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  • Writer's pictureHannah McQuilkan

Turn your home into a forest!

Updated: Dec 17, 2022

With winter arriving in New Zealand and shorter colder days, it can be a challenge to get outside as much as one might like to.

Diffusing pure essential oils, especially those from trees such as cedarwood, pine, cypress or Siberian fir can bring the health and relaxing atmosphere of a forest right into your own home.

As a qualified Aromatherapist, a 2003 graduate of Wellpark College, I have been using essential oils for a long time. These potent plant medicines are easily accessible and can make a real difference for our health and well being. I am also a certified forest therapy guide and was excited to discover that one of the worlds leading forest therapy experts, Dr Qing Li of Japan endorses the use of tree essential oils at times when being outside isn't possible. Dr Qing Li's research shows that one of the main healing components of forests is breathing in the phytoncides or aromatic oils released by trees. These oils help to protect the tree from invading bacteria and fungi and so have antimicrobial action and boost the human immune response. Phytoncides have also been proven to reduce anxiety and depression and are wonderful mood enhancers.

I was delighted to see that my two favourite things, aromatherapy and forest therapy were aligned in a most surprising way.

Dr Qing Li says: "If you can't get outside for Shinrin yoku (forest bathing), you can bring the forest into your home with essential oils. I love to use hinoki oil but there are many different oils you can use to create the wonderful woody atmosphere of the forest at home. All the conifer essential oils will remind you of the peace and quiet of the forest and bring you the powerful effects of a forest bath without you even having to leave the house".

Two of my favourite tree essential oils are Cedarwood and Siberian Fir - they are both available through doTERRA (please visit the link below if you are interesting in purchasing) it would be an honour to assist you on your essential oil journey:

These delicious tree oils can be enjoyed by adding to a diffuser or rubbing a drop in between your hands and inhaling for immediate affect. They can be added to a carrier oil and diluted for massage. They blend well with citrus oils and floral scents such as lavender and geranium.


Mind/Spirit: Warming, harmonising and calming, can help to stabilise energies that have been thrown out of balance. It is a specific for creating community and for those people who struggle to form bonds. This oil inspires the feeling of belonging and assists the heart in opening to receive love from other people. It is a grounding oil and can be applied to the bottom of the feet for centering and calm, excellent when I child wakes up distressed in the night.

Body: Cedarwood is mainly used to treat the respiratory system where it can ease conditions such as coughs, colds and bronchitis. A few drops can be added to a boil of hot water and then breathed in.

It has skin purifying abilities and can be added to your cleanser to help clear acne. It may also help with dermatitis and psoriasis. An excellent hair tonic, it can be added to shampoo for treating dandruff and alopecia.

Siberian Fir:

Mind/Spirit: An oil of overcoming adversity, a fresh and uplifting essential oil, allowing you to see the world with fresh eyes, seize the day and take new opportunities. Helps anyone who is going through upheavals or change. It supports people as they age to focus on meaning and purpose during each new chapter. It aids in the healing and reconciliation of a life full of mixed experiences and allows one to come to peace with moments of regret that are an inevitable part of every life.

It works with the crowd chakra above the head, connecting up to spirit and our higher self, supporting us to tune in to the god self within.

Body: It is ideal for respiratory conditions, soothing coughs and clearing the chest of mucus. It is a warming oil and can assist with muscular aches and pains when used in a massage oil. It has deodorant properties can shift odours from a house if diffused, added into a wash cycle or diluted on the body for sweet smells all round.

So I hope you are inspired with the magnificent benefits that tree essential oils can offer us, especially in the winter months when we spend more time indoors. If you have any questions I would be delighted to answer them. I am also available for divine full body aromatherapy massage, with customised oil blend from my Point Chevalier Auckland home.

Yours in Plant Medicine Magic,


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