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Over the past forty years, aromatherapy has taken off considerably. To familiarize you with the science, here is a short explanatory article which also covers my 6 absolute must-have essential oils. They will help you treat all those little daily ailments this winter. A genuine treasure for your medicine cabinet! I’ll also share a few of my favorite recipes with you.

The benefits of Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is the medical use of aromatic plant extracts (essences and essential oils). It is, therefore, a branch of plant-based medicine, known as Phytotherapy by specialists.

This discipline is as old as the hills, since plants and their aromas have always been essential to human health. But immense progress was made in the 20th century. Aromatherapy offers quick and effective treatment. Multiple studies back up its effectiveness. It is also a simple and affordable daily method.

These pleasant aromas can be inhaled, diffused (they smell great) or applied to skin. One of the principal advantages of essential oils is that they don’t just treat: they also reinforce the natural defenses of the skin, as well as the digestive, nervous or indeed the respiratory system.

In winter, I find them particularly useful as they are one of the only ways of cleansing a room or the family living room to stop us from indefinitely “swapping” microbes. At home, I mostly use them in the evening to help our nervous systems to relax before going to bed, or during infection outbreaks (colds, coughs, bronchitis, etc.).

I discovered the Essencia range several months ago and it is among my favorites. All of the oils are produced in Quebec and available online at Homeocan.ca.

My 6 favorite oils for winter

The Lavender Pure Essential Oil by Essencia

This is the essential oil that reigns supreme in aromatherapy. With highly polyvalent effects, it is good for EVERYTHING. I mainly use it diffused or applied to skin (blended with a vegetal oil).

Example uses:
– Stress, anxiety and sleep difficulties
– Burns, insect bites, eczema
– Cramps
– Lice repellant

The Balsam Fir Pure Essential Oil by Essencia

This oil is SUPER antiseptic and atmospheric. Plus, it has the ability to stimulate the body’s immune defenses, making it an essential oil of choice in winter.

Example uses:
– Air purification
– Respiratory infections

The Eucalyptus Radiata Pure Essential Oil by Essencia

This is an anti-bacterial essential oil. It is wonderfully effective during winter outbreaks, particularly if you have nasal or bronchial congestion. It is expectorant, anti-fungal and anti-viral.

Example uses:
– Productive cough
– Cold
– Sinusitis
– Bronchitis
– Otitis

The Tea Tree Pure Essential Oil by Essencia

Stemming from Australia, the genus Melaleuca includes 150 species of trees and shrubs including tea tree, niaouli and cajeput as some of the best-known examples. Used by Aboriginals for millennia, tea tree essential oil was the most widely-known universal antiseptic prior to the advent of antibiotics. It is a major anti-infectious agent with anti-fungal and broad-spectrum anti-bacterial properties.

Example uses:
– Ulcers, gingivitis, abscesses
– Candidiasis, mycosis
– Sinusitis, bronchitis
– Acne

The Sweet Orange Pure Essential Oil by Essencia

Naturally antiseptic and atmospheric. Its pleasant orange scent is simply fabulous. As well as being very pleasant as a diffused mist to purify your home, it calms the nervous system and promotes sleep.

Example uses:
– Stress and anxiety
– Healthy and relaxing atmosphere

The Geranium Pure Essential Oil by Essencia

This is the cosmetic essential oil par excellence. It is useful in all skincare products thanks to its astringent, antiseptic, pro-healing, illuminating and stimulant properties. It rebalances the secretion of sebum, the oily substance produced by the sebaceous glands that preserves epidermal elasticity.

Example uses:
– Poor circulation
– Rheumatism, fungal nail infections
– Acne, wounds, burns, eczema, rosacea.

Recipes to soothe those winter ailments

Blends to diffuse: Diffusion is truly one of the safest (and most effective) ways of using essential oils. Here are a few recipes that I love to put in my diffuser:

Prevent and treat ENT illnesses (via diffusion):

– 20 drops of E.O Sweet Orange
– 10 drops of E.O Geranium
– 10 drops of E.O Eucalyptus Radiata
– 10 drops of E.O Ravintsara (optional)

Peaceful sleep (via diffusion):

– 20 drops of E.O Sweet Orange
– 10 drops of E.O Lavender
– 10 drops of E.O Ravintsara (facultatif)

ENT massage balm (for local application):

Cough, bronchitis, cold, sinusitis, otitis… here is a recipe that can be used by the whole family. This balm has really become a must-have for me.

Credit Photos: © Christine Lacaze
Article written in collaboration with Christine Lacaze, creator and author of the webzine Mademoiselle Cricri. Her opinions expressed are 100% sincere!

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