The Scents of Autumn & Winter: Aromatherapy Fragrances for Work & Home

Autumn and Winter are filled with evocative aromas that bring back pleasant memories for many of…hearty meals, baked goodies, childhood fun, jumping in piles of leaves, camping in the woods, mountain vacations, bundling up in warm clothing, and the season of year end holidays ~ Halloween, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas and Kwanzaa.
Many of those familiar aromas are found in therapeutic, steam-distilled, essential oils! In addition to being delightful to smell, they also bolster and protect our immune systems for the predictable, but less welcome, colds and flu season.

Avoid Respiratory Illnesses by Diffusing Essential Oils

mugs of latte and hot chocolate with cookies and creamy dessert with a tiny pumpkin
Favorite holiday & winter spices also support our immune systems.
Respiratory illness may be avoided or eased by diffusing any of the following essential oils, singly or in blends, to kill airborne bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Pure, Natural Aromas of Many Spices & Herbs have immune supportive properties. The following essential oils:  Anise, Cardamom, Cinnamon** or Cassia**, Clove**, Coriander* and Nutmeg* all have antiseptic properties with anti-bacterial and anti-infectious uses. Several of the spice essential oils also have anti-fungal and anti-viral applications.
**Do not inhale directly as these EOs irritate nasal membranes.
*Use sparingly in blends only.
pink grapefruit lemons limes
Grapefruit, oranges, lemons & limes have powerful anti-infectious and anti-viral  properties.
Pure, Natural Citrus Fragrances loved by many people for their cheery, relaxing aromas have powerful anti-infectious and anti-viral  properties as well.

Rich in the powerful antioxidant d-limonene, citrus oils support the immune system and overall health, while promoting a sense of well-being, creativity, and feelings of joy. They are antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal, effective disinfectants & insecticides.

Any of these essential oils: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Orange, Tangerine may be diffused to add a cheery note to the atmosphere while ridding the air of infectious airborne microbes. 
balsam fir branch tip in forest
Many forest trees, especially conifers, support our respiratory systems.

We instinctively enjoy the  refreshing, relaxing scents of wooded forests and majestic evergreen conifers, breathing in their distinctive fragrances. And, not surprisingly, their pure natural essential oils support our respiratory systems, too!

Diffusing Pure, Natural Conifer Essential Oils brings the outdoors in while purifying your personal or work spaces. They have antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial properties, and make good disinfectants.

Essential oils, steam distilled from the needles and bark of forest trees, take you back to nature with the relaxing, bright scents of aromatic conifers – fir, pine, and spruce. Inspiring and invigorating, these wonderful essential oils refresh our senses while relaxing the body with a steadying, calming, balancing effect on emotions.

Consider any one or combinations of the following essential oils: Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea), Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menzeisii), White Fir (Abies grandis), Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Spruce (Picea mariana).

HOW TO USE: For aromatic use. Diffuse or inhale from bottle.  (Avoid touching and contaminating the uncapped dripper nozzle of the bottles.)

Faerie Glen™ essential oils aromatherapy blend - image with toddler amazed by twinkling lights
One way to enjoy lovely woodsy aromas is in our cheery FAERIE GLEN personal fragrance oil. It’s a sweet orange-spice melange with conifer accents and a hint of vanilla. Available soon as a small 1.8ml sampler at our Gaia’s Pharmacopeia store. Look for it!
HOW TO USE: This unisex fragrance may be used as a personal perfume by carrying the bottle in your pocket or bag to sniff as you wish, dab in your hair, beard, or on your wrists, neck, behind your ears, or on your chest.

Cold and Flu Season Is Near! Vitamin D Supports Robust Health

Winter and springtime’s change of seasons challenge our immune systems. With CV-19 hospitalizations on the rise, we can bolster our immune systems by spending time outside in the sun and with daily Vitamin D3 supplements. A recent study indicated patients hospitalized with COVID-19, who had sufficient levels of vitamin D, had a decreased risk for adverse outcomes and death.

Vitamin D is so important for immune function that low levels are associated with an increased risk of respiratory diseases, including tuberculosis, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as viral and bacterial respiratory infections and immune-related disorders.

Research shows having healthy levels of vitamin D helps your immune system and may protect against respiratory illnesses. Another large 2017 analyses of prospective clinical trials showed taking vitamin D reduces the odds of developing a respiratory infection by approximately 42%.

