It can be challenging to stay healthy during the fall and winter seasons. It seems like everywhere you turn someone has a cough, a cold or a fever. But you can’t stay locked up at home until spring, so you’re going to need to figure out a way to arm yourself against all those ugly bugs. And lucky for you we have just the answer… essential oils.
Essential oils can help you gently and naturally boost your immune system, so you’re far less likely to get sick. Plus, they can help ease some of your symptoms if a bacteria or virus still manages to make it through your defenses.
But before we get started, there are two basic—and important—guidelines for using essential oils that you need to follow.
- Always make sure you’re using 100 percent pure essential oil. Fragrances and perfumes are NOT essential oils and using them can even be dangerous.
- Not all essential oils are safe to eat or drink. Before you take anything internally, double check that it’s safe to eat.
It turns out lavender doesn’t just smell good. It’s also a natural antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and decongestant. Which means it can be a great way to ease some of our most common cool weather complaints.
- Cough and congestion: To help clear up congestion and ease a cough try adding lavender oil to a diffuser or humidifier, so you breathe it in with every breath. You can also create a soothing steam by adding a few drops of oil into very hot water in a heat safe bowl or pot. Lean over the water, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam.
- Dry winter skin: Add several drops of lavender essential oil to your favorite lotion (one of our favorites is simply coconut oil) and use liberally. Lavender can even make a difference on tough-to-tackle eczema!
- Prevention: Lavender can help keep you from getting sick in the first place. When everyone around you seems to be coming down with a cold or the flu simply add 10-15 drops to your favorite liquid soap for a powerful, natural, antibacterial hand wash.
You love it in spaghetti sauce or sprinkled on a slice of pizza, but did you know that oregano oil can help keep you healthy throughout the fall and winter? Oregano oil can help boost your immune system, and acts as a natural antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial.
- Stomach troubles: Add 5-6 drops of 100 percent pure oregano oil (check the label) into your favorite tea. Sip on this up to three times per day.
- Cough or chest and sinus congestion: You have three options to loosen up congestion with oregano oil. Drink oregano oil in hot tea (see above), add it to a diffuser and breathe it in, or combine it with equal parts coconut oil and use it as a chest rub. Whichever method you choose, oregano oil can help break up the congestion allowing you to breathe easier.
- Sore throat: Add a drop or two of 100 percent pure oregano oil to warm water and gargle to ease sore throat pain, no matter the cause.
Peppermint oil can help give your immune system a boost, as well as ease your symptoms when you do get sick.
- Prevention: Add peppermint oil to a diffuser and let its delicious aroma fill the house, while it helps to keep you healthy.
- Headache: Combine several drops with a carrier oil, such as olive oil or coconut oil, and dab onto temples, being careful to avoid your eyes.
- Sinus pressure and congestion: The soothing aroma of peppermint makes it perfect to use with steam. Combine hot water and several drops of the oil, lean over the pot, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the congestion-fighting steam.
- Fever: If you should get sick enough to run a fever, massage peppermint oil into the bottom of your feet before sleep to help bring your temperature down.
Frankincense oil is great for easing aches and pains, fighting inflammation, easing cough and cold symptoms and boosting immunity.
- Aches and pains: Combine several drops of frankincense oil with your favorite bath oil and add to a warm bath to ease cool-weather aches and pains. Or, combine several drops with coconut oil and use it as a soothing rub.
- Cough and cold: Add frankincense to a diffuser or add to hot water and breathe in the soothing steam.
When you come down with a cold or the flu before you reach for the over-the-counter drugs consider trying a gentle, natural essential oil instead.