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Immune-boosting essential oils

Fend of winter blues and strengthen your immune system with the relaxing and peaceful aromas of these really great essential oils.

Eucalyptus

A must for the cold season, eucalyptus essential oil protects the body with its anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiseptic properties. Effective as an insect repellent, it also helps ease cough, sinusitis, bronchitis, cold and flu symptoms, and even ear inflammation.

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How to use it: If you are battling with a cold, put a drop of eucalyptus essential oil in a bowl of hot water, cover your head with a large towel, lean over the bowl, keep your eyes closed and breathe in the hot steam for about five minutes. This should open your respiratory tract and leave you feeling refreshed. You can also dilute the essential oil and rub it on your feet before you go to bed.

Thyme

Thyme is powerful so should be used with great care. Never apply it to your skin undiluted and never use it on children. It is also an antibiotic and an antiseptic and can strengthen the immune system. The smell of thyme is stimulating as well, so if you start feeling drowsy and tired, breathe in its aroma.

How to use it: To avoid getting sick during winter, make it a habit to regularly diffuse thyme oil in your home (about four drops to a 20m2  room). You can also boost your immune system with a blend of one drop of thyme essential oil, three drops of lemon essential oil and 10ml of carrier oil of your choice. Massage it on the lymph nodes of your neck and under your jaw.

Tea Tree

If you are prone to cold sores or herpes, tea tree essential oil is just what you need. In addition to being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, it’s probably the most powerful natural antiseptic you can find. It helps heal minor wounds and aids in alleviating dandruff and psoriasis which often flare up in winter.

How to use it: In the case of a cold sore, apply a drop (or less) of tea tree essential oil to the affected area twice a day. If you use a natural and unscented shampoo add about 10 drops of tea tree essential oil to 250ml of shampoo to reduce dandruff, or mix five drops of tea tree oil with 10ml of carrier oil and apply to the scalp 15 to 30 minutes before washing your hair. This blend can also help reduce psoriasis. To make a natural hand disinfectant, add tea tree essential oil to liquid castile soap (15 to 20 drops per 250ml).

Rosemary

The fresh, sweet and herbal fragrance of rosemary essential oil stimulates the body and mind, making it a great mood lifter, especially in winter. As an antibacterial, antioxidant, antiseptic and decongestant essential oil, it helps with respiratory discomfort and congestion, coughs and headaches.

How to use it: Diffuse it to disinfect the air around you, rub it on your lymph nodes and/or chest area in case of a cold, cough or similar symptoms. If your skin is sensitive, dilute it with a carrier oil.

Cinnamon Leaf

Rich in antioxidants, cinnamon oil is known for its antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, antimicrobial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, warming and antidepressant properties. It’s great for stimulating the immune system, relieving coughs, as well as flu symptoms and helps with a sore throat.

How to use it: Never use this oil undiluted on your skin. Mix it with a carrier oil in a 1:1 ratio and apply to the skin or diffuse it in your home.

Peppermint

The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties of peppermint essential oil help to combat flu, bronchitis and other respiratory infections, as well as headaches and fatigue. Peppermint oil can also be used to moisturise dry skin.

How to use it: Diffuse it at your home or office, or dilute with a carrier oil 1:1 and apply to skin depending on the need. Use one drop in steam inhalations, or make bath and shower bombs with peppermint for the ultimate respiratory relief and refreshment.

Sage

Sage essential oil has powerful antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties among others, helping soothe coughs, bacterial infections affecting the throat, ears and nose, and alleviating fever.

How to use it: Never use this oil undiluted. It is best to either diffuse or apply diluted to skin in small amounts. Mixing sea, Himalayan or Epsom salts with two to three drops of the oil, will make a healing bath to which you can add a couple of drops of lavender or rosemary  oil for an even better effect. Rubbing the diluted essential oil on your feet will also make a soothing difference.

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