TOP 10 ESSENTIAL OILS FOR THE COLD WEATHER
COLD WEATHER EFFECTS ON THE MIND AND MOOD
Many who live in cold countries look forward to the bright, white, cooling comfort of winter and to the warmth and coziness that await them indoors, while for many others, the bleak unease associated with this season is not limited to the weather pattern; it extends to their states of mind. The resulting negative psychological effects lead to a phenomenon known as The Winter Blues.
Around the world, on the dark side of Winter, many suffer in restless silence as the days shorten, which can negatively impact one’s emotions, energy levels, and even outlook on life. One of the reasons for this seasonal sadness is the fluctuating amount of sunlight we receive. In the Winter, shorter days means fewer hours of sunlight, which helps to regulate our circadian rhythm. This biological process is in control of the sleep cycle, hormones, and metabolism, among various other essential bodily functions, and disruptions to them can lead many to feel sluggish, sad, and stuck.
Colder temperatures also impact immune function, as they often force us to remain indoors along with trapped viruses and bacteria. The cold poses a challenge to the body that is attempting to fight off these harmful germs, as it reduces the speed with which the body begins to work to heal itself. Those who regularly take pleasure in outdoor activities, such as gardening or exercising, may feel disheartened when they are unable to enjoy those activities for long periods of time, which can create a sense of being unaccomplished. Along with this might come other negative thoughts, such as pessimism, body aches, difficulty concentrating, and apathy or despair.
While exercising, taking vitamin supplements, and undertaking Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Light Therapy are traditional and common methods for addressing these symptoms, Essential Oils may help to boost their success. Read on to discover the most popular Essential Oils that are reputed to benefit the body and the mind with their warming effects.
ESSENTIAL OILS FOR COLD WEATHER
Essential Oils are valuable during the colder months not only for their scents, especially those with bright, cheerful, invigorating, and warming fragrances, but also for the anti-bacterial property that many are reputed to exhibit, which helps to facilitate recovery from seasonal illnesses. Furthermore, many of them are known to help ease stiffness and body aches that may arise from shoveling snow or simply from long-term exposure to cold air.
Popular Essential Oils for cold weather include the floral and citrus oils, such as Lemon, Lavender, Grapefruit, and Ylang Ylang – which have uplifting and calming scents that are said to have mood-boosting and uplifting effects on the mind. Oils with cooling qualities, such as Eucalyptus and Peppermint, are commonly used to address symptoms of colds, as they have clarifying and energizing qualities that are reputed to reduce the discomforts of congestion and body aches.
The following list suggests Essential Oils that may help achieve an environment that is more conducive to improved health, both physical and mental, an atmosphere in which vigor is boosted, immunity is improved, encouraging a more optimistic and hopeful perspective as a result. Read on to discover the perfect Essential Oil ideas for those suffering from the Cold Weather Blues…
TOP 10 WARMING ESSENTIAL OILS FOR COLD WEATHER
- CINNAMON BARK ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: This spicy Essential Oil has an exotic, intense aroma that is often reminiscent of baking and other heartening memories. Its warm, subtly woodsy and earthy scent has a brightening and uplifting effect on the mood and is reputed to ease feelings of stress. It has been said to promote relaxation, which not only leads to restful sleep but that is also believed to have potential as an aphrodisiac.
- OREGANO ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: This Essential Oil’s strong scent is spicy, herbaceous, and camphoraceous – characteristic of the herb from which it is derived. It exudes a warm and woodsy but fresh aroma that has a lively yet calming quality, which helps to balance the emotions as well as clear and energize the mind, making it especially ideal for use during spiritual practices.
- THYME ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: The strong, penetratingly hot aroma of this herbaceous Essential Oil is reputed to soothe negative feelings, including stress, anxiety, anger, and fatigue. Its stimulating property helps to increase focus, emotional strength, determination, courage, and a positive outlook by encouraging an uplifting sense of relaxation and serenity.
- MARJORAM ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: The warm, heady, and sedative aroma of this spicy Essential Oil has nuances of sweetness that is said to invigorate as well as to promote feelings of calmness, inner balance, and mental clarity. By helping to release strong negative feelings of emotional tenseness, whether it is caused by sadness, fear, panic, irritability, or grief, Marjoram Oil is reputed to encourage both physical and mental rest.
- ROSEMARY ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: The fresh quality of Rosemary Oil’s woodsy and herbal aroma makes it uplifting and stimulating, properties that make it ideal for enhancing the mood and increasing cerebral activity as well as focus. This strong oil is reputed to encourage feelings of boldness, energy, and freedom.
