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Head Cold? Three Best Aromatherapy Tips that can Help

Late fall and winter bring lots of wonderful holidays, family gatherings, pumpkin spice, colorful fall leaves, sweater weather, fuzzy socks, cooler temperatures, and drier air. This time of year also typically brings an uptick in head colds. With its uncomfortable stuffiness, runny nose, watery eyes, tiredness, and general feeling of blah!

When I feel a head cold coming on I reach for essential oils. Essential oils offer antimicrobial benefits, can help open airways, and decongest. Here are three easy ways to use aromatherapy to feel better faster.

1. Steam Tent: This is hands down my favorite way to use essential oils to open airways and fight germs. It can be used at the first sign of a cold or when you are all stuffed up. It works amazingly well to help open airways and should be used two or three times daily for several days.

What you'll need:

a. A ceramic, glass, or stainless steel bowl or mug

b. Eucaplytus globulous or radiata, Cinnamomum camphora (ravintsara), Mentha x piperitia (peppermint), or a "breathe ease" type essential oil blend. I like using a combination of eucalyptus, peppermint, and Siberian fir. (CAUTION: AVOID using irritating or "hot" or "spicy" oils such as undiluted oregano, cinnamon, clove etc. They can irritate your mucus membranes. This is unpleasant.)

c. Freshly boiled water (it's best to used distilled or filtered water)

d. A small towel

e. Tissues

How to create a steam tent:

a. Add the freshly boiled water to your bowl or mug.

b. Add a drop of essential oil or blend (see above for ideas and cautions)

c. Close your eyes and pull the towel over you head to create a "tent".

d. Breathe in the steam and essential oils, taking breaks as needed and blowing nose as needed.

e. You DON'T need 10 drops of essential oil -- one or two will do. Too much can be irritating.

2. Aromatherapy Shower Power: This is another simple yet effective way to open airways and fight germs. Our doctor always recommended hot, steamy showers for easing congestion from sinus issues or head colds. Adding essential oils takes it up a notch. You can add them directly to the shower floor or onto a damp wash cloth. It's actually quite wonderful and creates a spa-like atmosphere in your shower.

Essential oil suggestions: There are lots of great essential oils and blends that could work. Some of my favorites include Lavendula angustifolia (lavender) and Eucalyptus globulus or radiata, Mentha x piperita (peppermint), Cinnamomum camphora (ravintsara), Juniperus virginiana (cedarwood), Citrus sinenesis (sweet orange), and Citrus limon (lemon). And you can always use a few drops of a "breathe ease" blend.

How to harness Aromatic Shower Power: Add three to five drops of essential oil to your shower floor, a damp washcloth, or perhaps even a lava stone. Take a warm to hot steamy shower and enjoy! Just be careful to avoid "hot" or "spicy" oils that can irritate the mucus membranes (oregano, clove, cinnamon, etc.).

3. Aromatherapy Inhaler for Bedside or On the Go: Aroma inhalers are like personal diffusers. You can't always diffuse or steam on the go or at work. Maybe it's tough to make time to steam. Or you wake up at 3am and just want quick relief. An aroma inhaler can help.

Aroma inhalers are comprised of a cotton or polyester wick housed in a plastic or metal casing. Essential oils are dripped onto the cotton or polyester, sealed up, and can be uncapped and inhaled as needed. I love having inhalers beside my bed or for travel or work.

Although some people may look at you kinda weird for sniffing an aroma inhaler on a plane or bus, don't mind them. Just enjoy being able to breathe!

"Blank" aroma inhalers are available online at a variety of retailers. I purchase mine from Aromatics International. I love that they offer organic cotton as a filler choice. Here are a few ideas for inhaler blends:

Inhaler Blend One:

5 drops Melaluca alternafolia (tea tree) essential oil

5 drops Eucalyptus globulous or radiata essential oil

6 drops Citrus sinensis (orange) essential oil

Inhaler Blend Two:

5 drops Mentha x piperita (peppermint) essential oil

5 drops Eucalyptus globulous or radiata essential oil

5 drops Abies sibirica (Siberian fir) essential oil

Add the essential oils to the cotton or polyester wick, cap in the plastic or metal housing.

To Use: Uncap and inhale as needed. Recap. Aroma inhalers can last several weeks if capped between use.

So if you find yourself, a loved one, or friend, suffering from a head cold this fall or winter be sure to pull out your essential oils to steam, harness shower power, or create an aroma inhaler.

And if you're short on time and could use a pre-made blend, aroma inhaler, or shower steamer visit the store online. If you have a questions or need a custom solution contact Tricia.

Stay well and aromatic blessings my friends,



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