Foliage: because it is good for the body and mind

The Foresta Umbra nature reserve, in the heart of the Gargano National Park; the Piedmontese Langhe; the Path of the Spirit of the Wood in the Como area; the beech forest of Monte Cimino, in the province of Viterbo; the Monte Baldo Natural Park, in Trentino; the woods of the Beigua Geopark, in Liguria. These are just some of the Italian places where you can immerse yourself in the kaleidoscope of autumnal colors typical of foliagethe natural phenomenon due to the degradation of chlorophyll in the leaves of many trees, preparing for winter rest. Literally, the term foliage means “foliage”, but over time it has taken on a new meaning, very poetic, ending up generating a real form of tourism.

Because foliage is good for you

Several studies have shown that experience an immersion in naturewalking in the autumn woods, is able to rebalance body and mind. “Symbol of cosmic life, because linked to the earth but facing the sky, plants have their own energy, which is present at any time of the year”, he explains Maria Cornelia Giordaniexpert in energy phytotherapy. «This energy is capable of modulating the human one, because stimulates the physiological capacity for self-healing in the body, which are constantly in action not only in wound repair mechanisms, but also in the spontaneous solution of more severe pathologies ». It is no coincidence that trees are present in the history of every religion, in popular traditions around the world and in the iconography of sacred art: for example, embracing them (silvotherapy) is a practice that unites very different and distant cultures. , from Tibetans to American Indians. “The therapeutic virtues of trees have been recognized since ancient times and foliage can represent a unique practice to regain that physical and inner harmony that is often scratched by everyday life”.

Strength from color

During the foliage, chromotherapy is added to the energy of the trees exercised by the colors in which we find ourselves immersed: yellow, orange, red, violet, brown. “In a black and white world we would certainly be depressed, because color is light, healing, energy. Moreover, autumn colors are anything but melancholy», The expert points out.

For example, the yellow is connected to the wisdom of thoughtswords and actions: it is loved by extroverted, lively people, who enthusiastically welcome news and have many expectations about the future. Orange, on the other hand, is the color of sociability, of childhood joy, of growth, of renewal: it is a symbol of inner harmony, physical health, trust in oneself and in others, artistic creativity and ambition. Yet, red has always been a symbol of passion, courage, instinct and ancestral impulses: it represents willpower, vivacity and exuberance. «Colors like these teach us that change, of which autumn is the symbol par excellence, is not necessarily negative. Just like nature does, we too must learn to let goto make room for the new, to “undress “of what is not important in order to better live the present, without resisting the flow of things “.

We ask the plants for help

As we walk among the trees, we ask them for help with a silent prayer, to be pronounced mentally, in which we ask for the transfer of their positive energies to be able to “absorb” them and use them in the rebalancing of those that are not in harmony in us.

“Each plant has specific capabilities. For example, theMaple it is useful in depressive states, in changes and to free us from addictions; the cypress it can support us in moments of despair, when we cannot see a way out; the wisteria it helps us to be introspective, find calm, overcome fears and live in the present. That said, let us be guided by instinct»Invites Giordani.

«Our organism knows what it needs, so let’s get close to the trees we instinctively feel attracted to. Although to a different extent, all are anti-inflammatory, antioxidants, antidepressants, detoxifiers, immunostimulants: their field of action is almost infinite, even if they are among the most powerful spruce, maple, ash, hazel, walnut and poplar“. Obviously, energy should not be understood as a magic wand that solves every problem, but rather as a relief to the symptoms that torment us, while it is only up to us to change the lifestyle or the thoughts that generated the disorder.

We remain listening

During the walk in the woods, we listen to the sounds, the crackle of the dry leaves under our steps, the wind that laps the plants. “But we also take advantage of perfumes and odors in the air, because woody essential oils act on our respiratory system and strengthen our defenses against external agents ”, assures Giordani. Not surprisingly, in order to continue living the experience of the forest even at home, we can use pure essential oils to vaporize in the air to deal with small seasonal ailments. Among the many, that of cypress is anti-catarrhal and expectorant, while that of pine is invigorating and relieves stress.

The foliage helps us rediscover the wonder

Admiring the foliage show also teaches us to marvel, as we did as children. Observing nature makes us feel at ease and downsizes the daily worries: there are even studies that show how you can benefit from a relaxing effect even just by observing an autumn forest from afar.

The first scientific evidence dates back to 1984 when Roger Ulrich, a physician at the University of Texas, found that patients admitted to rooms where windows overlooked the tree-lined park outside the hospital had fewer postoperative complications, complained of less pain, took less pain medication, and had longer recovery times. short. “But even simple paintings of natural landscapes can help. Ulrich himself demonstrated this in 1993, showing a better shot for intensive care patients who could admire photographs of bright landscapes with meadows, trees and streams », concludes Maria Cornelia Giordani. «The foliage is an example of how nature always puts itself at our disposalwithout asking for anything in return ».