Essential Oils For Common Winter Illnesses

winter-essential-oilsWinter is no fun if you suffer from illnesses such as coughs, colds and flu. However, you can use your essential oils effectively to treat the symptoms and enjoy some relief.

Winter illnesses are not usually life threatening but they can leave you feeling lethargic, exhausted and under the weather.

Symptoms such as dry, cracked skin, coughs and sniffles can be found in most of the common winter illnesses people experience. fortunately, there are several essential oils that can help to relieve the pain, stuffiness and irritating niggles associated with such conditions.

How to use essential oils for winter illnesses

Probably one of the most effective ways in which you can use aromatherapy for winter illnesses such as coughs and colds, is through the inhalation of essential oils. Coughs and colds affect the respiratory system, so breathing the vapour of essential oils is one of the quickest and most effective ways to reach the appropriate part of the body; the lungs and sinuses.

Inhale essential oils either via a steaming bowl of hot water, or add them to your bath. Put 3 drops of essential oils in a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a towel, and lean over the bowl, and gently inhale. If you have congested chest or sinus pain, a steam inhalation is the best and quickest way to get some relief, and you could also make up an appropriate essential oil blend in a lotion or carrier oil and massage it over your chest or throat. Using essential oils in a hot compress will help relieve headache pain too. Here are full instructions showing ways to use essential oils.

If you suffer from muscular aches and pains (a common side effect of cold and flu), the best remedy is to add 4 – 6 drops of essential oils to a hot bath. Inhaling the vapours whilst enjoying your bath has the same effect as inhaling from a bowl of water, with the benefit that you also get to soak your body in the oils too, which really helps to relieve the aching muscles.

Essential oils for colds

Symptoms of the common cold are most effectively fought with essential oils that possess anti-viral properties, plus anti-bacterial qualities for the follow-up problems that sometimes occur after viral infections. Essential oils encourage the body to protect itself against such infections in a safe and natural way. Choose essential oils such as tea tree, ravensara, thyme, peppermint, and lemon to both protect and fight back against the common winter cold.

Essential oils for flu

Flu, or influenza, is a more serious condition than the common cold, although most people today use the phrase interchangeably. However, if not treated correctly flu can become extremely serious so it is best to check with your doctor if your symptoms are indicative of this illness. Essential oils with anti-viral, anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties are good choices to help in the fight against flu. In addition to those oils mentioned above, you can also include clove.

Essential oils for coughs

Coughs accompany many different respiratory infections and can range from irritating to painful. Use essential oils which have antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-catarrhal properties to treat coughs; these include thyme, eucalyptus (E. globulus/radiata/smithii) and marjoram. Frankincense and sandalwood can help ease ticklish, spasmodic coughs.

Essential oils for muscle aches

Aching muscles are a common side effect of both colds and flu. Essential oils that have analgesic properties are particularly good for easing such muscle and joint aches and pains, and in my opinion, the best oil for this job is plai (Zingiber cassumunar). Plai essential oil is used in Thailand and Southeast Asia by massage therapists for treating rheumatism, arthritis, and all types of aches and pains.

Other useful oils to ease muscular aches and pains include German chamomile, Roman chamomile, black pepper, rosemary, peppermint, ginger, and frankincense.

Essential oils for winter skin problems

Dry and cracked skin is a common complaint during the winter and, if left untreated, can lead to soreness and infection. Essential oils that have moisturizing and soothing properties are the best to treat dry and cracked skin complaints. Add these to nourishing carrier oils such as argan, jojoba, moringa, or macadamia for the very best results.

Also try rose otto, geranium, sandalwood, lavender essential oils to combat dry skin, and tea tree for sore, cracked skin that you want to protect from infection.

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