Your complete guide to Winter health and wellbeing!

Your complete guide to Winter health and wellbeing!The clocks have gone back signalling that Winter is on its way - prompting me to think about the wonderful aromatherapy oils that I need to stock up on to cope with all the typical Winter health challenges! You know what life is like, if you order everything you need, it could well be your insurance against having any problems at all! It’s a lovely feeling, being prepared. When my Base Formula oils arrive in the post this time of year, it makes me feel like I'm ready for almost anything! 

My winter shopping list tends to fall into 5 main categories:


  • Antivirals/antiseptics/antimicrobials

  • Circulatory stimulants

  • Analgesics

  • Mood enhancers

  • Digestives


Of course – the essential oils' amazing properties mean that some fall into most categories in one go, they are so versatile – but this check list enables me to “tick off” those that I know I need to have on board ready for the drop in temperature and the reduction in daylight. Some of us can really dread this time of year, but remember there's much to look forwards to as well - the festivities, the beauty of the change in seasons – and the fact that it makes you appreciate the changes that will come along again in the Spring!

If you are one of the many who has come to dread the commercialisation of Christmas, remember, to a certain extent, it's up to you to make it what you want! Historically it used to be about sharing good food and good company first and foremost and entering in to community celebration - so perhaps it's time to re-focus our attention and do things differently this year. If you find yourself on your own or lonely, I highly recommend getting involved in some of the charities that serve Christmas lunch to the homeless on Christmas Day. My daughter and I got involved with local charities for a good few years. It gave Christmas a whole new dimension, and made us feel exceptionally fortunate with what we had ourselves too, never a bad thing at a time when we are bombarded by messages of commercial acquisitiveness.

Anyway, getting back to our Winter shopping list - these are my special favourites at this time of year:

Essential oils:-

Antivirals/antiseptics/antimicrobials:
Tea Tree, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Frankincense, Pine, Myrrh, Cedarwood and Sandalwood.

Circulatory stimulants:
Black Pepper, Rosemary, Ginger, Plai and Thyme.

Analgesics:
Clary Sage, Marjoram, Lavender, Palmarosa, Clove and Roman Chamomile.

Mood enhancers:
Bergamot, Sweet Orange, Ylang Ylang, Geranium, Jasmine, Rose and Neroli.

Digestives:
Peppermint, Spearmint, Fennel, Nutmeg and Mandarin.

Base oils:-

When you're thinking about what you need at this point in the year, don't forget your base oils! I go for those rich in nutrients – as your skin is under extra pressure with the harsher weather and central heating. I always stock up, so I have something for every skin type and almost every eventuality. Firm favourites would include: Jojoba, Argan, Avocado, Neem, St John's Wort and Rosehip Seed Oil.

Now let's get down to how you can use of these wonderful oils – then you really will be fit for anything!

Aromatherapy Inhalations:-

One of the most effective ways of combating low immunity and many different types of infection - not just those of the respiratory tract. Remember that this is the fastest route - via the blood rich lining of the lungs, to get the essential oil molecules into the blood stream.

Coughs/Colds:
Frankincense will help dry up excess congestion, Eucalyptus will help decongest the sinus and lungs, Tea Tree will help boost the immune response, and all are strongly antimicrobial! Place 4 drops Frankincense, 1 Eucalyptus and 3 Tea Tree in a bowl of steaming hot water. Lean over the bowl and place a towel over your head, breathing in through the nose and mouth for approximately 5 to 10 minutes.

Flu:
Is caused by a virus – and so needs a different approach – which takes in to account the low mood that often accompanies the virus. Try Bergamot to lift the spirits, Tea Tree to boost immunity and Cedarwood to help ease congestion and temperatures – all 3 are antiviral/antimicrobial agents. Use 3 drops Cedarwood, 6 Bergamot and 2 Tea Tree and follow instructions above.

Sinusitis: 
As the mucus membranes are inflamed during sinus infections, this can be an extremely painful condition which must NEVER be ignored or left untreated. The back of the sinus cavities run close to the brain – and deep sinus infections can actually cause death if the infection creates an abscess which can rupture into the brain mass! Rare but not unheard of, sadly.  So - for minor sinusitis try an inhalation using Lavender to ease pain and inflammation, Thyme to stimulate circulation and immunity, and Eucalyptus to help decongest the sinus themselves.  Use 4 drops Lavender, 2 Thyme and 1 Eucalyptus.

Alernatively you might like to try our NEW Bug Buster and Breathe Easy pure essential oil blends, which are pre-blended and ready to use. Both are ideal for use in steam inhalations or aromatherapy diffusers, or simply pop a few drops on a tissue and inhale.

