Of all the seasons, winter may be the easiest one to have mixed feelings about. On one hand, it’s majestic in its own remarkable ways that are completely distinct from spring, summer and fall. The air is cold and crisp, mountains go white with snow, holiday celebrations reunite you with loved ones and a new year begins.
On the other hand, the harsh weather and shorter hours of daylight can introduce a unique set of issues. Statistically, 5% of U.S. adults deal with seasonal depression — also known as seasonal affective disorder — every year. On top of this, there’s nothing like frigid winter weather to strip your skin of its moisture. Older adults are especially affected by this; as you get older, your skin generally becomes more fragile and susceptible to dryness.
Fortunately, there are plenty of things you can do this winter to maintain your skin’s health; introducing essential oils into your daily skin care routine is one of them. They’ve also been shown to have positive effects on the central nervous system, which may be key to improving mental health. Here’s a look at some fantastic wintertime essential oils and what they’re best used for.
Extracted through steam distillation of eucalyptus leaves, eucalyptus oil is often used commercially in decongestant aids and muscle rubs. The effects that winter weather can have on your body and mind can leave you feeling lethargic and sluggish. Eucalyptus essential oil can help relieve this torpidity by boosting brain circulation and enhancing your mood. Using eucalyptus essential oil in an oil diffuser may help combat seasonal allergies and sinus congestion.
Famous for relaxing brain waves and reducing stress, lavender is perhaps one of the most versatile and widely used essential oils. Lavender essential oil mixed with fractionated coconut oil or jojoba oil can be a fantastic moisturizer for chapped, cracked or irritated skin. It’s also been shown to aid in reducing muscle spasms, blood pressure issues, varicose veins and even insomnia. It’s no wonder lavender essential oil has been used commercially as a vital ingredient in incense, deodorants, perfumes, lotions, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, laundry products, massage oils and cosmetics.
Peppermint essential oil is a powerhouse against winter ailments. If you’ve been experiencing more frequent headaches from holiday stress or intensified muscle aches and inflammation due to cold weather, some peppermint oil may be just what you need. Its invigorating scent and expectorant properties can also boost your energy levels, stimulate circulation and relieve congestion.
You may already utilize nutmeg throughout wintertime for its staple holiday flavor, but did you know nutmeg essential oil may be able to help alleviate stomach pain and improve digestion? Nutmeg oil can help ease bloating and gas so you can enjoy your holiday feasts with family in comfort. However, it’s important to note that nutmeg oil is not to be ingested; diffusion is the recommended method of indulging in its relieving properties. Additionally, nutmeg essential oil’s warm, spicy aroma can facilitate your alertness and energize your mind throughout the hustle and bustle of the season.
Speaking of staple holiday flavors and scents, cinnamon bark oil contains countless beneficial properties that can be especially useful this time of year. As a stimulant, it is often used in combating depression; many find its familiar aroma comforting and uplifting. Diffusing it throughout your home can help improve cognitive function, reduce nervous tension and improve memory.
Considered royalty among essential oils, frankincense’s spiritual and religious uses can be traced back for millennia. Its balsamic, woodsy scent contains properties that are known for reducing anxiety, enhancing mood and even relieving pain. Often found to help eliminate feelings of negativity and promote a peaceful atmosphere, frankincense is the perfect complement to an hour of meditation or prayer.
Oregano essential oil is widely known for its array of powerful health benefits. In addition to boosting the immune system and easing aches and pains, it may help improve breathing by loosening up mucus and phlegm and soothing throat irritation.
At Bethesda Gardens in Frisco, Texas, the well-being of our residents always comes first. That's why we strive to give you the information you can use to benefit your own personal health and wellness. The vast array of health benefits offered by the properties of essential oils are diverse, and they can especially come in handy during the gelid winter months. A little nutmeg, cinnamon or frankincense may be just what you need to add to your wintertime self-care routines.
Make sure to talk to your health care provider before you embark on any new wellness routines. That includes using essential oils for aromatherapy, exercise or anything else.