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Top 5 Essential Oils for Winter: Kick the Winter Blues, Reset Your Circadian Rhythm

It’s All Nature~ Winter Weather, Winter Blues and the Circadian Rhythm For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, a lot is shifting as we enter the New year. We’ve just experienced the shortest and darkest day of the year: the Winter Solstice. This marks the official move through the initiation of Autumn into […]

It’s All Nature~ Winter Weather, Winter Blues and the Circadian Rhythm

For those of us living in the Northern Hemisphere, a lot is shifting as we enter the New year. We’ve just experienced the shortest and darkest day of the year: the Winter Solstice. This marks the official move through the initiation of Autumn into Winter. Although this seasonal shift means the return of longer, brighter days, it ironically officially starts ‘Winter’. Many genuinely look forward to the graceful fall of snow, winter sports, and a good excuse to turn inward– become more contemplative or simply stay warm and cozy indoors. Others however find Winter as an experience of unease that seems bleak, dreary and isolating. This association results in a phenomenon dubbed ‘The Winter Blues’.  This phenomena of less sun and colder weather patterns can have a psychological and biological effect on sensitive beings. But we’re all in this together, too!

Due to the significant reduction in sunlight during Winter, many people experience disruptions in their Circadian Rhythm. This process is responsible for regulating our sleep cycle, hormones, metabolism, and many other various bodily functions.  This is a natural biological response to Nature, Herself. Yet the psychological effects of colder temperatures can lead to what some experience as the winter blues.

Colder temperatures can also significantly impact the Immune System’s optimal function. The more we stay indoors in the Winter, we expose ourselves to trapped viruses, germs and bacteria. Colder weather slows down the immune system’s abilities to fight off potential illness.

Essential Oils in Winter

Essential oils are powerful tools to combat the effects of Winter both psychologically and biologically. They are highly prized for their aromatherapeutic properties and fragrances that are warming, stimulating, bright, invigorating and uplifting to the mind, emotions and spirit. Many essential oils have extremely beneficial chemical constituents that make them anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-viral and help to facilitate recoveries from seasonal illness or prevent them all together.

We have compiled our top 5 favorite Essential Oils for Winter in a blend called Purify​. The essential oils included in this blend may help promote a healthier environment both internally and externally that is also conducive to uplifting mood, feeling a sense of happiness, and taking the edge off fatigue.

Purify​ is one of our most popular oil blends when choosing a safeguard against illness. We formulated our own version after a famous recipe called “Four Thieves Vinegar” which has a long history includes its infamous use by grave-robbing bandits during the Black Plague.  Grave thieves doused themselves in ‘Four Thieves Vinegar’ (a mixture including Rosemary leaf, Clove, Lemon and Cinnamon) to protect themselves from infection while going about their business. This formula has been recreated for centuries.  Many of our readers may be familiar with formulations of a similar names such as Thieves or On Guard that are sold by MLM companies.

Ananda’s ​Purify ​blend is an absolute powerhouse of natural immune system supporting oils with a beautifully warm, sweet, spicy and herbaceous aroma. This classic, broad-spectrum anti-bacterial, antimicrobial and antiviral blend contains pure therapeutic quality essential oils of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus and Rosemary.

Note: We recommend diluting this blend in a carrier oil before direct use on skin. Be sure to patch test a very small amount of your formula first. Always patch test for skin sensitivity. Repeated use can cause extreme skin sensitization.

Ananda’s Top 5 Essential Oils for Winter

1. Clove

Clove Essential Oil has the highest antioxidant capability (ORAC value) of any essential oil (read cautions before ingesting). It has been included in ‘longevity’ formulas for this​ reason. Due to its exceptional antioxidant capabilities and its efficacy as a dietary supplement (read cautions before ingestion), Clove Essential Oil has been included in many recipes for health and long life. During the Renaissance, Clove oil was used to reduce the spread of epidemics and plague, thanks to its strong anti-microbial actions. Clove essential oil has a spicy, warm, sweet aroma and a fresh top note.

