February 16, 2011

An End of Winter Cold, Comforted by Aromas

This is a re-post of one I did back in 2006, with modifications and additions -- mainly because I have a sore throat and cold at the moment, and it's cramping my style a bit, perfume wise. Perfume is to be avoided during colds, it's a waste because you can't smell them well and they may aggravate a cough or sensitive noses. However, there are a number of aromatherapy essential oils whose pleasant fragrance can actually have a therapeutic and comforting effect if you get a cold or stuffy nose, a sore throat or a congested chest in this end of long winter season.

Thyme can be used in a diffuser to purify the air. If you are at home or at work, sneezing or coughing and congested, diffusing thyme essential oil can get rid of a lot of the germs in the air and has an uplifting effect on the body and mood also, which can be very helpful when dealing with a cold. As we know, they are often not bad enough to stay home but affect your energy at work and the stuffiness can be very uncomfortable. A few drops of certain beneficial essential oils can be mixed into water, and misted around the environment.

Eucalyptus, rosemary and peppermint impart a comforting decongesting quality to the air around you. Eucalyptus or tea tree oil drops on a tissue or inhaled in a steam bath can break up sinus congestion. These essential oils actually kill cold germs.

If you can take a bath with some mineral salts with lavender and rosemary oil, the heat will ease the aches of a cold or flu and act as a steam inhalation of the therapeutic oil to help clear and soothe the nasal passages. At the same time this is healing and cleansing for the skin because of the antibacterial qualities.

Ravensara and ginger are also often used for steam inhalation. Ginger tea, made by taking sliced ginger root and boiling it in water for ten minutes, then straining, can suppress a very stubborn cough and is also good for the headache you can get with fever.  Aftelier makes a wonderful fresh ginger essential oil, which I have been fortunate enough to have on hand this time, due to Mandy Aftel's thoughtful kindness.  It is pure enough to be ingested as well as inhaled through the steam of a tea.  The ginger is designed as a chef's essence, but it has come in as a comfort to me in my present state of respiratory disarray.  It is Indonesian with some citrus notes too.  I have put a couple of drops into a tall glass, filled with almost boiling water, so the shape of the glass acts like a funnel for the fragrant steam to the nose, and then as it cools drinking it pulls the fragrance into the mouth and the beneficial aspects are also pulled directly into the body. Ginger is a stimulant which also improves headache and fogginess.

I have also been drinking hot cinnamon spice tea from Harney & Sons during the day, whose fragrance is strong enough to cut through congestion.  It also has orange and clove and is naturally sweet. 

Above, Fresh Ginger Chef's Essence, by Aftelier, 7 ml $12.
Harney & Sons Hot Cinnamon Spice Tea - 20 for $6.
Thyme at Eden Botanicals, $12 for 1/2 ounce.

12 comments:

olfactoriastravels.com said...

Sounds very good to me! I need to get my hands on some of that ginger essential oil, it must be heavenly, I love ginger in every incarnation. I hope you get better soon! :)

Ines said...

Thank you for these advices. :) This will really come in handy, especially since everyone around me is sick these days and it is just a matter of time before I pick sth up. But now I know how to deal with it.

Lucy said...

Hello Olfactoria,

Thanks for the well wishes. I think it's a good thing to have the ginger essence on hand, and next I want to explore the Aftelier teas--perfect for the fragrant steam, like drinking perfume I imagine.

Lucy said...

Hi Ines, yes, that is the way it goes, we are all indoors behind closed windows and passing around our colds and flu this season. At least with these materials you can still enjoy and get the benefit of the fragrance materials they are made of. Sometimes you can forget that the actual aroma substances can be so physically beneficial, but I am well reminded now.

Monica said...

Thank you Lucy, this is all very good information. My children when they were small had whooping cough- oils diffused in their rooms such as these were a huge part of their well ness routine... I cannot stress enough how much diffusion helps- I am in enthusiastic agreement with all you say here!

mandy said...

Thank you so much for including my fresh ginger oil. I swear by it when I have a cold -- I hope you feel better soon.

Scent Hive said...

The ginger oil sounds like perfection for this time of year Lucy!

Lucy said...

Thanks Mandy, it's really made a big difference. Feels good to know also that the material is of such wholesome quality.

Lucy said...

Hi Scent Hive/T,

Ginger is a good thing to keep in the medicine cabinet arsenal in the aromatherapy section. It has really eased my symptoms. I'm sure you know it's great for other things too, like nausea and dizziness and headache.

lostpastremembered said...

Feel better, if anything can help it would be something by Mandy... that ginger is spectacular!

Lucy said...

Hi Lost Past/D, the ginger helped a lot -- good to have as a staple around the house for many purposes, like lavender. Improving apace!

Scentuality perfumes online said...

Nice post, I have not tried the Ginger Oil before, I want to try it though after sometimes. Thanks for sharing.