From food to cleaning supplies, our world has taken a turn for the natural, and the health and wellness field is no exception. Case in point: The rise of essential oils as a way to treat common ailments, from the mental to the physical. "Essential oils have direct pharmacological effects systemically via the blood supply to the brain," writes Kayla Jacobs, a training aromatherapist, of their inherent magic. "They also have an indirect effect via the olfactory nerve pathways into the brain." Jacobs recently chronicled the best essential oils for winter on Mindbodygreen, all of which can help ward off illnesses and combat seasonal anxiety and depression.
Here's what she recommends trying this season:
With both antibacterial and antidepressant properties, this essential oil is a staple in any wellness arsenal. "Lavender is without a doubt the most commonly used essential oil in aromatherapy," writes Mindbodygreen.
How to use it: Add five drops to your humidifier or breath in a small whiff to clear a stuffy nose or relieve stress.
Commonly used to stimulate the immune system or ward off any cold symptoms, peppermint oil can relieve headaches, sinus pressure, and stuffiness.
How to use it: Mindbodygreen recommends adding three drops of peppermint oil into a bowl of steaming water, covering your head with a towel, and inhaling the steam vapors for five to 10 minutes.
With immune-boosting, antiviral, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, oregano essential oil is the wunderkind of the wellness world. What's more, it also "weaves warmth and cheer into the psyche."
How to use it: Add two drops to a glass of water, juice or nut milk. Warning: It doesn't taste great!
Head over to Mindbodygreen for more on wintertime essential oils, and share your favorites below!