One of my favorite ways to stay in tune with the Fall is using essential oils that resonate with it, according to acupuncture and herbal theory. Clary Sage and Pine are considered Fall oils, and have a powerful effect on the Lung organ and Lung system, which are also associated with Fall. In acupuncture theory, the Lungs also govern our Protective Qi (Wei Qi), to keep us safe from external pathogens and illnesses. These oils range in temperature from neutral to warm, and are invigorating. They protect, inspire and uplift. Take a deep inhalation of air into your lungs and feel the power waiting to be unleashed with action, brave words, determination, insight and (literal and figurative) inspiration.
There is so much more to fall than pumpkin spice!
Clary Sage is an important and versatile oil, and its nature is neutral and dry. It helps calm tension and revive fatigue. It both strengthens Qi that is depleted, and relaxes and circulates Qi that is “stuck.” Clary Sage is used for mental and emotional uplift. It enlivens the senses. It is indicated for muscular stiffness, tired and aching legs, headaches and migraines. It can be used for digestive disturbances, as well as to ease premenstrual tension and menstrual pain. It helps to open the chest, to strengthen and circulate Lung Qi, and to relieve the fatigue that comes from shallow breathing.
This ability to calm and uplift can be mildly euphoric, and is one of the reasons Clary Sage is renowned. This type of uplift is, however, grounded in reality. It reassures and steadies the mind, while enlivening the senses and dispelling illusion, restoring the clarity invoked by its name. When one’s mood is changeable, indecisive and burdened by emotional confusion, Clary Sage can help dispel this fog. In fact, the word Clary comes from the Latin clarus, meaning “clear,” reflecting the role of this plant in the treatment of eye issues.
Clary Sage has the ability to lift despondency and worry, and help reaffirm our instinct for our life’s purpose. It helps us “see clearly” in this moment, to connect with our intuitive insight.
The best essential oil of Pine is distilled from the needles alone, although the young branches and cones can also be used. According to herbal theory, pine oil is warm and dry and tonifies Qi. It is indicated for a wide variety of lung issues, particularly those with white or clear phlegm. It can help relieve arthritis. Pine is indicated for those with exhaustion coupled with shallow breathing and low back ache.
Its affinity for the Lungs underscores its effect on our “vital spirit”. By opening the chest, it instills and restores emotional positivity and helps to restore our self-confidence. It disperses melancholy and counteracts pessimism. Gabriel Mojay describes it as an Herb of Protection, indicated for those with weak boundaries or who take on others responsibilities as their own.
HOW TO USE: You can diffuse essential oils near your favorite chair or at your desk, or even by your bed at night. If you’re using a candle-type diffuser, you must be fire-safe and attentive. An electric diffuser that uses water must still be watched, but may be less risky for your situation. Don’t have a diffuser? Then add 4 or 5 drops to a cotton ball or tissue, and place it on a ceramic or glass dish (so the oil doesn’t affect your furniture) and let it evaporate. You can also put a drop or two on the inside of your shirt on an inner seam, so your body heat helps to diffuse it. Test the garment first in an unobtrusive place, and then to make sure it won’t aggravate your skin. Want to level up? Use essential oils in a bath or foot soak.
When shopping for essential oils to use on your skin, buy organic whenever possible. Please browse my shopping portal for trusted brands and products, and help support a small woman-owned business. If you purchase through me, I offer a 15% discount off retail prices. Thank you.
Watch for my upcoming article on how to make a foot soak with these essential oils… so simple.
Continue to use these oils through mid-December. Then stay tuned for the Winter essential oil installment!