Winter has arrived and although the days are relatively warm and sunny there will be days when it seems spring will never come. You will be exposed to people with coughs and colds on the bus, train, in shops and at work or perhaps in your own family. During this time I use essential oils to help lessen the chances of me catching a cold and if I should catch one to get over it very quickly.
The oils below can be used for many of the minor and not so minor inconveniences of winter.
Black Pepper(Piper nigrum)
A very warming oil ideal for massaging sore, tight muscles and warming cold hands and feet. On a spiritual level she is about taking responsibility for your own actions and loosening blockages that maybe holding you back from following your path in life. Use 2-6 drops in a bath or footbath to warm cold feet and get your circulation moving.
Ginger is another very warming oil but she also helps you to get going if you have been procrastinating as well as rebuilding your stamina and energy after illness. The Chinese believe that drinking hot ginger tea at the first sign of a cold prevents you from getting one.
Ravensara is a very powerful antiviral oil that I put in my clients blend when they have a cold. She helps them fight the cold and protects me from getting their cold. On a spiritual, emotional level she helps you set boundaries. In the case of a cold or flu your boundaries are set as most people will keep their distance for fear of catching your cold. Ravensara is also very good for cold sores. Use a cotton bud to apply to the cold sore 4 or 5 times a day.
Eucalyptus(Eucalyptus radiata or Smithii)
Eucalyptus Smithii is considered gentler to use with young children. Put 2 drops in some bubble bath or full cream milk and add to a warm or tepid bath to help bring down a fever. Make a blend of eucalyptus, teatree and ravensara to help ease the symptoms of cold and flu. Add black pepper or rosemary if their neck, shoulders or chest is tight from coughing. You can use a combination of any of the above. Add 15 drops to 20mls of vegetable oil and rub into neck, back and chest 3 or 4 times a day. Use eucalyptus in a vaporiser to help kill bacteria in the air and in steam inhalations to ease a tight chest.
Tea Tree(Melaleuca alternifolia)
Although it tastes terrible you may want to try gargling with teatree to help ease a sore throat. You may even be able to avoid the symptoms of cold or flu if you gargle at the first sign of a sore or ticklish throat. Add 2 drops of teatree essential oil to a cup or glass of water. Gargle, spit out and don’t swallow. Use with eucalyptus in a vaporiser to help kill any bacteria in the atmosphere.
Rosemary is excellent for sore, tight muscles and works well in a chest blend. Along with eucalyptus she can help open congested nasal passages. Try placing 1 or 2 drops on a tissue or if you are in public you can put a few cotton balls in a small bottle such as an empty essential oil bottle, add 3 or 4 drops of rosemary, eucalyptus, ravensara, teatree or any combination of these and close the lid. Open the bottle and sniff whenever your nose is feeling blocked. You could also take deep breaths from your tissue or bottle whenever someone with a cold has coughed on or near you to lessen your chances of catching a cold. Another alternative is to use a personal inhaler.
Sweet Orange(Citrus sinensis)
Sweet orange is perfect for those dark dull days of winter when you think the sun will never shine again. She helps lift the spirits of those sick with cold and flu. Use in the vaporiser to bring some cheer or combine with eucalyptus or teatree to lighten the aroma.
You could also use lemon or mandarin for this purpose.
Finally remember to rest in bed for a few days to help you get over your cold or flu quickly. To prevent getting a cold in the first place keep active, eat nourishing, warming food, use your essential oils and take time out for yourself.