With the blustery winter weather upon us and Christmas to plan, it's easy to get a bit run down at this time of year, making us vulnerable to colds, flu and other winter bugs. But there are some really quick and inexpensive ways of perking up your energy levels and boosting your immune system this season, one of the best of which is essential oils.
Totally natural and wonderfully fragrant, you can fight off the winter blues with just a few drops of the right essential oils. Eugény Couture from Amphora Aromatics, who specialise in essential oils, shows you how.
Clear up cold sores
Cold sores often break out when you're stressed or if you've got a cold but it's important to try and clear these outbreaks up as quickly as you can. Try mixing together 1 drop of Bergamot, 1 drop Lemon, 1 drop Tea Tree and 2 drops of Geranium or Rose Geranium into 5ml of a carrier oil, such as Sweet Almond or Grapeseed.
Then dab this frequently on the cold sore with a fresh cotton wool bud each time and your cold sore should start to gradually disappear.
Soothe a sore throat or laryngitis
To nurse a sore throat back to health, make an anti-bacterial cocktail of 2 drops Tea Tree, 1 drop Eucalyptus, 1 drop Lemon, 1 drop Lavender into a bowl full of boiling water. Allow the water to cool for 2-3 minutes and then position your head about 25-30cm above the water bowl and place a towel over your head so the steam travels directly towards your nose. Breathe deeply for a minute.
Or, you can just add the oils to a tissue and then inhale regularly.Tea Tree is a natural anti-viral, great for fighting off germs, whilst Eucalyptus naturally boosts your immune system.
Stop a stress headache
If Christmas preparations are getting you down, just add 5 to 6 drops of Lavender and Peppermint essential oils to cold water and dip in a flannel. Use this as an instant cold compress to press on your head to relieve tension and clear away troubles.
Beat the bloat
With Christmas parties and the temptation of all those mince pies, it's not uncommon to feel bloated or have indigestion. To relieve, create a blend of 3 drops Fennel, 1 drop Peppermint and 1 drop Ginger in a carrier oil or cream. Place a few drops on your hands, rub them together and then start to massage your tummy area in a clockwise motion.
Ease away a stiff neck
If you're feeling tense in your neck and shoulders, dip a flannel in a blend of 2 drops Ginger, 1 drop Geranium, 1 drop Clary Sage and 1 drop Lemongrass in warm water and place on achy muscles as a soothing compress. Alternatively you can mix these essential oils with a carrier oil or cream and massage into your neck and shoulders until the blend is absorbed.
Struggling to nod off? Try a few drops of Lavender or Chamomile oil in a bath or room fragrancer. This will also calm down any nervous tension and help you feel calmer and more in control.
There's more health and beauty advice in every issue of Yours magazine, out every fortnight on a Tuesday.