- JUNIPER BERRY ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: The sweet – sometimes bittersweet – and woodsy aroma of Juniper Berry Oil has a fresh, crisp quality that inspires a sense of cleanness and purity when diffused indoors. Its calming and sedative effects, which help to comfort the mind and body, help create favorable conditions that support a spiritual mindset, making it ideal for use during prayer, meditation, and at any time that comfort and calm are needed.
- GINGER ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: The warming and energizing qualities of this woody, spicy, and earthy Essential Oil have earned it the nickname the “Oil of Empowerment.” As this name suggests, it is reputed to help replace feelings of weakness, timidity, and stagnation with zeal and fortitude. Ginger Oil is said to be helpful for managing mood fluctuations that are sudden and volatile, making it beneficial for those who suffer from emotional imbalance. The invigorating quality of Ginger Oil also makes it valuable for addressing low libido and an inability to maintain concentration.
- BLACK PEPPER ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: This Essential Oil has a dry, musky, spicy, and – naturally – peppery aroma that is reputed to energize the mind, stimulate circulation, and warm the skin. It is said to be beneficial for supporting general emotional wellness. With a fresh, crisp quality, the aroma of this oil can be diffused to enhance mental focus, clarity, and endurance. Furthermore, it is believed to function as a “truth serum” of sorts, as its aroma is said to promote the ability to reflect on thoughts, feelings, experiences, and behaviour patterns with sincerity, fairness, and conscientiousness.
- CARDAMOM ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: The sweet and spicy fragrance of this rich and “exotic” Essential Oil leaves an alluring woodsy trail that is soothing, grounding, and fortifying to the mind. The calming effect of its sensual and seductive aroma helps to uplift the mood, boost energy levels, improve attentiveness, reduce fatigue, anxiety, and stress, and promote emotional stability. It is said to enhance the libido, which also makes it a common ingredient in aphrodisiac Essential Oil blends.
- CLOVE BUD ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OIL: The strong, spicy, and woodsy yet faintly bitter aroma of this warming Essential Oil is evocative of but stronger than the Clove Buds from which it is derived. Its brisk and quickening quality is reputed to help inspire mental clarity for feelings of greater focus and being emotionally-centered. With an uplifting effect on the mood, it is also said to be helpful for inspiring feelings of courage.
While the use of individual Essential Oils is the traditional, classic manner of applying them, their beneficial properties are known to be heightened when they are used in combination with one or more other beneficial Essential Oils, which can help to supplement the positive effects. Oils that are “warming” blend well with most other warming oils, namely any of the abovementioned oils (which do not constitute an exhaustive list), but individual experimentation is encouraged! The final mix will exude a different scent than the original oils on their own would, but the resulting effects will be undoubtedly enhanced. NDA also offers the following ready-to-use blends comprised of 100% pure Essential Oils. These blends are also known as Synergy Blends and contain oils that are both warming and cooling to address various symptoms of seasonal complaints, both physical and emotional:
- Pillager's Potion Synergy Blend: Made up of Clove Bud, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, Rosemary, and Tea Tree oils.
- Breathe Easy Synergy Blend: Made up of Ravensara, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Laurel Leaf, Peppermint, and Cardamom oils.
Several, if not all, of the oils in these lists are known to help the body produce sweat, clear congestion, and to have stimulating properties that make them ideal for addressing poor circulation and for revitalizing skin that appears dry, flat, and colorless. They can be diffused, diluted in a warm bath, used to make a room freshener, incorporated into a candle formulation, applied as a roll-on personal scent or body spray, or be added to a massage oil blend, among various other applications.
HOW TO CREATE WARM WINTER ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS FOR TOPICAL USE
To create a small roll-on blend, start by selecting a small number of oils to combine, such as 3 Essential Oils, and 1 Carrier Oil in which to dilute them (see the list of NDA’s popular Carrier Oils below for suggestions). For a 10 ml roller bottle, simply add 2 drops of each chosen Essential Oil to the vial and fill the rest of it with the Carrier Oil. Next, cap the bottle and shake it well to ensure that all the oils have been thoroughly combined. To use it, simply stamp or roll a small amount of the blend onto the preferred area of skin, such as the wrist, and allow the fragrance to naturally waft. The blend can also be applied to areas of the body that are physically cold to the touch from decreased circulation, such as the fingers and toes.
