Aromatherapy for Winter

It’s been a little while since I posted and as I am slowly falling back in love with my original “trade” of Aromatherapy I thought it would be appropriate to share some wisdom for Winter. Obviously a time for colds and ‘sniffles’ and the dreaded Flu vaccine. I would highly recommend that you don’t have one unless you feel or your doctor feels it is absolutely necessary. Plus do all the other good stuff for yourself too like diet and exercise and taking some preventative measures as it does NOT mean you won’t get the Flu.

Flu’s and Colds are what the medical and complementary health world call “Self-limiting” illnesses – in other words if your body is susceptible you will fall prey to these particular viruses and they will “run their course”. Think of a Flu like a Flue ( as in a chimney Flue!) – it is simply the body’s way of dealing with the viruses it comes across and getting rid of them , by sneezing, coughing, even puking them out of the body !!! Lovely!

If you HAVE the Flu or a Cold DO NOT GET ANTIBIOTICS , they have no effect on these self-limiting illnesses and you are unnecessarily using up a dose that someone else may need  ( including your self). Every time you use them in this way you make it harder and harder for them to work when they are needed. So wise up – pop yourself in bed, keep warm, eat easy to digest food ( eg soups or veg juices ) and steer clear of sugar, wheat and dairy which will increase mucous and congestion.

As an aromatherapist I always utilise essential oils to prevent and treat colds and flu’s. The quicker you get to them the better but it will always help. Listed below are a few lil’ beauties that you can keep in stock and can always be used in the oil burner or a massage oil or bath if you find you need other uses for them.

  • Lavender (french)
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Rosemary (CT Cineole)
  • Peppermint
  • Eucalyptus (globulus)
  • Clove
  • Cinnamon Bark ( use simultaneously in equal amounts with clove on the skin to quench irritating aldehydes)
  • Rosalina
  • Tea Tree
  • Fragonia ( Please note this is currently in short supply due to bush fires)
  • Palmarosa
  • Oregano
  • Myrtle (+can use Lemon or Honey)

If you are using oils straight onto the skin, which by the way I highly recommend you do if you are using them for acute conditions like colds and flu. If you think of treatments available over the counter like Vick’s Vapour rub and Tiger balm they are simply petrochemical bases ( eg vaseline) with a blend of very cheap essential oils or even Parts of essential oils in them. This way if you get high quality essential oils you are using the real deal. If you are considered about making the skin temporarily red ( which I personally am not if I have the flu, I just want to feel better :)) then you can go ahead and dilute them in something by all means. Great bases are Coconut Oil, Almond Oil, Sesame Oil, a plain base cream or plain natural cream, or aloe vera gel.

The application of neat undiluted essential oils onto the skin is from French Phytoaromatherapie and it is known as ‘Aromatic Perfusion’. Mix the oils you are using first in a little dish, I usually use between 1-2 mls a person ( don’t do this on kids under 14). The stronger smelling oils like Clove, Cinnamon, Oregano, even Peppermint are also going to have strong effects on the skin so beware of this. Oils like Lavender will be very gentle even when used neat, so use more of these to start with. A little trick I learnt with Cinnamon is that the Eugenol in Clove really quenches the part of the Cinnamon likely to induce redness on the skin so always use these two oils together in the blend in equal amounts and never too much ( less than 0.25ml of a blend like this).

Warm the area you are going to apply the oils ( either with your hands or a hairdryer on a low setting and use this method with great care – the area needs to be warm not HOT). Then with your fingers rub the blend directly into the skin and cover immediately ( you can use cling wrap or salon body wrap but it is not necessary). The best areas to do this for Colds and Flu are the neck and chest or the back. You should be able to taste the oils if you have done this correctly. If the smell is overwhelming for you then use less oils. If you use decongestants like Peppermint, Rosemary and Eucalyptus then keep the tissues handy because you may sneeze and your nose will run. If you use herbs like Rosemary, Oregano or even Clove and Cinnamon then expect skin to be red and feel very warm ( temporary). If any of the sensations are unbearable such as itching or tingling then remove the oils with PLAIN OIL SUCH AS OLIVE OIL. Don’t try and wash with water as essential oils are hydrophobic meaning they don’t like water and lipophilic meaning they love OIL. 🙂

If you are not game to do the aromatic perfusion just try a dab of Lavender over the glands ( neck and ears and chest).Or simply do a proper old-fashioned steam with a few drops of lavender and eucaplytus or peppermint in a bowl of hot water and throw a towel over your head and steam for 10mins ( don’t forget to close your eyes!!!!).

steaming

You can also try taking the oils in your daily dose of Good oil such as coconut or Flaxseed – oils such as Oregano are very beneficial, I would try mixing 1 drop to about 20mls of oil and taking about 2-5mls a day of the blend to start with . You can also dab your finger in Tea-tree or Fragonia and dab onto chewable Vit C to make your own homemade anti-bacterial lozenges. Always treat the Essential oil as a powerful medicine and never use more than a drop for internal use and you can’t go wrong. If  in doubt ask an Aromatherapist or simply stick to the external use methods.

Essential Oils easily penetrate into the skin and around the Blood and lymphatic circulatory system, they are also used efficiently by the body and flushed out, drink plenty of water when using them. They help with cleaning up the lymph and blood, increasing immunity, decreasing congestion, They are anti-bacterial and anti-viral ( Meaning they inhibit viruses AND bacteria unlike modern antibiotics that only work on bacteria), they help reduce symptoms and if used correctly they will help with sleep and will be a general tonic.

If you have any questions feel free to post in the comments below. Love to you all xxx

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