• Sparked Up

Scents of the Season

Updated: Mar 31


The scents of the Holidays can bring about nostalgia; a nostalgia that can help someone feel part of something bigger than themselves, or help unite a family around a sense of connectedness. Therefore, there is no better time than the Holidays to break out your essential oils. Essential oils can enhance your holiday joy, bring you warmth in the cold, and help you grow deeper in your faith. Not to mention that essential oils also have a number of health benefits, from boosting your immune system to helping you clear emotional trauma. There is no scent like Cinnamon to bring on the feelings of all the warmth of holiday merry making. It is a fragrant spice frequently used during the Christmas and holiday season. One of the most common of all spices, cinnamon has a long history. The ancient Egyptians, the ancient Romans and ancient Chinese used cinnamon, and it was considered more valuable than gold in some ancient cultures. Moreover, it was the quest for Cinnamon that led to major world exploration in the 15th century. It was the Portuguese who structured cinnamon production, management and trade in Ceilão (Sri Lanka) where cinnamon was primarily grown. In addition to being a tasty cooking spice, cinnamon is one of the world’s most important medicinal spices. In traditional Chinese and Japanese medicine, cinnamon has been used to provide relief from the cold or flu as well as problems of the digestive system for centuries. Since ancient times, cinnamon has been used to inhibit the growth of bacteria that causes meat to spoil. Cinnamon is even more valued now as new and continuing studies highlight more natural compounds it contains that have anti-microbial and anti-clotting properties, inhibit development of Alzheimer’s disease, stabilize blood sugar and improve diabetes.

Frankincense has a long history with Christmas. It appears in the story of the birth of Jesus. The Bible tells of the three wise men, who arrived at the manger, and “opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense, and myrrh.” (Matthew 2:11). It was burnt as incense in houses of worship and for various religious rites/practices. Frankincense was also used in religious ceremonies dating back to the ancient Egyptians. In the East, frankincense is connected to balancing the crown chakra, so it has a profound spiritual meaning across all religions. In addition to use in religious ceremonies, Frankincense has long been used to treat a number of different ailments. Studies have shown that this oil stimulates the immune system, making it ideal for helping prevent sickness during the holidays. Research also shows that frankincense can reduce anxiety and stress, which is something we often experience during the holiday season. Myrrh is the other essential oil that was gifted by the three wise men and burnt in houses of worship. In addition to its pleasant, warm, and earthy scent, myrrh oil may also have several health benefits. Like frankincense, myrrh essential oil is an immune booster and relieves anxiety. Studies suggest that it may help kill harmful bacteria, parasites, and other microbes. It may also support oral health, help heal skin sores, and ease pain and swelling. Paired with frankincense, they make a wonderful combination for the holiday season. Using Orange essential oil during the Holidays brings to mind traditions. There is a tradition of putting oranges in Christmas stockings that is still observed by many families today. Legend has it that St. Nicholas dropped 3 sacks of gold down the chimney to pay the dowries for a poor man’s daughters, landing in their stockings that hung by the fire. Oranges became a symbol of these sacks of gold that were generously given. Other theories behind the tradition include that they may have replaced gifts during the Great Depression when money was tight; or perhaps the fact that the orange was a luxury prior to the 20th century… Oranges were once a scarce treat, so finding them in your stocking added to the celebration. Another theory behind the tradition is that December is the season of giving, and the orange segments represent the ability to share what you have with others. Beyond the holiday traditions, Orange essential oil has a variety of uses; these can include applications to lift your mood or reduce stress, treat skin conditions such as acne, reduce pain or inflammation, relieve stomach upset, be used as a natural household cleaner, or give flavor to a variety of foods and beverages Peppermint, ahhh! the smell of Candy Canes and other sweet treats. And while the Candy cane dates back over 350 years ago, they took on their stripes and the peppermint flavor in the early 1900’s, simultaneously being associated with celebrations of Christmas. Peppermint essential oil is indispensable for your collection. Peppermint oil can have benefits for pain relief, ease sinus pressure, reduce cravings, improves focus and promote energy, fever reduction, reduce nausea, improve dandruff, natural insect repellent, acne treatment, and sunburn relief.

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