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Episode 270: Holiday Atmospheres and a Look at the History of Clove

In this episode we sit down with Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA product marketing team, about creating the holiday atmosphere you're looking for. She'll talk about what difference your atmosphere can make, some of her favorite tips to affect her atmosphere, as well as a few of her favorite essential oils, like Myrrh, Hygge, and Holiday Joy, to help. Then we'll take a look at the incredible history of Clove.

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As the holiday season approaches, the atmosphere of your space can mean more than ever. And today, we'll share some of our favorite tips and tricks to create the perfect atmosphere.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field.

Today's episode is brought to you by Lavender, a plant that's been treasured and revered for almost 3000 years. Wherever you're headed on adventures, make sure that Lavender is always with you so that you stay doTERRA Ready. Right now, as a podcast exclusive, if you buy a bottle of Lavender and enter the promo code: "Natural" at checkout, we'll send you an exclusive audiobook: "Internal Use of Essential Oils." This audiobook will help you learn how to safely use essential oils, as well as tips and ideas for the best ways to use essential oils internally.

Check out the link in our episode description or visit to learn more. Open to US orders only.

Today, we're excited to talk to Samantha Lewis, a member of the doTERRA Product Marketing team, about creating a holiday atmosphere. And then we'll look at the history of Clove.

doTERRA: Samantha, thank you so much for being here today.

Samantha Lewis: Thanks for having me.

doTERRA: I am so excited to talk about this because I love cozy atmosphere, cozy vibes. I think it's just fantastic.

My first question is, what kind of a difference can the atmosphere of where you're at make?

Samantha: The way the space feels wherever you are can really impact you, even on a physiological level. I think it's important that we remember that. And all of our senses play such a key role in how we feel in a space. So, playing with the senses really creates an atmosphere, whether positive or negative. We hope that our end goal is to create a positive impact on the senses with how we create our atmosphere, right?

So, think of a space that makes you feel stressed out. So, let's do a quick exercise. Think of a space that makes you feel stressed out. How does it look? How does it smell? You probably don't want to taste it, but if that place has to do with food, make use of that sense too.

Now, think of a place that makes you feel happy. Calm. How does it look? How does it smell? Is there taste or feeling beyond emotions you're experiencing?

Now we want to duplicate the place that makes you feel happy or calm, and eliminate any of the pieces of the place that makes you feel stressed out, anxious, whatever it is. These senses make up the human experience of a space and really create that overall atmosphere we're talking about.

doTERRA: I absolutely agree, and like you said, I think we all want to have that positive effect on our atmosphere. So, what are the different ways that I can do that? How can I affect my atmosphere in a positive way?

Samantha: Yeah.

So, we start with those core five senses we have and try to engage as many as possible, but in subtle ways. We don't want to overwhelm our senses. So, think back to the happy complex we talked about. What about that place makes you feel happy and calm, and can you duplicate that in your own environment?

Now, coming into the cooler seasons here in the Northern Hemisphere, we're looking to make our environment cozy, comfortable, warm and calming. So how do we duplicate that? How do we create that in our atmosphere?

Ways we can do this can vary from the decor we have in our homes. Like I like to bring in warmer, deeper tones into my home decor while increasing the coziness with lots of blankets and pillows. And then I'll complement this by bringing in like, warm lights, whether those are traditional Christmas lights, or even just changing your light bulbs to warm tone bulbs. And to pull it all together, I always have something cozy diffusing in my home.

My go-to, from August to December, is always the Hygge® blend. But as the season turns colder, I love to incorporate Holiday Joy®, Holiday Love®, or even my own blend with some Clove, Madagascar Vanilla, Wild Orange and then ground it out with a few drops of Myrrh or Guaiacwood.

And then to play on to the last sense: taste. I love cooking and baking cozy fall foods like a squash or gourd-based soup and hot wassail. It just really fills the home with those incredible aromas. And then you get to taste and experience Fall. Or even baking banana and pumpkin bread with a drop of Clove and Cinnamon essential oils.