To create an oil blend that can also help to target flu symptoms, consider adding one or several of the following essentials to a diffuser blend, roll-on blend, scented bath, or any other application method; however, it is recommended that massages be avoided during an illness, as they are reputed to increase the likelihood of the symptoms becoming aggravated:
TOP 6 ESSENTIAL OILS FOR FIGHTING A COLD / THE FLU
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
- Lavender Organic Essential Oil
- Frankincense Organic Essential Oil
- Peppermint Organic Essential Oil
- Lemon Organic Essential Oil
- Tea Tree Organic Essential Oil
|For an oil blend that is reputed to soothe…
Ginger with Lemon, Frankincense, and Eucalyptus
the discomforts of a fever
Rosemary and Marjoram with Lemon, Frankincense, or Peppermint
seasonal allergies or emotional distress
Thyme with Lemon, Peppermint, and Lavender
exhaustion and weakness
Rosemary with Eucalyptus and Grapefruit
sadness, pessimism, hopelessness, frustration, negativity
Rosemary and Frankincense with Lavender, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang, or Orange
Click to check out a VAPOR RUB RECIPE that can help to ease coughing and congestion.
WARMING ESSENTIAL OIL BLENDS FOR AROMATHERAPY MASSAGE
To create a warming Massage Blend, use any of the abovementioned Essential Oils, which are refreshing, inspiring, and uplifting. A recommended dilution is 3-6 drops of a preferred Essential Oil or Essential Oil Blend in 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of a preferred Carrier Oil. A recipe for a full-body massage could take 3 tablespoons or more, subject to the area of skin being massaged as well as the length of the massage.
To enhance the soothing quality of the personalized Massage Blend, consider including Essential Oils that have distinctively soft, sedative, reassuring fragrances: Bergamot, Chamomile, Geranium, Helichrysum, Lavender, Neroli, Sweet Basil, and Ylang Ylang.
EFFECTS OF COLD WEATHER ON SKIN
While the sharp, brisk weather conditions characteristic of the winter season can reveal toning, firming, and clarifying benefits for skin – including reduced appearance of enlarged pores, tightened skin, reduced puffiness, increased circulation to and color in the face, reduced sebum secretion, and reduced chances of developing acne – the low humidity still brings with it other, less-than-ideal consequences for the skin, including dryness, sensitivity, redness, itchiness, irritation, cracking, and peeling. Additionally, snow and ice on the ground reflect the sun back onto our skin, increasing our exposure to harmful UV rays and further establishing the necessity of SPF during these months.
Essential Oils can help to replenish the skin’s suppleness, polish away dead and flaking skin, and restore the complexion’s natural radiance. Read on to discover Essential Oil-based skincare practices and recipes that can help to repair and revive skin that has been weathered, stripped, or damaged by austere weather…
COLD WEATHER SKIN CARE TIPS & RECIPES
To combat the effects of decreased humidity, it is recommended that a stronger, longer-lasting, and more potent skincare routine substitute the practices that are in place during warmer months. Consider…
- Moisturizing the face, nails, body, and hair with a lightweight, fast-absorbing, long-lasting Carrier Oil, such as Jojoba, Coconut, Almond, Olive, or Argan oils
- Enhancing a Carrier Oil moisturizer with Essential Oils that are reputed to support skin health, such as those mentioned above. Other oils that have warm, woody, or spicy qualities (e.g. Myrrh, Frankincense, Patchouli, Sandalwood) and oils that have calming floral scents (e.g. Geranium, Lavender, Ylang Ylang) are also suggested.
- Moisturizing with a long-lasting Body Butter, which can be enhanced with both Essential Oils and Carrier Oils.
- Using M&P Glycerin soap for added moisture during showers and long-lasting, softening protection afterwards. They can be enhanced with Essential Oils, such as those listed below, as well as with other fragrance additives and Carrier Oils.
