The season is about to change, and some of you may have already noticed a significant drop in temperature. Looking out the window, I’ve seen those short-clad folks out for a saunter turn into those bundled up with a little more purpose in their step.
Although the temperature is not directly responsible for the spread of seasonal illness like cold and flu, unexpected, rapid fluctuations can increase the risk. This is something most Americans—and citizens of the world—are dealing with. Other ways temperature can influence risk for illness is the fact that most people will be indoors, cutting off access to the best source of vitamin D. Being indoors also means you’re in closer confines with more people, where germs can transfer with ease.
All of this means that, perhaps your best efforts, your immune system may be weakened. The lack of vitamin D coupled with the potential it could be working overtime means you might get sick. And although having one or two colds per year is normal—and likely good for overall health—you want to get rid of them as quick as possible.
Over-the-counter medications might not be your first choice, and a healthy diet can make things easier but is unlikely to provide instant relief when symptoms add up. One option that might help is essential oils.
There are several essential oils that have research to support use for cold and flu symptoms. They can be inhaled via steam sauna (likely the best for immediate relief of congestions and cough), taken as capsules, dispersed in a diffuser, added to the bath or sprayed on your pillow. No matter how you see them, make sure to dilute with water or carrier oils.
A few that might help keep your health, include:
Tea tree oil: May have anti-viral properties. Research has shown it may help kill bugs that lead to a sinus infection and respiratory issues.
Eucalyptus oil: May have antiviral and antimicrobial properties that may help limit inflammation, suppress cough, ease chest congestion, and battle fever.
Chamomile: Breathing in chamomile steam may limit cold symptoms.
Lavender oil: Research has shown it can ease stress, anxiety, and promote better sleep.
Oregano oil: Contains carvacrol, a compound that may help boost immune strength and kill bacteria.
This season, with the unpredictable temperature patterns, you may need reinforcements a little earlier to stay healthy. Essential oils may add immune support and can act as a safe alternative to pharmaceuticals.