WELCOME THE FRAGRANCES AND HARVEST OF AUTUMN TO ENHANCE YOUR SELF-CARE ROUTINE.
I absolutely love the advent of the fall season. Depending on where you are in the world, it can appear that God took His HUGE paint brush and worked His artistic wonders amongst the tree tops.
And let us not forget about the colorful and stylish sweaters that we finally get to don as we usher in the cooler temperatures.
However, fall is also that wonderful time of year when we begin to experience the aromas that make life and home even more cozy and healthy based on the products that we introduce into our space.
Here, I am going to share with you some of the fresh fruits and vegetables that I like to consume, plus the essential oils that I make use of, to ensure that I enjoy a smooth, healthy, and fragrant transition into the fall season.
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FALL FRESH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES – GOODNESS FOR YOUR BODY!
APPLES: Apples are not only delicious but also incredibly nutritious.
They are a good source of dietary fiber, antioxidants (especially vitamin C), and various health properties that may help protect against ailments such as heart disease and diabetes. (1)
Apples are versatile and can be used in both sweet and savory dishes.
My favorite type of apple is the Honey Crisp apple…talk about tasty, juicy, and crunchy!
PUMPKIN: Not only do pumpkins make festive and colorful fall decorations, but they can also be part of a healthy diet when they’re available.
They are rich in vitamins, particularly vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), which is essential for healthy vision and a strong immune system.
Pumpkins are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. (2)
Try your hand at using pumpkin in soups, pies, and smoothies.
POMEGRANATES: Now, THIS is one of my favorite fruits! Good thing, too because these tiny little pellets pack a powerful, healthy punch!
Pomegranates are high in antioxidants, and they contain anti-inflammatory properties, vitamins C and K, potassium, and folate.
Also, some studies suggest that pomegranate juice may help prevent atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries). (3)
FIGS: I have nostalgic ties to this oddly shaped fruit because it reminds me of eating those yummy fig cookie bars when I was a kid.
Figs are not only delicious, but they are also nutrient-dense.
They are high in dietary fiber, a good source of calcium and vitamin K, and reportedly help to reduce cholesterol levels. (4)
SWEET POTATOES: When someone mentions sweet potatoes, I automatically think of the everyday orange-hued root.
However, sweet potatoes come in other colors as well such as brown, yellow, purple, and white.
Whichever variety you choose to consume, you can’t go wrong because they are all excellent sources of various vitamins and minerals, such vitamin A, Vitamin B6, vitamin C, and potassium.
Sweet potatoes are also low in fat and high in fiber, which helps you feel full longer, possibly aiding in better weight management if you consume them often. (5)
FRAGRANT FALL ESSENTIAL OILS
Fall is a wonderful season to explore the aromatic world of essential oils and create delightful blends that are reminiscent of the cozy and comforting atmosphere of the season.
Many essential oils have therapeutic properties and thereby provide health benefits.
Here are some individual essential oils that are perfect for fall. Further below is ideas for blending them.
CINNAMON OIL: This warm and spicy oil reminds me of cozy autumn days and can add a comforting, homey feel to your blends.
It’s the quintessential fall scent. Cinnamon essential oil has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.
However, due to its potent characteristic, you shouldn’t use any more than a drop or two at a time because it could possibly cause a toxic reaction in the body or on your skin. (10)
CLOVE: With its rich, spicy aroma, clove essential oil is a great addition for fall blends. It pairs wonderfully with cinnamon oil and orange oil and adds depth to your fall blends.
I was surprised to discover that cloves contain lots of beta carotene, potassium, and antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in the body.
Practice caution, however, when using clove oil because it is also a very strong oil that can possibly be toxic if you use more than a drop or two at a time. (11)
ORANGE: Sweet orange essential oil adds a cheerful and uplifting scent to your blends. It fuses well with many other oils.
Orange oil also has antimicrobial properties and can help enliven your mood if dealing with bouts of depression.
As with other citrus essential oils, avoid exposing your skin to sunlight directly after applying orange oil due to the possibility of the occurrence of phototoxicity, which is a discoloring of the skin.
Be aware that applying orange oil directly (and undiluted) to your skin can possibly could cause irritation due to its potency.
So be sure to do a patch test on a very small area of your skin if you want to use it as perfume. (12)
FRANKINCENSE: A deep, resinous oil, frankincense adds a sense of grounding to your fall blends.
Reportedly, frankincense has antiseptic qualities and may help boost the immune system and may help quell digestive issues.
Be aware that frankincense is known for its blood-thinning properties. So, if you are on blood thinners, it’s best to consult with your healthcare professional regarding adding this oil to your regimen. (13)
CEDARWOOD: The earthy, woody aroma of cedarwood essential oil is perfect for creating a cozy and inviting atmosphere.
It is touted to have antiseptic and antispasmodic properties. You can add a drop or 2 to your diffuser and set in your bedroom to help usher you off to a peaceful night’s sleep.
Cedarwood is generally safe to use, but be sure to check with your physician to ensure that it’s safe for you to use. (14)
PATCHOULI: This oil has a rich, earthy scent that can be calming and soothing, making it an excellent choice for fall blends.
Patchouli oil reportedly has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is generally safe to use on the skin (diluted in a carrier oil, of course).
Be warned, though, that if you are on blood thinners, you should avoid using patchouli essential oil due to its blood-thinning characteristic. (15)
VANILLA OLEORESIN: Vanilla essential oil or extract offers a sweet and comforting aroma, reminiscent of baked goods and can complement other fall scents.
It reportedly has anti-aging effects on the skin and may help to relieve muscle tension. Although vanilla is safe to ingest, do so in small quantities to avoid overdosing on it.
