The Essential Christmas Essences December 14, 2018
Cool crisp air; candles, wreaths and garlands adorning every house along with merry splashes of reds, greens, whites and silver. The changes in the weather make households gear up not just for the cold, but prepare to face the season of sickness too.
While we think about the season of giving, let us give a thought to gifting ourselves, and our near and dear ones the gift of winter wellness with essential oils. A lot of times, jolly Christmas cheer can be marred by the discomfort of stuffy noses, and then some.
Essential oils with the wondrous scents of pine, nutmeg, cinnamon, frankincense, and wild orange work as wonderful emotion enhancers to usher you into the true holiday mood, while shielding against seasonal infections. Along with cookies, and hot chocolate, make sure to beat the winter blues with some es-scent-ial oil goodness.
Most essential oils are naturally anti-bacterial and anti-viral. So instead of stopping by a pharmacy, you could look at pumping up your immune system and your homes with essential oils and natural fragrances.
The most popular oils associated with the season are those that have warm aromas and are quite the must-have mood lifters. Coniferous oils like fir and pine; the resinous overtones of frankincense and myrrh; minty oils like peppermint and spearmint; oils with spicy notes like cinnamon and nutmeg, and woody oils like cedarwood top the list of essential oils that make it to everyone’s holiday list.
The Coniferous ConnectIon
Who doesn’t love the invigorating smell of freshly cut firs, spruces, cypresses, and pines? It is that sharp, full-bodied forest smell which brings in the feel of the outdoors at a time when you are stuck inside more than you like.
The essential oils obtained from most of the Cupressaceae and Pinaceae families are perfect go-to oils for upper respiratory support. Constituting a high content of alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, almost all the coniferous oils like pine oil, fir needle, and spruce oils are used in the treatment of lung problems. Spruce in particular is especially beneficial for clearing congestion, cure a cough, cut through clogged sinuses, and improve chronic bronchitis and asthma. Pine oil, derived from the needles of the Pinus sylvestris is effective in addressing swelling, tenderness of joints associated with inflammation. It is a perfect pick-me-up for tired muscles after those long hours of Christmas shopping or skiing down slopes! In addition to being a disinfectant, a few drops in your diffuser are a godsend for frazzled nerves during the hectic bustle of the holidays.
The Relaxing Resins
Myrrh and frankincense essential oils are both obtained from the plant family known as Burseraceae. They are types of oleoresins, gum-like substances that are harvested after they harden; and eventually are steam-distilled for the oil. Though often mentioned together, the aroma of myrrh is earthy, with hints of bitter, spicy, and musty notes combined. Frankincense, the resin from Boswelia Serrata, has from time immemorial been used for treating wounds, bruises, scars and skin regeneration. When burned, it emanates a sweet pine-like smoke. In the context, interestingly, of the fumigation of churches by burning frankincense, it was as much a spiritual function as a physically cleansing one – for the immensely high anti-bacterial properties of frankincense. Definitely a must-have for that warm and inviting feel for home or guests. And for soothing over-excited children or perhaps even adults.
The Spicy Saga
There is no mulled wine, eggnog, gingerbread, smoked ham, and a host of festive food without that hint of warm, comforting spiciness. Almost all the spice oils, especially nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove are potent flavouring agents for a variety of festive food. These are so powerful as anti-bacterial and anti-viral agents that a few whiffs regularly are enough to help ward off coughs and colds. Obtained from the plant Myristica fragrans nutmeg is used as a natural painkiller. In Eastern medicine, nutmeg oil is popular for its carminative, astringent, and deodorising properties; and is a classic aroma reminiscent of Yuletides of yore.
One of the most widely used spices in the world, cinnamon, (from the plant Cinnamomum verum) derives its distinct flavour and characteristics from its key ingredient, cinnamaldehyde. It works as an effective repellent for bacteria, promotes kidney health, aids digestion, and boosts immunity. The aromatic flower buds of the Myrtaceae, Syzygium aromaticum, cloves are a favourite spice the world over. Its high anti-microbial, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, and stimulating properties make it a popular and powerful expectorant. After partying hard, or even while struggling with the arrangements, the spice oils are an indispensable part of the jollies. Try them in a diffuser, as a candle or as part of a pot-pourri – and feel your exhaustion melting away and solace in the warm, and intensely uplifting fragrances of these essential spice oils.
The Winning Woody Scents
It is a no-brainer. With a woody, balsamic aroma the cedarwood connection with Christmas, and the Holy Bible as a symbol of abundance and used by kings and princes cannot be undermined. At an emotional level, it soothes away stress and improves concentration. Additionally, cedarwood is used as a widespread remedy as antiseptic, antispasmodic and astringent. It supports the respiratory system by alleviating coughs and colds. Improving the skin cells, tightening the muscles, and promoting restful sleep are just some of the reasons why cedarwood essential oil should make it to the top of your ‘must have on hand’ list.
However, in the polluted world of today, all of us are aware of the edge that organically grown fruits and vegetables have over normal produce. And all of us at some point of time decided in favour of the organic option over others. You could be doing the same for your favourite essential oils. In the world of flavourings, fragrances, and essential oils, this is a highly debated topic.
At Ultra it is our commitment to offer you products that are pure and safe. Because it is all about production; and the good news is that Christmas is on its way. So is our brand new range of organic essentials oils.
So while the stockings are up and you’re mulling over the menus, don’t forget to add a few bottles of organic essential oils to your Christmas shopping list. For these are the little drops of goodness that trigger our ‘happy’ feelings, and well, tis the season to be jolly!