by Andrew Pacholyk, MS, L.Ac.
If the aroma of pine is what brings back memories like going out and cutting your own tree, we have a top list of memory-joggers that you are going to love! With nature’s essential oils, the aroma of Christmas need not be forgotten. Simply spray the tree with a mixture of 1 cup of water and 6 drops of essential oil of pine, or put a few drops of pine oil on an absorbent material and tuck around the base of the tree. Here are several essential oils that you may use to help re-create your Christmas memories.
Cinnamon (Cinnamoma cassia): Cinnamon comes from the dried bark of trees in the laurel family. Cinnamon has a rich history in Chinese medicine as well as Western herbal medicine. A holiday favorite, this dark scent is often used to accent cookies, cakes and cocoa. Cinnamon tea is not only delightful but helpful for relieving nausea and indigestion. Cinnamon oil is great for colds. Add a few drops of cinnamon oil to boiling water and inhale the steam. Cinnamon oil is also used as a massage oil and has a warming effect on skin.
Clove (Caryophyllum aromaticus): Clove is a hot oil. A holiday favorite, this delicious scent is often used in warming recipes. It can be used in a carrier oil for any infection. It has been used in the dental industry for years to deaden pain. Clove oil can be applied topically with a carrier. It has been used for arousing and fortifying. According to a study at the University of Iowa, compounds in clove oil have shown “strong activity” against bacteria associated with plaque and gum disease.
Pine (Pinus sylvestris) : Pine Needle was used by the ancient Romans and Greeks to treat respiratory problems and muscular aches. A holiday staple, this fantastic scent is often used to accent potpourri and diffused into the air. It promotes a healthy immune and musculoskeletal system. Distilled in Austria from the finest pines, Pine Needle can be diffused to help strengthen the respiratory tract and maintain sinus passages. When massaged into the skin, Pine Needle supports healthy circulation and soothes the discomfort of sore joints and muscles. A true disinfectant, a strong germ killer, excellent for viral infections and for muscular aches, rheumatism and arthritis.
Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), (Juniperus virginiana) : A holiday favorite, this fragrant scent is often used in accenting closets and cupboards. Cedar is a versatile oil that acts as an astringent and a cleansing agent. Believed to have originated from the famous Lebanon cedars, this essential oil provides an exhilarating tonic for the scalp and face to help the body deal with dandruff and acne. It can also be massaged into the skin for soothing, relaxing muscle rubs. Cedars are thought to offer longevity, and the oil it yields was used for embalming in ancient Egypt, and as an incense by Tibetan monks to aid in meditation.
Neroli (Citrus aurantium) : A holiday favorite, this rich citrus scent is often used in the scenting of perfumes. Neroli oil has a sweet, floral and slightly haunting aroma, the color is pale yellow and the viscosity is watery. This essential oil is also known as ‘orange blossom’ and it takes about 1000 lbs. of orange blossoms to make 1 lb. of Neroli oil.The name Neroli is said to originate from the Italian princess, Anne-Marie de la Tremoille, Countess of Nerola, who used the oil as a perfume and to scent her bathwater and gloves.The orange petals were used in China in the making of cosmetics and are still an ingredient for making traditional smelling Eau-de-cologne. Orange petals are often associated with marriage, purity and brides who traditionally wore it in their hair.
Sweet Orange (Citrus vulgaris) : The orange in itself is a highlight nutrias fruit containing many vitamins including A, B, and C. Being that essential oils are extracted directly from the peel of the orange, it contains all of these natural nutrients as well. This yellow-orange oil is quite sweet in fragrance and is used in ?fruity? fragrance blends. Orange may also be used by itself for a light personal scent. Orange has been used as a beauty oil especially for the neck to help prevent and reduce the appearance of lines. Being that it is a citrus essential oil, it may cause irritation in people with sensitive skin.
Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) : Frankincense rejuvenates skin, so it’s used on mature and aging complexions and to fade old scars, reduce inflammation, moisturize dry hair, and cure acne. A holiday favorite, this pungent scent is often associated with Christmas and is said to be one of the gifts of the Magi. Its antiseptic properties fight bacterial and fungal skin infections in a salve, lotion, or as a compress. It also treats infection of the lungs, the reproductive organs, and the urinary tract, and it increases the menstrual flow. the oil works in two ways to help the body fight infection and pain. It first numbs nerve endings to reduce the amount of pain sensations that reach the brain. And then it boosts the body’s immune system to accelerate the healing process. As an added bonus, the oil’s aroma relaxes the brain, which helps bring on sleep.
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) : Myrrh has been used since Biblical times to treat many ailments. A holiday favorite, this pungent scent is often associated with Christmas and is said to be one of the gifts of the Magi. It is a sap that dries into hard crystals. The sap is used by some for making tinctures. Myrrh is both antiseptic and astringent. It is used today as a mouth wash and used for treatment of mouth ulcers, sore throats and even for the relief of sore gums. To use it as a mouthwash, drop a few drops of the sap into a glass of water.
Peppermint (Mentha piperata) : Peppermint recalls the images of candy canes and sweet treats made from this wonderful oil. Peppermint has the powerful therapeutic ingredient menthol, as well as menthone, menthyl acetate and some 40 other compounds. Peppermint is a naturally occurring hybrid of spearmint (M. spicata) and water mint (M. aquatica). The oil is made by steam-distilling the plant’s aromatic leaves and stems. Peppermint oil acts as a muscle relaxant, particularly in the digestive tract, reduces the inflammation of nasal passages and relieve muscle pains. A mixture of peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil and ethanol (ethyl alcohol) on the forehead and temples can reduce headache pain. Peppermint can be take as a tea, capsules or tinctures.