Aristotle was the first to publish a description and definition of ‘the five senses,’ but today, there are many neurologists suggesting that we have more than five, including ‘thermoception’ (sense of heat). This research about how each one of us ‘feel’ about something is important, and the most powerful sense organ of all is…our nose!
Our ancestors used their noses far more often than we do. Indeed, we can say that we are ‘disconnected’ from our noses. Unlike our other senses, the olfactory nerves (smelling) do not go directly to the ‘conscious’ part of the brain but to the part that processes emotions and memories without our awareness. Smell, emotion, and memory are intertwined!
This is why I still remember the smell of Christmas dinner in the house of my grandma from Thrace. Globally, wintertime and Christmas are connected by the available ingredients, like the fruits and herbs we use in that season.
Marketers know this for selling products like aromatic candles. An example for me is apple and cinnamon irresistible individually and in combination – for everything from apple pies to a simple tea. It is true that “a apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Rich in vitamins and other important nutrients, apples are delicious and healthy. On the other hand, cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties, so it fights bacterial and other infections but also lowers the risk of cancer. Also, it helps the hormone insulin and has a powerful anti-diabetic effect. It also seems to play a positive role treating Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
If you are using organic apples without wax in its peel, a tea of apple peal and cinnamon is the perfect way enjoy this Christmas’ cold nights. The peel from one apple and a teaspoon of cinnamon (I add some honey also) is ideal for a couple of teacups. Next time you eat an apple, keep the peel for tea. Squeeze an orange on top and you can keep it in the fridge for a couple of days. Or dry it in the oven and keep it in a jar! Baking it in an apple pie with cinnamon, cloves, and the aroma of nutmeg is the best.
This year, give youself and your loved ones scent-filled memories – sweet and warm like the spirit of Christmas.
* The above is not medical advice but mere suggestions for improving your diet. Before reach herbal use you should consult your doctor, especially those who have health issues, are pregnant or are under the age of 6.
Evropi-Sofia Dalampira holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics and an MSc in Botany-Biology.