Fall and winter offer beautiful scenery, crisp air and the dreaded cold and flu season. Along with extra germs being spread around you may also experience a depressed mood due to prolonged periods of darkness and dreary weather. Never fear essential oils can help! Before I go any further I want to clarify that I am not saying that by using essential oils you will be free from all sickness and blues this winter. What I am saying is that oils have been proven to help, of course diet and lifestyle will always play an important role in your health and wellbeing.
For those of you who are completely new to using essential oils I want to quickly give you the most common ways to use them.
- · Topical- Applied directly to the skin either neat (not diluted with a carrier oil such as almond oil, coconut oil, grapeseed oil, in your bathwater, etc) or diluted. I prefer to dilute with coconut oil due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties but you can use whatever natural oil you like.
- · Aromatic- Diffused into the air or directly inhaled. To diffuse your oil you can buy a diffuser specially created for essential oils, a wax warmer* with water and the desired amount of essential oils, or on the stove* with a pan (that you will no longer use for food) and water and again the desired amount of oil on a very low heat setting *Watch closely to avoid burning your oil!
- · Internal- If you are new to using essential oils I would not recommend using essential oils internally. If you do decide you want to try this please familiarize yourself with which oils are approved to be taken internally and that you are using therapeutic grade oils! They are not all the same. I want to be very clear on that, many oils are not of a quality that you can ingest.
Most of the illnesses we contract are either viral or bacterial.
The oils listed below have proven to be effective in stopping or inhibiting the development, function or replication of a virus and can be used topically or aromatic:
- Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil
Oils proven to kill or limit the growth of bacteria when used topically or aromatic include:
- Melaleuca or Tea Tree Oil
- (Clove, oregano, and helichrysum have also been proven to be useful however the above oils have shown the most effective.)
A great oil blend to also have on hand is Thieves Blend.
To help with congestion if you have already contracted an illness, I have found that diluted eucalyptus oil rubbed on your chest and the bottoms of your feet (either the entire foot or, if you are familiar with them, the reflex points) is very effective at relieving congestion and clearing up your sinus’. I use this as I would use something like a store bought vapor rub. I also hold the bottle under my nose and gently inhale the vapors, add to my bath/shower and put in a diffuser while we are congested.
For those of you in areas that experience long periods of darkness and are often affected by sadness or depression, having oils from the citrus family diffusing in your home/car/work may be very helpful to lift your mood. The best oils I have found for this are:
- Orange and Sweet Orange
- Bergamot (personal favorite)
- Lavender (I know not citrus but relaxes and uplifts very well and can be mixed with a citrus of your choice for a delightful aroma)
As the former owner of a Massage Therapy office I have seen many people who enjoy the smell/effects of essential oils but feel overwhelmed by where to start. However, once given a little direction they often find the oils that work best for them and have a lot of fun using them in their daily lives. I hope you too can find what works for you and what makes your everyday life just a little bit better!
*In no way should you take the advice/opinions above as medical advice. When in doubt please consult your health care professional.