Why Is Vitamin D Crucial to Our Immune Support and Health?

One of the main functions of vitamin D is to help activate T cells, aka the “killer cells” in the body. T cells actually detect and destroy foreign pathogens — like viruses. “That makes vitamin D especially crucial for maintaining a functioning immune system capable of fighting back foreign pathogens.

Get more vitamin D by eating the right foods, with vitamin D3 supplements, or by spending more time in the sunlight. Analysis suggests that taking vitamin D daily or weekly was more effective than larger doses taken in single or monthly boluses. The most common daily dose used was vitamin D3 300-4,000 IU.

Learn more about Vitamin D’s crucial importance to health from the following articles:

Vitamin D

Essential Oils Prevent Infection in Nasty Cat Bite, Healed the Lumpy Scar, too!

In early FEBRUARY 2021, Jaeci…our emotional cat…bit my left hand HARD causing a localized, painful infection leaving a lumpy scar as the wound healed.

woman's hand, swollen and red on day 2 after cat bite, covered with a bandage
My hand swollen with a localized infection from a nasty cat bite.

Jaeci and I had a misunderstanding…

I was laying on the sofa. She wanted to cuddle and ‘knead’ me. I needed a blanket layered between my skin and her needle-sharp claws. She was sitting on the blanket and wouldn’t move. When I pushed her to move off, so I could pull it up, she bit me HARD on the back of my left hand (my ‘good’ hand) as my right hand was out-of-commission after shoulder surgery two weeks earlier!!!

Infection Is a Major Concern with All Cat Bites

2-4-2021 / Day 2

Cat bites can be dangerous, leading to blood poisoning and serious consequences from infection. Rather than going to our hospital’s Emergency Room, I treated the cat bite on my hand at home with many applications of anti-infectious, scar-reducing essential oil blends and C60 Olive Oil.

Immediately, I went to stop the bleeding using firm pressure – part of the injury was a puncture wound in a vein – followed by rubbing anti-infectious essential oils on the wound and surrounding area.  Then I used analgesic, pain-relieving, oils to minimize discomfort.

12hrs later
My hand was only mildly red, a bit swollen, and very sore. I couldn’t make a fist, although my fingers weren’t swollen. Drank lots of water to help the healing process. Watched the wound closely, applying oils every few hours to avoid infection…my main concern with this cat bite.


One of my favorite blends for infections (or to avoid one) is Melrose®, a tea tree (Melaleuca), Rosemary, Clove essential oils blend sold by Young Living Essential Oils.

Other essential oils I applied to the cat bite wound were:
~ A custom anti-infectious blend I had just created for a customer, with Rosemary, Clove, and citrus essential oils in the formula.
~ Lavender essential oil to ease pain.
~ SpurGo™, a custom anti-inflammatory essential oils blend to reduce swelling / pain.
~ Scar-Be-Gone™ an excellent essential oils blend created to prevent permanent scarring
~ Plus Arnica gel.

Didn’t want the infectious microbes to get a foothold!

woman's hand, day 4 after cat bite with puncture wound and scratch
Four days later, cat bite injury is responding well to at home essential oils treatment.

2-7-21 / Day 4  Good News Update!

The cat bite healing turned a corner for the better:

  • Much less pain
  • Swelling was going down
  • Redness was shrinking towards the original wound, rather than spreading
  • Minor discharge had stopped

My hand was still stiff from  swelling and still tender, so I put a clean bandage back on to protect it.

What made a TREMENDOUS difference was C60 Olive Oil applied topically. A friend gave me some for my shoulder (after rotator cuff surgery in January), which I hadn’t used for that yet, since this bite took priority…but thank-goodness for her gift! The pain relief was almost instantaneous for small wounds (like my husband’s cut fingertip) and obvious within a few hours with a more serious wound like the cat bite.

Normally, I would have been a skeptic, thinking C60 EVOO was a health ‘fad,’ but not now. We will be ordering ourselves a large supply from this UK distributor. Their pricing is very affordable compared to most sources.

woman's hand,16 days after deep cat bite showing lumpy scar and healing scratch
Cat bite infection is completely healed, but a lumpy scar remains.

