There is nothing that says fall to me more than the harvest of an apple tree! I have moments of my life, encapsulated in time, by the taste of an apple; the crisp, juicy, incredible tart and sweet that left me wondering why I ever crave anything other than the simple apple when I am in need of something indulgent. The versatility of the apple, in all its varieties, the tales, legends and mythical connections, can be an endless muse and unraveling of history. The apple tree in Celtic legend is known as the “tree of abundance and the other world”, a perfectly suited treat at the beginning of the fall equinox, a bountiful harvest and entering the darkest time of the year. The apple is also connected with love and magic, a split apple in two shows a pentacle in its seeds and has been used to bind lovers in the Elizabethan Age. A woman would carry a peeled apple in her underarm for weeks before her lover’s departure to war to absorb her pheromones, he would then take the apple with him, inhaling her scent to remind him to return home to her. Throughout history it has become the symbolic fruit of knowledge, love abundance, health and immortality.
The apple has many healing properties as well. They are a natural remedy for the stomach and digestive system, helping with constipation and aiding in the absorption of nutrients due to the malic and tartaric acids. It is also a natural tooth cleanser with the fibrous flesh lines and tougher skin that pushes bacteria away from teeth and gums. The saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” stems from the high nutrient source from the high vitamin, mineral and fiber content. Apples contain vitamin A, B and C, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and traces of copper, manganese, selenium and zinc. Apples can help to lower high cholesterol levels and alleviate rheumatism, diarrhea, hypertension, anemia and kidney problems. Try eating an apple before going to bed to promote a restful sleep. The pectin in the apple is a good germicide and helps to promote the growth of new skin cells and can be used in many ways as a beauty enhancer. The high vitamin C content increases collagen and skin elasticity, is an antioxidant reducing free radical damage and tones the skin. Apple cider vinegar made from fermented apples, which has a historical past dating back to the ancient Greeks, is an effective digestive aid and helps to neutralize the body’s ph level. Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water first thing in the morning to stimulate digestion and metabolism. A hydrating facial mask can be made from apple cider vinegar and honey that tones and hydrates sensitive or aging skin or try an apple mash mask to calm irritated and inflamed skin.
Last year I made a beautiful soap using fresh local apple juice, cinnamon and vanilla! It smelled incredible and was a gentle soap to use on the face and sensitive skin.
Try making an Apple Mash Facial Mask! Slice up 2 apples and put in a pot on gentle heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil, 2 tbls witch hazel and mash together. When cooled, apply to the face for 10 minutes and rinse off. Skin will be smooth, nourished and calmed of any inflammation.
Love and light,