With winter well and truly upon us now, the standard winter viruses have started to spread and it seems no one is immune!

I typically like to think I have a superhuman immune system, I credit it partly to my constant exposure to sickness at the hospital keeping my antibodies doing their thing daily, and obviously, I have habits in place and lifestyle practices that help as well. This winter, however, not even I have been able to avoid the bugs going around and got a nasty head cold. You know the ones where you feel like you’re underwater and can’t hear when people speak to you? The ones where you can’t breathe through either nostril and end up with dry cracked lips from breathing out of your open mouth? Add in the pounding headaches and general head pressure, it wasn’t a fun time.

In a past life I’d have dived head first into a box of decongestants, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen and Strepsils, but not anymore. Nowadays, knowing what I do, I lean heavily on my essential oils.

One of the ways I used my oils the last couple of weeks, as well as pumping them in the diffuser around the clock, was in this Breathe Easy Chest Rub. I applied this liberally to both mine and Hope’s chest before bed. Warmth from the chest helps the oils travel up into our airways and is both comforting and effective, aiding sleep and easy breathing. Here’s the recipe:

 

Breathe Easy Chest Rub

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3 level Tbsp shea butter
  • 2 level Tbsp coconut oil
  • 10 drops of Easy Air
  • 5 drops of Lavender Peace

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Place the shea butter and coconut oil in a glass jug and place the jug in a pot with 2cm of boiling water. Boil until the butter and oil have melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and add essential oils. Pour into a small 60ml amber glass jar or stainless steel pot. Carefully place in the freezer until hard.

Apply it to the chest and back as needed. This recipe is appropriate for adults and children over 3 years. If you’re wanting to use it on children younger than 3, use 5 drops of Easy Air and 2 drops of Lavender Peace.

 

Another thing I suffer from in winter is dry skin! Are you the same?

In my role as a nurse, I’m washing my hands numerous times per hour, then when I get home, one of my favourite places to be is in the kitchen, where again I am washing my hands all day long! Both of these things mean my hands tend to get dry at the best of times; throw in the lower humidity levels outside (when the air outside is cold and dry, the water in your skin evaporates more quickly) and my hands feel dry and tight unless I’m proactive to moisturise. Winter months also makes my skin look flaky and patchy on my face too. Anyone else?

I decided I needed an extra boost this winter so made this awesome balm I call my ‘Everything Balm’. The combination of carrier oils and butters along with the essential oils make this a super nourishing balm that can be used for everything; babies bottoms, cuticles, cracked heels or hands, to shape eyebrows, as a lip balm, to tame frizzy hair or add gloss or even use on beards and moustaches!

 

Everything Balm

 

 

Here are the benefits of the plant magic I add:

  • Frankincense has the ability to strengthen skin and improve its tone, elasticity and appearance as someone ages (woohoo!). It helps reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, scars, stretch marks and is healing to dry or cracked skin.
  • Lavender oil isn’t just soothing for your mind, it offers the same benefits for your skin. The linalool (the active constituent) helps with redness, blotchy patches, and acne scarring. It has antiseptic properties that even help skin heal faster while fighting and preventing further infection.
  • Tea tree has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, so is fabulous for acne. It also calms redness, swelling, and inflammation. It may even help to prevent and reduce scars, leaving you with smooth, clear skin.

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Tbsp jojoba oil
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp cocoa butter
  • 1 Tbsp shea butter
  • 1 Tbsp beeswax beads or 8 pellets
  • 5 drops doTERRA Lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops doTERRA Frankincense essential oil
  • 5 drops of doTERRA Tea Tree essential oil

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Over a double boiler melt the coconut oil, beeswax beads, cocoa and shea butter.
  2. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in the jojoba oil, Lavender and Frankincense and Tea Tree essential oils.
  3. Carefully pour into a 60ml amber jar or stainless steel tin. Allow to cool completely before closing the lid or sealing.

 

Hope those will be as helpful to you as they have been to me this winter!

If you’re wanting to get your hands on some oils to start making some toxic free DIY goodies (a fun job to get the kiddos involved in too these school holidays! Essential Oil scented playdough anyone?) then please click here to find out how: Get Started with Oils. Alternatively, flick me an email so I can jump on the phone with you and help you get the right combination of oils to suit your specific needs. nicky@nourishedandvibrant.co.nz

 

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