During any season, there are a few basics that can help to maintain optimal physical and mental health, such as eating healthful foods, drinking lots of water, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep. However, you may be doing everything “right” and still need a little extra support to get you through those short winter days and long winter nights. Whether diffusing or applying topically, essential oils can help you strengthen your physical wellness and improve your emotional balance.
There are so many different oils available today that you surely feel overwhelmed when you are trying to choose the ones that you need most. During the winter season you can narrow down the list of the best essential oils to keep on hand. There are several essential oils in particular that are especially helpful in keeping you healthy throughout the season.
1. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender is definitely one of the most popular essential oils, and it has antibacterial, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory effects. This oil is especially helpful in clearing up a stuffy nose, making it ideal for allergies and minor illnesses like the common cold. The cold weather of the winter season can do a number on your skin and leave it dry and flaky. This essential oil has moisturizing effects to help keep your skin hydrated and healthy. You can also combine it with other skin-healthy oils, such as jojoba oil, for an extra burst of hydration.
2. Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
Oregano essential oil has very powerful immune-boosting, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. If you were to choose only one essential oil for the winter, oregano should be it. All of these properties come together to fight off illness, make your immune system stronger to prevent illness and to alleviate certain symptoms associated with fall illnesses like the cold and flu. If you experience anxiety and have difficulty sleeping, this essential oil is helpful. It induces feelings of inner serenity and calmness so that you are able to relax and fall asleep when you are ready for bed. It also helps to reduce the fear associated with anxiety.
3. Lemon (Citrus limonum)
Lemon essential oil has mood-boosting, astringent and antibacterial effects. You can use this oil to help prevent illness by using lemon around your home to clean because it will remove germs and bacteria from your floors and surfaces. Since many germs crop up in the winter, it is important to frequently clean your home with something like lemon that is able to kill germs so that they do not stick around and make you sick. The scent of lemons has the ability to boost your mood and alleviate your stress and also has the unique ability to reduce your sugar cravings because it naturally reduces your desire to eat sweets.
4. Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)
During the winter months, the days are shorter and those who are prone to depression and anxiety may notice that their symptoms are worse. Peppermint helps to eliminate fatigue and ease depression and anxiety so that you are able to go about your days without interruption. It helps to stimulate your immune system, can help with several symptoms that are common with winter illnesses and also helps to relieve sinus pressure and drain your sinuses so that you can get rid of the pain and stuffiness.
5. Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
Frankincense has immune-boosting and purifying properties that can help to prevent you from getting sick during the winter season. Since this is the prime time to catch the common cold or influenza, using frankincense regularly is a good idea so that you can get through the season without getting sick. When the days start to get shorter during this season, some people find themselves feeling a bit down and their energy is not as high as it is during the summer months. Frankincense helps to improve your mood and alleviate anxiety. It also helps to relax you so that you can sleep.
6. Prince of Thieves: Syzygium aromaticum (clove bud oil), citrus limonum (lemon), Cinnamomum verum (cinnamon bark), Eucalyptus radiata (eucalyptus), Rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) This a blend developed at Fields of Ambrosia.
When it comes to the benefits to your health, one needs to look at each individual essential oil that makes up the Thieves blend to fully understand its powerful benefits. Each oil used is potent by itself. But when used synergistically the powerful effects are bolstered by one another. Clove supports healthy digestion, provides antibacterial properties, boosts the immune system and contains anti-inflammatory properties. Lemon has mood-boosting, astringent and antibacterial effects. Cinnamon helps to improve brain function, helps with pain relief, helps to rid the body of infections, and helps with respiratory ailments such as colds and flus and congestion. Eucalyptus is associated with cold, flu and respiratory care due to its potent clearing aromatics and helps to boost one’s immune system and helps to maintain respiratory health. Rosemary helps to boost your memory, improve one’s mood, decreases stress levels, helps to support and strengthen the immune system.
You can use essential oils alone or along with other remedies to keep yourself and your family healthy during the winter months. During these coming months, it can be quite difficult to keep yourself from getting sick, but if you keep these oils handy it will surely help.
General: As with all essential oils, never use them undiluted, in eyes or mucus membranes. Do not take internally unless working with a qualified and expert practitioner. Keep stored away from children. If applying an essential oil to your skin, always perform a small patch test to an insensitive part of the body (after you have properly diluted the oil in an appropriate carrier).
Deborah Jasien is the owner/maker at Fields of Ambrosia in North Conway Village. She has been formulating all natural bath and body products using essential oils since 2001. Fields of Ambrosia is located at 2724 White Mountain Highway, North Conway. Phone number is (603) 356-3532. The information in this article is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.