Essential Oils You Will Need For The Upcoming Cold Winter Months
Winter months can bring fluffy white snow, hot cocoa, and several layers of clothing. However, it also brings runny noses, sneezing, coughing, and high temperatures. Personally, I always get sick for at least a week during the month of October. I’ve tried taking Vitamin C, bundling up when headed outside, and even having the heater right by my bed. Nothing would work; it seemed like I was going to get sick no matter what.
I remembered that my grandmother had kept essential oils around the house and had me gargle them when my throat was sore. I always felt better after her remedy and it seems that I naturally found myself cycling back to her holistic remedies when I started looking for alternatives to modern medicine. While pills should still be used when the doctor orders, I’ve found that essential oils oftentimes are able to alleviate certain symptoms that allow you to get better faster, and may stop you from getting any worse.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are all-natural products that people have been using for thousands of years. They are hydrophobic (meaning they don’t dissolve in water) concentrated plant extracts with aromatic scents. Used throughout history for their medical and health properties, they are making a comeback as an inexpensive and safe method to help treat all types of mental and physical illnesses.
A few disclaimers...
* Please note that when buying essential oils, make sure they are 100% pure and organic, otherwise you may end up with something in the bottle that you don’t want.
* I always recommend doing a small patch test first. Dilute a drop of the essential oil with a carrier oil and apply a coin size over your inner forearm. Wait 24 hours and see if you have any adverse side effects.
* If you have any side effects at any point, wash out the oils immediately.
* Too much of anything is not good. Overusing any oils may cause oil build-up and may lead to other unwanted issues.
6 Essential Oils That Fight Off Colds and Flus
Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil
Cinnamon bark essential oil has been found to have strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties. Because of this, try disinfecting the household by grabbing a clean spray bottle and mixing a few drops of the essential oil with water. Cinnamon bark essential oil is an acquired scent and can often come off as a bit too strong, so consider using cinnamon leaf essential oil if you want a lighter fragrance but with similar properties. If you feel your appetite dwindling, use cinnamon to naturally stimulate your appetite which will provide the body with energy to get well faster. Find the cinnamon bark essential oil here, and the cinnamon leaf essential oil here.
Lavender Essential Oil
A common side effect of being ill is the lack of sleep. All that tossing and turning at night will not help you get better. Without the proper rest that the human body needs, it will struggle to find the energy to heal itself back to health. Lavender essential oil is excellent in relieving stress and promoting sleep. This essential oil also benefits respiratory issues that come with being sick. It promotes healthy breathing and may reduce congested sinuses. A study from 2018 found that sleep quality improved when the subjects wore lavender patches on their chest as they slept. Sprinkle this essential oil on linens or use it in a diffuser at night for a deep sleep and a refreshing morning. Find the essential oil here.
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil naturally contains a high concentration of menthol, so it’s no surprise that loads of cough drops are peppermint flavored. Just breathing in pure peppermint essential oil can help clear up airways and relieve congestion. The cooling fragrance helps reduce coughing and has been known to calm nausea and upset stomachs. According to a study from 1988, the L-menthol that is found in peppermint significantly increased airflow in the nasal cavity. Try taking a few sniffs of peppermint essential oil directly from the bottle or diffuse it through a pre-bought diffuser so the minty fragrance can fill the room. Find the essential oil here.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil is known for its powerful antimicrobial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. This essential oil has also been found to be immune-stimulatory and anti-inflammatory, both strong qualities that contribute in fighting off most colds and flus. Eucalyptus essential oil is great to mix with other essential oils because of its numerous benefits for immune and respiratory health. Consider diffusing this oil when you feel yourself getting sick so you can boost your immune system and begin fighting back while it’s still early. Find the essential oil here.
* Note that unlike other essential oils that may be diluted and consumed orally, eucalyptus essential oil is unsafe for oral uses.
Oregano Essential Oil
Oregano is far more than just a great Italian seasoning, it also contains properties that promote a healthy immune system. Thymol, an active component in oregano, has powerful antimicrobial properties which can be put to great use for disinfecting a household. Simply dilute the oil with water and wipe down surfaces to prevent toxins from attaching. Some bacteria are resistant to modern day medicine so it is important to find natural alternatives. A study found that oregano essential oil was able to effectively eliminate two common bacterial strains Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis. Find the essential oil here.
Tea Tree Essential Oil
One of the most popular natural alternatives known for fighting against infections is the tea tree essential oil. Tea tree is packed with germ-fighting properties that makes it essential to have during the cold and flu season. When inhaled, it naturally increases the white blood cell count which promotes the fight against infections. Add a few drops into your sanitizer for a natural cleansing approach. In fact, a review from 2006 explained that a number of previous research had uncovered that tea tree contains substantial antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Find the essential oil here.
How To Use Essential Oils
Mix the essential oil(s) in with some hand sanitizer. Not only will you have sanitizer that smells good, but the essential oils you choose will actively work to fight off infections as well as other foreign invaders.
Dilute the essential oil(s) of your choosing in a clean spray bottle with water. Spray it on surfaces around your home and wipe them down for a clean and fresh smelling environment.
Use a diffuser to fill the air with the fragrance of the essential oil(s) you like. I love to start mine right before I go to bed and let it work throughout the night. This way I get to go to sleep smelling the essential oils and wake up feeling both refreshed and in this case, nasal airways wide open.
Carson, C F et al. “Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) oil: a review of antimicrobial and other medicinal properties.” Clinical microbiology reviews vol. 19,1 (2006): 50-62. doi:10.1128/CMR.19.1.50-62.2006
Eccles, R et al. “The effects of menthol isomers on nasal sensation of airflow.” Clinical otolaryngology and allied sciences vol. 13,1 (1988): 25-9. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2273.1988.tb00277.x
Lillehei, Angela Smith et al. “Effect of Inhaled Lavender and Sleep Hygiene on Self-Reported Sleep Issues: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Journal of alternative and complementary medicine (New York, N.Y.) vol. 21,7 (2015): 430-8. doi:10.1089/acm.2014.0327
Rao, Pasupuleti Visweswara, and Siew Hua Gan. “Cinnamon: a multifaceted medicinal plant.” Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM vol. 2014 (2014): 642942. doi:10.1155/2014/642942
Sadlon, A. E., and D. W. Lamson. “Immune-Modifying and Antimicrobial Effects of Eucalyptus Oil and Simple Inhalation Devices.” Alternative Medicine Review, vol. 15, no. 1, 2010.
Scandorieiro, Sara et al. “Synergistic and Additive Effect of Oregano Essential Oil and Biological Silver Nanoparticles against Multidrug-Resistant Bacterial Strains.” Frontiers in microbiology vol. 7 760. 23 May. 2016, doi:10.3389/fmicb.2016.00760