My Favorite Essential Oils For Fall and Winter

My Favorite Essential Oils For Fall and Winter


The fall is a perfect time to start using warming essential oils. When the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are cooler I start diffusing  my woody, spicy and warming oils.  Not only do these oils add a wonderful aroma to the home, but they also possess powerful anti-microbial properties to aid in warding off disease. I love how I can diffuse the aromas I love and at the same time protect myself from infectious diseases.


I especially enjoy the essential oils from spices, perhaps it is because we use a lot of spices during the long and cold winter months in my home country Sweden. We eat lots of spicy gingerbread cookies and drink our version of Gluhwein. We decorate the houses with Pomanders during Christmas time. 

Intense oils
Spice oils are very intense so it is best to mix them up with some other oils before diffusing them in the room. For example, diffused clove oil can irritate the eyes so it should not be diffused more than a couple of minutes at a time. Spice oils such as cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger blend well with citrus oils. So I enjoy blending citrus oils such as orange, lemon, tangerine, bergamot, lime, and grapefruit with spice oils during the fall and winter. Closer to Christmas I like to add  essential oils such as juniper, cypress, Balsam Fir, peppermint and pine to my diffuser.

The Young Living Blend Thieves is a blend that has several of my favorite oils for fall in it. So, of course I diffuse Thieves often during this time.

I like to use essential oils to get the right holiday feeling during when it gets closer to Christmas.


Here are some of my favorite oils during the fall and winter. This is of course a very subjective list and this is how I experience the aromas when I inhale them.


Clove

This is by far one of my favorite essential oils. Clove has a spicy, hot peppery and fresh top note. It is very penetrating and stays in my head. The middle note is very uplifting, smooth, more distinct and sweet. It is very aromatic. The base note seems stronger, sweet, spicy, and warm. The dry out note is still strong, spicy, slightly floral and fruity.  Clove is a very positive, uplifting, and stimulating scent. I like it. I makes me feel very positive and ready to do things. I associate the aroma with freshly baked gingerbread. 

Use with caution after first trimester but it is best to consult a physician before use when pregnant.

Avoid with homeopathics. It is a mucus membranes irritant, and it may cause dermatitis. It is also a blood thinner and should be avoided if taking blood thinning  medication.




Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a warm, spicy, peppery, and slightly woody top note. The middle note is more intense and the characteristic sweet cinnamon aroma has increased, but it still has a slight woody undertone. It smells like cinnamon candy. The characteristic spicy cinnamon scent appears to be stronger in the base note. The dry out note is still very distinct spicy cinnamon but weaker. Cinnamon has a sharp penetrating aroma that is very comforting but also stimulating. It lightens the mood. 

I consider this my feel good oil. I love everything cinnamon and inhaling the essential oils reminds me of being a child eating fresh homemade cinnamon rolls. The aroma cheers me up, it is uplifting but yet relaxing aroma.

Cinnamon should be avoided in pregnancy and in stomach or intestinal ulcers. It may cause tachycardia, increased respiration and perspiration in excessive doses. It should be avoided when using homeopathic remedies.




Ginger

Ginger has a warm, pleasant, slightly citrus and fruity top note with a woody undertone. The middle note is spicy, peppery, sharp, warm and uplifting. It also has a more characteristic ginger aroma. Ginger is stimulating and warming, and it makes me concentrate better. The base note is sweet, slightly characteristic ginger, woody and more diffused. Ginger has some burned smoky scent. The final dry out note smells sweet several days later. 

Ginger clears my nose when I inhale it and it goes to my head. It's an euphoric and stimulating scent. It makes me happy smelling it.  Ginger is a stimulating and grounding oil. It is said to help with memory.




Nutmeg
Nutmeg is a warm and stimulating aroma. The aroma lifts fatigue and goes straight to the head. The top note is spicy, warm, woody, and little alcoholic. The middle note is rounder, softer, spicier and more euphoric. The base note seems dark, spicy and little burnt. Nutmeg is a warm masculine aroma that I associate with winter-time. Nutmeg is said to support the nervous and endocrine systems and prostaglandin balance.

The constituent myristicin is toxic if used in excess.

Orange

It is high in d-limonene (85-90%) and therefore a powerful antioxidant. Orange has an uplifting, rich, fruity, and at the same time a very calming aroma. It is a happy aroma.  

