Where’s my cave?
Searching for warmth and enduring comfort as winter solstice falls upon us, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s also a time to gently sow seeds, ready to emerge as spring begins to arrive.
What’s the nature of your internal landscape? Does your menstrual cycle match that of the yearly cycle? Are you menstruating in sync with the shortest day? Are you within your inner summer, ovulating and craving an expansiveness that is hard to reach on a wintry day? Breath in to where you are at this winter solstice.
To ease you through the winter months, please enjoy a selection of essential oils that will nourish and offer you comfort; your very own blanket of essential oil care…
Cedarwood – cedrus atlantica
Atlas cedarwood is a woody, sweet, slightly balsamic and deeply nourishing oil; it offers a softness in it’s aroma that you just may want to welcome with open arms during the winter.
But, don’t underestimate the softness of this healing oil, it’s one that offers solidity and stability. According to Valerie Ann Worwood “It has qualities which are often needed when the spirit is weakened by living too much, loving too much, and being unable to forgive” (The Fragrant Heavens, Valerie Ann Worwood)
It’s the perfect oil for menopause “It encourages the strength we need to continue on our pathway, and urges us to hold fast to our dreams, helping bringing our hopes to reality” Valerie Ann Worwood
As a physical support, winter coughs and colds can also be supported by atlas cedarwood, with it’s warming expectorant and anti-spasmodic actions.
It’s considered a powerful tonic, according to Gabriel Mojay “The oil is tonifying to the kidneys and spleen-pancreas and may be used for general lethargy, nervous debility, lower back ache and poor concentration” (Aromatherapy for Healing The Spirit ,Gabriel Mojay)
Delicious oils to blend with cedarwood for winter nurturing are, frankincense, petitgrain or orange.
Ginger – zingiber officinale
Spicy, pungent sometimes sweet tones, but ever so warming.
Ginger is a perfect companion during the festive season, with its digestive qualities; useful for nausea, bloating and flatulence.
With ginger’s ability to stimulate circulation, add it to a massage blend over the abdomen to relieve not just digestive, also menstrual disturbances.
This is another oil that encourages strength, according to Valerie Ann Worwodd “Ginger is a fragrance of valour and courage”. (The Fragant Heavens) P Holmes agrees “It is recommended for conditions associated with loss of motivation, will or inner strength, especially when these present apathy, listlessness, indecision, confusion and disconnection” (The International Journal of Aromatherapy)
When blended with sweet orange, you are gifted with a warming chocolate orange aroma. One you may quite happily envelope yourself in all winter!
It blends beautifully with all other citrus oils, or introduce some fun into the long wintry nights with aphrodisiacs such as ylang ylang, rose or patchouli.
Geranium – pelargonium graveolens
As Valerie Ann Worwood proclaims: “Geranium resonates with Mother Earth. It signifies the archetypal energy of goddess culture, and encompasses the energy of the feminine, of reproduction, of birth and rebirth” (The Fragrant Heavens)
As you can imagine, geranium is an oil I turn to frequently.
With an aroma that is sweet and floral (even though it’s the leaves of the plant that hold the essential oil), it is soft, green with ever so slightly citrus notes.
Along with deeply feminine qualities, geranium is regenerative and an anti-depressant, as Gabriel Mojay shares: “Clearing heat and smoothing the flow of Qi, geranium, like lavender is able to relax the mind, calm agitation, and ease frustration and irritability”. (Aromatherapy fo Healing the Spirit) It has PMS support written all over it.
Geranium blends well with citrus oils, but as a menstrual support it’s beautiful with clary sage and lavender.
Each of the oils I have shared, offer warmth, hope and that glimmer of light we may look for in the darkness of winter solstice.
Now, imagine being holed up in a cave with these delectable oils, comforting soups, your favourite book and the comfiest of blankets! You might just find me there all winter!
Winter solstice blessings to all.
To enjoy your own exploration of how aromatherapy can support your menstrual cycle and menopause book in here.
Top image – Hernan Sanchez