NDA’s TOP 17 MOISTURIZING ESSENTIAL OILS
- Cedarwood Organic Essential Oil (Atlas)
- Chamomile Roman Essential Oil
- Geranium Organic Essential Oil
- Hyssop Organic Essential Oil
- Jasmine Sambac Absolute
- Lavender Essential Oil (Bulgarian)
- Myrrh Essential Oil (Egypt)
- Neroli (Egypt) Essential Oil
- Palmarosa Essential Oil
- Patchouli Organic Essential Oil
- Rose Absolute (Bulgaria)
- Rosewood (Natural Blend) Essential Oil
- Rosemary (Morocco) Essential Oil
- Sandalwood Organic Essential Oil
- Spikenard Organic Essential Oil
- Vetiver Essential Oil
- Ylang Ylang Essential Oil (#2)
MOISTURIZING ROLLER-BLEND RECIPE
For a customized and rejuvenating roller-blend recipe that can help restore the skin’s natural glow as well as stop itching and the discomforts of other dry-skin irritation, add 3 drops each of any 3 of the above Essential Oils to a 10 ml roller bottle, then fill the rest of the bottle with a preferred Carrier Oil. Shake the bottle well and apply a few dabs to the preferred areas of dull, itchy, or cracking skin.
POPULAR & RECOMMENDED NDA MOISTURIZERS
Whether a lotion or a cream, applying a long-lasting moisturizer, especially one that is enriched with ingredients that are reputed to have anti-inflammatory properties, can help to retain the skin’s moisture and to soothe irritation caused by the dryness experienced both indoors and outdoors during the winter.
NDA’s ready-to-use moisturizers include:
NDA’s popular Carrier Oils, which can function as stand-alone skincare moisturizers, include:
- Grapeseed Organic Carrier Oil
- Almond Sweet Organic Carrier Oil
- Sunflower Organic Carrier Oil
- Coconut Fractionated Carrier Oil Medium-Chain Triglyceride 60/40
- While Olive Carrier Oil is a popular oil, it is recommended for hair care, as it is too oily on the skin.
The following Body Butters are luxurious, skin-health-enhancing emollients that are known to be rich in vitamins and to exhibit hydrating, soothing, smoothing, and softening properties, making them NDA’s most popular moisturizers:
- Shea Butter
- Cocoa Butter
- Mango Butter - Ultra Refined
- Almond Butter - Sweet
- Avocado Butter
- Ucuuba Butter
- Grapeseed Butter
- Kokum Butter - Refined
- Aloe Butter
- Olive Butter
- Pumpkin Seed Butter
- Soy Butter
Essential Oils may be blended into any of these butters to create personalized moisturizers that are better suited to individual needs, preferred scents and properties, and to the desired effects. Adding Essential Oils to Butters may also be ideal for those who do not find the natural aromas of the butters to be appealing. Mixing butters with essential oils will not negate the effectiveness or beneficial qualities of either type of product. To enhance the moisturizing and conditioning properties of Butters, they can also be mixed with any Carrier Oils, especially those mentioned above. For ingredients that are known for having anti-irritant properties, try Chamomile products, such as Chamomile Butter, Chamomile Botanical Extract, Chamomile Floral Water, and Chamomile Roman Essential Oil.
For DIY crafters who prefer to create customized natural moisturizers, NDA’s blog article about Natural Moisturizers can elaborate on various types of moisturizers that can be formulated as well as their benefits, ingredients, additives, and helpful formulations tips. For more information about selecting cosmetic bases for moisturizers, visit our article All About Moisturizing Cosmetic Bases.
ESSENTIAL OIL SIDE EFFECTS
As with all other New Directions Aromatics products, Essential Oils are for external use only. It is imperative to consult a medical practitioner before using these oils for therapeutic purposes. Pregnant and nursing women are especially advised not to use Essential Oils without the medical advice of a physician, as they may have effects on certain hormone secretions and it is unclear whether these effects are transferable to babies at these stages of development. These oils should always be stored in an area that is inaccessible to children, especially those under the age of 7.
Those with the following health conditions are especially recommended to be advised by a physician: cancer, heart-related ailments, skin disorders, hormone-related ailments, or epilepsy. Individuals that are taking prescription drugs, undergoing major surgery, or who are at a greater risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, or atherosclerosis are also advised to seek medical consultation prior to use.
Prior to using any Essential Oil, a skin test is recommended. This can be done by diluting 1 drop of the Essential Oil in 4 drops of a Carrier Oil and applying a dime-size amount of this blend to a small area of skin that is not sensitive. Essential Oils must never be used near the eyes, inner nose, and ears, or on any other particularly sensitive areas of skin. Potential side effects of Essential Oils include redness, rash, hives, burning, bleeding disorders, decreased speed of healing, low blood pressure, dizziness, headache, nausea, diarrhea, convulsions, and rapid heartbeat. In the event of an allergic reaction, discontinue use of the products and see a doctor, pharmacist, or allergist immediately for a health assessment and appropriate remedial action. To prevent side effects, consult with a medical professional prior to use.
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