This was an article that was highlighted in our hospital wellness newsletter by Debra Reis.
Many of us remember our parents or grandparents using certain foods at the holidays, such as oranges with clove sticks. Or, perhaps we remember the smells of cinnamon apples or peppermint sticks at holiday gatherings. Do you ever wonder why certain aromas or fragrances are used around the holiday season?
Well, when we look at some of the science we might appreciate the wisdom of our ancestors!
Orange and Clove
Oranges pierced with clove sticks are actually called pomander balls. They were, and still are, used as a decorative display, or hung in a specific area around the home. In medieval times, the pomander was worn or carried in a vase as a protection against infection, or merely as a useful article to modify bad smells.
Science shows us that orange oil has been studied for its benefits to support our immune system. Research has identified clove essential oil with high antioxidant qualities. And many of us know its great flavor in cooking such as the holiday ham.
Cinnamon and Pine
Another common household aroma is cinnamon. This is used as a wonderful spice during the holidays and gives us a feeling of warmth and comfort.
Studies on cinnamon show that it may support our immune system. Many people add a bit of cinnamon to their food or use in their holiday potpourri. Pine is a holiday aroma that can be grounding and energy uplifting.
One of my favorites all year round. Peppermint is great for mental clarity, decreasing stress headaches and helping with stomach aches. Peppermint makes for a versatile herb and oil that can bring balance in many ways.
Consider adding a bit of spice and aroma to your home or office setting this holiday season. It may bring you comfort, and also provide balance and support to your body, mind and spirit.