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Essential Oils for Winter Well-Being

Posted on 3 February, 2015 at 9:07 Comments comments (29)
As the temperatures  plummet we do not automatically think of reaching for essential oils to help keep warm, however there are a group of essential oils that can be described as being ‘warming’ to the body. These oils have a rubefacient effect on the body which means that when they are applied topically they cause the dilation of capillaries and an increase in blood circulation which brings heat to the area and can significantly ease aches and pains.

Such essential oils not only bring heat to the areas applied but they can awaken dull senses, lift the spirits, they can stimulate sluggish circulation and digestion and many of these warming oils also have emollient properties helping to calm and soothe dry, irritated skin that can often occur during the colder months. The majority of them also have a strong antibacterial and antiviral action making them excellent for preventing and helping to rid the body of coughs and colds.

The best ways to use warming essential oils-
Bath- There is nothing more soothing than a warm, aromatic bath on a cold day. Once the bath has been filled add 5 drops of your chosen essential oil to 10ml of carrier oil (sesame and olive oil are especially warming) alternatively try full fat milk or honey to disperse the essential oils. Particularly effective for aches, pains and chills.

Foot and hand soak- as above but fill a bowl large enough to place the feet or hands, great for impaired circulation in the extremities or just for warming and comforting.

Massage cream/oil- Mix 3 drops of essential oil with a carrier oil or perfume free cream/lotion and massage into the skin. This is a lovely way to keep hands and feet warm and well moisturised, also good for lower back pain when briskly massaged into the affected area.

Please see my earlier Blog on the 
Safe Use of Essential Oils at Home for further information

Top 10 Warming Essential Oils

Ginger- great oil to warm the body and emotions. For the body it helps poor circulation, sluggish digestion, cold hands and feet, whereas emotionally it is stimulating and arousing, helping to dispel nervous exhaustion and the winter blues.

Sweet Marjoram-a great comforting oil, excellent for stiff muscles, and rheumatic pain. Calms and eases stress and sadness.
Patchouli- is relaxing and uplifting, it is anti-inflammatory and helps heal many skin conditions, it is a soothing and stabilising oil so helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Neroli- although an expensive oils it is without a doubt the best oil for treating anxiety and other emotional problems. It calms the nerves, being soothing and uplifting. Great to use on the face during the winter months to protect the skin (1 drop in 5ml carrier oil, add to wheat germ oil for a    nourishing skin treat). 

Patchouli- is relaxing and uplifting, it is anti-inflammatory and helps heal many skin conditions, it is a soothing and stabilising oil so helps reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

Frankincense- is valued for its ability to slow and deepen the breathing, helping to control anxiety and stress. Deeply calming and revitalising oil that is especially useful in treating colds and associated throat and chest problems.

Benzoin- a great comforting oil with a sweet, warm, vanilla-like scent. A good all-rounder for the winter months as benzoin is beneficial for rheumatism and poor circulation, eases coughs, colds and chills, soothes chapped skin as well as being uplifting, revitalising and an antidpressant.

Black Pepper- has a dry, spicy and woody aroma and acts as a stimulant as well as being strengthening and comforting. Great in a foot soak for chilblains, its overall warming effect eases arthritis, rheumatic pain, stiffness and neuralgia. Also helps fight viral infections.

Bay- fresh and spicy with a warm, balsamic base note. Reviving and refreshing it is an effective antispetic for the respiratory system. 
**A strong oil that should only be used in small doses and very occasionally.**

Myrrh- resinous and smoky in aroma, myrrh is renowned for its healing properties and so is beneficial for most inflamed skin conditions. as it has a drying effect it is great as an expectorant for treating coughs and colds. This oil has a calming, spiritual effect on the body and mind, bringing about a sense of peace and tranquility.

Sandalwood- has a relaxing and uplifting effect with a sweet, woody, long-lasting fragrance. Excellent for all types of nervous tension, used in baths it is calming and relaxing as well as being soothing and hydrating to the skin.

As you can see Aromatherapy and Essential Oils offer the perfect Winter Tonic. Have fun experimenting and keep warm this winter. I'm off for my bath now.......! x