Herbs of the holidays

Updated: Apr 5

The earliest herbal stories of Christmas are rooted in the desert of the Holy Land and begin with the the wisemen bearing gifts of gold, myrrh and frankincense to the newborn child. Other holiday traditions, especially those of the Northern regions of Europe are passed down from times before, when the people endured the dark days of midwinter on the hope of eternal rebirth of the Sun and Earth. Many of these stories and legends of miraculous herbs and plants were folded into new Christmas stories, and all were passed down to us from mother to child, generation to generation, to form our own unique Christmas traditions. During the holidays we enjoy decorating pine trees, hanging branches of mistletoe in strategic places, and the resinous scent of aromatic incense, without giving much thought to how and why these herbal traditions started, or the very real medicinal benefits of these holiday herbs, plants and oils.

The aroma of cinnamon evokes memories of Christmas kitchens - warm, spicy and intensely fragrant. Cinnamon makes a great tasting tea alone or added to almost any herbal tea blend for it's spicy, warm properties. The addition of honey brings out the organic sweetness of the cinnamon and complements the antibiotic healing for colds, sore throats, and other viral infections. Cinnamon has an energizing and uplifting effect on mood. Cinnamon essential oil brings this fantastic scent to your home or workspace.

Sage, rosemary and thyme are the true herbs of winter, not only in the kitchen but as herbal medicines that are especially potent against the chills of winter. The tradition of using sage at Thanksgiving began with the early American colonists