If applying to the skin, dilute into a carrier oil prior to doing so to ensure safe usage….and only use 1 or 2 drops. (16)
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Want to try your hand at making your own fall essential oils blends? Enjoy the pleasant and comforting scents of fall by making one (or 2) of these blends below:
- Zesty Autumn Blend:
- 3 drops of Cinnamon Bark
- 2 drops of Clove
- 2 drops of Orange
- This combination is more heavily spiced with cinnamon, plus some sweetness added to the mix.
- Pleasant Fireside Blend:
- 3 drops of Cedarwood
- 2 drops of Frankincense
- 1 drop of Patchouli
- This is a soothing, earthy blend
- Heart-warming Blend:
- 2 drops of Cinnamon Bark
- 2 drops of Clove
- 1 drop of Vanilla (if you have it)
- This is a very basic, yet comforting blend.
- Crisp Leaves Blend:
- 3 drops of Frankincense
- 2 drops of Orange
- 1 drop of Patchouli
- For a blend that smells like those warm fall evening walks outdoors
- Woodsy Forest Blend:
- 3 drops of Cedarwood
- 2 drops of Frankincense
- 1 drop of Orange
- Great to diffuse while reading a good book
Here are some suggestions on ways to use your essential oil blends:
IN A DIFFUSER: Add 2-3 of drops from your chosen blend to a diffuser, and let it disperse the aroma throughout your space.
In fact, I am diffusing the Crisp Leaves Blend as I write this blog post for you. It smells wonderful and has me feeling quite warm and at ease.
AS A ROOM SPRAY: Mix your essential oil blend with water in a spray bottle and use it as a room spray. Shake well before each use.
IN POTPOURRI: Add a few drops of your blend to dried potpourri or pinecones for a long-lasting fragrance.
Always be cautious with the amount of essential oil you use, as they can be quite potent.
As a rule, when diffusing essential oils, I only add 2-3 drops to the water in my diffuser (whether diffusing a single essential oil or an essential oil blend).
If you plan to apply one of your blends to your skin, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS dilute only 1 drop of these essential oil blends into about ½ teaspoon of carrier oil before applying them to your skin.
The reason for diluting essential oil before applying them to your skin is that they are very potent and could possibly cause skin burns or toxic reactions if not properly diluted.
Some healthy carrier oils that I suggest are olive oil, coconut oil, or avocado oil.
Be sure to check with your healthcare professional before using any essential oils or adding any other supplements to your daily health regimen.
GOOD HEALTH IS THE SPICE OF LIFE
You can incorporate spices into a variety of dishes, desserts, beverages, and soups to enjoy their flavors and reap their potential benefits.
Remember that moderation is key when using spices for health purposes, and it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare professional if you have specific health concerns or conditions.
Here is a list of the most common fall spices and their reported health benefits:
GINGER: It is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is well-known for its digestive benefits. It can help alleviate nausea, indigestion, and bloating. (6)
CINNAMON: Cinnamon has been linked to improved heart health by helping to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. (7)
I prefer the Ceylon species of cinnamon. Cinnamon is also rich in antioxidants, which can help combat oxidative stress and inflammation I the body.
CLOVES: Cloves are packed with antioxidants that can contribute to overall health. (8)
Clove oil is often used for toothaches and gum pain due to its mild numbing and antiseptic properties.
I’ve also made my own tiny pouches with ground cloves and used them to numb a toothache.
I did so by cutting a 1-inch square from a paper towel, added about 1/8 teaspoon of ground cloves, folded the ground cloves into the cut piece of paper towel to form a tiny pouch, wetted the tiny pouch, then I placed it directly on the gum area of the tooth pain. It worked remarkably well!
NUTMEG: Nutmeg has been used traditionally to relieve indigestion and gastrointestinal discomfort. (9)
Nutmeg may also help improve sleep quality, making it a potential remedy for insomnia.
“TEE UP” YOUR NUTRIENTS WITH FALL-INSPIRED TEA
Sipping on a few cups of herbal tea per day is one of my favorite and most relaxing ways to get more nutrients and plant-based goodness into my body.
It’s also a soothing way to amp up your level of hydration…which we all need more of, yes?
As the weather gets cooler outside, fall is the perfect time to wind down with a soothing cup of tea.
These fall tea recipes below not only provide a comforting and cozy experience, but they also offer potential health benefits from the spices and teas themselves.
Enjoy these flavorful and aromatic teas while you take a tranquil bath or as you curl up with a good book.
- Fall Fruity Tea:
- Start with your choice of black or green tea (which is loaded with antioxidants).
- Brew the tea as you normally would.
- While the tea is hot, add a splash of each: cranberry juice, apple juice, lemon or orange juice. Enjoy!
- Bold Spiced Tea:
- Begin with a tea like red rooibos (also brimming with antioxidants!) or black tea.
- Brew the tea.
- Add in some ground ginger, sprinkle of ground cinnamon, 2 cloves, sprinkle of ground nutmeg, a touch of vanilla extract, and a drizzle of honey for sweetness. This is a warm and soothing cup of YUM!
- Spiced Chai Tea:
- Use chai tea bags or loose-leaf chai tea.
- Brew the chai tea.
- Enhance the flavor by adding an extra sprinkle of ground cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Sweeten to taste with maple syrup or honey.
Certainly, as summer transitions into fall, bidding farewell to the outdoor fun and activities could prove to be a bit drab.
However, you can still embrace the autumn season by infusing your living space with the fragrant scents, harvest, and decorations of fall, creating a delightful aesthetic to enjoy until the warmer season comes around again….and stay healthy at the same time.
I hope I have inspired you to welcome the fall season with a renewed sense of serenity and wellness.
Remember, if you don’t take good care of yourself, no one else will do it for you.
Cheers….until next time!