Have you been hit by an end-of-winter cold? Seasonal allergies? You know the feeling: your sinuses are blocked, your brain is foggy, your eyes are watering from sneezing and your nose is sore from all the tissues you’ve been using.
Many essential oils have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help alleviate cold symptoms and build immunity.
Here are the top ones to try:
01 Eucalyptus Oil
Eucalyptus oil is my top pick when it comes to easing congestion. A popular ingredient in cough drops and chest rubs, eucalyptus oil is an anti-inflammatory and can help relieve stuffiness, sinus congestion and headaches, as well as being an antibacterial agent. The active compound in eucalyptus oil is cineole, which researchers have found to be effective for sinus issues.
02 Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil contains menthol, which is what gives the lovely cooling effect when inhaled. This can help to soothe a sore throat, ease coughing, clear mucus and open your airways. Peppermint oil is also thought to help treat anxiety and mental fatigue, which can also be indirectly exacerbated by seasonal allergies.
03 Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil contains a compound called alpha-sabine, which provides powerful antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal effects. This essential oil works by reducing inflammation and helping to relieve sinus swelling.
This relief in swelling can often ease your blocked and runny nose.
04 Oregano Oil
Oregano oil can help get rid of or prevent a cold by fighting off bacteria. Oregano oil contains carvacrol, a compound that helps fight certain kinds of infections.
Oregano oil is potent stuff and should be taken with caution. One way to use this oil is by mixing it with a carrier oil and applying it the soles of the feet prior to going to sleep.
How to Use Essential Oils
There are a few main ways to use essential oils to ease congestion:
Use a diffuser to get the oil into the air.
Add a few drops to a bowl of boiled water and inhale the steam. Add a towel over your head to get the full effect.
Breathe in the oil directly from the bottle.
Add a few drops to 10mls of carrier oil such as sweet almond or coconut oil and rub onto the chest and neck area.
When applying any essential oil to your skin, you should first test it in a non-sensitive area to make sure you’re not allergic. Do not ingest essential oils, and do not use on babies younger than three months.
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