It’s the beginning of the most wonderful time of the year: brightly-colored leaves fill the ground, Halloween decorations have been stuffed into boxes until next year, and browsing for holiday gifts and the best Black Friday deals seem to have become part of your daily routine.
There are only one family and food-filled hurdle left before the winter holidays roll around: Thanksgiving. Even though some parts of Thanksgiving can be pretty stressful, the very idea of the holiday is meant to promote relaxation. It encourages individuals to be grateful for what they have and promotes good food and family time, which for a lot of people can be a temporary solution to 99 percent of problems.
Thanksgiving is also a time for nostalgia. Each year, people are inclined to remember not only what they’re grateful for that year, but also the happenings of Thanksgivings in the past. A lot of times, nostalgia comes from the familiar smells that you might associate with Thanksgiving: pumpkin pie baking in the oven, the scent of a perfectly crisp turkey, and the tangy aroma of fresh cranberry sauce.
In addition to reminding you of happy memories, these familiar smells can actually help you relax during Thanksgiving break, whether it’s a week-long break from school or a day-long break from work. Adding aromatic use of essential oils into your holiday festivities can further enhance these beneficial effects and make this Thanksgiving holiday the most relaxing and joyful one yet.
Highlighted below are five of the best essential oils you can use individually or together during Thanksgiving break or festivities.
Nutmeg Essential Oil
The scent of nutmeg is one of the most nostalgic scents of autumn, bringing back memories of fall afternoons, crisp air, and the crunch of leaves.
Nutmeg essential oil is derived from the seed of the ripe fruit from the Myristica fragrans, a type of evergreen tree.1 The spice itself has been sought-after by traders for centuries, and in the times of the Spice Trade, the Dutch began a war to gain control of the spice.
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Today, nutmeg essential oil is most commonly used in natural dental, body care, and skincare products. It is also used aromatically with other essential oils and pairs well with floral oils like lavender, bold scents like rosemary, and other spicy scents like ginger. Even more importantly, nutmeg is one of the main spices found in pumpkin spice, making it an important part of many holiday staples.
Two of the main factors that make nutmeg essential oil a great choice to use over Thanksgiving break include its stress-relieving and sleep-promoting properties, probably the most important parts of any break.
Some of the terpenes found in nutmeg essential oil, especially myristin and elemicin have been found to boost mood and alleviate anxiety. Research has shown that it creates these effects by increasing the activity of the “feel good” neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.2
These two terpenes are also what allow this essential oil to improve sleep quality. They provide calming and sedative properties which soothe the mind and allow the body to drift into a more restful sleep.3
Try using this essential oil topically after diluting it with a carrier oil like almond, coconut, or jojoba oil or aromatically in a room diffuser for everyone to enjoy. And if you just can’t get enough of the scent of this fall staple, there’s always the option of taking the scent with you on the go in a personal diffuser like Pumpkin Spice MONQ.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil is one of the most popular essential oils and for good reason. It has been used for thousands of years for both culinary and medicinal purposes. The strong and fresh scent of this herb is perfect for rejuvenating the mind and body during your break, leaving you refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the rest of the year.
Just like nutmeg, rosemary essential oil has been shown to effectively alleviate stress in a range of studies. In a 2007 study, researchers found that inhalation of a combination of rosemary and lavender essential oils for about five minutes a day significantly reduced cortisol— the stress hormone—levels in the body.4
And even though Thanksgiving is a time for you to take a mental break, rosemary essential oil can help ensure that you’re performing at your best once you get back to school or work because of its ability to promote concentration. For instance, a 2016 study from Northumbria University found that rosemary essential oil can significantly boost both mood and memory in teens and adults.5
To incorporate this essential oil into your Thanksgiving festivities, add a few drops to a bath and soak in it before your celebrations, combine it in a diffuser with a relaxing essential oil like lavender, or try it in a personal diffuser like Vibrant MONQ.
Clove Bud Essential Oil
Derived from the clove tree (Syzygium aromaticum), clove bud essential oil is the most popular out of the three essential oils that can be derived from the tree. In addition to providing a range of health benefits, this essential oil is highly versatile and pairs well with other fall scents such as nutmeg, rosemary, and cinnamon.
This essential oil is most widely known for it’s pain-relieving and antibacterial properties, making it a perfect choice for boosting your immune system during a time when it feels like pretty much everyone around you is sick.
Most notably, clove essential oil has been shown to relieve the pain of headaches by relieving the inflammation that causes the pain.6 So, if you’re coming into the break with a headache from the pre-break grind, clove bud essential oil is a great choice getting you back on track.
In addition, studies have shown that clove bud essential oil effectively eliminates certain strains of bacteria and ensures that the probiotics that contribute to healthy immune system function have a healthy environment in which to proliferate. When used aromatically, this essential oil has been shown to act as an expectorant, clearing mucus out of the lungs.
To reap these immune health benefits and return from Thanksgiving break feeling refreshed, focused, and healthy, try using this essential oil aromatically by adding a few drops to a bowl of hot water and inhaling the steam, in a room diffuser, or in a personal diffuser like Healthy MONQ.
Ginger Essential Oil
Given the fact that Thanksgiving is a time when most everyone experiences the urge to eat food until you feel like you’re about to pop, ginger essential oil is a perfect choice for Thanksgiving break. In fact, the primary use for ginger throughout history and in the modern has been to promote digestion and relieve nausea.7
The reason ginger is so effective for these purposes is that some of the chemical compounds found in ginger have been shown to inhibit serotonin receptors in the gut, reducing feelings of nausea. Additionally, it contains an enzyme known as zingibain which helps the body better-digest food by breaking down protein.
To improve digestion after your big Thanksgiving meal, add a few drops of ginger essential oil to a warm bath, drink a few drops of ginger essential oil in green tea, or apply the diluted oil topically onto the stomach.
Alternatively, try combining three drops of ginger, two drops of clove, one drop of nutmeg, and one drop of cinnamon bark essential oils in a room diffuser to create a festive blend filled with both the nostalgia of the holidays and a range of health benefits.8
Thyme Essential Oil
Beyond being a popular ingredient in many Thanksgiving dishes, this is an essential oil powerhouse that packs in many of the benefits of the oils listed above into one oil.
In ancient times, thyme was actually used to promote courage and strength, so if you’re not mentally prepared to spend a day with your extended family, maybe you can find solace in the promise of this ancient belief.
Like clove bud essential oil, the antibacterial and antifungal properties in thyme essential oil have been found to boost immune system function and fight off harmful pathogens. This oil also has the added benefit of antioxidant properties, which prevent free radical damage.9
Thyme essential oil has also been shown to relieve stress and anxiety, as well as fatigue, allowing you to feel relaxed, refreshed, and energized during and after the break. And like ginger, it can help promote the release of excess gas, so if you’re feeling bloated after dinner, trying out this essential oil is worth a shot.
Try using this essential oil topically after diluting it with a carrier oil or aromatically in a room diffuser or personal diffusers like Mountain or try it in our rechargeable diffuser option Happy MONQ R.
In addition to the joy of eating slice after slice of pumpkin pie and scooping more stuffing onto your already very full plate, the scents of autumn are probably one of the best parts of the holiday season for many.
Using essential oils to enhance your favorite scents of autumn not only provides the psychological benefits of nostalgia but can also provide a range of other health benefits that’ll leave you refreshed and ready to take on school or work until it’s time to do it all again for the winter holidays.
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