From the warm smell of gingerbread baking in the oven to the scent of a freshly cut pine tree, the scents of Christmas evoke holiday memories. Ginger, peppermint, frankincense, pine – these are the scents that mark the holidays of yesterday and today. In essential oil form, these scents do more than bring us back to Christmases of long ago:

Harness the power of these wintertime scents in their essential oil form by using them to solve everything from common household to minor health issues.

  • Place 3-5 drops of peppermint oil in your vacuum cleaner bag to give your home a fresh, candy cane scented home, perfect for welcoming guests. If your carpets need an extreme freshening up, mix 5 drops of peppermint oil to a box of baking soda, sprinkle over your carpets, let sit for one hours, then vacuum.
  • Is the scent of garlic, onion and other cooking odors still lingering in your home after prepping and serving a holiday-sized meal? Place 3 drops each of clove and cinnamon oils in a simmering pot.
  • Increase the shelf life of exotic holiday fruits like pomegranates and clementines by dipping them in a bowl of water containing 3-5 drops of lemon essential oil.
  • Make a holiday scented, natural, all-purpose cleaning spray. Mix 10 drops of pine, peppermint or lemon essential oil to one cup of vinegar in a spray bottle.
  • Curb your appetite before a holiday party by rubbing a drop of peppermint essential oil on your temples. Peppermint is said to promote a sensation of fullness and will help you avoid overindulging.
  • Make a natural air freshener by mixing 10 drops of pine or peppermint to a spray bottle filled with distilled or purified water.
  • Frankincense, myrrh and pine can all be used to scent your firewood. Add 10-12 drops on a dried log and let soak in overnight before using as firewood.
  • Make any candle a holiday scented candle by adding a few drops of pine essential oil to the hot melted wax.
  • Nausea after overeating? Rub 1 drop each of peppermint and ginger oils behind your ears.
  • Sore feet? Soak your feet in a basin filled with hot water, 3 drops of peppermint oil and 1/2 cup of Epsom salt.
  • Sew some lavender sachets for a holiday gift. Place 5 drops of lavender oil in the filler, sew into sachets, and then seal in an airtight bag to help set the scent.

Rules to follow when using essential oils:

  • Always read and follow all label warnings.
  • Keep out of reach of children and pets.
  • Conduct a patch test of diluted essential oil on the inner arm before using; if redness or irritation occurs, do not use.
  • If you have sensitive skin or any serious medical condition, consult with your doctor before using essential oils for therapeutic purposes.