Written by Sydney Rootman
I’m writing this the morning after Winter Solstice – The shortest day of the year. For those of us that struggle with winter – Congratulations – You made it through the darkest day. From here, we go into the light.
In my Women’s Health and Well-being treatments, I’ve seen how this colder season is already impacting us – cough, flu, and most notably, winter blues and loneliness.
In difficult times, I turn to nature for guidance and healing. That’s how I came into the world of healing plants. Below, I’ll share some info about how I use nature’s gifts – in the form of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy – to strengthen our body’s immune system, recover from cold and flu, and unblock our emotional world so we can practice feeling more present and hopeful on harder days.
Preventative: Strengthen Your Immune System
Let’s get ahead of this – if you know you get sick in the winter, these essential oils to strengthen your immune system are for you. They are also great for anyone that’s experiencing high stress at the moment, since stress has been shown to weaken our immune system.
Ginger (Zingiber Offinale) is my favorite for the winter category. It strengthens your immune system and also helps warm the body, so its great for anyone that suffers from cold. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus) has a special quality that it strengthens your body’s natural healing abilities. As a tree, it also has strong protective qualities – it takes up space so nothing grows too close to it. When patients need to strengthen their immune system and to focus on strong boundaries – I go for the trees.
When You’re Under the Weather
If you’re already sick, Black Pepper (Piper Nigrum) helps lower fever without suppressing your immune system’s fighting abilities. It’s also energizing so it helps revive patients when they are feeling bogged down. Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris) – Yes – In this category, you smell like a delicious dinner – is one of nature’s natural antibiotics. It helps with chest infections, like bronchitis, and it breaks up flem for sinus infections and colds. It also has special holistic qualities – like helping us pull ourselves out of an apathetic state. This is particularly important for seasonal affective sufferers.
When You’re Hitting Lows
Winter downs can feel really different for each of us – some feeling more tired than usual, whereas others experience heavy depressions and lows. For those of us that feel our worst in winter, I often work with Lemongrass (Cymbopogon Citratus). Lemongrass helps us strengthen self-love and our sense of self-worth, which is often the first thing we lose when we feel sad, lonely or depressed. It also helps us open the heart. It’s called the essential oil for long drives because it gives you a boost of energy – it’s also helpful for fatigue and chronic exhaustion.
For symptoms of depression, my first response is Myrtle (Myrtle Communis). While there are many essential oils in this category, Myrtle has the strongest impact on our neuro pathways. Holistically, it strengthens the belief that things can be better and gives us hope for change. It helps us open to forgiveness and to receiving the good that surrounds us.
Stay Warm, Tel Aviv
If you’re missing home (wherever that is..) and you have a diffuser at home, pop in some Peppermint and Cinnamon Bark for that perfect smell of walking through the mall listening to Mariah Carrey during the holidays. Nostalgia can help improve our spirit.
Working with the best and worst of winter will come from a Holistic Approach – I integrate essential oils with gentle bodywork and massage to create a feeling of safety in the body and ground in the nervous system. If any of the above resonates with you, and you’d like to explore how we can work together, reach out and lets chat.
Until then, stay cozy.
Take care of your hearts.
You can read more about Sydney and get in touch with her directly, HERE.