The 3 Best Essential Oils for Your Winter Health, And How to Use Them

By Annie Burdick

At the turn of the new year, we are fully in the winter season, and there are a few common threads most of us are probably seeking: immunity support, stress relief, energy and mood boosts to get through the next few months, and overall health and wellbeing. If you’re in need of some new ways to support these ambitions and goals from home, adding some essential oils into your at-home wellness routine can provide great support for physical and mental strains, as well as general mood and energy levels. But selecting the right ones and using them in the most practical ways can be the next hurdle. 

These are a few key essential oils that are great to use all winter long, with tips and tricks for getting the best effects from them. 

Note: Essential oils are not safe for internal use and should always be used according to professional recommendations. Do your research before using any oils around children, pets, or pregnant women. 

1. Peppermint

A classic scent you probably already associate with the holidays and chilly weather, peppermint essential oil also boasts a range of benefits for your health. Peppermint essential oil is probably best known for its ability to lessen the effects of headaches and migraines, but it’s also been known to help with upset stomachs (a bit of a detox after holiday feasts!), fever reduction, appetite suppression, muscle aches, and energy boosts, among many other uses.

In her book, Llewellyn’s Complete Book of Essential Oils, Sandra Kynes recommends many household uses for peppermint essential oil to achieve these goals. This includes blending it with other oils like lemon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and pine; diffusing it in a room where you could use its health properties, making sachets for the linen closet or dresser with baking soda, lavender, and lemon oils; or placing a drop or two on your body wherever you need a boost of energy and relief.

2. Fir Needle

If you love the scent of a fresh Christmas tree, this might just be the perfect essential oil for your winter season. While this oil can sometimes irritate the skin if applied directly, it does offer great health benefits when used carefully and correctly. This includes help fighting mental fog and fatigue, relieving cold and flu symptoms, opening airways, decreasing stress, and balancing the emotions.

With fir needle essential oil, Kynes recommends a cough and cold relief salve that blends ¼ ounce beeswax, 3 tablespoon carrier oil, 9 drops fir needle oil, 6 drops cypress oil, 4 drops cedarwood oil, and 3 drops pine oil. Warm the beeswax and carrier oil in a pan until the wax melts, then let cool before adding all essential oils. This salve can be used on the body for relief of illness symptoms or muscle aches. 

Alternately, for more simple uses, diffuse this oil in your room for help balancing emotions and stress. Add lemon and spearmint oil to your diffuser to uplift the mood as well. Use a few drops on the ground in your meditation, yoga, or spiritual practice space. 

3. Orange

For the perfect sweet, uplifting essential oil, look no further than this one this season. Orange essential oil has countless benefits that can support you all winter long, including anxiety and seasonal affective disorder relief, decreasing insomnia or nausea, and reducing inflammation and cold and flu symptoms, among others. 

When it comes to orange essential oil, the beneficial methods of use know few bounds. Kynes recommends it as an ideal option to diffuse in a room where someone is sick, as it freshens and disinfects the air. For indigestion relief, you can dilute 2-3 drops of orange essential oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil and gently rub it onto the stomach area. Adding orange oil to a relaxing bath also provides some of the above benefits. For best results, combine 5 drops of orange and clary sage essential oils, 4 tablespoons carrier oil, and 2 cups of Epsom salt and mix thoroughly before adding to your bath.