This month....

October 2017

1st of October - damp, breezy, dull. For those of us lucky enough to get a few last days of summer sun, the cold snap last month came as a shock. With autumn proper creeping up on us, the wet windy weather can be gloomy. The upside is the pitter pattering rustle of falling leaves, the warmth of colour, the depth of scent, the mellow warmth of a low lying sun.

It's the seasonal change with most impact, psychologically as well as physically. Sit on public transport and everywhere there are coughs and sneezes. It seems inevitable they'll eventually come your way, however, not necessarily so. To "catch" a virus you need to offer the right environment which means keeping your immune system functioning well. Nutrition, exercise, rest. To offer your body a little extra protection, have your essential oils ever handy.

Anti bacterial & anti viral oils safeguarding against microbes on household surfaces & air borne germs include tea tree, eucalyptus, fragonia and lemongrass.

Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is well known as a powerful antiseptic, anti microbial & anti viral oil. With a reassuringly warm, medicinal scent it's good for topical application on unbroken skin, clearing bacteria from surfaces & helping minimise the spread of airborne germs. Together with eucalyptus in a diffuser it can refresh the air & relieve congestion.

Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) aids respiratory congestion, helps clear the sinuses & is a powerful antiseptic. A penetrating camphoraceous scent it works well in a diffuser or add a few drops to an aroma stick to carry around with you. For children or the elderly, a gentler alternative might be eucalyptus radiata (Eucalyptus radiata).

Fragonia (Agonis fragrans) is a relatively new oil to the market. It has a spicy citrus aroma. Great as a disinfectant around the house or use as an inhaler. A couple of drops on a tissue or aroma stick works very well to relieve congestion. Also good for freshening the air in a sick room & uplifting the mood.

Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus) is anti bacterial & good as an antiseptic. A fresh lemony scent it instantly uplifts. Excellent to add to a diffuser & cheer up the environment.

Essential oils for protection against coughs & colds can be diffused, diluted in room sprays, used as first aid when travelling, added to aroma stick inhalers or steam treatments, or used neat to wipe surfaces. Hopefully keeping you fitter & healthier for longer!

© Susan Mumford, 2017