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Winter is that time of the year when the air is full of ‘bugs’. The flu season is rampant and everywhere you go, you encounter coughs and colds. Fortunately, you can protect yourself and your family with Aromatherapy and winter essential oils. Research has shown that long term use of essential oils in small quantities can help benefit the entire family’s immune system. Let us study how to use winter essential oils:
Winter essential oils for children
School aged kids are the quickest to catch the flu in winters. The best winter essential oils for kids are Rosalina, Myrtle and Eucalyptus oil. Even grownups and pregnant women can use these oils.
- Rosalina oil- This is very similar in aroma and properties to Tea Tree oil though it is a lot milder and hence more effective, safer and beneficial in treating kids. It can help calm children down owing to its mild sedative effect. You can dab a bit of Rosalina oil (diluted in a carrier oil!) on the child’s pulse points or pour a few drops on their pillow at bedtime to treat sinusitis and other respiratory illnesses.
- Eucalyptus oil- This is another highly aromatic oil known to treat colds and nasal congestion. Add a few drops of it to water during steam inhalation for instant relief from stuffy nose and cold-related headaches. It is also antiviral and has a mild expectorant effect. It is very beneficial to kids’ immune system.
- Lavender oil- This oil can be used all year round, though it is more beneficial in winters. You can use it in numerous ways: add it to the child’s bath water, rub it on the pulse points (with a carrier oil) or use the fresh/dried herb to steep into a tea. It is calming, relaxing, anti-inflammatory and anti-viral. Lavender oil added to vaporizers and bath waters is especially calming for wakeful or fretful kids.
Using winter essential oils for children
When using winter essential oils for children, it is best to add them to vaporizers or oil burners. Make sure you keep all electrical appliances away from children. A bowl of steaming water with a few drops of one of the above mentioned winter essential oils added to it can be placed near the child’s bed to relieve congestion and help them sleep better.
An aroma therapist can also prepare chest rubs, inhalers, body massage oils etc depending on specific ailment and age of the child. As stated above, you can even add the oils to bath water. Some people add the concentrated oil to a glass of whole milk and then pour the milk in the bath water. The whole milk with its fat content acts as an emulsion medium to evenly spread the oil. This prevents the oil from getting concentrated in one part of the water where it can lead to skin irritation. Soaking in this treated bath water can help relieve aches and pains and also nasal congestion. You must avoid using shampoos and soaps when using essential oils in bath as these could reduce the efficiency of the oil.
Essential oils can be wonderful for children, but keep in mind they can be dangerous if used improperly. Read this article to make sure you keep your kids safe.
Winter essential oils for grownups
The three oils mentioned above are also useful for adults. Additionally, you can use the following:
- Ginger essential oil-Ginger root oil is known to relieve nasal congestion and it is popular for its warmth and spiciness. It can be added to hot water with some lemon and honey to soothe sore throat. It can be diluted with carrier oil and used for massage.
- Pine oil- This is another highly beneficial winter essential oil which can relax and relieve nasal congestion, colds and coughs. It can help people suffering from sinusitis or chest infections. It is best added to hot water for steam inhalation therapy.
- Ravensara or Ravintsara-This is known for its antiviral, antiseptic, analgesic, anti depressant disinfectant, and antispasmodic properties making it ideal for keeping all kinds of winter bugs away. It should only be used by adults as it can be a bit strong for kids. It helps clear the lymphatic system to drain the toxic waste out of the body.
- Bergamot- Sipping bergamot tea in winters can chase away winter blues. This oil is full of sunshine and you can even add it to an oil burner to remind you of the summer days to come!
Storing essential oils
Store all essential oils in a cool dark place away from the heat and light. This will help maintain the quality of the oils. Always buy essential oils in small quantities and use them before they have a chance to go rancid.