We’re entering the time of year that is notorious for colds, flu, and other sickness. Busy fall schedules, holiday preparations, and hectic social calendars can elevate stress and exhaustion in the lead up to the New Year, suppressing your immune system as a result. You can boost your immunity and get ahead of the cold and flu season with aromatherapy. This little bit of preventative homeopathy will fortify your body, mind, and spirit in a big way — and it’s a pleasure to use! Let’s look at two antimicrobial essential oils that are easy to incorporate into your day and are perfect for this time of year: Eucalyptus oil and Rose Geranium oil.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil for Respiratory Strength and Immunity
The aroma of eucalyptus oil is strong, fresh, camphorous, balsamic, and slightly sweet. The Aboriginal Australians first used eucalyptus oil medicinally to treat infections and fevers, and now it’s commonly planted worldwide in marshy regions prone to malaria for its soil-drying and antiseptic qualities. Eucalyptus oil is antibacterial and antiviral, and many respiratory conditions like colds, sinusitis, laryngitis, and bronchitis can be avoided or aided by simply inhaling eucalyptus oil on the regular. It has a wonderful cooling affect on the respiratory system, and its camphorous aroma clears the lungs of moisture and phlegm — a breeding ground for microbes — thereby lessening the chance of infection. Inhaling eucalyptus oil improves breathing and opens the chest. The aroma is soothing but stimulating, and just a whiff of this dry oil revives the spirits and promotes clear thinking. Look for eucalyptus radiata, or narrow leaf eucalyptus.
To get the respiratory benefits of eucalyptus oil, try the direct palm inhalation method. This is easy and quick. Just dab a single drop of eucalyptus essential oil on the palm of your hand, rub your palms together, and breath deeply. Avoid contact with your mucous membranes. Diffusers are another safe and effective way to benefit from essential oils, and its especially useful for eucalyptus oil. Ultrasonic diffusers are ideal because they vibrate water molecules and essential oil molecules into the air without using heat, which can degrade the essential oils.
Rose Geranium Essential Oil for Stress Reduction and Balance
Rose geranium oil has a sweet rosy aroma with herbaceous, minty overtones. It is anti-inflammatory in the same way as lavender and German chamomile. Not only is it ideal for use in skincare, it has a balancing affect on the adrenal cortex, which mediates your stress response. This cooling oil clears heat from the mind, soothes the nerves, and helps quell irritability and nervous exhaustion due to stress and overwork. The scent of geranium can be overbearing if undiluted, but properly diluted it becomes soft, effervescent, watery, calming, uplifting — all the things you want when your nerves are shot and you have too much going on. Remember, stress weakens your immune system. Help yourself mitigate life stressors with this beautiful smelling oil.
To get the balancing benefits of geranium oil, try making an aromatic mist. Add 5 drops of rose geranium essential oil to a 1oz. spray bottle. Fill with filtered water. Shake well and spray around a room or around your neck, shoulders, and chest throughout the day. Store in the refrigerator and use within a week. You can also diffuse geranium oil.