It seems we are in that lovely season here in Ohio where winter just can't decide if it wants to come or go. With this indecisiveness (is winter female?) comes people not being able to get well from colds or other bugs that go around. Hand in hand come symptoms like congestion that need relief and while I am all for medications when they are needed sometimes we just need to support our bodies to be able to kick the crud out.
Supporting our bodies can be done in a myriad of ways and it all starts~ in the kitchen. I know, eating healthy isn't everyone's "thing" but in this case giving your body the nutrients it needs can actually be the difference between staying sick and getting well. So grab your fruits, veggies and healthy fats! Next up~ water... again I know~BORING, but jut as your health sciences teacher taught you our bodies are mainly water and if depleted of it they do not respond well to outside issues which includes illness. Grab some pretty stickers and make finishing your water intake positive! I know that the recommended daily ounce intake is half of your body weight. So for me at 140lbs I need to bring in 70 ounces of water daily to keep my body systems happy. Your personal need maybe more or less than this figure~ as always check with your doctor to make sure what you are doing is best for YOU.
Now for some essential oils that have the potential to help with that congestion that just wont stop... what you want to look for when picking oils for congestion are oils that are Anti-Tussive (help with coughs), Decongestant (get the stuff out of your head), Expectorant (get the stuff out of your lungs), and Mucolytic (help breakup mucous). Their powers combine when you work with ones that can do all four or create a blend of oils that do these items. What you want to create is a blend that can help from all angles of the issue, not just substituting one symptom for another.
Not all of these oils are CHILDREN FRIENDLY please consult with myself or another qualified aromatherapist BEFORE using essential oils with children.
So essential oils that are anti-tussive include:
Inula (Inula graveolens)
Nagarmotha (Cyperus rotundus)
Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct 1,8 cineole)
Spike Lavender (Lavandula latifolia cineolifera)
Rosemary (1,8 cineole) (Rosmarinus officinalis ct 1,8 cineole)
Essential Oils that are expectorant include (* are decongestants):
Balsam Copaiba*(Copaifera officinalis)
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
Eucalyptus*(Eucalyptus globulus, radiata etc)
Fragonia (Agonis fragrans)
Niaouli*(Melaleuca quinquenervia ct 1,8 cineole)
Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica)
Essential Oils that are mucolytic include:
Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus, radiata etc)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Rosalina (Melaleuca ericifolia)
Silver Fir (Abies alba)
Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis)
So now to create your blend(s) you have to first decide how you want to use the essential oils, my favorite way is either in a steam or via an aroma-inhaler. You also need to take into account who you are using it for~ children have different essential oils that are safe or not safe for them, please refer to my Safe Essential Oils Use for Parents group to better understand use with children or consider taking either my in person workshop or online course (coming soon) on Children and Essential Oils.
Back to type of use~ creating an aroma-inhaler is always my go to so you can have it with you to use as needed. So you will want to pick a combo of the above list (such as one from each group) and place 7 drops of essential oil on to your inhaler stick (if using doTERRA or Young Living please remember to cut this amount IN HALF~3 drops~ as the euro dropper size is bigger with these companies). Then you can place your wick in and use the inhaler as needed to help with some symptoms.
If you want to go the steam route then you will create a master blend in a separate bottle. Again combine a combination of the above oils listed, you can do 20 drops of each for example and them you only want to add ONE OR TWO drops to a bowl of steaming water (not boiling as you are trying to not burn your mucous membranes) and place your face above it and inhaler deeply for up to a minute. Be prepared to blow your nose shortly after as this can really release stuff quickly.
So there we have it a few good ways to help out with congestion and the icky bugs that like to float around this time of year. Please remember I am NOT a medical professional and as such can not (nor does anything here in intend to) diagnose, treat, prevent or cure and known illness or disease. Please speak to your medical professional if on any medications as they could interact with essential oils and get their professional opinion on adding/changing your current routines.