Winter is a prime season for colds and flu. But aromatherapy and essential oils can help.

Prevention is always better than cure. Help stop the spread of germs by using the antiseptic powers of essential oils around the home.

Tea tree essential oil in particular is fabulous used as a disinfectant. Add a few drops to the water when washing floors.

Sprinkle a few drops of tea tree essential oil on a damp cloth and use to wipe down light switches door handles, taps and other areas that are touched regularly to reduce the spread of germs.

Other surfaces can be washed down with tea tree in warm water. If you aren’t keen on the aroma of tea tree, just add a little lemon essential oil along with the tea tree.

Vaporise essential oils such as eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, pine, lemon, cypress or thyme to cleanse the air.

Make a room spray by putting 3 drops each of eucalyptus, tea tree and lemon essential oils or eucalyptus, pine and rosemary essential oils in a spray bottle and topping up with water. Don’t forget to shake well before each time you use it.

If you do catch a cold a cold, essential oils can also help to soothe the symptoms and help you to feel better.

At the first symptoms, run a warm bath and sprinkle in 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil, 3 drops of lavender essential oil and 2 drops tea tree essential oil. Soak for at least 15-20 minutes, then pat yourself dry, wrap up warm and put yourself to bed. The essential oils will soothe symptoms and relax you to help you to get a good night’s sleep and get the rest that is so important when you are ill.

Vaporise essential oils in the bedroom with a waterless electric vaporiser - use 5-6 drops of essential oil such as eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, pine, rosemary, or basil. Use one oil or a combination.

Put a few drops of essential oil on a tissue and breathe in the vapors throughout the day to help to relieve congestion - oils that can help here include, basil, eucalyptus, pine, peppermint or rosemary. Add a drop of lavender if your symptoms include a headache.

These same oils can be used for steam inhalation to help relieve congestion - use 1-2 drops only in a bowl of hot, but not boiling, water. Close eyes and cover your head with a towel to make a tent. Breathe in deeply. (Note - steam inhalations are not recommended for anyone suffering from asthma).

Make a soothing chest rub by adding 6 drops each of eucalyptus, lavender and rosemary essential oils to 50ml grapeseed oil. Apply to chest, throat and upper back.

(Please note - all recipes given are for adult doses. For children under 12 years, use no more than half the amounts stated. For babies under 2 years, use no more than a quarter of the dose. Contact a professional aromatherapist)

Author's Bio: 

Wendy Mackay is a qualified Aromatherapist and member of the International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association (IAAMA). Wendy and her husband David run Essence of Wellbeing a successful Aromatherapy & Massage Supply and Pure Natural Skin Care business, based in Mornington on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria Australia.

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