How can essential oils help you to stay healthy in winter?

Posted by Jo Harris on

Here in Australia we are now in the midst of winter, especially in the south where Soularoma is located. Not only do we have the normal winter illnesses, colds and flus, winter aches & pains but this year we have COVID-19 as well. So it is extra important that we look after our health this year.

Essential oils are a great natural way to maintain your wellness in the winter months. There is a lot of research that has shown us how effective they are in doing this. There is a huge a range of oils to help us keep the respiratory system healthy (and many of them are Australian native oils which is great at keeping it all local!), but if you think about nature, the leaves on a tree are like its respiratory system, thus suggesting that essential oils distilled from leaves could be the most helpful for maintaining the health of our respiratory system. To name just a few which illustrate this analogy, there is eucalyptus, pine, peppermint gum, rosalina, kunzea, niaouli, black spruce, bay laurel, tea tree and silver fir, amongst others. All of these oils are very helpful for our respiratory system.

How can essential oils keep you healthy in winter? 

Essential oils are highly antimicrobial which helps to decrease respiratory system infections, including sinus issues, congestion, sore throats, bronchitis, coughs and also helps to maintain healthy lung function. Essential oils also help to boost the immune system. These oils include thyme, oregano, lime, lemon, eucalyptus, niaouli, frankincense & many others. Many are also antispasmodic which help decrease coughs, such oils include frankincense, cypress and eucalyptus. Many essential oils also have expectorant properties meaning that they help to get rid of excess mucous. Eucalyptus, frankincense, bay laurel and thyme are good examples of oils with these properties. Research has also found that many essential oils are also highly antiviral. When you think about this it is logical because, essential oils are produced by the plant to protect the plant and to ward off viruses, parasites and all organisms which set out to destroy it, thus the origin of their antiviral properties. Spice oils are also very useful during the winter as they are very warming and antimicrobial. For example, clove essential oil or ginger essential oil which is very useful for the lower respiratory system, such as sore throats and lung support.

How can I use essential oils for winter wellness?

The most simple way to use essential oils is to breathe them in, directly transporting them to the respiratory system. This could be done with a diffuser on your desk, a couple of drops on a tissue, or if you have a closed shower a few drops directly on the floor of you shower in the stream of water (if you are worried about the oils damaging the floor of your shower you can put the essential oils onto a small plate) and then inhaling deeply a few times in and out through your nose.

Another way of breathing the oils in directly is by steam inhalation. This is where you get a glass bowl of almost boiling water (as hot as your face can stand but not too hot) and a towel to drape over your head and when you are ready putting in up to 4 drops of essential oil into the bowl and then breathing in deeply for a few minutes with your eyes closed. If it becomes to intense just let your head out of the towel for 1 or 2 breaths of fresh air and then resume. 

For lower respiratory system issues (lung, chest congestion & bronchitis), you could also apply the oil directly (diluted at 1 to 3% in a carrier oil or balm) over the chest and lower back.

To strengthen the immune system the oil could be used in a diffuser, in the shower, a roll-on or a massage oil. 


Recipes for you to try at home


Sinus congestion steam inhalation

2 drops Eucalyptus radiata

1 drop niaouli

1 drop kunzea

 Steam inhalation for coughs

1 drop Himalayan cedarwood

2 drops eucalyptus radiata

1 drop pine


Chest rub for bronchitis

1 drop Himalayan cedarwood

1 drop eucalyptus radiata

1 drop ginger

1 drop oregano (if sensitive skin don't use this and use 2 drops eucalytpus instead)

5ml sesame or olive oil


Bath soak for colds and flu

4 drops eucalyptus radiata

1 drop kunzea

1 drop bay laurel

 1/2 cup sea salt

1/2 cup epsom salts (magnesium sulfate)

1 tsp body oil or full cream milk/ apple cider vinegar (this is to have a carrier for the essential oils)

Mix all ingredients together, get the bath ready and when you are ready put the mixture into the bath and swish around well. Get in immediately before the essential oils disappear in the steam!


Clear head relief for night (also suitable for kids - day or night) for a tissue

1 drop myrtle

1 drop rosalina


Massage/body oil for immune support

2 drops frankincense

1 drop eucalyptus radiata

1 drop lime 

5ml body oil


Gargle for sore throat

1 drop tea tree oil

1 tsp salt

100mL warm water

Allow salt to dissolve and then gargle contents for a few minutes and then spit out the gargle. 

I hope you love my suggestions and ways to integrate the oils into your wellness routine. Stay healthy & safe,

Click here for the link to most of the oils mentioned above and the collection is featured on the home page

 Photo by Jeff Finley from


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