Infected Cat Bite Cured, Leaving a Lumpy Ugly Scar

2021 February 19 ~ Day 16

Just over two weeks since the cat bite. I could make a tight fist now and use my hand completely, but that lumpy scar was still quite prominent.

2021 February 25 ~ Day 22

A week later. Scar lump was still quite large and bumpy. At this point I was wondering how long it was going to take for the body to heal it completely?

woman's hand, 28 days after deep cat bite with lumpy scar healing
A month after the cat bite, lumpy scar is smaller, but still visible.

2021 March 4 ~ Day 28

The lumpy scar was getting better (smaller and seemingly flatter), but was taking awhile even with 2-3x daily applications of scar reducing essential oils and the C60 Olive oil.

2021 March 6 ~ Day 30

Thirty days seems to be the ‘magic’ turning point for when scars from surgical wounds or cat bites start their ‘disappearing act.’ I was noticing this on my shoulder surgery incisions as well.

2021 March 10 ~ (Day 34) Cat Bite Update: The scar ‘lump’ seemed visibly smaller / flatter every few days.

woman's hand, 38 days after deep cat bite, lumpy scar completely healed
Cat bite scar is much smaller and flatter.

2021 March 13 ~ Day 37

The scar ‘lump’ was steadily getting smaller and flatter.

2021 March 14 ~ Day 38

What a difference from two weeks ago! By this time I was feeling very encouraged and pleased with the healing process.

woman's hand, 66 days after deep cat bite, no evidence of injury visible
Five weeks after getting bitten by my cat, the scar is almost gone.

2021 March 14 ~ Day 38 

Showing the scar ‘lump’ from different lighting angles, so you can see how well it’s healing. I’m hoping the scar ‘lump’ will be completely healed by the end of this month or early April.

2021 Mid-April ~ Day 65

The cat bite wound / lumpy scar was almost completely gone. There was still a very slight lump visible when I moved my fingers, but no one else would ever know I had such a nasty bite slightly over two months ago.

With the right resources and knowledge, we can take care of ourselves and heal many injuries in a holistic way.

2021 Mid-April

And then a week later, my cat bit me again! Gosh, was I angry with her! At least this time, the bite wasn’t serious and I knew exactly what to do to help it heal.

Diffuser Recipes for Sleep

Sleep doesn’t come naturally to all people. Our bodies and minds function at their best after a good night’s rest, but falling asleep and staying asleep is another story. Essential oils can help you relax, put aside the worries of the day, and calm your mind. Add these diffuser recipes for sleep to your nighttime routine, and settle into a more peaceful sleep.

My children have been horrible sleepers since birth. It is one of the reasons I initially turned to essential oils. Diffusing essential oils and applying them topically has been a huge part of our nighttime routine. Every night we get the diffuser going with a sleepytime blend, rub their little toes with their favorite oils, add a quick spritz of a goodnight spray, and off to dreamland they go.

Aromatherapy is frequently associated with relaxation. Most essential oil users turn to aromatherapy to increase or improve sleep. Essential oils contain powerful constituents that can lower blood pressure and heart rate.

Essential oils such as lavender calm the central nervous system and prepare the body for sleep. Lavender is one of the most popular essential oils for sleep. It is an excellent remedy for improving sleep quality and duration.

When choosing essential oils to use before bed, select oils that help calm and relax you. Energizing essential oils like peppermint and rosemary may have an opposite effect and may make falling asleep more difficult.

Best Essential Oils for Sleep

  • LavenderCedarwood
  • Peace & Calming
  • Gentle Baby
  • Valerian
  • Vetiver
  • Tranquil
  • Clary Sage
  • Rutavala
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Bergamot
  • Orange
  • Frankincense
  • Copaiba
  • Geranium

If you or someone you love is not getting enough sleep, incorporate these diffuser blends for sleep into your nighttime routine for a more restful sleep.

Sleep Support

This blend is safe for most people so it would be good to try with the whole family. Even children and those who might be sensitive to other oils can benefit from diffusing this recipe.

3 drops Cedarwood Essential Oil
3 drops Lavender Essential Oil

Restful Slumber


The Use of Clary Sage Essential Oil for Cramps


Clary Sage is a popular oil for cramps among women.

In The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, author Salvatore Battaglia writes:

“Clary sage is one of the most important essential oils as a women’s remedy . . . Clary sage is renowned for the relief it brings to menstrual cramps because of its spasmolytic and analgesic action on the womb.”