"Orange (Citrus sinensis) essential oil has a rich, fruity scent that lifts the spirit while providing a calming influence on the body. Orange brings peace and happiness to the mind. It is rich in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene and aids in maintaining normal cellular regeneration.* Orange may also be used to enhance the flavor of food and water." YL Website

Cedarwood

Cedarwood has balsamic-woody, earthy and slightly spicy, and camphoraceous top note. The scent is very calming, relaxing, and it feels comfortable. The middle note is sweeter, and more woody with a perfumery scent. Cedarwood is a warm and tenacious note. It reminds me of fresh cut timber. 

Cedrus atlantica may be useful in nervous tension and anxiety due to its warming and harmonizing properties, which make it very soothing and calming. The oil may be comforting, warming, and helpful in stress-related conditions such as nervous tension, anger and exhaustion.



Frankincense

Frankincense has a warm, sweet, balsamic, woody, spicy scent with a hint of lemon. It slows down breathing and produces feelings of calm. It has historically been used for respiratory congestion.  It also has astringent properties, which may also help balance oily skin conditions. 

Researchers have discovered that due to the sesquiterpene content,  frankincense stimulates the hypothalamus, pituitary, and the pineal glands. The hypothalamus is considered the master gland and it controls the release of thyroid hormones as well as growth hormone.


Black Pepper

I love the smell of black pepper! "Black pepper (Piper nigrum) has a pungent, crisp aroma that is comforting and energizing. It is supportive of the digestive system and is useful topically for soothing muscle discomfort following exercise. Black pepper may also be used to enhance the flavor of foods. " from YL Website

Rosemary

Rosemary has a strong, penetrating and clear aroma. It is a refreshing and stimulating herbal fragrance. It is said to overcome mental fatigue and to improve mental clarity and focus.
Rosemary is considered one of the best tonics for central nervous system. It strengthens mental clarity and awareness. It is an excellent brain stimulant and has traditionally been used to improve memory. It is also a valuable oil for respiratory problems such as  catarrh, sinusitis, common cold and asthma.




Cypress

Cypress has a bitter, acidic, sharp, spicy and balsamic-woody top note. It is a clean and refreshing smell. The middle note is balsamic-woody, sweet and spicy. The base note smells more like cypress with a forest scent and it is not as sweet. The dry out note is sweet, woody, and mild. The aroma of cypress is calming and balancing, but also very refreshing and clearing.





Pine

"Pine (Pinus sylvestris) has a refreshing, invigorating aroma. First investigated by Hippocrates, the father of Western medicine, pine is soothing for stressed muscles and joints when used in massage. It shares many of the same properties as Eucalyptus globulus, and the action of both oils is enhanced when they are blended." YL Website


Before you leave:


I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil.


Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. AlsoRead this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


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Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.





Natural Gifts - Make A Lavender & Rosemary Soap

Natural Gifts - Make A Lavender & Rosemary Soap


I love homemade gifts and my daughter and I are having a blast making things for friends and family. This is one of my favorite soap recipe and it is so easy to make. You can make this soap without the shea butter as well. My husband uses this soap for shaving and I add rosemary essential oil instead of lavender for a more masculine aroma.

You can find more gift ideas here.


Linked to:


Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Rosemary

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Rosemary



We love roasted sweet potatoes in our family, and it is also a perfect replacement for the potatoes. Potatoes has a high glycemic index we don't eat it as often.

Sweet potatoes are packed with the antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamin C and E. They are part of the morning glory family and they don’t belong in the same family as potatoes. They are rich in complex carbohydrates and low in calories. A four oz serving of sweet potatoes will provide more than 14 milligrams of beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and suitable for people with diabetes. The fiber indirectly lowers blood sugar by slowing the rate at which food is converted to glucose and absorbed into the blood stream. Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin B6 and folate.


I found a new recipe on a Paleo diet website and we tried it for  the first time on Thanksgiving. It is a really easy and delicious recipe.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes With Rosemary
 1 pound sweet potatoes or yams cut into cubes
1 large sprig of rosemary
3 tbsp. lard, duck, or goose fat
5 cloves of garlic, smashed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
( I added more garlic and rosemary than the recipe called for)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bring the sweet potatoes to a rolling boil in a pot with salted cold water. Remove when it boils. Melt the fat in a roasting pan/dutch oven, and add the garlic and rosemary. After a couple of minutes add the potatoes and mix. Remove from the heat right away and season with freshly ground black pepper. Put the roasting pan in the oven until the sweet potatoes are done. 

This post is linked to:
Sunday School at Butter Believer!
Fat Tuesday
Natural Homemade Gift Ideas

Natural Homemade Gift Ideas

I have made several homemade gifts the last month to be used for my gift baskets. 
 

Homemade gifts are more thoughtful, cost effective, and more environmental friendly. It is a great way to show children that gifts don't have to be expensive. It also teaches them to take advantage of resources we already have. We re-cycle containers and buy things at garage sales, thrift stores, or antique stores and use for our homemade products.



