De-Stress in 30 Seconds

Winter. It’s at this time of year when many of us wish we could just hunker down on the couch and hibernate until the first crocuses burst from the earth – the heralds of spring. But you don’t have to wait until Spring for warmth and rejuvenation. The art and science of aromatherapy can warm and refresh your winter season, bringing the bounty of nature indoors, even while it sleeps outside. 

It’s this time of year, perhaps more than any other, that brings back powerful recollections of scent: cinnamon and nutmeg, cardamom and clove, citrus and ginger, evergreen and balsam. Aromatherapy refreshes the air of homes sealed tight against the elements, lifts away winter gloom and sets the mood for a season of both quiet contemplation and festive tradition.

Winter oils
Essential oils derived from plants are the foundation of aromatherapy. Quality essential oils can be found at most natural food and holistic health stores. Essential oils can be used in many ways. Any individual oil or one of the blends listed below can be diluted in a base oil (like sweet almond or grape seed) for massage (no more than 12 drops of essential oil to every 3 ounces of base oil). But the easiest way by far to enjoy these blends is to diffuse them in the air with a candle diffuser.

Ideal winter scents fall into four categories: evergreen, citrus, spice and balsam. Here are some keynote scents of the season along with recipes for special blends.

Evergreen dream with juniper berry
The sweet, fruity scent of juniper berry with its evergreen tone refreshes and invigorates in this blend that pairs it with bergamot, a sweet and mellow citrus that gives Earl Grey Tea its charm.

10 drops of cedarwood
25 drops of bergamot orange
15 drops of fir needle
30 drops of juniper berry
20 drops of sandalwood

Spiced citrus with sweet orange
In this day of greenhouses and overnight shipping, we forget how special it must have been to have fruits in the wintertime. Sweet orange is not only a citrus, but also highly floral – just think of fragrant orange blossoms on the wind. Gentle, sweet orange brightens any atmosphere. Calming, motivational clove, along with other spices, lends it a richness and balance to indulge in through the season.

10 drops of bergamot
5 drops of lemon
40 drops of sweet orange
10 drops of clove bud
5 drops of ginger
5 drops of nutmeg
5 drops of cinnamon

Gifts of frankincense and myrrh
Frankincense and myrrh have been prized in perfumery and ritual for thousands of years. They were among the gifts of the Magi, the three wise men who followed a star to find the infant Jesus. Frankincense is said to help clear the mind and aid in inward concentration. Myrrh helps to purify, protect and revitalize. Together, these ancient aromas, with their woody balsamic scents, create the perfect synergy for purification, meditation and contemplation. If you’re working through issues this holiday season or want to meditate deeply on how to live more generously and peacefully, this is the blend for you.

15 drops of lemon
15 drops of juniper berry
30 drops of frankincense
30 drops of myrrh
10 drops of cedarwood

These aromatherapy blends can be a source of support during the hectic holiday season, waking not only your senses, but bolstering your immune system and helping to create an atmosphere of relaxation, health and happiness.*

*Please remember, essential oils must be used with care and attention. Not all essential oils are suitable for all people. Oils must never be ingested and are rarely ever applied in pure form topically; they must be diluted first. Be sure to do your research and take proper precautions before using any essential oil.

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