There is a kind of magic that happens when you open a bottle of essential oil. Your senses awaken and you experience an immediate sense of joy, a feeling of wonder and hope. Can an essential oil really do all these things? Well, yes, and we can give thanks to the limbic system (part of our reptilian brain) for this wonderful gift.
More and more people are waking up or reawakening to the power of aromatic natural medicine. This is something I continuously enjoy and is an integral part of my everyday wellness program. In my 14 years of using and learning about the therapeutic effects and power of essential oils, I have learned that aroma plays a very powerful and important role in our lives. We are a sensory-oriented species.
One of my favorite essential oils for this time of year is Christmas Spirit, a Young Living oil blend. As we move more deeply into the holiday season of favorite foods and traditions, we all have certain aromas and memories that play a big role in our holiday experiences. What are some of yours?
How about sugar cookies baking in the oven, gingerbread, a hearty stew, the invigorating smell of pine? A dear friend always comes to mind. She fills her home with cinnamon-scented pine cones and wreaths of balsam fir, and she always has a roaring fire in the fireplace. Winter, like all the seasons, awakens our senses in different ways, creating memories and new awareness.
Winter works in other ways as well. As the days grow shorter and there is less daylight, many of us seek sunshine and uplifting aromas, which give us a much-needed extra boost of energy. Christmas Spirit is perfect as it blends the essential oils of orange, cinnamon bark, and spruce. Orange essential oil is known for boosting immunity and its uplifting qualities. Cinnamon bark is warming, anti-inflammatory, and comforting. Spruce is grounding, balancing, and supports the release of emotional blocks. Together these oils create a lively and rich aroma.
Like many people, I feel more alive, more awake, more energized and connected when outside, where natural aromatherapy can always be found. This season begs us to walk outdoors, visiting storefronts and admiring decorated doors, where we inhale deeply, breathing in the fresh scent of pine, spruce, and balsam fir. Our senses awaken. We feel joyful and uplifted as we pick out our Christmas tree and purchase gifts for loved ones. Aroma affects us in very real and positive ways.
Dr. D. Gary Young, founder of Young Living therapeutic oils, once said: “It appears that God/Creator was the first aromatherapist—long before the word or concept was articulated by humans.” In the Bible—Ezekiel 47:12 and Revelation 22:2—it is suggested that God gave us herbs, including their extracts, to be our natural medicines.
There are countless Biblical references for frankincense, myrrh, cinnamon, fir, and cedarwood, to name a few. In Psalms 45:8, it’s said, “All thy garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassias, out of the ivory of palaces, whereby they have made thee glad.” In Proverbs 7:17, it’s said, “I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.” Frankincense was valued more than gold during ancient times and is considered the “holy anointing oil” since it was one of the gifts given to the Christ child. Frankincense increases spiritual awareness, promotes meditation, and truly uplifts the spirit. I use it regularly for meditation, prayer, and well being.
In addition to Biblical references, essential oils and their therapeutic value have been studied and used in a variety of different cultures throughout history. In Ancient Greece, Hippocrates, “the father of western medicine,” investigated the therapeutic value of pine for its benefits to the respiratory system. Pine is an aroma that inspires empowerment, revitalizes the body and mind, and may reduce anxiety. In Egyptian times, essential oils of neroli, jasmine, and cinnamon bark served as perfumes and to treat skin conditions.
The use of plants and essential oils as a form of medicine was studied more than a thousand years ago by the German scientist, theologian, philosopher, and herbalist, Hildegard of Bingen, who was also a Benedictine abbess. She wrote a groundbreaking book about medicine and healing.
Essential oil refers to the lifeblood of the plant and can be extracted from the plant using steam distillation and other methods. Therapeutic grade essential oils travel into every cell of the body within 20 minutes. Combining the power of belief with the incredible effects essential oils have on the limbic part of the brain and the physical body can result in healing, transformation, and rejuvenation in the body, mind, and spirit.
The application of therapeutic grade essential oils is easy. The oils can be diffused into the air, applied topically, blended, and some may be taken internally. It is a good idea to place a drop on a small area of the body before applying overall to see how the body responds. If one is sensitive, a carrier oil may be used as well, to dilute the essential oil.
Essential oils, like Young Living’s Christmas Spirit, can become part of your winter and holiday traditions, filling your home and life with peace, joy, prosperity, and love.