He also says that Clary Sage oil remains important for women during childbirth and menopause.

The science of this popular oil for cramps

From a scientific standpoint, Clary Sage’s benefits are largely due to two components that help calm muscle spasms:

  • Linalool
  • Linalyl acetate

Linalool and linalyl acetate can each calm spasms individually. And when they show up side by side (like in Clary Sage!), they enhance one another’s effects. We call that working in synergy.
This is a cramp oil recipe with Clary Sage and three other popular oils for cramps: Roman Chamomile, Catnip and Bergamot. (Bergamot also features the linalool-linalyl acetate synergy!)

Clary Sage Synergy Cramp Oil

– 1 oz (30 ml) Jojoba oil (Simmondsia chinensis)
– 7 drops Clary Sage essential oil (Salvia sclarea)
– 5 drops Catnip essential oil (Nepeta cataria)
– 4 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil (Chamaemelum nobile)
– 2 drops Bergamot essential oil (Citrus bergamia)
Make this blend in a 1 oz (30 ml) bottle.

All About Dandelions


Latin Name: Taraxacum officinale
Family: Asteraceae
Energetics: Cooling, bitter tonic
Taste: Bitter, sweet, minerally

In the early days of spring, Dandelions draw the eye with their tufts of golden petals perched on a single, hollow stem. Prolific is their nature. To one it is either a bane to behold, undermining all previous attempts at lawn care, or a sun-fed medicinal plant to cherish, you may choose your side.

For me, as the warm days roll in I witness the first Dandelion blossom with awe, celebrating its simple beauty, year after year. If you watch children and their first spring encounters with Dandelion, many are just as enthralled as I, if not more so. And why wouldn’t they be! The flowers serve as body paint and lawn snacks all in one, and when the seeds come, a breath filled wishing game on a stalk.

I say follow the children’s lead, let go of the dull idea of a pristine lawn and appreciate the Dandelion for what it is, a weed of wonder.

So ingenious are its seeds they carry their own parachute, floating on the wind in elegance, capable of up to a mile’s travel. This plant, subjected to the most toxic pesticides by some, is actually a medicine the likes of which our society needs in mass. And their food utility, edible from root to flower, was appreciated enough by humans past to carry it to many far-off places.

Long considered a traditional spring tonic, Dandelions were anticipated in the first warm days to provide the nutrient density of fresh vegetables missing from a winter’s diet.

Growing in a basal rosette, these early spring Dandelion greens are most palatable picked before flowering. The leaves as they grow older become tougher and increasingly bitter. The greens are packed full of nutrients, you can try them in a salad or a sauté, as they can be consumed raw or cooked.

The flower can be eaten raw, along with the flower stem, or cooked in any manner you see fit.

Dandelion roots can be chopped and put into stir fries. Filling a necessary bitterness to the diets of today.  The roots also house inulin, an indigestible fiber that feeds our gut microbiome.

Using Ayurveda to Maintain Health Through Seasonal Transitions


At the core of Ayurveda, the science of life from India, is dinacharya, daily routine for balance, and Rituacharya, routines for seasonal balance. These ancient practices are the ultimate self-care regimes. Think daily home spa treatments, meditation, yoga, and healing food!

Dinacharya and Rituacharya are composed of many self-care techniques performed at relatively the same time each day to encourage balance in the body, mind, emotions and spirit and prevent disease by alleviating doshic accumulation (the five elements can build up and cause imbalance) in the many layers of the being.

When we create a personalized healthy lifestyle, meaning daily habits that are in balance with nature, there is more opportunity for harmony inside and outside of the body.

There are many influences on us from nature: seasons, climate, sun and moon cycles, global temperature changes, and aging. There are also many influences on us that are man-created such as traffic, stress, air-pollution, water-pollution, busy schedules, financial stress, and more. All of these influences that we come in contact with have an effect on us. If there are similar qualities that we are repeatedly in contact with, these can build up and cause imbalance in our body, mind and spirit.

Our personal nature has a rhythm that is communicated through our body’s biorhythmic clock. These bodily clocks synchronize with the sunlight, moonlight and temperature in the atmosphere, to name a few examples. It is also affected by what we choose to eat, think, when we sleep and when we rise.

