It's easy to take trees for granted. Tall, grand and immobile, they appear to do very little in the world other than stand proudly. However, whilst they make not look it, trees are actually essential sources of assistance for the preservation of human life. They really are miracles of nature -- helping humans survive for centuries and continuing to do so to this day.
Listed below are three fascinating ways in which trees can actually help you to survive.
Nature's Air Cleanser
Those who retain memories of early school science lessons may remember learning about the carbon cycle and benefits trees can have for the earth's atmosphere. For those struggling to recall this information, this can act as a brief refresher course. Trees are not only beneficial for the way in which they reduce air temperature by blocking sunlight and create areas of much needed shade in the environment, but they also act as natural air cleansers due to their role in the carbon cycle.
During this process, trees absorb many gases in the air that are harmful to humans, including carbon dioxide, and release oxygen into the atmosphere instead -- a gas that all humans need to live. As well as helping to purify the air, trees also provide food, shelter and warmth for a wide variety of wildlife – thus assisting to maintain a healthy ecosystem.
Nature's Own Compass
To be lost in the wilderness without a map or compass is every traveller's nightmare, but what a lot of people don't know is that trees can actually tell you the way to get back home. By studying tree trunks or the rings in a fallen down tree, any lost person can help navigate their way back to base.
In the northern hemisphere, thicker patches of moss may be visible on the north point of the tree trunk, as this is the location where the tree receives most shade and moisture during the day. Also, the tree trunk rings will be thicker and farther apart on the tree's south side in this part of the world, as this is where the tree gets most of its light during daylight hours. This is also applicable in the southern hemisphere, but the opposite way around.
Whilst trees naturally help the human body by cleansing the air, they can also provide medicinal benefits that are used in modern-day health work enacted by doctors and nurses. Certain elements can be extracted from certain trees to assist treating certain diseases, but a few of the most fascinating are the Gingko Biloba, Ceiba Pendantra and the Birch tree.
Gingko Biloba is one of the oldest trees in the entire world, and contains some magnificent medicinal properties that have been used to enhance brain power. Gingko is sold as a herbal remedy at many drug stores as a brain booster, and was even temporarily considered as a front-runner for treating Alzheimer's disease.
Ceiba Pentandra or the "Kapok" tree has been used across the world for a wide variety of treatments, with its bark, seeds, and resin used to alleviate the effects of asthma and fever. In some countries like Colombia, the bark is also broken down into a liquid and applied to hair to act as a stimulant for thickness and growth.
The Birch tree is also incredible in the way that its sap and leaves can be extracted in order to produce an anti-toxin that helps clear urinary infection, reduce fluid retention and cause the skin to look and feel purer as a result.
For more information, contact a local tree specialist like Kingdoms Tree Care.