So, all of this just comes together to create that cozy atmosphere that you're really looking for to, like, come home to wind down, or even bring friends and family into as you're celebrating the holiday times.

doTERRA: Absolutely. And I think pretty much all of us, as you're describing that atmosphere, we're all thinking to ourselves, that is where I want to be this season.

Now, for some of us, the holidays can end up feeling overwhelming. There's a lot going on. It can be loud. There can be a lot of people. What are some of your favorite oils to help create a peaceful atmosphere, if that's what we're looking for?

Samantha: Yeah, I mean, the holidays can definitely get overwhelming. I get it—with all the family events and things going on, whether you're hosting or not. But for me, this doesn't change much on what I do to make that peaceful atmosphere throughout the year. My routine stays the same.

I love to set the atmosphere with cozy blends, but as things are getting overwhelming, I calm things down with the pre-made blends like doTERRA Adaptiv® or Anchor. And I tend to add some Madagascar Vanilla, Myrrh or Guaiacwood to really soften up the aromas and make them a bit more: "'Tis the season," if you will. Bring them into the fall, bringing the holiday times. And I think sometimes that helps with the overall sense of peace during the wild nature that tends to come with the holidays.

A key thing for me is to also keep my nighttime routine with my whole family the same, no matter what. We still do doTERRA Serenity® in the diffuser, the doTERRA Serenity Stick + Valerian on the bottom of our feet, our chests, and really anywhere we can apply it. And then we all take a doTERRA Serenity Softgel to help us get the best rejuvenating sleep possible to tackle the upcoming festivities.

I have learned so much about the importance of good sleep to manage stress lately, and I think that's a key to help prevent that overwhelm from happening.

doTERRA: Absolutely. Now, on the other side of that, when we are ready to have people over to our house, we're ready to celebrate:what oils do you recommend to create that really welcoming and cozy atmosphere?

Samantha: I mean, go-to--I've already mentioned it. We love it. We know it. Our Hygge cozy blend. It's my first go-to. It's always actually in Christmas gifts I give to family and friends. I try and stock up throughout the year because why not spread the feeling of Hygge? It's incredible. It's cozy.

But if you're not a fan of Hygge, or you want to change it up, the combination I mentioned earlier: of the Clove, Madagascar Vanilla, Wild Orange, and Myrrh is so welcoming and cozy. This combination includes some of the notes of Hygge with that Myrrh and the vanilla kind of notes, but it lends itself a little bit more to the holiday season, bringing in like a burst of orange and the spiciness of the Clove.

doTERRA: That all sounds so wonderful. And Hygge really is. It's like being wrapped in a nice hug. Hygge—hug, you know what I mean?

Now, if people are new to essential oils, new to, you know, working to create these atmospheres, what advice do you have for them?

Samantha: You can do all the research and learn all about how essential oils can impact your atmosphere. But honestly, I find the best way to really know how to use essential oils to impact the atmosphere around you is just to start using.

Smell bottles next to each other. Pick up a bottle of Wild Orange, pick up your bottle of Clove, and begin to create your own blend. You know, adjust the nose distance if you will. You can even use pieces of paper or scent strips dipped in oil to start experimenting before you commit to putting it in the diffuser. Then take note, as you're smelling, of your observed thoughts and feelings with each combination of oils. And then start becoming your own perfumer and create beautiful blends.

But honestly, if making your own diffuser blends is a little intimidating for you, look at your pre-made doTERRA blends. Pay close attention to the blend descriptors. When we name these blends, our intention is to communicate as best we can about the blend purpose and even sometimes the aroma profile. So, take note of those. It really will help educate and lead you toward the best use of those blends.

Explore the resources that you already have at your fingertips--each beautiful amber bottle of essential oil. Don't discount them. There's no better place to start than with what you already have at your disposal. So, why not start now? Start experimenting and look at the blends you already have.

doTERRA: I absolutely agree. Samantha, thank you so much for talking with us today, teaching us a little bit more about how to make the best atmosphere and the atmosphere that we're looking for, no matter what.

Samantha: Yeah, thanks. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and you find some ways to make your atmosphere a little cozier.

doTERRA: Today we're going to talk about some internal historical uses for this plant.

