Sniff Your Way Out of the Sniffles this Winter Season

By: Stefanie Morra shutterstock_45005467

Snowflakes, snow days, hot chocolate, skating…sniffles. All of these ‘wonderful’ things are apart of our great Canadian winters. Some of them are enjoyed more than others. I bet I’m thinking of the same ones as you. Whether we like it or not, the sniffles (nasal congestion associated with the common cold) are also a very real part of the winter season. Fortunately, there are many great ways to treat and beat the sniffles with essential oils and other soothing skin care ingredients. Here are some of my suggestions on how to survive our great Canadian winters and sniffles.

  • Take A Decongesting Dip

Warm baths consisting of a cup of Epsom salts, five drops of eucalyptus and five drops of peppermint essential oil will soothe aching muscles, open up your nasal passage and relieve sinus pain. If you are like me and don’t have time to take a bath, you can also add a few drops of the oils to the corners of your shower stall, away from the direct stream of water.

  • Breathe-Easy Chest Rub

Look for body balms that will relieve nasal congestion that are made with clean, non-irritating, soothing ingredients. Great moisturizing ingredients that are commonly used as bases for these products include shea butter, bee’s wax, vitamin E, castor oil and olive oil.  You also want your rub to have a variety of essential oils including tea tree, lavender, rosemary, wintergreen or peppermint oils.

  • Bacterial Busting Room Mist

Essential oils can also be made into room mists that can be sprayed throughout the home to kill bacteria and germs. A great purifying blend can be made by combining about 10 drops of tea tree, 10 drops of lavender, five drops of lemon or grapefruit and five drops of sage oil in a glass mist bottle filled with a mixture of water and grain alcohol. Spray throughout the room and on linens. This oil blend could also be added to a room diffuser, which would disperse the aroma of the oils throughout the house. This also works well for those suffering from allergies and asthma.

Essential oils can also be dropped into tissues which can be inhaled as often as needed for immediate congestion relieve. One of my favourite ways to beat the sniffles is to add a few drops of peppermint, tea tree and eucalyptus oils to a sink filled with hot water and inhale the steam from oils by covering my head with a large towel. (This also serves as a great deep pore cleansing face steam treatment).

A Few Words of Caution:

  • If pregnant, do not use essential oils without consulting your health care provider as some oils can be harmful.
  • Do not leave essential oil bottles in children’s reach. Ingesting essential oils can be toxic and have the potential to cause serious harm and even death.
  • When using essential oils with children, reduce the amount of drops of oils used by about 1/2.
  • Never use essential oils (except tea tree oil and lavender oil) without diluting them safely with water or a carrier oil.
  • Discontinue use of oils if skin irritations develop.

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