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Nurturing Oils & Immune Support for the Autumn Season

September 26, 2018

By Grace Orosz, RN-BC, CCAP

Integrative Registered Nurse, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist

Honestly, I cannot really say which season I prefer the most. I do know that it’s NOT Winter! With autumn just around the bend, I look forward to my yearly drive up to the Catskills to see all the fall colors and go apple picking. I am hoping that nature will bring some vibrant reds, golds and rusts to paint the landscape for autumn! Especially after the rainy summer we have had.There is a welcome crispness to the air, a freshness on the skin and a deep connection to nature while taking a hike through the woods. Plan to take a walk in the woods. “Just be” there and fully soak in and experience your surroundings. It will surely lift your spirits, clear your mind and enhance your immune system.

One of my fondest memories is the October of 2013, when my dear mother and I took a fall Foliage Cruise up the New England Coast to Halifax. It was really unplanned, a very spontaneous adventure. I rented a lightweight wheelchair, as she couldn’t walk long distances anymore and she tired easily. She didn’t like that chair, but was grateful that we had it anyway. We enjoyed all the fall festivities at each stop along the way. Indulging in many seasonal goodies like pumpkin and cinnamon treats, gingersnaps and hot apple cider. Who knew that would be our last trip together. I am forever grateful for the gift of that special time with her. My mom and I always baked, and that time of year I fondly remember the warming spicy smells that filled our home. It is amazing to me how a simple scent can change our moods and emotions in about 1/50 of a second. My spirit is filled with gratitude when a scent recalls those wonderful memories. Aromatherapy is truly magical!

My other memory of the fall growing up was a yearly case of bronchitis or upper respiratory infection. Like clockwork, at the end of September through mid-October my immune system crashed. The temperature shift of the fall season permits different groups of viruses, including influenza, to flourish. We need some extra immune support to stay healthy during this season. Many essential oils can help to keep you and your home environment healthy and happy.

Since I regularly diffuse essential oils in my home, I would like share with you some of the nurturing scents that warm and comfort my spirit during the fall season, these also provide great immune support. Thankfully, I am happy to report that I rarely get sick this time of year.

You will need an ultrasonic cool mist diffuser. Preferably, with an automatic shut off. Add water to the “fill line” on your particular diffuser. Generally they hold 100ml – 300ml.

- Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum): supports immune activity and provides powerful protection against viral infections and contagious diseases. (Do not apply on the skin.) You need only one drop of this oil in any blend you create or it could be overpowering.

- Wild Orange (Capparis mitchellii): Citrus in an incredibly uplifting and purifying scent. This can ward off any cold symptoms and support your immune system, especially with the change to cooler temperatures.

- Frankincense (Boswellia cartieri): is a strong immune stimulant and antibacterial. Traditionally, it has been used to treat respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. It also helps to warm and alleviate nervous tension.

- Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Rosemary (chemotype 1,8- cineole) is highly recommended for any respiratory ailments. It also promotes clarity of mind and invigorates the spirit.

- Ravensara (Ravensara aromatic): This has excellent antiviral properties, particularly for influenza. A must have for the flu season.

- Ginger (Zingiber officinale): This is very warm and strengthening to the immune system. It is recommended for coughs and sore throats. The essential oil is NOT to be taken internally. For a ginger tea, use the whole ginger root.

- Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica): This has an intense warm, woody scent. Known for positive effects on respiratory system. It relieves chest congestion and serves as an expectorant. It can be comforting emotionally and promote calmness and a deeper sleep. 

Add 2-4 drops of any of these oils to the water in your diffuser. You can blend whatever combination brings you that warmth and comfort.Be mindful of what your body, mind and spirit needs this autumn season.

Call Hackensack Meridian Integrative Health & Medicine at 732-263-7999 to learn more about mindfulness, our services and events!

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