Most of us know that several drugs used to treat cancer and other ailments are derived from trees. A new theory now suggests that regular trips to woods and hugging the trees could also relieve you of diseases like cancer?

It may sound a bit esoteric, but a new study compiled by Finnish researchers for the international tree hugging community at the World Forestry Congress in Seoul, South Korea, indicates that there could be a lot of truth in this.

The study claims the tranquillity of the natural setting helps the body create the kind of cells it needs to fight and kill cancer.

Visits to forests can also help reduce stress, muscle fatigue, ADHD, depression and bring down an erratic heart rate even as drugs and medicines derived from some trees are already being used to combat ovarian and breast cancer, the report said.

Medicines like Taxol, which fight breast and ovarian cancer, are made from yew trees while there are many other medicines that use extracts or compounds from bark.

"Many people feel relaxed and good when they are out in nature. But not many of us know there is also scientific evidence about the healing effects of nature." says Dr. Eeva Karjalainen, of the Finnish Forest Research Institute, who authored the report.

Scientific evidence shows that feeling and hugging trees could bring down the body's stresses and anxiety which in turn helps it create healthy cells to kill cancer cells.

Preserving green areas and trees in cities is very important to help people recover from stress, maintain health and cure diseases, says Dr. Karjalainen while noting that "There is also monetary value in improving people's working ability and reducing health care costs."

This bit of news should be music to the ears for environmentalists. They can now use this scientific evidence to support their call for planting more trees and parks in urban areas as well as the conservation of existing forests.