The Best Essential Oils And Herbs To Keep On Hand In Winter
Often classified as a stimulant, Eucalyptus oil has a very refreshing aroma that can relieve the depression that many of us experience during the dark days of winter. Its aroma also has an invigorating effect on the body, making it a powerful decongestant that can open the nasal passages and clear a stuffy nose, open the lungs, and loosen up bothersome phlegm when we have a head-cold.
Try adding a few drops of eucalyptus oil to your humidifier, or combing it with coconut oil and applying it to your chest as a vapor rub before bedtime. Doing so dilates the blood vessels, allowing oxygen to fill the lungs more efficiently so that breathing may be easier.
Winter is a time when we need our immune systems to be on top of their game, and Echinacea is an herb that can help us achieve this! Native to the Rocky Mountains of the United States, it is an herb that is famous for its therapeutic and healing effects, as well as its ability to support the immune system and ward off the common cold. In fact, a study conducted by researchers at The University of Connecticut's School of Pharmacy found that Echinacea cuts the chance of catching the common cold by a whopping 58%. This is because it contains a unique blend of naturally-occurring chemicals that combat both infection and inflammation. If you start to feel under the weather, drinking a few cups of Echinacea tea each chilly winter day will give your immune system the support it needs to keep your body healthy and flu-free.
Ashwagandha is a great winter supplement because it not only boosts the immune system and prevents a cold from arising, but it can soothe cold symptoms for those who have already fallen victim to a cold. Its anti-inflammatory properties can decrease the inflammation of a sore throat or congested chest, and its soothing effect on the central nervous system can trigger feelings of serenity, providing you with a good night's rest so that you can recover faster.
Ashwagandha has also been found to increase endurance, improve brain function, and reduce aches and pains - all of which are things we need when we're feeling under the weather. Additionally, Withanolides - which work to suppress cancer cells and act as antioxidants - alkaloids, choline, fatty acids, amino acids, and a variety of natural sugars are just some of the other medicinal chemicals that Ashwagandha contains which can get your health back on track when you're getting over a cold or flu. While we suggest starting your cold mornings with a hot cup of Ashwagandha tea, we also offer this herb in the form of capsules, powder, and extract.
Lavender oil is great to keep on hand during flu season because its antibacterial properties keep harmful germs at bay. It is also an anti-inflammatory, so it can soothe an inflamed throat when gargled with water.
Lavender is commonly used in aromatherapy for its calming scent, which is very effective in clearing up a stuffy nose! If you add a few drops of lavender oil to your humidifier, it can relieve congestion in the chest and lungs, as well as help to relax you when you have a fever so that you may achieve a better night's sleep.
Lavender oil is also wonderful for rejuvenating the skin during the winter time when the air is dry. Combine it with coconut or jojoba oil and massage it into the skin, focusing on the hands, feet, knees, and any other part of the body that can use a little TLC! Its moisturizing and hydrating properties will help to restore the skin cells, and its stimulating properties may enhance circulation so that you stay warm!
Just like Eucalyptus, Peppermint has been shown to uplift the mood and relieve feelings of depression or anxiety. The crisp, fresh scent of peppermint tea can brighten up any gloomy winter evening.
Drinking peppermint tea may also help to boost the immune system, improve digestion, and reduce the appetite - something important in the holiday months where we often find ourselves over-indulging! It also works great for those experiencing sinus problems, as its strong scent can help to drain the sinuses and relieve some of the painful pressure. To see for yourself, try mixing a drop of peppermint oil with some coconut oil and massaging it into the chest before you go to bed.