You can't work with fresh greenery for 20+ years and not have an appreciation for nature. My appreciation and love of nature has also led me to use and enjoy essential oils and see all the benefits that come from them. The more I have learned about essential oils the more I see the correlation and benefits that fresh, natural greenery decor can provide those that use it.
If you are not familiar with essential oils, check out this short video from Young Living. It shares briefly that naturally occurring compounds in plants (and trees) help them thrive and we can benefit from them too.
This isn't just a theory...numerous scientific studies have been done to support these claims. In regards to trees, an entire movement exists called "Forest Bathing" which, in its Japanese origin, involves forests mostly containing conifer trees.
Biophilia and phytoncides are two words to Google when you have time (besides clicking their links in this blog). Biophilia has to do with humans and our connection with nature. Phytoncides are essential oils produced by trees. For a quick primer, check out this video:
Okay, now that I have thrown a lot of videos, links, and scientific words at you, let me share how I believe this all relates to decorating with fresh, natural greenery.
Stress is a HUGE problem in our fast-paced, hyper-connected society. People everywhere are trying all sorts of solutions to try to counteract the negative effects that stress has on their lives. Don't forget that the holidays are high on the list as one of the most stressful times of the year, so decorations that are both beautiful AND beneficial provides a dual-solution.
Simply using fresh greens as Christmas and Winter decorations can definitely play a role in reducing stress because they have those phytoncide compounds, even in the cut branches. Having fresh evergreens decorating your environment triggers that biophilia response which creates a calming connection, by both the fragrance and also simply by visually looking at the decor. You may not be able to escape to a forest everyday, but you can bring the forest to you, even on a small scale, and reap some of those same benefits.
Some popular varieties of Christmas/Winter decorations have essential oils with a long-list of benefits. Below I will list some of the varieties along with links that share their benefits. (Note: Some of these links promote usage of these evergreens as teas, etc or make medical claims. We do not promote or back usage or treatment in these ways and recommend consulting a medical professional before using as anything other than a decoration. We are merely sharing this information to point out there are health benefits of being around fresh Christmas/Winter decorations.)
Fir (includes Silver and Balsam)