February 16, 2011
An End of Winter Cold, Comforted by Aromas
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.