Preparing for Seasonal Change: Essential Oils and Ayurveda

Preparing for Seasonal Change: Essential Oils and Ayurveda

By: Cristin McDonnell

Colds, allergies, and seasonal influences seem to present themselves predominantly around December 21st , the winter solstice, and  March 21st, during the spring equinox in the northern hemisphere.  How often have you look forward to spending the holidays with family or finally having time off from work around December 24th and find yourself with a cold?  
The life science, Ayurveda, recognizes that seasonal changes have a profound effect on our health.  According to Ayurvedic practioner Sebastian Pole, “The trick to staying healthy is to stay one step ahead of the changing seasons.”  This is done by paying attention to nature, as, “the inner world is influenced by the outer environment.  When the air outside is damp, cold, and wet, these qualities in the environment increase mucous and colds in our body.  

Ayurveda recommends preparing for seasonal changes at least

Start preparing your body for winter two weeks before Dec. 21st!

two weeks before the winter solstice or spring equinox.  Ayurveda is a system of balance.  To create harmony and balance in your body, try working in opposites, as Ayurveda’s rule is like attracts like.  If you are cold natured in the winter, combat the cold by eating warm foods, such as hot soup.   An example of the rule, ‘like attracts like’ is, if you are cold and eat cold foods, this will increase the likely hood of mucous accumulating in your body.  The seasons are an important time of knowing nature and the weather you are surrounded by in addition to knowing yourself. 

Essential oils are key in many aspects of seasonal changes.  Dr. Pam Taylor has created a Fall-Winter respiratory blend that is for upper respiratory conditions, including influenza, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throat and the common cold.  “Essential oils quickly reduce symptoms, shorten recovery time, and may be used preventatively.  Parents often apply essential oils (mixed with castor or sesame oil) to their children before they leave for school and when they come home.” (Schnaubelt)
In addition, warm oils and baths are the theme of the season.  Since essential oils are effective natural home remedies for cold and flu, they can be used in steam inhalations, baths, and diffusers to relieve the symptoms of colds and flu’s and prevent further infections.  A soothing hot bath with essential oils is very relaxing and beneficial to the immune system.  Add six drops of an essential oil to your bath or consider purchasing a bath salt, such as lavender bath salt.  Lavender is one of the safest oils for children and those with sensitive skin issues.  Start off using a reduced amount of lavender oil or bath salt with children, in case any skin sensitivities should present.