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Nature Wisdom

With Pat Tuholske;
Naturalist

Essence of Winter

We run from our cars through the cold to the comfort of our heated homes. Shutting windows and doors tight against the cold, we sip on hot drinks and dig into the depths of fuzzy slippers. We struggle with cabin fever, feeding on sunny days, seeking warmth like a lizard basking on a sun-warmed rock.

I spend my winter months simmering tasty soups, baking pies from our blackberry preserves, feeding the wood stove, infusing our home with the smells of the season. Aromas take on a special meaning, enhancing life with the enchantment of scents. As we draw inward during this cycle, pleasing fragrances seem to open us up to breathe life in more fully and embrace the winter.

Being an aromatherapy junkie, our home is highly odoriferous. Anyone walking in the door is greeted by some fragrant essence. “It smells good in here” is always the response. Cinnamon, sweet orange, cedarwood, spruce, clove bud and bay float the air currents during this time of year in the blend of essential oils I call “Essence of Winter”. These essential oils bring light, warmth and magic into all the corners of your home, your sacred space, during winter’s deep.

Cinnamon brings golden prosperity to the heart and spirit. Sweet orange is like a ray of sunshine diminishing depression and lethargy. Cedarwood purifies and protects. Spruce helps us bounce back from stress and sadness. Clove bud restores health and courage. Bay induces positive change.

Here’s my recipe for “Essence of Winter”.

  • 1/2 oz. cinnamon (leaf or bark) essential oil
  • 1/2 oz. sweet orange essential oil
  • 1/2 oz. cedarwood essential oil
  • 1/4 oz. spruce essential oil
  • 1/8 oz. clove bud essential oil
  • 40 drops bay essential oil

Pour into a 2 oz. dropper bottle. Shake well.

Play around with the ingredients… add drops of peppermint, spearmint, wintergreen or eucalyptus. Substitute pine or fir needle for spruce; cypress or cedarleaf for bay; allspice or nutmeg for clove bud; tangerine for sweet orange.

This recipe makes two ounces. Place five to ten drops into a bowl of hot water, a simmer pot or diffuser. Put two drops on an unlighted light bulb. When you turn the light on, the heat produced by the bulb will release the fragrance. Add a few drops to your bath or massage oil.
Essential oils are highly concentrated, so the whole batch may last you the rest of this winter and into the next. Keep away from children, pets, furniture, eyes, mouth and sensitive areas. Use externally only. Do not take internally.

Essential oils can give us not only a deep healing but also an awareness of our connection to the natural world. See yourself as part of everything, know your place in ecology, claim your own personal essence, breathe in life.

This recipe, my secret ingredient for a happy winter, is my gift to you during this season…may it help you shine your own light strong and know your unique essential spirit. Enjoy!

See Pat’s Wild Wreaths, Wheels, and Twig Art crafted from Ozark native plants at www.willowrainherbalgoods.com.
Please check out “Nature Chronicles” for her musings on the Human-Nature relationship at www.pattuholske.com.

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