 Here is an example of one of my baskets filled with handmade lavender/rosemary soap and handmade table cloths. You can make these baskets for any occasions and not just for the holidays.



I made another basket filled with other products that I made the last month. 


Some natural and healthy gift ideas:





Quick and Easy Bath Salt my daughter made.







 A Quick Infused Calendula/Lavender/ Chamomile Facial Toner

 

Homemade Rosemary & Lavender Soap Makes a Perfect Gift








 







 

 

This post is linked to:

 Sunday School at Butter Believer

Soothing Lotion Bars

Soothing Lotion Bars

 

A lotion bar is a great alternative to a liquid water-based body lotion. I make them for the whole family, and they make great gifts during the holidays. A body lotion bar contains oil and is solid, which makes it ideal for children to use.

Lotion bars are extremely cost effective since it melts on contact with skin. As a result, less of the bar is used. There is one draw back: the skin will become greasy if too much of the bar is used. You can use ingredients such as bees wax, Shea butter, cocoa butter, almond oil, and essential oils.



The original recipe I used calls for 6 ounces cocoa butter, 6 ounces Shea butter, and 1 ounce vegetable oil. I cut the recipe in half since I didn't need as many this time. I only needed a few for my gift baskets. 30 drops of lavender were also added, but not needed.

The butters have a strong aroma which may cancel out the essential oils. That is, if you decide to add them just for their fragrance. I decided to use my calendula and lavender infused relaxing oil instead of regular vegetable oil.




The Shea and cocoa butters were placed in a glass bowl and put on top of a pan full of hot water to melt. Shea butter is actually a wax in semi-solid form. It is made from the nuts of the Shea nut tree in South Africa. It is high in vitamin E, has a slightly sunscreen effect, and softens the skin.

Cocoa butter is a wax from the cocoa bean. It has emollient qualities and absorbs quickly into the skin. Good for all skin types, but avoid if prone to skin allergy reactions.





Once the butters were melted, I added the rest of the ingredients.

I mixed well.





Since these are meant as gifts I used small cupcake molds, but you can make them bigger.

The smaller sizes are also perfect for little hands.





Here are the bars a few hours later.  I suggest that you use bees wax if you want them fairly hard since these bars are softer. I prefer them a little bit harder so  I will use 1 part beeswax, 1 part oil, 1 part cocoa or Shea butter when I make my  body bars next time. You make it the same way, melt it all together, add essential oils if desired, and place in molds.




Here is one of my gift baskets for the holiday season. I included my easy bath salt, infused relaxing oil, and my homemade perfume. As you can see, I added some other homemade items to add a nice touch.

Doesn't the basket look great?
The Christmas Essential Oils

The Christmas Essential Oils



I like to use essential oils to get the right holiday feeling during this time of the year. Synthetic fragrances cause allergies and contain synthetic estrogen, so it makes sense to use natural essential oils instead. The other day I made a spritzer of pine essential oil and sprayed on our fake tree. Our dog has allergies so we had to give in and buy an artificial tree, but the pine oil makes it a little more real.


Many essential oils are distilled from spices and they can be used  during the holiday seasons. The uses are many, you can scent the wrapping paper, add aroma to wreaths, pine cones, ribbons or to other decorations as well. Or why not make a room spray with inviting Christmas aroma? The spice oils are also great antiseptics and they will purify the room while keeping the germs away.

Cinnamon, clove, bay, pine, cedarwood, mandarin, orange, tangerine, frankincense, myrrh and ginger are oils I consider suitable for Christmas. I use them frequently and very often in a diffuser to get the right kind of atmosphere in the house.

 


The essential oils of  cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg and cardamon can be added to your Christmas cooking. They can be added to cakes, puddings and desserts and so on.
 You can also replace the spices in your mulled wine with these oils.

Here is a recipe for mulled wine I found long time ago in Valerie Ann Worwood's book:
4 cups of red wine
cinnamon 1 drop
clove 1 drop
orange 2 drops
mandarin 2 drops
Blend together in 2 tablespoons of honey


Slowly heat the red wine and add the flavored honey and stir well before you take it off the heat. When the wine starts to bubble it is time to take it off.





Wrapping paper
Place 2 drops of oil on a cotton - wool ball and put it together with the wrapping paper in a sealed bag over night.
Cedarwood or frankincense are great aromas for men. Geranium or cinnamon are wonderful scents for women, and for children mandarin or lemon are good choices.

