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Hinoki Benefits| Things You Should Know About Hinoki Cypress

5 things you should know about Japanese Hinoki cypress Japanese Wellness

Japanese cypress, also known as “hinoki” in the cypress family, is deeply rooted in the Japanese lifestyle since the HINOKI tree is high-durable and strongly resistant to the super humid climate in Japan.

Also, we can not forget to talk about the scent of cypress which eases your physical and mental health.

Today, I am going to introduce the benefits of HINOKI cypress and then, you want to incorporate HINOKI products more in your healthy life form today.

ANTIBACTERIAL ACTIVITY OF HINOKI CYPRESS

Hinoki cypress is well-known for its antibacterial activity in Japan.

Because of its antibacterial activity as well as repelling insects, you can see the over 1,000-year-old temples and shrines in Japan still now, made of Hinoki cypress.

Especially, one of the components in Hinoki essential oil, “alpha-Cadinol” helps suppress the growth of Wood-decay fungus.

Indeed, the benefits of HINOKI cypress aren’t just for long-lasting wooden structures but also traditional Japanese cuisine.

How what?

Have you ever seen cypress leaves such as Hinoki or sugi placed under fresh fish at a sushi restaurant?

This is because cypress leaves suppress the growth of mold and bacteria, prevent oxidation, and protect food from spoilage.

For the same reason, many kitchen tools are made with HINOKOI cypresses such as cutting boards, sushi-oke rice mixing bowl, and shamoji rice spoons.

HINOKI KITCHEN TOOLS ON AMAZON

*Besides, it has been studied that Hinokitiol (in Japan native cypress) which is named after hinoki cypress, has a bactericidal action against many antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

*岡部敏弘, 斉藤幸司, & 福井徹. (1994). メチシリン耐性黄色ブドウ球菌(MRSA)に対するヒノキチオールの抗菌活性. 木材学会誌, 40(11), 1233-1238.

*斎藤幸司, 岡部敏弘, 福井徹, & 稲森善彦. (1997). メチシリン耐性黄色ブドウ球菌(MRSA)に対するヒノキチオールの抗菌活性(第 2 報)医療環境消毒への適用. 木材学会誌, 43(10), 882-891.

The Durability Of Hinoki Cypress

Hinoki is popular as the best wood material in Japan.

Hinoki wood has the interesting character that the durability level will increase while taking time and the durability will peak when it serves 200 years later.

Although the durability gradually decreases after 200 years,, the durability of Hinoki cypress can be found in over 1,200-year-old architecture like the historical temples and shrines in Japan.

After that, the strength gradually decreases, but the strength after felling has been maintained even after 1200 years.

Hinoki wood has many small holes which work to control moisture.

Moreover, it expands and contracts to depend on the temperature and humidity of the room. Due to this feature, Hinoki wood can provide a comfortable environment.

Insect Repellent Effect Of Hinoki Cypress

Traditionally, Hinoki cypress is used for building resident houses since it is known for preventing house bugs such as termites, mites, and ticks.

Unfortunately, it is not a cheap day to build the HINOKI house but we didn’t want to waste HINOKI benefits so there are building products made with HINOKI cypresses such as wooded floors, wallpapers, and even tatami floors impelled with HINOKI essential oil in Japan.

For more customer-friendy products, there are anti-bug products we can place under carpets and Futon mattresses containing Hinoki essential oil in Japan.

Outside of Japan, hinoki essential oil can be the easiest way to incorporate.

Neutralizes Odors

Hinoki cypress is commonly known for eliminating odor.

Since its fragrance is mild and refreshing, Hinoki cypress essential oil can produce a comforting environment while eliminating odors.

Particularly, multiple scent components in Hinoki decompose by chemically reacting with the malodorous component, and they neutralize the odor substance and eliminate them with the nice scent of cypress.

There is a study of eliminating the ammonia smell with the Hinoki essential oil, the deodorant rate was 97%!

It is a good idea to make your organic odor spray with Hinoki essential oil.

Hinoki Has Powerful Healing Effect

Hinoki essential oil has a Japanese unique scent reminiscent of forest bathing or spiritual shrines and temples. It has a strong refreshing and relaxing effect that relieves fatigue and stress and boosts your mind.

As I said, Hinoki essential oil also has an insect-repellent effect, so it helps for repelling clothing and dust mites as an organic house spray.

Hinoki cypress produces rich Phytoncide even compared to other plants and trees, which has more powerful relaxation and antibiotic effects.

Phytoncide in Hinoki cypress contains,

・ α-Cadinol
・ α- pinene

“α-Cadinol” I explain more later has mainly an antibacterial effect.

“α-pinene” has tremendous relaxing effects such as calming the autonomic nervous system, improving focus and concentration, reducing pulse disturbance, and promoting better sleep.

In particular, the Japanese “Hinoki” cypress continues to release these components even after being cut and processed.

Therefore, Hinoki wood buildings and bath products have been attracting people with durability, antibacterial, and consistent relaxation effects.

Also, smelling alpha-Pinene, a scent component contained in Hinoki cypress, leads to parasympathetic nervous system dominance which works for feeling relaxation.

*The study concludes that touching hinoki calms prefrontal cortex activity and increases parasympathetic nervous activity.

I talk about details of the relaxation effects in the essential oil in this post. Read next when you have time.

*Physiological effects of touching hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa)

What’s Phytoncide?

“Phytoncide” is a substance released from plants and trees. It is familiar as a scent when walking in the forest. (For this reason, walking in the woods has a relaxing effect.)

One of the reasons why plants and trees produce Phytoncide is to protect themselves from harmful enemies such as insects and bacteria.

“Phyton” means “plant” and “cide” means “kill” in Latin, and it sounds scary.

Despite the meaning of the word sounding scary, this “forest aroma”, a unique woody scent, can be expected to repel insects, and bacteria and, moreover, provide various health benefits for humans.

・Lower blood pressure
・Treat irregular heartbeat
・Keep the autonomic nervous system healthy
・Improves immunity
・Calm down brain activity

Among plants and trees, the Hinoki cypress has particularly powerful effects on Phytoncide.

The Bottom Line

In these ways, the Hinoki cypress is really attractive because it has good durability, prevents mold and ticks, and it also stimulates the brain with a good natural scent.

Hinoki baths made from cypress wood- “Hinoki Buro” are become popular recently even in overseas countries. Taking a bath with the scent of Hinoki cypress makes you feel relaxed.

However, remodeling the bathroom is quite difficult. please do not worry! You can enjoy the cypress effect with Hinoki wooden bath accessories!

Moreover, EEG measurements have also revealed that its aroma has a sedative effect. You can increase the value of relaxing time by using Hinoki products.

Hinoki is the most popular timber in Japan which is inseparable from Japanese life.

When you know the Hinoki cypress benefits, why not enjoy the Hinoki life!

“Hinoki” benefits aka “Phytoncide” effects last even after becoming products like I introduced today. It’s proven you can get the same effects of “Shinrin Yoku” aka “Forest bathing” just by being surrounded by natural wooden products.

Do you want to check it out? Read Next!

Resources


Do you want to know about Japanese Bath Salts which bring you luxury bath time for your special relaxation?

There are “Hinoki bath bombs,” I wrote about.

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