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Natural Medicine

Bring Nature Indoors: The Benefits of Wood

by Eliana Raver |October 29, 2019 |0 Comments | Articles, Back pain, Blogs, EMF’s / Electrosmog / Grounding, Healing, Health and Wellness, healthy sleep, Natural Medicine, Rewild, Samina General News, sleep health, Sleep Tips | , , , , , , , ,

“Nothing is more powerful than nature.” 

-Dr. Guenther Amann-Jennson
Creator and CEO, SAMINA

In the aftermath of recent storms here and abroad, while wildfires rage spontaneously here in southern California, it is impossible to ignore Nature’s immense capability to destroy.  Its capacity to heal, however, is just as great—though easier to overlook.

The benefits and healing that Nature brings are of a gentler, more subtle quality. Modern lifestyles can make it easy to become disconnected while we have become largely separated from nature in its raw state. Many of us now live in urban forests of concrete and glass but our earth still has a greater effect on us than we might think.

As modern as our surroundings might be far away from trees and forests, nature’s healing touch remains in our homes, sometimes in the most unexpected forms. Take, for instance, your heirloom hardwood armoire. Surprised to learn your furniture has healing properties? According to scientific research, having wooden furniture or accents in our home, if not pressure-treated or laden with chemicals, can affect us for the better. It may not look much like the forest it came from, but your wood furniture can have some surprising health effects.  Wood is a naturally antibacterial surface, partially due to the volatile compounds it contains.

Dr. Tiina Vainio-Kaila, a biotechnology researcher at the VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, has extensively studied the properties of wood. She was involved in a study concerning the bacterial survival rate on raw wood versus glass and came to some interesting results:

“When the amounts of bacterial growth on different surfaces were cultured and compared in a laboratory, both e. coli and listeria bacteria gradually died on the wood surface but survived on the glass plate serving as a control.

Even more surprisingly,

Wood extracts have also been found to be reasonably effective against hospital bacteria… Many of the dozens of different wood extracts have been found to have antibacterial properties as the lignin that binds the fibers together has an antibacterial effect. In addition, wood surfaces dry quickly; this dryness puts bacteria at a disadvantage.”[i]

According to a similar study, harmful bacteria levels decreased significantly faster on pine and oak wood than plastic, because of their natural properties and potent essences:

The survival of two hygienically relevant bacteria, Esche-richia coli pIE639 and Enterococcus faecium, was followed on wooden sawdust of seven different European woods (pine, spruce, larch, beech, maple, poplar, and oak) versus polyethylene chips…The survival of the bacteria on wood was dependent on various factors such as the wood species, the type of the inoculated bacterium, the ambient temperature, and humidity. The bacteria…decreased fastest on pine followed by oak compared to the other woods and plastic… The presented study shows that pine and oak exhibit substantially better hygienic performance than plastic and indicates an antibacterial effect caused by a combination of the hygroscopic properties of wood and the effect of wood extractives.”[ii]

Not only is wood naturally antibacterial, but it may help to reduce stress.  In a 2010 study, people subjected to a stressful task in an office setting showed less sympathetic nervous activity (lowered fight-or-flight response) when wood was added to the environment—although, at first glance, they could not be further away from nature’s calming influence:

“This study provides evidence that wood provides stress-reducing effects similar to the well-studied effect of exposure to nature in the field of environmental psychology. The practical implication of this effect is that wood may be able to be applied indoors to provide stress reduction.”[iii]

What better place to have a naturally antibacterial, stress-reducing material than where you sleep? That is why the top recommendation for the SAMINA healthy sleep system is a bed frame made from solid, sustainably sourced, natural hardwood. SAMINA brings the best of the outdoors indoors for your healthy sleep.

We invite you to bring a bit of the forest into your home and explore the Pummer line of organic, master-crafted bed frames today. All are made with 100% FSC-certified hardwoods and designed to sleep inclined or not and are made exclusively for the SAMINA healthy sleep system. In case you didn’t already know, the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) makes sure that forests are responsibly managed with more than 380 million acres of certified forests under their system including more than 150 million acres in the United States and Canada.

You may not be able to sleep under the trees tonight, but you can be resting on vibrant, naturally-finished wood with the Pummer bed frames for SAMINA—we bring the forest to you!

