3 Essential Oil Combos To Crush Winter Ailments

The holiday season is allegedly about fun and festivities and spending time with our loved ones. Sometimes, that's what it's really like. Other times, it's more like dragging yourself all over town in the snow and waking up feeling like you got hit by a snowplow. All the late nights, socializing, and champagne can leave you feeling run-down — and vulnerable to getting some other partygoer's cold in addition to your very own hangover. Happy holidays to you!
We reached out to Brandi Ryans, a holistic practitioner who often uses essential oils to treat clients. Of course, there's nothing wrong with the old chicken-soup-and-aspirin approach, but you may be surprised by the power these oils have to relieve your symptoms and keep you feeling perky.
Here, Ryans shares her favorite oil combinations for headache and hangover, nasal congestion, and deep chest colds. They're easy, effective, and frankly, they smell a lot better than Vicks VapoRub.
There's no time for sick days, people. You've got merry to make. So, get well and get out there.
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Lavender & Peppermint For Headaches & Hangovers

"I make lavender water most frequently," says Ryans. This herb, she says, "is immeasurable in its healing qualities." Lavender can soothe skin irritation or bug bites and is used for liver support in Chinese medicine. Western studies show that when inhaled or used topically, lavender is an effective tool in relieving headaches and inflammation.

Because lavender is such multitasker, Ryans recommends lavender water for the all-over sucker punch that is a holiday hangover. She adds a heavy dose of peppermint to the mix, for it's ability to fight both nausea and pain. "The crispness of the peppermint and the cooling properties of the lavender are perfect for treating hangovers," says Ryans. "It feels clean to wear this oil, and it's very refreshing."

To make lavender water in advance: Fill a mason jar halfway with flower sprigs. Add 4 ounces of vodka or wine (which acts as a preservative) then fill to the top with water. Let it sit for 2-4 weeks, shaking every couple of days.

For the quickie version try this combo: Mix 15 drops peppermint oil and 10 drops lavender oil per ounce of water. Combine well and dab onto your wrists and the back of your neck.

Next stop: couch.
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Rosemary, Tea Tree, & Lemon For Congestion

This three-part mixture is Ryans' go-to treatment for clients whenever they're feeling run-down and stuffed-up. Among other benefits, these oils are all touted for anti-inflammatory properties — crucial for easing sinus symptoms.

"Tea tree oil is a very powerful immunostimulant," says Ryans. Adding this to the mix may help you avoid further infection while your body is busy fighting a bug.

Rosemary is effectively used to reduce pain, not to mention anxiety — and who couldn't use less of that?

Ryans adds lemon oil for its decongestant benefits as well as it's proven ability to boost your mood.

Add 5 drops of tea tree oil, 5 drops of rosemary oil, and 8 drops of lemon oil per ounce of water.

This mixture can be used topically, or inhaled in a steam. "Sometimes, I pour the whole thing in a bath," says Ryans. "It's also great to spray by your pillow or around your bedroom."
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Eucalyptus & Juniper Berry For Deep Chest Colds

There's no true cure for the common cold, but easing symptoms goes a long way towards making you feel better. Ryans suggests adding these two oils to the congestion combo when you're dealing with a cough as well.

"Eucalyptus is the heavy hitter as far as phlegm goes," she says. Often, it's added to internal treatments, but it's also effective at loosening mucus when applied topically or inhaled. Meanwhile, juniper berry oil is used for bronchial inflammation.

Both these oils may help reduce your coughing reflex, which may in turn help you get a better night's sleep.

Add 15 drops of eucalyptus and 10 drops of juniper berry per ounce of water (or add to the congestion mixture).

Now, back to bed with you.

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