Before Christmas trees became fashionable in Victorian England, people had been bringing in evergreen boughs to decorate their homes with.
Evergreen plants were thought to repel evil spirits because they kept their colour all year round, and reminded people that spring would come again after the depths of winter.
Pine trees were often planted around spa towns as their scent was thought to clear and purify the air. Bournemouth was once known as ‘forest town’ because of the number of pines.
If you have a real pine tree as your Christmas tree this year, here’s three ways you can use it:
• Strip some pine needles and make a tea from the needles, which have more Vitamin C than lemons • Brew some needles in with boiling water and let it steep. Strain and add to a bath to ease sore muscles, aches and pains • Making a steam tent with pine needles and breathing in can help to clear sinus and help you focus
Pine essential oil, made by steaming the needles, are used to cheer you up and give you more energy. Mix it with neroli or cedarwood essential oils to scent and clean your home – a few drops onto cotton wool balls which are placed out of sight will be so much better than chemical-laden scents.