The best essential oils to use through the winter months | uplift, revive & prevent illness

By Alison Angold CIDESCO ITEC

The winter months can come with lovely things like dressing up in jumpers, scarfs and boots, cosying up by roaring fires, taking walks in the fresh, crisp sunshine, and comfort eating delicious homely food!

But the colder months can also come with, some not such nice scenarios; colds & flu, dull & dry skin, low mood or depression.

So, here we are going to look at the best essential oils to use through the winter months to revive and refresh your body and mind, and keep illness (hopefully) at bay.

A pretty lady wrapped up warm, blowing snow from her hands.  The best essential oils to use through the winter.

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The best essential oils to use through the winter

Some of the best essential oils for winter are;

  • Benzoin – sweet, warming and good for stimulating circulation and easing chesty coughs
  • Black pepper – warming and stimulating on chilblains and relieves chesty coughs
  • Cedarwood – invigorates the body and stimulates sluggish circulation
  • Clary sage – strengthens the immune system and uplifts the mood and promotes euphoria
  • Eucalyptus – effective for cold and flu symptoms and stimulates the bodies immunity
  • Jasmine – promotes optimism, lifts depression and warms the emotions
  • Lavender – an all round uplifting and healing oil
  • Tea Tree – a great antiseptic oil that is also anti-viral and anti-bacterial
  • Thyme – great for boosting the immune system and relieving symptoms of colds and flu

Lets look at these oils in more detail.

The best essential oils for Colds, coughs & Flu

Coughs, colds and flu are often an inevitable part of the colder months of winter. When the temperature drops and we are getting less fresh air, the common cold can be passed around quickly! These essential oils are all effective at treating some element of winter illness.

Benzoin – eases chesty coughs.

Black Pepper – eases chesty coughs. Is an expectorant so relieves mucus on the chest.

Eucalyptus – eases the symptoms of cold and flu.

Tea tree – anti-viral and anti-bacterial, so useful to use to prevent or ease colds and flu.

Thyme – relieves symptoms of colds and flu.

Basil – helps relieve the pain and congestion of sinusitis

Bergamot – relieves the symptoms of colds, flu and bronchitis. It also reduces the inflammation of tonsillitis and sore throats.

Cedarwood – relieves and removes mucus in the case of catarrh, coughs and bronchitis.

Frankincense – relieves asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis and clears mucus and catarrh.

Lemongrass – has an antiseptic effect on the infection of sore throats and laryngitis.

Myrrh – useful for all respiratory problems; anti-catarrhal, expectorant, removes mucus from lungs, all infections of colds and flu

Rosemary – relieves the pain and congestion of sinusitis.

Essential oil recipes for colds & flu

Decongestant chest rub

  • 50ml plain body lotion
  • 6 drops Frankincense
  • 6 drops Myrrh
  • 6 drops Benzoin

Massage a small amount onto the chest area, daily to ease congestion and mucus on the lungs and chest. The oils will absorb into the area, and the aromas will also be inhaled to relieve any stuffiness in the nose. Make sure you use the plainest lotion (like this one) you can find, so the chemical make-up of the essential oils are not disturbed.

Sore throat cream

  • 50ml plain body lotion
  • 6 drops Bergamot
  • 6 drops Lemongrass
  • 6 drops Thyme

This lotion is to be applied in small amounts over the throat area – on the outside! DO NOT EAT OR DRINK THE ESSENTIAL OILS! Use a very plain body lotion, as your base.

Sinus relief roller ball blend

  • 10ml Sweet almond oil
  • 2 drops Basil
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 1 drop Tea Tree

A roller ball blend is an ideal way to blend oils for colds and flu. In the case of sinus congestion, it is the perfect way to deliver small amounts of the essential oil right where you need it. Apply a small amount just underneath the nostrils, so that it can be inhaled and bring relief. Alternatively for very painful sinuses, apply a small amount on the cheekbone area, to relief pressure here. Sweet almond oil makes an ideal base for this blends.

Anti cold diffuser blend #1

  • Eucalyptus
  • Bergamot
  • Lemongrass

Using an essential oil blend in a diffuser is an ideal way to inhale the benefits of the essential oils and keep coughs, colds and flu at bay.

Anti-cold diffuser blend #2

  • Tea tree
  • Bergamot
  • Myrrh

Low mood and depression

Many people find the winter months harder on the emotions. Darker days with less sunlight can definitely affect the mood, making depression more prevalent. These essential oils are all effective and reviving and refreshing the body and mind, while warming the emotions and lifting the symptoms of depression.

Jasmine – promotes optimism, lifts depression and warms the emotions.

Grapefruit – uplifting and refreshing, creates euphoric feelings.

Clary sage – promotes a feeling of euphoria.

Orange – uplifting and promotes a positive outlook. Lifts and relieves depression.

Bergamot – reduces stress, anxiety and the symptoms of depression.

