by Andrew Pacholyk MS L.Ac ~
Aromatherapy brings us the aromatic energy of living plants in the form of essential oils. These fragrances are a natural antidote to the emotionally debilitating effects of winter. Aromatherapy is supportive in the winter season of quiet regeneration. Winter essential oils cleanse and freshen air in homes closed tight against the cold weather. Essential oils for winter include woody, evergreen, citrus, spice and resin oils.
Gingerbread and delicious spice cake come to mind with pungent essential oils such as clove, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and nutmeg. Fresh citrus oils including bergamot, sweet orange, lemon and tangerine recall memories of old fashioned citrus pomanders.
Warming oils include Orange, Black Pepper and Rosemary. Immune boosting oils are Tea-Tree, Lavender, Sandalwood and Bergamot. To ease congestion and fight infections use Tea-Tree, Pine, Eucalyptus and Lavender. Bergamot tea is useful for a sore throat and can be used as a gargle. Chamomile tea is very soothing and eases an upset stomach.
Black Pepper ( Piper nigrum) : Hot, dry, spicy oil with a deeply warming effect. Relieves muscular aches and pains. Stimulates the digestive, circulatory and lymphatic systems. Can irritate sensitive skin, use sparingly.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) Eucalyptus was first employed by Australian aborigines, who not only chewed the roots for water in the dry outback but used the leaves to treat fever, cough, and asthma, and European settlers quickly adopted it as medicine. You can also use a few drops of eucalyptus oil in boiling water or in a bath as an inhalant. Eucalyptus is often used for – Sore muscles, Insect repellent, Tension headache, Cold, Cough, Sinusitis, Rheumatoid arthritis and Strains/sprains. Warming and antiseptic oil with a strong camphorous medical smell.
Juniper Berry (Juniperus communis): Juniper Berry essential oil contains mainly pinene, myrcene, sabinene and limonene. These constituents are also found in other winter season oils including pine, cypress and fir needle. Juniper berry oil blends especially well with these oils. Juniper oil is refreshing, clarifying and uplifting to the spirit. Its physical actions are cleansing, astringent (for oily complexions) and toning. Detoxifying, cleansing and antiseptic. Do not use in pregnancy or if you suffer with kidney disease. Not suitable for children.
Lemon (Citrus limonum): Lemon is a fresh sunny scent that is cold pressed from the rind itself! Lemon has antiseptic-like properties and contains compounds that have been studied for their effects on immune function. It may serve as an insect repellent and may be beneficial for the skin. Diffuse it in your house for a fresh alternative to air spays. It compliments the Oil of Oregano to neutralize the over growth of Candida. Put a few drops on a tissue and vacuum it into your vacuum bag to freshen the smell of your carpets and furniture coverings. 1 drop is also very refreshing and purifying when taken in a glass of water.
Neroli: Neroli is distilled from bitter orange trees. It has a refreshing, spicy aroma and is known for its sensual, exotic effect. Neroil oil is emotionally unifying and soothes with harmonizing effects. Described as both sensual and spiritual, Neroli helps to re-establish the link between a disconnected mind and body. Neroli paves the way for a gradual release and allows us to recall hope and joy!
Orange (Citrus sinensis): Orange essential oil is obtained from the rind of the fruit and used principally as a flavoring agent. Warming, orange oil is an antidepressant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, carminative, digestive, febrifuge, phototoxic sedative, tonic. Orange oil helps spreads sunshine on gloomy thoughts and depression, has a very comforting and warming effect and dispels tension and stress and helps revive when feeling low on energy. Orange oil calms the stomach both for constipation and diarrhea. Stimulates bile which helps digestion of fats. Has a beneficial effect on colds, bronchitis and fever. Helps with the formation of collagen, vital for tissue repair and hair growth. Also helpful with muscular pains. Helps anxiety and insomnia. Possibly reduces blood cholesterol levels. Orange oil helps dry skin conditions softening wrinkles and dermatitis. An excellent skin tonic. Orange oil can make the skin photosensitive to sunlight.
Peppermint (Mentha piperata): Peppermint oil is the most extensively used of all the volatile oils, both medicinally and commercially. The characteristic anti-spasmodic action of the volatile oil is more marked in this than in any other oil and greatly adds to its power of relieving pains arising in the alimentary canal. From its stimulating and carminative properties, it is valuable in certain forms of dyspepsia, being mostly used for flatulence and colic. It may also be employed for other sudden pains and for cramp in the abdomen; wide use is made of Peppermint in cholera and diarrhea.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis): Rosemary is stimulating and refreshing, an invigorating pick-me-up. To help refresh and nasal passages and assist easy breathing. Excellent for hair and scalp problems including hair loss and dandruff. Do not use if pregnant or if you have high blood pressure or suffer with epilepsy.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia): Tea-Tree is a powerful antiseptic, anti-bacterial oil which helps boost the immune system. Excellent for treating cold sores and fungal infections such as thrush. Spots, insect bites, warts, cuts and grazes.
A wintertime aromatherapy blend For a massage oil, dilute
12 drops of this “mother” blend in 3 ounces of vegetable oil.
To diffuse into the air, use a candle diffuser or terra cotta
ornament style diffuser. Add a few drops of “mother” blend
to water in your diffuser.
SINUS CONGESTION BLEND
To relieve sinus congestion, respiratory problems and
to clear a stuffy head,
Combine the following oils:
5 drops of Eucalyptus
3 drops of Lavender
2 drops of Tea-Tree
2 drops of Pine.
Add drops to a bowl of hot water and inhale.Makes a great
cold remedy. This is a powerful decongestant for those
unwanted colds. Add a few drops to your burner and inhale
SORE THROAT GARGLE
To soothe a sore throat and combat infection.
2 drops of Tea-Tree
Add to a glass of water and use as a gargle. Do not swallow,
essential oils must not be taken internally.
SEASONAL AFFECTED DISORDER (SAD)
Many people are affected in the winter months by this disorder which is associated with a reduction in sunlight, as the days get shorter, and the weather is frequently overcast. Symptoms experienced can range from depression, fatigue, lethargy, weight gain and food cravings. The following essential oils can help to relieve the symptoms associated with this disorder.
The oils can be used in a burner, either individually or in combination.