 

Citations:

[i] “The antibacterial properties of wood should be leveraged in construction.” Woodproducts.fi, Published Friday, September 21, 2018, www.woodproducts.fi/articles/antibacterial-properties-wood-should-be-leveraged-construction

[ii] Milling, Annette. Wulf, Alfred. Kehr, Rolf Dieter. Smalla, Kornelia. Abstract of “Survival of bacteria on wood and plastic particles: Dependence on wood species and environmental conditions.” ResearchGate, www.researchgate.net/publication/228343502_Survival_of_bacteria_on_wood_and_plastic_particles_Dependence_on_wood_species_and_environmental_conditions

[iii] Fell, David Robert.  Abstract of “Wood in the human environment: restorative properties of wood in the built indoor environment.” UBC, https://open.library.ubc.ca/cIRcle/collections/ubctheses/24/items/1.0071305

 

Vitamin D & Your Sleep: What’s the Connection?

by natalieguse |July 23, 2019 |0 Comments | Anti-aging, Health and Wellness, healthy skin, healthy sleep, healthy sleep and healthy skin, Natural Medicine, Samina General News, skin health, sleep health, Sleep Tips | , , , , , ,

Vitamin D & Your Sleep: What’s the Connection?

by Eliana Raver

With all the summer warnings on avoiding harmful UV rays, it’s easy to forget that a little sun can be a good thing. Exposure to sunlight provides up to 90% of our Vitamin D[i]; an irreplaceable, life-sustaining vitamin that has a profound effect on all facets of our health.

We all know Vitamin D is essential, but we’ve only started discovering its far-reaching effect on all body systems.  The relationship between Vitamin D and sleep is a relatively new area of research. Its connection to a healthy sleep cycles has yet to be fully understood, but the results we have so far are startling.  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information

 “…several large sample epidemiology studies found that dietary intake of vitamin D was related to midpoint of sleep, sleep duration, and maintaining sleep.”

In addition, their statistics showed that as Vitamin D levels rose, people’s risk for sleep disorders dropped significantly. That itself is an overwhelming discovery, but Vitamin D does more than simply lower the risk. It has been shown to work synergistically with the immune system to fight against harmful inflammation, improving symptoms in several cases of sleep apnea[ii]. Hence tapping people into healthy sleep cycles.

Beyond that, Medical News Today shared that taking Vitamin D to support sleep has further secondary effects. Research shows that a healthy sleep cycle and Vitamin D levels together may help reduce chronic pain:

Following a review of published research on the relationship between vitamin D, sleep, and pain, researchers propose that vitamin D supplementation, together with good sleep hygiene, may offer an effective way to manage pain in conditions such as arthritis, chronic back pain, fibromyalgia, and menstrual cramps.”

These findings correlate to an American study of veterans suffering chronic pain that assessed their reaction to high doses of Vitamin D.  The researchers found that higher levels led to better sleep and reduced pain-without any side effects. Considering the valuable role Vitamin D plays in fighting inflammation, these results make perfect sense.

We may not fully understand all the ways Vitamin D protects and supports our bodies, but what we do know for sure is that it is an amazing help to promote both healing within the body and restful and pain free sleep cycles. In fact, Dr. Mercola considers Vitamin D the most effective cancer prevention vitamin.

So, are you ready to go outside now?  All the benefits Vitamin D provides are a wonderful reason to soak up the sunshine this summer.  Enjoy your summertime, reduce inflammation in the body and sleep well, too!

While you apply natural, non-toxic sunscreen at the beach or pool this summer, you might want to consider that what you sleep on is just as important as what you put on your skin.  The average mattress is a hotbed of harmful petrochemicals, and achieving healthy sleep is actually something that will support your wellness 24 hours a day. Read more about petrochemicals here, and we invite you to explore SAMINA’s organic, master-crafted sleep systems today.

[i] “Sleep, Sunshine, and Vitamin D.” The Royal Women’s Hospital, www.thewomens.org.au/health-information/periods/healthy-periods/sleep-sunshine-vitamin-d.  Accessed July 16, 2019.

[ii] “The role of vitamin D in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome”, Breathe, ERS Publications, (Kostas Archontogeorgis, Evangelia Nena, Nikolaos Papanas, Paschalis Steiropoulos) breathe.ersjournals.com/content/14/3/206. Accessed July 16, 2019.