REGENERATION

Add These Five Essential Oils to Your Routine

By Dr. Josh Axe

Essential oils aren’t just for making your home smell delicious—did you know that many of these oils also have amazing health benefits? By strategically adding some of these popular oils to your daily regimen (through diffusion, ingesting or topically applying), you can keep your mood elevated, stress low and health strong this holiday (and sickness) season.

Here are my top essential-oil picks to boost the likelihood of your holiday season being stress-free, healthy and extra enjoyable.

Peppermint Oil

Not only can this oil (as long as it’s 100 percent pure and therapeutic grade!) flavor your homemade peppermint bark, it also can help keep you energized and refreshed throughout the holiday season with its crowd-pleasing scent.

Unfortunately, the holiday season also overlaps with cold season, but have no fear because inhaling diffused peppermint oil can help unclog your sinuses and relieve a scratchy throat. Peppermint also acts as a natural expectorant, helping to open your airways, clear mucus and reduce congestion. It’s actually one of the best essential oils for colds, the flu, coughs, sinusitis, bronchitis and other respiratory conditions. Lab studies even show that the compounds found in peppermint oil have anti-microbial, anti-viral and antioxidant properties, meaning it can help fight germs that lead to symptoms involving the respiratory tract, which unfortunately are very common symptoms this time of year.

Orange Oil

Orange oil is derived from the peel of the well-known orange fruit. Its scent is sweet and bright and provides both energizing and calming effects. It’s a perfect essential oil to use in DIY home cleaning products not only to make your house smell citrusy fresh but also to kill bacteria.

Speaking of getting rid of pathogens, orange oil has been shown to prevent the growth of seriously harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella that can be found in food. So including orange oil in recipes may help boost the safety of foods, which is huge around the holidays when parties, buffets and crowds are the norm.

Lavender Oil

As one of the most popular essential oils in existence, lavender truly comes in handy any time of year, but when stress is high, it can be especially helpful. Lavender oil is known for its ability to calm nerves and anxiety, whether it’s used aromatically, topically or internally. Try adding a drop of oil to tea or hot cocoa for a relaxing brew that is sure to help you unwind. You also can put a few drops in your next bath or homemade massage oil—just be ready to feel all that tension melt away. Having trouble sleeping? Research shows that in addition to helping with anxiety, lavender oil is a great natural remedy for disturbed sleep. Lavender oil mixed with peppermint oil plus a carrier oil like coconut also can be rubbed on the temples and neck to help relieve tension headaches.

Cinnamon Oil

Talk about a top scent for the holidays—with its sweet, spicy aroma, you can’t leave cinnamon out of your essential-oil lineup this time of year. Not only does it smell wonderful when diffused in your home and taste wonderful when added to homemade recipes, but it’s also an incredibly health-boosting oil.

One of the many awesome benefits of cinnamon oil is its ability to help keep blood sugar levels stable, which can assist in the prevention of chronic fatigue, moodiness, sugar cravings and overeating. Eating more sweets and generally overeating are definitely two common holiday pitfalls, so try to incorporate cinnamon oil more in your diet. Inhaling cinnamon essential oil also can help keep unhealthy food cravings away.

For Type 2 diabetics, cinnamon has been shown to decrease glucose levels as well as triglycerides, LDL “bad” cholesterol and total cholesterol. Try diffusing cinnamon oil and orange oil together in your home for a delightful scent that is sure to get everyone in a festive spirit, and it may even help you and your family members resist going for that extra piece of pie.

Frankincense Oil

With its calming, grounding scent, frankincense oil is another great choice for stress relief. It  also can help with sleep troubles. When used topically, this sacred oil is known to have amazing anti-bacterial as well as pain-relieving effects. You also can use it around your home to disinfect surfaces and naturally deodorize the air.

Looking to improve your appearance this winter naturally? After performing a small patch-area test first to check for possible allergic reactions, you can combine six drops of frankincense oil with 1 ounce of unscented oil and apply it directly to the skin, which can help to reduce redness and irritation while evening out skin tone.

Video cerdit: abentson, Adobe Stock
Photo credit: Madeleine Steinbach, Adobe Stock; yanadjan, Adobe Stock; daffodilred, Adobe Stock; wjarek, Adobe Stock; mars58, Adobe Stock; Madeleine Steinbach, Adobe Stock

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Author

Josh Axe

Dr. Josh Axe is the co-founder of Ancient Nutrition and founder of DrAxe.com. He is a certified doctor of natural medicine (DNM), doctor of chiropractic (DC) and clinical nutritionist (CNS) with a passion to help people get healthy by empowering them to use nutrition to fuel their health.

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