For balance in the transition to spring (Kapha season) we rise with the sun, meditate, dry brush the skin, practice Abhyanga with warm sesame oil infused with tulsi, eat a light breakfast with cinnamon and clove, focus on the tastes of bitter, astringent and pungent, engage in some vigorous exercise daily, reduce dairy and clear clutter from our homes.

Spring is a marvelous time to go within to nurture, develop and plan your dreams and goals. Just as it is natural to plant seeds for our summer garden in spring, nature is also holding space for us to plant our own seeds now to be harvested in the fall. Anything done steeped in the energy of earth and water (kapha), is sure to take root and become a stable, nurturing endeavor.

Use of Anise Hyssop in Herbal Medicine


I use Anise Hyssop as a tea, in a tea blend, or as a tincture. Any remaining flowers + leaves? I make herbal projects like the ones below. All tasty + fun to make!

Anise Hyssop Medicine:

This lovely fragrant herb offers digestive support and can alleviate uncomfortable gas and bloating. We can use Anise Hyssop in a delicious tea to help to relieve congestion and to relieve bouts of harsh excessive coughing. With anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory attributes, Anise Hyssop (tincture or tea) combines well with licorice root to soothe bronchitis and help to clear up respiratory infections. As a gentle cardiac herb, Anise Hyssop is a wonderful addition to a supportive formula to strengthen a weak heart.

Anise Hyssop Medicine ~ Infusion

Such a well-loved tea herb, this special fragrant plant lifts up anyone when enjoyed hot or cold! It’s an easy herb to grow and such a pretty addition to your garden. I hope you’ll grow this one, even if space is limited to a large pot on the balcony.

Anise Hyssop Projects:

The edible flowers find their way into floral ice cubes and make a delightful addition to festive tea parties with my girlfriends! They impart a light anise flavour and can serve as a beautiful edible garnish as well. Separate the tiny flowers from the stem and elevate the presentation of a chilled summer soup or fruit salad. Last year, a chilled Vichyssoise soup was adorned this way and very impressive!


Read The Complete Post Anise Hyssop Medicine + fragrant herbal projects on Studio Botanica.

Heal Sprains and Strains Quickly…Naturally

While gardening three days ago, sprained the middle joint of my middle finger. It HURT! At first, assumed the sudden pain was due to a cactus spine stuck in my gardening glove. But by early evening…as the pain increased, and the finger stiffened with swelling and bruising, I became concerned it was sprained or may somehow have been fractured?

Signs and Symptoms of a Sprained Finger

A sprained finger most often is experienced as a sudden onset of pain during activity. (With a ligament tear, an audible snap or pop might be heard at the time of injury.)

Read more

Lavender Lemonade

Essential oils are DELIGHTFUL in your cooling summer drinks! Here’s a refreshing Lavender Lemonade recipe to try when temperatures rise to sweltering.


  • 7 Organic Lemons, peeled and juiced
  • 2 Organic Limes, peeled and juiced
  • 1 drop pure 100% Lavender Essential Oil* (no more!!)
  • 14 cups filtered Water
  • 1-1/2 cups Organic Agave Syrup

Mix all ingredients together, heat gently if needed to blend in agave syrup. Taste. Add more water or Agave syrup to the Lavender Lemonade, depending on the size and tartness of the citrus fruits.

Chill before serving. Garnish with whole lemon slices and a sprig or sprinkle of culinary lavender.

*NOTE: Be careful not to add more than a single drop of Lavender essential oil or it will overpower your lemonade.

If you would like the slightly pink hue shown in the photograph, infuse culinary lavender into the water by boiling it for several minutes, bring to room temperature before adding the rest of the lemonade ingredients.

Cynthe Brush

Certified Clinical (Medical) Aromatherapist Creating Custom Blends Since 1999

Therapeutic Essential Oils Practitioner & Self-Care Health Educator has used essential oils for personal, family, & client health issues since 1999.

Personal Consultations:
Pre-paid on an hourly basis

Gaia’s Pharmacopeia – Buy Healing Essential Oils Blends / 100% Natural Botanical Perfumes: Effective essential oil blends for Athletic Injuries; Sprains – Broken Bones; Wounds & Surgeries; Backaches; Headaches; Dizziness; Herpes Simplex; Stress and more.