 
Fire wood oils
Sandalwood, cypress, cedarwood, frankincense and myrrh. You only need one drop per log for your fire and it is enough to include one scented log per fire. Just make sure you let the oil soak into the wood long enough before you use it for the fire. The oils need to soak into the log so you don't get any sparks when you light the fire.

 





Candles
I love candles and during the winter season we use a lot of candles. You can add essential oils to the candle as soon as the wax starts to melt, it is normally enough to add one drop by the wick. Bay is a good choice and one of my favorites but pine and mandarin are also good choices.

Here is a blend you can use for your candles but it also works great in a room spray.
mandarin 4 drops
geranium 1 drop
cinnamon 1 drop

 

 
Pine Cones
You can put 2 drops of pine oil on a cotton ball and add to a bag of pine cones and leave in a sealed bag over night. The essential oils are all natural so it will make the cones smell authentic.






Ribbons can be infused with Christmas essential oils. Add 6 drops of your favorite Christmas essential oil to 1 cup of water. Dip the ribbons in the water blend and swirl around so they get wet,  and let them dry.

Christmas House Spray
pine 4 drops
mandarin 2 drops
cinnamon 1 drop
Add to 1 1/4 cups of water in a spray bottle.


You can also buy essential oil blends if you don't want to mix your own:


 Christmas Spirit™ is a sweet, spicy blend of orange, cinnamon, and spruce essential oils that tap into the happiness, joy, and security associated with the holiday season.Diffuse or sprinkle on logs in the fireplace, on Christmas trees, on cedar chips for dresser drawers, or on potpourri. Use all year round. Orange (Citrus aurantium), cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum verum), and spruce (Piicea mariana). 


Thanks for visiting!

 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 

Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information. 





Linked up to  
Works for Me Wednesday 
  Raising Homemakers. 
Simple Lives Thursday 
Fat Tuesday
Make Luxurious Aromatherapy Gifts

Make Luxurious Aromatherapy Gifts



Essential oils from flowers are wonderful and luxurious, so why don't you indulge in some pampering?  Or make some luxurious gifts for someone special. Flower oils are soothing to the nervous system, and they are a perfect choice for a relaxing day. Essential oils from flowers are more expensive but they make wonderful gifts. I included a variety of oils that are impressive but not overly expensive. Remember, only a few drops are needed for each gift so you can make many gifts for yourself or loved ones. These oils can also be used for skin care products or personalized perfumes. You can also make several products with the same oils and add to a gift basket. Best of all is that you will have plenty of oil leftover for your own spa days.





Flower Power Bath Salt
dried rose petals 1 teaspoon
sea Salt 1/3 cup
geranium 5 drops
lavender 2 drops
bergamot 3 drops

Crush the rose petals and mix them with the salt. Add to a glass jar and add the essential oils. Make sure you mix it well. Add to the water after the tub is filled.
 

Or Try a luxury bath oil:

Flower Power Bath Oil
4 ounces of almond oil
1 teaspoon of wheat germ oil
lavender 20 drops
ylang ylang 10 drops
clary sage 10 drops
bergamot 10 drops

Blend the massage oils and add the essential oils. Use about 1 tablespoon per bath.


Or a Body scrub:  

Jo's Own Body Scrub
1/4 cup Sea Salt
1/4 cup Medium-ground cornmeal, sunflower seeds, or oatmeal
Apricot Seed Oil 1/3 cup 
6 drops bergamot
4 drops lavender
2 drops geranium

Mix the cornmeal or other choice, and the salt together. Mix the essential oils with the vegetable oil and add to the salt mixture.

This is a messy scrub so you better stand in the shower or in the tub. Rub it in with circular movements and work towards the towards the heart. Rinse the body but don't use any soap.



Jo's Best Facial Toner
4 ounce of distilled water
1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel, wheat germ oil, or other oil of choice
3 drops lavender
2 drops ylang ylang
or
3 drops lavender
2 drops geranium

Mix the essential oils with the dispersant, add the mixture to the water.




Luxury facial scrub
1 teaspoon fine or medium -ground almonds
1 teaspoon finely ground oatmeal
1/2 teaspoon dried rose petals
1 teaspoon natural yogurt
2 drops lavender
1 drops of geranium

Mix almonds, oatmeal, rose petals and yogurt. Add enough water to make a paste, add the essential oil. Apply to the face, massage gently in circular movements. For a gift you can add the dry ingredients and put in a fancy container and make a small gift basket with bottles of  lavender and geranium essential oils. Write down the recipe on a card and include as well.



Give someone the gift of health this season. 
Thanks for visiting!






Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 


Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information. 







Linked up to  Works for Me WednesdayRaising Homemakers, and  Parade of Christmas