Aromatherapy Bath & Foot Baths:-

Warming bath for chills:
Mix 15ml SLS Free Bath & Shower Gel with 2 drops Rosemary, 1 Ginger, 2 Frankincense and 5 Lavender to help ward off chills after a cold day out. Mix well and add to the bath once the water has run.

Warming bath to lift low spirits:
Some of us can feel a little low after a long cold Winter's day – especially if we go to work and come back from work in the dark! Try and get some natural daylight by getting out in your lunch hour and consider taking BioCare Bio-emulsion D drops – then bathe in a deep hot bath before bed: Mix 15ml SLS Free Bath & Shower Gel with 5 drops Bergamot, 1 Black Pepper, 3 Frankincense and 3 Neroli. Simply lovely!

Foot bath for poor circulation:
Add 2 drops of Black Pepper, 2 Thyme and 2 Plai to your foot bath to boost circulation and warm up those extremities.

Aromatherapy Gels, Creams & Lotions:-

Aloe Vera Gel for chilblains:
These are a sign of poor circulation – and possibly a deficiency in Vitamins C, E and Calcium. Try massaging this gel into your toes regularly as a preventative measure and also to help ease the symptoms when they arise. Take 100ml Aloe Vera & Seaweed Gel, add 5ml Neem oil, 5ml Argan oil, 5 drops German Chamomile, 20 Lavender, 5 Lemon and 10 Marjoram. Drink Lemon and Ginger or Rosemary tea to boost circulation internally too.

Cream for cold sores:
These are caused by the immunity dropping through stress or others infections, which triggers the dormant virus “herpes simplex”. Mix 50ml Organic Moisturising Cream, 5ml Argan oil, 5ml St John's Wort, 5 drops Roman Chamomile, 5 Myrrh and 10 Tea Tree. Apply as soon as you feel the tingle. Remember sunlight triggers the virus in some – so wear lip salve to protect sensitive areas.

Chest rub cream for coughs and colds:
Having this made up ready in your bathroom cabinet is highly recommended. Blend 50ml Organic Moisturising Cream, 2 drops Eucalyptus, 2 Black Pepper, 4 Thyme, 10 Sandalwood and 10 Pine. Rub onto chest and back at the first sign of a cough or cold – hopefully with some Vitamin C and an early night you'll ward it off!

Aromatherapy Massage Oils:-

Warming reassurance: 25ml Sweet Almond Oil, 5ml St John's Wort, 5 drops Lavender, 1 Ginger, 4 Frankincense and 5 Bergamot.

Winter warming immunity booster: 25ml Sweet Almond Oil, 5ml St John's Wort, 2 drops Palmarosa, 2 Lemon, 3 Plai, 4 Frankincense and 4 Lavender.

Uplifting blast of sunshine: 25ml Sweet Almond Oil, 5ml St John's Wort, 5 drops Geranium, 5 Bergamot and 5 Ylang Ylang.

Warming Aromatherapy Compresses:-

To ease muscle spasm put a square of muslin in a bowl of warm water – add 5 drops Lavender, 3 Marjoram and 2 Roman Chamomile. Swirl the muslin around, squeeze out excess water and apply to affected area.

To ease joint inflammation - as above – but add 3 drops German Chamomile, 2 drops Peppermint and 6 Lavender.

To soothe stress related headaches - as above – but add 6 drops Lavender, 1 Spearmint and 2 Neroli.

Additional Seasonal Tips:

Garlic: Take 1 clove of garlic, raw, chop finely and swallow after supper (when stomach is lined) for colds, coughs and flu – as it is a natural antibiotic.

Ginger: Finely slice and make ginger and fresh lemon tea to stimulate immunity and aid digestion.

Lemon: Taken in water regularly lemon helps to neutralise acidity in the gut - this helps with detoxing and reducing general inflammation.

Probiotics: If your immunity is low take a course of pro-biotics to supercharge your immunity and give your digestion a tonic!

“The Paleo Solution” By Robb Wolf: If you want to give yourself a pre-Christmas boost, or if a HUGE health kick is overdue – this book is a REAL find. You may have heard of the Paleolithic Diet - “hunter gatherer” type eating – well 30 days in and my energy has doubled, my skin tone improved, the little bulbous “ring of fat” around my middle has almost disappeared completely (I kid you not) and my concentration levels are fabulous – no more mental fog at the end of the day! I highly recommend this read – which is extremely informative and humorous too!

Joannah Metcalfe
Consultant Aromatherapist

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