Have the last, dragging weeks of cold weather been bringing you down recently? The wind is biting; your allergies are acting up; you can’t seem to fight your fatigue; it seems like spring might never come. If waiting for the coming warmer days seems unbearable, have no fear, the herbalists are here! Fight off a variety of wintertime ailments with these simple essential oil recipes.
Photo by SIerra Vandervort
Clove oil has a fantastic, spicy aroma that can instantly warm your space. Commonly associated with the element of fire, clove is also very stimulating to the conscious mind and acts as a natural aphrodisiac. Commonly used as an anti-inflammatory, clove oil has been shown to improve blood circulation and naturally boost energy. As an extract from the evergreen trees, it’s still fitting for wintertime, but brings some refreshing energy back. It can also lower stress levels, alleviate respiratory issues and boost your immune system: winter wonder-oil number one!
Recipe: Try using a mixture of clove, sandalwood and orange essential oils in your favorite diffuser when you’re feeling chilled to the bone.
Citrus oils are commonly credited for helping fight depression, and bergamot is a potentially less popular but amazingly scented oil. As a popular component in most commercial perfumes, bergamot has a characteristically citrus but slightly woody aroma. It’s also commonly used in skin care products for its natural ability to help heal scars and even distribute pigments. But be careful, applying bergamot oil can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight than normal. To avoid sunburn always dilute oils before applying them to your skin.
Recipe: To make your own bergamot mixture, try combining 3 drops of bergamot with 3 drops of ylang ylang in a one-ounce bottle of your favorite carrier oil, use as an invigorating, all-natural perfume.
Rosemary is more than just a superstar culinary herb, it’s also an exceptional brain and nerve tonic. Studies have shown significant correlation between a quick sniff of the oil and boosted neural activity. It’s often used in students to help increase concentration and can also fight against forgetfulness. As a winter wonder-oil, it also increases the strength of your immune system, reduces cortisol levels in the body (helping to decrease chronic stress) and also helps to fight against allergies.
Recipe: Mix 3 drops of rosemary oil with 1/2 of unscented lotion. Rub on your chest and the back of your neck to help increase neural function throughout the day.
Commonly suggested by ancient Greek physician Dioscorides to help fight phlegm, hyssop is a natural expectorant, meaning it keeps the respiratory system warm and fights against the infections due to common colds. It’s also a good tonic for the nervous system and stimulates the body’s metabolism and circulatory system. If there’s a bug going around in your social circle, a bit of hyssop could help fight against the onset of viral infections. Warning it should be avoided by those suffering from epilepsy or those who may be pregnant due to its stimulating nature.
Recipe: Mix 5 drops of hyssop and 5 drops of eucalyptus essential oils with a common chest rub for a supercharged decongestant.
Frankincense oil has countless benefits – we may even go so far as to call it the holy grail of essential oils. Although it has common religious and ancient associations, it’s actually also really great for your skin. It helps lift and tone the skin, reduces scarring and promotes elasticity in the skin and the regeneration of healthy cells. All of this makes it the perfect solution to healing dry and painful winter skin.
Recipe: Mix six drops of oil to an ounce of your favorite lotion (or get an unscented one if you don’t want aromatic clashing) and give yourself a nice, moisturizing massage.
All information and resources provided are based on the opinions and experiences of the author, unless otherwise noted. Information is intended to encourage readers to do their own research and come to their own conclusions, and should never substitute or replace the recommendations of a qualified healthcare provider. Always consult your physician before making changes to your diet, exercise, or general wellness plan, even when using holistic methods.
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