Winter is upon us, and winter colds often follow. One of the best ways to prevent and to treat coughs, colds, and the flu is with aromatherapy. Essential oils used in aromatherapy, not only heal the person who is ill but also can be used to disinfect the home,killing the germs that cause the diseases and preventing the winter sniffles from being passed along from one family member to the next. Additionally, using essential oils in the home can help add joy. They are mood enhancers and can help keep away the winter blues, lower stress levels, bring harmony to the home, and keep the whole family sun-shiny happy during those dark and cold winter months.
Essential oils can be used in many different ways, but one of the most effective ways to use them during the cold winter months is in a diffuser. Burning oils in a diffuser has the double benefit of making the house smell fresh and inviting (even when all the windows are closed) and killing disease causing microbes.
For all the newbie essential oil users, here is a play by play account on how to use essential oils in a diffuser.
- First of all, you need to buy a diffuser. Diffusers can be purchased at health food stores, pharmacies, supermarkets on occasion, from your local potter, a crafts shop, online, or for the totally lazy person, a cup of hot water (the cup of hot water won’t last as long as the diffuser but it will do the trick in an emergency situation). Personally, I have managed to either break or to give away all of my own diffusers, so for the moment I am making do with fondue dish as my diffuser. Works great!
- Decide where you want your diffuser. Diffusers can be used in any area of the home, your living room, bedrooms and/or bathrooms can all benefit from a nice boost of disinfecting oils. If you are starting off with only one diffuser, you can move it from room to room as needed Adjust the amount of essential oils you will be using based on the size of the area. For larger family areas use anywhere between 5-10 drops of oil. For a bedroom, 2-3 drops of oil is fine, and for a bathroom 1 drop of oil is more than enough.
- Choosing your oils, this is the fun part. Everyone has scents that they like more or less than others. You can buy a few different oils (always use high quality oils in your diffuser) and play around with them each time depending on how you feel on any given day and how you want to use them, or combine them into one bottle and have it at the ready for your own personally branded home scent.
Here are a few tips on some of the best winter oils to use and the most effective ways to use them.
Lavender is an excellent oil that can be used on the whole family including babies. It is a wonderfully gentle, floral scented oil that is an antiseptic. Lavender oil will gently eliminate household germs, lower fevers and clear the sinuses, additionally, lavender is used to treat anxiety, insomnia and mild depression. It is far from the strongest oil though so while you can safely use it on a daily basis, on occasion you might need something stronger to use if and when a hardier bug visits the home. FYI a few drops of lavender in your closets is also a very effective insecticide. Keep your clothing smelling nice and free of moth holes. And of course, lavender smells a million times better than moth balls!
Lemon: Lemon is a wonderful antiseptic, detoxifying oil. It is also calming. energizing, uplifting and refreshing bringing a burst of happiness into the gloomy dark winter days. Burn lemon oil in your house daily, both to kill germs and to increase the joy.
Eucalyptus and tea tree oils,are two examples of popular oils produced from the Myrtaceae tree family. This family of trees have wonderful antimicrobial qualities and are extremely effective when burned in a diffuser at killing uninvited guests (viruses, I am talking about viruses!). The eucalyptus family of oils open the sinuses and clear phlegm, they can be used to heal sore throats, prevent strep throat and to ward off the flu. Burning these oils in your home is an extremely effective way to keep your family healthy and to prevent sharing diseases between family members. If one person in the family does get sick, there is no need for a family plan here. Keep the eucalyptus oil burning and everyone will be healthier and happier.
Orange oil brings a burst of sunshine into your day. Similar to lemon oil, it is antiseptic and it detoxifies, cleansing the home of odors and bacteria. Orange oil is especially beneficial for people who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder) bringing the sunshine into the home with its bright upbeat smell. Orange oil also blends well with clove and cinnamon oils to make the perfect household winter blend.
Cinnamon and Clove
Cinnamon and clove oils together make a wonderful winter blend. These oils, used either separately or combined, will both kill those nasty disease causing microbes floating around your home, and give the home a, toasty warm,welcoming and relaxed atmosphere. These two oils have been used traditionally both in winter warming treats such as mulled wine and apple cider, as well as in many healing formulas and treatments. A combination of these two oils along with the others listed above will create a happy and beautiful homey atmosphere to warm you up and keep you healthy on even the coldest stormiest of winter days.
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