Stuffy and miserable is never any fun, aside from having a reason to binge watch Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries on Netflix. So before you jump on the decongestant bandwagon, you should try natural remedies for your symptoms. Aromatherapy is a useful way to clear up any instances of difficulty breathing.
You can do this in a number of ways. Aromatherapy burners can be purchased from most natural health stores and a number of alternative jewellery stores will have them too. A few drops on water and a single tea light diffuse the scent throughout the room, so no matter where you go – you can breathe.
Then there are diffusers, cold and hot, either one works wonders. These ones are pet friendly – keep them out of the way where a cat can’t get to it and let the magic happen.
But which essential oil do you choose?
Eucalyptus: fights bacterial and viral infections. This oil stimulates regeneration of lung tissue. It increases blood oxygen supplies allowing more oxygen as well as nutrients to be delivered to the cells throughout the body.
Ginger: stimulates the immune system. It warms the chill from winter and dampness, cools the body by inducing sweating, reduces the drainage of a runny nose and helps with respiratory infection. Also, ginger root and honey make an excellent cold fighting tea.
Lavender: clears congestion, stuffiness and soothes respiratory and throat disorders and boosts the immunity. Also helps you sleep at night.
Marjoram: eases respiratory disorders such as asthma, bronchitis, colds and flu and sinusitis.
Peppermint: clears sinuses and improves breathing. Also helps with headaches.
Pine: fights respiratory infections and encourages the release of mucus. This oil relieves congestion and makes breathing easier.
Rosemary: helps relieve respiratory disorders, fights infection, expels phlegm and assists in lymph drainage.
Tea Tree: a cousin to eucalyptus, this oil relieves respiratory disorders, fights bacteria, viruses and fungi and has a reputation of improving immunity.
Thyme: improves immunity by boosting the production of white blood cells. This oil is great for respiratory disorders.
You can melt down coconut oil (1/2 cup) and beeswax (1/4 cup) in you microwave (in twenty or thirty second intervals, stirring each time. Don’t let the mixture boil!). Add a drop of sage, peppermint and two drops of eucalyptus to make you own Vic’s VapoRub without the petroleum jelly.
If you’re a bath person, put a few drops (five or six) of your essential oil(s) of choice into a full cup of Epsom salts, (lavender and eucalyptus or ginger and peppermint smell wonderful!), stir the mix together and pour it in a hot bath. The steam will help clear congestion and the scent will help you relax and aid the steam in doing its job. Keep any extra in a mason jar. For an extra boost, put a bit of some dried herb in your mixture too. (You might have dried lavender, mint, rosemary, thyme, or marjoram in your pantry!)
You can also combine a drop or two each of lavender and peppermint oil in sea salt water (sea salt and tap water, make sure the salt dissolves completely) and put it in a nasal spray bottle for a really stubborn stuffy nose.
To sleep at night, put a cloth bag full of fresh peppermint and lavender under your pillow. The leaves will bruise and release scents all night to help you sleep and keep your nose clear.
Please note, you should never, ever apply essential oil directly to the skin unless directly ordered by a physician. Always consult a physician if uncertain. Don’t use something you might be allergic to.
For pregnant mothers:
– Never use more than one drop of essential oil at a time. Peppermint, eucalyptus, and tea tree oil are all safe during pregnancy.
– AVOID rosemary and sage during pregnancy as these can cause serious harm.
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