Medicinal plants

Wood as a remedy

Wood as a remedy

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Healing wood - trees bring health
Wood heals. As a result, more oxygen reaches the heart. Conifers contain essential oils that can help heal various ailments. People in stone pine beds have 3,600 fewer heartbeats per night and when the pulse is lower, we live longer.

Countless active ingredients in woods have long been known, for example willow bark as the basis of aspirin. While the pharmaceutical industry is concerned with individual active substances, thousands of active substances work in forests and in individual trees.

Wood in furniture

Untreated wood and wood that is at most let in with linseed oil or wax remains open-pored and so the positive vapors are retained.

Studies have shown that blood pressure and heart rate decrease in rooms with wooden furniture. The activity of the vagus, i.e. the nerve that provides relaxation, also increases.

Researchers at the Joanneum in Austria examined schoolchildren in two classrooms that were equipped with fir and spruce cladding instead of traditional plasterboard and with oiled parquet instead of linoleum, the light grids were made of stone pine instead of mirror grids. With ten participants per class, researchers from the Institute for Noninvasive Diagnostics measured the heartbeat every two months. The concentration efforts did not change, but her heart beat about 8,000 times a day. The study has not yet been confirmed; the same study would have to be carried out in other schools under comparable conditions.

Hugging trees - a hobby of eco-crazy?

Whoever hugs trees quickly becomes an eccentric esoteric, and in fact books about the “power” of trees can often be found between scientific nonsense such as “Celtic tree horoscope” and “angels”.

But trees have been shown to affect the immune system. Just seeing a tree in front of the window accelerates the healing of patients in clinics. Fewer people die of cancer in forest areas than in regions without trees, according to studies that had already excluded other influences.

The environmental psychologist Marc Berman compared the tree density in Toronto with the health data of the people. The result of the study was clearer: the more trees there were in a residential area, the lower the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases.

Researchers at the Nippon Medical School in Tokyo were also able to demonstrate an effect at the cellular level in the body: Those who spend a day in a forest whose immune cells in the blood increase by 50% and stay at this level for a week, the study found.

But what about the trees hugging? When nature mystics rave about contact with tree spirits, there is a real core: tree bark contains terpenes, substances that strengthen the human immune system. The Nippon Medical School found this out in another study. These turpentines even promote the proteins that fight cancer.

Science knows 8,000 terpenes and their related terpenoids, and they form the basis of the essential oils that plants produce. Mainly hydrocarbon, glycoside, ether, aldehyde, ketone, carboxylic acid and alcohol terpenes occur in trees.

The “sick building syndrome”

The “sick building syndrome” describes unspecific symptoms such as poor concentration, headache, itchy skin, eye and mucous membrane complaints. These occur in glass-steel constructions and sealed interiors.

Professor Dr. Jasminka Godnic-Cvar from the Institute for Occupational Medicine in Vienna considers wooden surfaces to be the best way to prevent these complaints. They even promoted general health rather than causing symptoms of illness.

Psychological benefits of wood

Dr. Marjut Wallenius examines the psychological effects of wood on people and comes to the conclusion: "Wood has a psychological effect on people and reduces stress in a similar way to nature."

She also discusses how this happens: “Wooden surfaces help to make interiors feel warm, cozy and soothing. With these properties, wood surpasses all other usual surface materials. ”

Touching wood therefore gives people the feeling of security. In contrast, touching aluminum, plastic or steel causes increased blood pressure. The electrical conductivity of the skin, i.e. the stress level, is lowest in a room with wooden furniture.

According to Wallenius, wood would affect indoor air, acoustics, people's wellbeing as well as physical stress levels.

Detoxify with charcoal

Not only is the living forest and untreated wood in furniture good for your health, but charcoal is also an effective remedy. We usually use it for medical purposes.

Charcoal hardly binds nutrients in the organism, but poisons do better than almost any other substance. The bloodstream does not absorb them.

Charcoal binds DDT, strychnine, kerosene, cyanide, dieldrin, malathion and even radioactive substances, as well as nicotine, alcohol, morphine, opium and alcohol. However, we should not consume charcoal for certain medications, since it also binds them: aspirin and penicillin are the most common.

In the event of acute poisoning - except with acids, alkalis or foaming agents - we should immediately try to vomit and then drink 30-60 grams of activated carbon in water. A tablespoon of charcoal in half a glass of water helps to reduce gas.

Charcoal also helps with chronic intestinal inflammation. For this, an enema is carried out for which coal water was previously dissolved and left to stand for a few hours.

Charcoal in a wound dressing helps it absorb bacteria and viruses. Charcoal reduces swelling and relieves insect bites. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


  • Maximilian Moser, et al .: Health effects of solid wood equipment in the Haus im Ennstal secondary school, Human Research Institute, 2009,
  • Xi Zhang, Zhiwei Lian, Yong Wu: Human physiological responses to wooden indoor environment; in: Physiology & Behavior, Volume 174, pages 27-34, May 2017,
  • Omid Kardan, Peter Gozdyra, Bratislav Misic, Faisal Moola, Lyle J. Palmer, Tomáš Paus, Marc G. Berman: Neighborhood greenspace and health in a large urban center; in: Scientific Reports, Volume 5, Article number: 11610, July 2015,
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  • Q. Li, M. Kobayashi, Y. Wakayama: Effect of Phytoncide from Trees on Human Natural Killer Cell Function; in: International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology, Volume 22, Issue 4, page 951-959, Oktobe 2009,

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