Aromatherapy For Fall Release

Here in the Northern Hemisphere, fall has arrived. The weather is slowly turning cooler, the night is becoming longer than the day, and the climate is getting dryer. It’s a time of transition, in which the fall season recognizes the need to dispel summer’s heat and prepare for winter’s dominating cool and dark days.

You can smell fall in the air. The cool breeze makes certain smells stand out more. Like the earthy smell of a pile of fallen leaves from trees hunkering down for the winter. Or the refreshing scent of pine trees swaying on a windy day. 

We’re also consuming more fall harvest foods, like apples, pears and squash, which give us the nutrients our bodies crave this time of year. 

What this season means is that it’s a time to prepare the mind, the body and the spirit for the cold months ahead by clearing out accumulated summer heat and storing nourishment inside ourselves to sustain energy through the winter.

We can look to nature to help guide us by observing deciduous trees shedding their leaves this time of year. In preparation for cold, dark winter months, trees prepare themselves by stopping the production of chlorophyll, the green pigment in the leaves that captures light. The leaves gradually change color as nutrients are withdrawn and transferred to roots and stems. Eventually they fall, serving no purpose when the tree is dormant. The tree enters dormancy, saving its energy for the coming bud burst of spring.

The cool and dry air of fall encourages us to begin contracting. To move in from all directions. It’s a time to gather in the harvest, to slowly spend more time indoors, and to start becoming more inwardly reflective. 

Essential oils and the four seasons

In turn, we respond. We start to have less energy, we move less, we have more of a tendency for illnesses of the respiratory system, and we experience more dry skin conditions.

Let’s talk about the ways we can reign in the momentum of summer and harness the goodness that fall has to offer us.  



Integrating all elements of ourselves and our surroundings is beneficial when considering aromatherapy support. 


The Spirit 

While summer is a time of growth and outward exploration, the fall offers us the chance to start slowing down and turning inward. It’s a chance to build confidence and strengthen our resolve. 

For the spirit, this means turning to rhizome essential oils. Rhizomes are underground, horizontally growing stems that serve to store food and propagate new plant growth. 

The volatile compounds from these plant parts have a warming nature that help combat low energy and lack of motivation. They infuse warmth and passion during an otherwise cooling period.

Rhizome essential oils to consider are:

  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

  • Plai (Zingiber cassumunar)

  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Take action: Carve 5 minutes out of your day to sit quietly and meditate. Embrace the earlier sunsets and make time for introspection. Let your mind and body connect. While doing this, diffuse a blend of ginger and frankincense, or plai and sandalwood.


The Mind 

The fall offers us a chance to calm overthinking and mental fatigue from summer’s energy and quick pace. It’s a chance to restore clarity of thought, ease nervous tension and combat an increase in depressive tendencies. 

Essential oils that are particularly helpful for revitalizing the mind - uplifting and relieving negative thoughts, as well as ensuring a positive attitude are citrus essential oils:

Citrus essential oils to consider are:

  • Bergamot (Citrus aurantium var. bergamia)

  • Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)

  • Lime (Citrus paradisi)

  • Sweet Orange (Citrus x sinensis)

  • Lemon (Citrus limon)

Take action: Create an atmosphere of joy and happiness in your indoor space. Rebalance what your mind is getting less of from the outdoors (energy, light). Make a diffuser blend of lime, grapefruit and sweet orange, or a blend of bergamot, lavender and neroli. 


The Body

The fall affects the body in many ways. It encourages our systems to slow down and rest. The darker days mean we spend less time outdoors and begin to move less. At the same time, the fall season gives us cooler, fresher air, which means a chance to release breath, and encourage us to breathe deeply to stir movement and combat respiratory issues. 

Essential oils that are particularly helpful for tonifying the body, strengthening the immune system and encouraging open breaths are leaf essential oils

Particularly coniferous tree leaves have a warm, reviving quality because they’ve developed an intense internal heat to face the long, rigorous winter until the spring. 

Leaf essential oils to consider are:

  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)

  • Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct cineole)

  • Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis ct cineole)

  • Black Spruce (Picea mariana)

  • Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica)

  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)

Take action: Make a 1oz (30ml) chest rub blend of jojoba wax carrier oil mixed with a 10-12 drop essential oil blend of warming and opening oils like eucalyptus and ravintsara combined with the clarity of rosemary. You can also add some drops of lavender for a feeling of calmness. Just remember to watch the total drop count. Massage the rub on your chest in the morning for an all-day ease in breathing. 

Or create a diffuser blend of black spruce, pine and siberian fir to create an atmosphere of outdoor forest air to help you breathe right as you go about your day. 


The Environment 

In the fall, the climate begins to get cooler and drier, which shows its effects on the skin and circulatory system. Coolness can bring poor circulation which can cause extra pain for those suffering from arthritis. And dryness can further irritate eczema and otherwise itchy skin. To combat, and rebalance, this cooling and drying effect, we can turn to rhizome and seed essential oils for warmth and vitality.

Rhizome and seed essential oils to consider are:

  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

  • Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)

  • Carrot Seed (Daucus carota)

  • Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

  • Plai (Zingiber cassumunar)

  • Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Take action: To increase circulation due to coldness, make a 1oz (30ml) massage oil blend of jojoba wax carrier oil mixed with a 10-12 drop essential oil blend of warming oils like ginger and black pepper combined with plai and cardamom. Massage the rub on painful muscles and joints up to 3x a day. 

For dry skin, make a 1oz (30ml) massage oil blend of rosehip carrier oil mixed with a 10-12 drop essential oil blend of a revitalizing seed oil like carrot seed together with sandalwood and lavender oils. 

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