammatory properties of EOs have been investigated more extensively and also reviewed in different settings, but so far, our review is the first to summarize the immune-supporting properties of EOs. Our aim here is to synthesize the currently available data on the immune function enhancing effects of EOs.

Protective Effects of Phytoncides Against Cancer This review aims to discuss the protective effects of phytoncides against cancer. Its anti-oxidative properties involves up regulation of anti-oxidative capacity and radical scavenging abilities of cells and also modulation of NK cell activity thus providing a protective effect and making it a possible alternative for cancer management. Conclusions: Exposure to phytoncides has therefore shown potential to be beneficial to cancer patients both early and terminal ones not only through psychological aspects of stress reduction and peace, but also scientifically by increasing the number of NK cells and the level of various intracellular anti-cancer proteins.

Neuropharmacological activities of phytoncide released from Cryptomeria japonica In this study the phytoncide (volatile compounds) released from Cryptomeria japonica plantation forest was characterized by using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC MS). EJC and one of its monoterpenes, D-limonene, possessed potent anxiolytic and analgesic activities. The volatile compounds released from C. japonica provide relaxing and stress relieving effects.

Volatile terpene extraction of spruce, fir and maritime pine wood: Supercritical CO2 extraction compared to classical solvent extractions and steam distillation To evaluate the potential recovery rate of volatile terpenes from pulp mills, different extraction methods were performed on fir, spruce and maritime pine, and the extracts were analyzed. Steam distillation applied on fresh and ground samples was very specific of volatiles, but did not allow complete extraction.

Optimization of Steam Extraction of Oil from Maritime Pine Needles Essential oil from pine maritime needles is generally extracted by steam distillation process at atmospheric pressure for more than one hour, or by solvent extraction process. In the last decade, there has been an increasing demand for new extraction techniques enabling automation, shorter extraction time, and reduced consumption of organic solvent. We studied the effect of processing pressure and processing time on the yield of oil and in three important compounds: a pinene, pinene, and germacrene D. Both the processing pressure and time had a significant effect on all responses studied. For the less volatile compound, a pinene, the maximum quantity was obtained at the lower processing pressure and time, while an inverse trend was observed for pinene and germacrene D.

How to recover more value from small pine trees: Essential oils and resins We describe a case study to assess the opportunities, constraints, and information required to integrate recovery of essential oils into forest and mill operations as might be used in northern Arizona. Preliminary results support the proposition there is an available, large supply of biomass with high concentrations of essential oils. The chemistry and process engineering for recovering these essential oils by distillation are well known. The potential output and uses also appear attractive given the substantial United States market for such products.

Oleoresins from Pine: Production and Industrial Uses 136 Pine oleoresin is an abundant source of useful terpenes. It has two major fractions: turpentine, which is the volatile fraction, and rosin, which is the solid fraction. A key element of tree defense, oleoresin is an important nonwood forestry product because of the various conventional and potential uses of its terpenes. Oleoresin derivatives can be used by different industries, including pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and food industries, as well as by the chemical industry in the manufacturing of various products, such as paint, varnishes, adhesives, insecticides, and disinfectants. Biotic and abiotic factors that affect oleoresin production can be used to improve yields by promoting specific signaling and biochemical defense pathways.

Affordable Production of Antioxidant Aqueous Solutions by Hydrodynamic Cavitation Processing of Silver Fir (Abies alba Mill) Needles Extracts from parts of coniferous trees have received increased interest due to their valuable bioactive compounds and properties, useful for plenty of experimental and consolidated applications, in fields comprising nutraceutics, cosmetics, pharmacology, food preservation, and stimulation of plant growth. However, the variability of the bioactive properties, the complexity of the extraction methods, and the use of potentially harmful synthetic chemicals, still represent an obstacle to the spreading of such valuable natural compounds. Hydrodynamic cavitation is emerging as a promising innovative technique for the extraction of precious food components and by-products from waste raw material of the agro-food production chain, which can improve processing efficiency, reduce resource consumption, and produce healthy, high-quality products. The observed levels of the in vitro antioxidant activity, comparable or higher than those found for reference substances, pure extracts, and other water extracts and beverages, highlight the very good potential of the hydrodynamic cavitation (HC) process for the creation of solvent-free, aqueous solutions endowed with bioactive compounds extracted from silver fir needles.

Affordable Production of Antioxidant Aqueous Solutions by Hydrodynamic Cavitation Processing of Silver Fir Needles Hydrodynamic cavitation is emerging as a promising innovative technique for the extraction of precious food components and by-products from waste raw material of the agro-food production chain, which can improve processing efficiency, reduce resource consumption, and produce healthy, high-quality products.

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