5 must have essential oils for staying healthy this winter

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The cold months of late fall and winter will soon be here, along with all of the colds and sniffles that tag along. Winter holds a host of challenges when it comes to staying healthy, between the germs and viruses and the additional stress we experience during the holiday season, we seem more vulnerable to sniffles, colds, stomach viruses, you name it! To help with some of these winter time illness, I often turn to essential oils to help manage and relieve my symptoms.

We now know from scientific studies, that essential oils have antibacterial and antimicrobial properties which may help shorten the duration of cold and sniffles.

Here are my top 5 must have essential oils for winter

1. Peppermint

Due to the active ingredient menthol, peppermint oil has been shown to calm the digestive tract, relax the respiratory tract and modulate the immune system.

2. Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus oil is one of the most widely tested antimicrobial oils around. It’s also a great home remedy for nose and chest congestion.

3. Pine

Like eucalyptus oil, pine oil has antimicrobial properties and is also known for supporting healthy respiratory function. And who doesn’t love the smell of pine in the winter!

4. Lavender

Lavender is a soothing, calming herb that is often used in cosmetics and body products to help soothe skin irritation, reduce anxiety, and promote relaxation. When inhaled, it can help calm the respiratory system.

5. Tea Tree

Tea tree oil was the most widely-known universal antiseptic prior to the advent of antibiotics. It is a major anti-infectious agent with anti-fungal and broad-spectrum anti-bacterial properties.

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Using a Diffuser for Aromatherapy

Essential oils can be used in many different ways. One of the most popular ways is to use them in a diffuser. I have had several different diffusers over the years because I am fortunate to be gifted with diffusers for Christmas and birthdays because the people in my life know how much I use my essential oils. I have learned that some are better than others and there are so many options for diffusers! If you have shopped for them then you are probably already aware of how pricey they can be! I have noticed, however, over the years that as more and more people are beginning to use aromatherapy in their homes, the market has an increasing number of diffusers at more competitive prices. Here are a couple of recommendations based on my personal experiences…

My children really enjoy the Smiley Daisy diffuser, it has soft, subtle lighting that changes colors while the diffuser is operating. You can setit to run constantly or intermittently and it is whisper quiet which makes it perfect for bedside tables and it is my go to when one of my children are suffering with congestion.

I use a bigger diffuser for a main living areas in the house and I like the bamboo options because they really do complement our decor. This diffuser by Sky Organics holds enough to fill a room up to 300 sq. feet.

Using a Carrier Oil for Aromatherapy

Another popular way to use your essential oils is to use them with a carrier oil. Basically what this means is, do not put the essential oils directly on the skin (they are very concentrated and may cause irritation) instead add a few drops to a skin loving “carrier” oil like…

  1. Unrefined coconut oil - this is an excellent option because coconut oil is a super-oil full of naturally present antioxidants and is an excellent anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. It is wonderful for hair, nails and skin and because it is a solid at room temperature, it makes great balms and creams.

  2. Jojoba oil- this amazing oil is 75% eicosenoic acid which is a long omega-9 fatty acid that most closely resembles human sebum, Jojoba oil is famous for being the carrier oil that is closest to mimicking the natural oil secretions of human skin, it’s high absorption rate makes it perfect!

  3. Sweet almond oil - this oil is another ideal choice as a carrier oil because it is non- greasy and hypoallergenic. It’s a natural anti-oxidant and rich in vitamin E. It’s perfect for nourishing the skin.

A Word of Caution

Aromatherapy continues to grow in popularity, especially as research continues to prove what our ancestors already knew, that plants hold many health and healing benefits! Essential oils are becoming increasingly available which is exciting on the one hand, but on the other hand it requires us to do our own due diligence in researching essential oil brands because not all essential oils are created equally. I know it can be tempting to purchase the cheapest essential oil but that may not be the best option for your health and for your general experiences with using aromatherapy. Remember that whether you are using the essential oil in a diffuser or carrier oil, you are using just a few drops at a time, so purchasing a more expensive but trusted brand may cost a little extra, but the bottle will last for a while and it will be a worthwhile investment!