2. Lemon

Lemon Essential Oil has a refreshing scent that is thought to stimulate the liver and has a gentle, calming effect. Lemon has been researched for its ability to promote clarity of mind and purpose, as well as generally increasing one’s well-being and physical energy. We’ve found this wonderful fine Argentinian oil to be consistently the freshest, brightest we’ve come across. It’s always a favorite at Ananda! Among Lemons wide array of therapeutic properties, it is well known to neutralize microbes, assist the body’s natural eliminatory response, relieve muscular tension/aching joints and stimulate the immune system. This Lemon essential oil has a light, bright citrus and floral top note that melds into a deeper, lightly honeyed orange blossom middle note, supported by a slightly sweet resinous undertone.

3. Cinnamon (Burmanii)

Cinnamon Bark essential oil is a warming remedy to the mind as well as the body, supporting the immune system, stimulating digestion and circulation whilst also restoring a feeling of well-being and vigor for life. Ananda Apothecary’s Cinnamon Burmannii essential oil is produced by the method of cool-process CO2 extraction from the inner bark of Cinnamon trees from Indonesia. We find the cold-process natural CO2 distillation to make the very best ‘spice’ essential oils. Cinnamon bark makes exceptionally potent antibacterial essential oils and should be used with care. Salvatore Battaglia says in his book, ​The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy1,​ “A hot and stimulating remedy; Restorative. Invigorating. “The fire of courage to the belly of those who may have lost it in the maze of melancholia”. Cinnamon Bark essential oil has an extremely powerful, diffusive, warm-spicy and tenacious aroma.

4. Eucalyptus (Narrow Leaf Radiata)

Eucalyptus radiata may be the Eucalyptus with the most broadly therapeutic action and has a wonderful bright aroma. At Ananda, our Eucalyptus Radiata consists of over 80% ​eucalyptol. ​Eucalyptol (1,8-cineol) is one of the most therapeutic compounds commonly found in many essential oils. Eucalyptus is known to be analgesic (pain-blocking), antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and a cognitive stimulant. It has long been used as an expectorant and as powerful respiratory support. Eucalyptol vapor on the nasal passages allows for easier & deeper breathing. This oil is cooling with fresh, bright citrus-like top notes, a camphoraceous middle note and slightly sweet, cedar-like undertones.

5. Rosemary

This oil, 1,8-cineole chemotype, is best suited for the respiratory system and aiding in the detoxifying of the liver and kidneys. It has a lower ketone content than the verbenone chemotype and is the more common for use as an antimicrobial ingredient. Rosemary has been used medicinally in many ancient civilizations as a purifying and protective herb against diseases and illnesses. The oil was first distilled in the 13th century and was thought of as a panacea both medicinally and as a perfume. Rosemary is one of the most valuable and invigorating essential oils for health. In TCM it is an excellent tonic for the body’s yang energy promoting the circulation of Qi and blood. Psychologically, Rosemary can renew enthusiasm and bolster self confidence. It is associated astrologically with the Sun, our symbol of vitality and individuality, and warms the Spirit and makes it bold. It imparts positivity, confidence and concentration. Our Wild Rosemary has a wonderful depth of aroma, not sharp or medicinal, but bright, uplifting and almost sweet. It has a bright pine and eucalyptus-like menthol top note, a slightly sweet, orange-like middle note and undertones of light wildflower honey and cedar shavings.

 

Winter Essential Oil Application and Uses

All of the oils mentioned above have already been formulated into an amazingly powerful blend we call “Purify”. This blend, as well as the individual oils can be diffused, diluted in a bath, used as a room freshener, applied directly to the body diluted in a carrier oil, used as a body spray, can be added to a massage oil blend, among various other applications including the use as natural cleaning agents.

To stimulate the Immune System, we love to massage a couple drops of this blend, diluted in a carrier oil, directly to the lymph nodes on the neck. We also recommend placing a small trace of the diluted blend under the nasal passages and on the bottom of the feet where essential oils become the most bio-available.

Note: We recommend diluting this blend in a carrier oil before direct use on skin. Be sure to patch test a very small amount of your formula first. Always patch test for skin sensitivity. Repeated use can cause extreme skin sensitization.

For a full lymphatic massage or to promote blood circulation, you may also want to try our Lymphomania blend

References:
1. Battaglia, Salvatore. The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy. International Centre of Holystic Aromatherapy, 2003.

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