Any internal benefits discussed are not applicable to aromatic or topical use. Also, various plant parts such as the leaves, bark, flower, stem, fruit, peel, bud, resin, etc. were often used for many different practices and benefits. These historical uses are mentioned here to offer insight as we explore the history of oils and plants. As such, these ancient uses are solely for informational purposes and are not being advocated or recommended by doTERRA. Proceed at your own risk with such uses.

The source and place of origin for cloves were shrouded in mystery until the Portuguese discovered the Maluku Islands in the 16th century. Originally, cloves were grown or rather grew wild on the famous Maluku Islands in Indonesia, which became known as the "Spice Islands." Vast forests of clove trees flourished on these islands, and were encouraged in their abundance by a native custom of planting a clove tree whenever a child was born, believing that if the tree flourished, then so would the child.

There's a Zanzibar saying that goes, "Clove trees will not grow except within sight of the mountains and within smell of the sea." And the clove tree does flourish in the warm, humid climates of places such as Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Tanzania. In fact, Tanzania alone, produces nearly 80% of the world's cloves.

The clove harvest traditionally consists of a few busy days where the more nimble members of the community head to the treetops, beating the cloves from the branches with sticks. As the cloves shower down, they are gathered in nets and spread out to dry, hardening and blackening in the tropical sun and taking on the characteristic, nail-like appearance that gives the spice its name from the Latin: "clovis" or "nail".

Now, the first record we have of clove actually comes from a handful of cloves found in a charred ceramic vessel beneath the Syrian desert. In this ancient, small town, on the banks of the Euphrates River, an individual, by the name of Puzurum, lost his house to a devastating fire. In the perspective of overall history,this was an extremely minor event. A new house was built over the ruins of the old and then another and many others after that. Life went on and on and on.

Thousands of years later, a team of archaeologists came to the dusty village that now stands atop the ruins. As they dug through the packed and burned earth that had once been Puzurum's home, they extracted not only the vessel containing the cloves, but also an archive of inscribed clay tablets. By happy accident, the blaze that had destroyed Puzurum's house had fired the fragile clay tablets as hard as though they had been baked in a kiln, thereby ensuring their survival over thousands of years.

A second fluke was a reference on one of the tablets to a local ruler, known from other sources as King Yadikh-Abu. His name dates the blaze and the cloves to within a few years of 1721 BC.

To find the earliest written mention of cloves, however, we have to look to the Han Dynasty in China in 207 BC. The writings tell how officers of the court were made to hold cloves in their mouth while talking to the king, apparently to ensure the sweetness and acceptability of their breath.

Europeans, however, did not experience cloves until about the fourth century, when the spice arrived on the continent via traders, as a luxury item. Roman Emperor, Constantine the Great, is said to have presented Saint Sylvester, the Bishop of Rome, with gold and silver vessels filled with incense and spices, including 150 pounds of cloves.

Cloves were such a luxury item that in Britain, during the 17th and 18th centuries, they were worth at least their weight in gold. Despite its high price, it became extremely popular. Of course, it wouldn't be found in any common kitchen, but it would be found in just about every kitchen of the wealthy.

Clove has been used in a wide variety of ways throughout history, from cooking to traditional wellness practices. For instance, clove can be used to make a fragrant pomander when combined with an orange. A pomander is a ball made for perfumes and traditionally was often carried with the owner. When this was given as a gift in Victorian England, such a pomander indicated warmth of feeling.

Clove is known to possess many properties that make it useful in oral wellness practices and is used in various dental creams, toothpastes, mouthwashes, and throat sprays. Traditionally, people have also pressed a clove bud between the jaws at the sight of a tooth that may be bothering them.

Clove was also one of the spices that played a prominent role in the ninth century texts written by the famous Arab physician Isaac ibn Amran. His works, written in Arabic and translated into Hebrew, Latin and Spanish, became the foundations of teachings in medieval Europe.

Clove has been used traditionally in many wellness practices, including Ayurveda, traditional Chinese wellness practices and Western herbalism.

Whatever way you choose to use Clove, we know it will bring some joy into your home.

Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you want to try any of the products you learned about, click on the link in the episode description or find a wellness advocate near you to place an order today.

And remember, if you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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