While aromatherapy these days refers to essential oils, initially it meant simply the use of fragrance for healing.
Citrus: If you cook, enjoy herbal teas or garden, you already have the benefits of aroma therapy waiting for you. The fragrance of lemons and oranges have a clean, refreshing scent that combats depression. Save the peels and toss them in a crock pot. Add 8 cups of water and simmer on low all day. The peels will release a scent that promotes well being.
Vanilla: Chefs and bakers know the worth of 100% vanilla extract and vanilla beans. Vanilla adds flavor to ice cream, cookies, cakes and muffins. The next time you’re in need of a ‘mood-lifter’ dab a little vanilla extract on your left wrist and inhale deeply. Aromatherapy at its best.
Mint: Stimulates our senses with its clean, crisp scent. Because mint contains natural menthol, it unclogs stuffy noses due to head colds or sinus pressure. Add 1 tablespoon dried or fresh mint to a small sauce pan, pour in 3 cups of water and simmer on low. A minty scent should fill the kitchen within minutes.
Cinnamon: Most kitchens are stocked with ground cinnamon or cinnamon sticks. The warm scent of ground cinnamon adds a special touch to the holidays. For a different and delicious treat, add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon per 2 scoops of ground coffee to the coffeemaker. Stir a cinnamon stick into hot cocoa for a delicious treat. The combination of cinnamon and cocoa helps to soothe a sore throat.
Basil: Good cooks know basil stimulates the appetite when simmered in sauces; but did you know regular consumption of basil has the exact opposite effect? A cup of freshly made basil tea revs up your metabolism and helps you burn fat at a higher rate. To banish fatigue, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of dried basil in the palm of your hand, rub gently and inhale deeply.
Rosemary: Winter is coming and with it, colds, flu and that blah feeling. Add 3 heaping tablespoons of dried or fresh rosemary to a crock pot. Pour in 8 cups of water and simmer on low all day. Fabulous aroma and a positive mood enhancer.
Blessed Be, sweet ones.
~ Meadow Walker
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