The leaves are changing colors, the weather is getting cooler and the holidays are quickly approaching. It’s fall. While most people tend to think of spring as the time to focus on a health renewal, fall is an equally good, if not more important time to provide yourself with a reboot.
Winter is on the horizon and unfortunately, that’s the time of year when we are trying to avoid colds, flus and other viral infections. What’s even better than addressing a health problem successfully with natural remedies? Preventing it in the first place, naturally.
Here are five ways to use essentials now to have a healthier and happier fall season (and maybe even a better winter ahead):
How to Use Essential Oils This Fall
1. Pumpkin preservation
Nothing quite says fall like a beautiful, big pumpkin. These festive squashes can double as decor and a health booster at the same time.
If you opt to carve your pumpkins, you can skip the bleach fumes and use essential oils to preserve your creation instead. In a spray bottle, combine eight ounces of distilled water with eight drops of antimicrobial cinnamon or clove oil and apply to the inside of your pumpkin to fend off the growth of bacteria and mold.
When you’re done carving, don’t forget that you can use the inside of this superfood as a delicious source of valuable nutrients, especially vitamin A. Fresh pumpkin seeds can also be roasted with coconut oil and sea salt to make a healthy snack loaded with minerals like magnesium and phosphorus.
2. Mood lifter
Fall can be a beautiful time of year, but it’s also when many people experience less daylight and begin struggling with seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Symptoms of SAD can include feeling depressed and sluggish along with having difficulty sleeping and concentrating. A drop in serotonin levels as a result of reduced sunlight exposure is believed to play a role in this disorder.
Numerous essential oils are known for their mood lifting benefits. Research demonstrates how an aromatherapy massage or using an aromatherapy essential oil diffuser can improve depressive symptoms. Examples of oils often used to improve depression, anxiety and stress include lavender, sandalwood, rose, bergamot, orange, lemon, clary sage and Roman chamomile.†
3. Upgraded oil pulling
Oil pulling is an ancient Ayurvedic health practice with many potential health benefits. How does it work? You simply swish a tablespoon of oil in your mouth for 10–20 minutes. This oral detoxification procedure can be done with one oil such as coconut, olive or sesame oil.
Research has shown that oil pulling is one of the most effective natural health solutions for preventing tooth decay and tooth loss. Oil pulling is also used to improve bad breath, soothe throat dryness, boost the immune system, improve acne and treat TMJ.†
Oil pulling is a great natural way to boost health when practiced regularly (such as three to four times per week). To up the antibacterial and immune-boosting power of oil pulling this fall, try adding three drops of orange, peppermint, cinnamon or clove oil to one tablespoon of coconut oil.†
4. Natural cleaning
Want to clean your home effectively and have it smell amazing too? Start using essential oils! Not only can they kill bacteria, cut through grease, and add shine, but their scents can be delightful and actually provide aromatherapy benefits as you make your home look better than ever. It’s easy to make homemade multipurpose cleaning solutions by simply mixing water, white vinegar and essential oils.
For example, to create my Homemade Melaleuca Lemon Household Cleaner, combine: 8 ounces water, 4 ounces distilled white vinegar, 15 drops tea tree oil, 15 drops lemon oil in a spray bottle made of glass. Make sure to swirl or shake the bottle before you spray.
5. Scent your home (naturally)
You can also use these spicy oils in a diffuser to have your home smelling like fall in no time! Plus, you can avoid dangerous synthetic scents. These fake fragrances are being used around the home in so many ways today including wall plug-ins, room sprays, cleaning products, garbage bags, candles, and laundry products. Many people don’t realize how they are overloading themselves on a daily basis with this toxic form of indoor air pollution.
Synthetic air fresheners give off volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some even contain p-Dichlorobenzene (PDCB), which is a chlorinated VOC and a toxin commonly found in mothballs as well as pest repellants. Research links PDCB exposure at high concentration to an increased risk of cancer. Unnatural fragrances are also known to cause allergic reactions including headaches, difficulty breathing, sinus irritation and contact dermatitis.
You can use essential oils in DIY recipes around the home or you can look for products that only contain scent from 100 percent pure essential oil. Beware of anything that says “contains essential oils” because this can just mean it’s a mix of synthetic fragrance and essential oils that may or may not be pure.
†These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.