Frankincense – comforting and warming to the emotions.

Lavender – balances the emotions and lifts depression.

Rose – is an effective anti depressant.


Essential oil recipes for uplifting mood

Mood boosting body oil

  • 100ml Sweet almond oil
  • 10 drops Jasmine
  • 10 drops Grapefruit
  • 8 drops Rose

A great oil to use after your morning shower, either on its own or to mix with your body lotion. Sweet almond oil is a good all-round oil to use.

Uplifting shower gel

  • 80ml Castille soap
  • 20ml Sweet almond oil
  • 10 drops Orange
  • 10 drops Bergamot
  • 10 drops Lavender

A wonderful alternative to your usual shower gel, not only will you smell great and your mood be uplifted, but this will hydrate and sooth the skin more than traditional shower gels. Castille soap is an ideal base as it is pure and natural and non-drying. Adding sweet almond oil, gives an extra hydrating quality.

Uplifting roller ball blend

  • 10ml Sweet almond oil
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 2 drops Rose
  • 2 drops Grapefruit

A roller ball blend is an ideal way of boosting your mood on the go. This small bottle can be carried anywhere with you and easily applied to pulse points to lift your emotions. Sweet almond oil is an ideal base oil for your roller ball blend.

Uplifting diffuser blend

  • Frankincense
  • Lavender
  • Orange

A diffuser blend is an ideal way to benefit from the aromas of the essential oils and fill your home with wonderful scents.


Sluggish circulation

During the winter, the skin on our bodies can suffer, as the blood circulation slows down. In addition to this, a slower circulation means that our organs within, will not be receiving the nutrition that they should, so we may feel more lethargic, become ill and feel cold, as well as our skin becoming drier and rougher and cellulite becoming more apparent. Using certain essential oils on the skin, means that circulation will be improved and the skin will be in a good condition.

Benzoin – a warming oil that is good at stimulating the circulation.

Cedarwood – stimulates a sluggish circulation.

Ginger – stimulates the circulation.

circulation recipe

  • 100ml Plain body lotion
  • 10 drops Benzoin
  • 8 drops Cedarwood
  • 8 drops Ginger

Simply mix together the ingredients and massage into the skin on a regular basis. Using vigorous massage movements, will also help encourage the circulation. A plain body lotion (like this one), is ideal to use.

Dull skin

During the colder months our skin can become drier, more dehydrated and therefore dull. Certain essential oils can encourage the skin to renew and become more hydrated.

Neroli – effective at cell regeneration so good for dry and mature skins.

Frankincense – rejuvenates dull and dry skin.

Jasmine – encourages cell renewal, hydrates and soothes.

Rose – good for hydrating dry and mature skin, soothing for dry, dehydrated skin.

Carrot seed – good for overheated skin conditions, so good for dry, dehydrated skins exposed to outside cold and indoor heat.

Lavender – promotes cells growth in the skin, so regenerates dry, mature and sensitive skins.

Geranium – enlivens pale and dull skin.

Grapefruit – revives dull, oily skin.

essential oil recipes for dry skin

Soothing and calming facial oil

  • 10ml Rosehip oil
  • 2 drops Jasmine
  • 1 drop Rose
  • 2 drops Carrot seed

Rosehip oil makes a great base, as it is anti-inflammatory and has its own cell-regenerating properties. Read more about Jasmine essential oil here.

Dull & dehydrated facial oil

  • 10ml Avocado oil
  • 3 drops Frankincense
  • 3 drops Geranium

Avocado oil is highly nourishing and revitalising for the skin, while frankincense and geranium, revive, refresh and brighten dull skin.

Dry & mature skin facial oil

  • 10ml rosehip oil
  • 2 drops Neroli
  • 2 drops Jasmine
  • 2 drops Lavender

Dull & Oily Brightening facial oil

  • 10ml Jojoba oil
  • Lavender
  • Grapefruit

Jojoba oil is ideal for oily skin as it helps to soften the oil in blocked pores, while still nourishing and hydrating the skin.

Dry/chapped skin

Very cold weather can often make the skin – especially on our hands – very dry and often sore and chapped. Some essential oils have the ability to soothe and heal the skin, so relieves the irritated skin.

Benzoin – relieves cracked and chapped skin.

Patchouli – helps cell growth and chapped skin.

Sandalwood – soothes dry, irritated and chapped skin.

Essential oil hand cream for dry, chapped skin

  • 100ml Plain lotion
  • 6 drops Benzoin
  • 6 drops Patchouli
  • 6 drops Sandalwood

Immune system

The winter can often compromise our immune system, meaning that we may be more prone to picking up illness and infections. Using essential oils can help strengthen and boost the immune system to give us back some of our defences against illness.

Bergamot – strengthens the immune system.

Clary Sage – strengthens the immune system and useful for weak or convalescing.

Eucalyptus – stimulates the bodies immunity against infection.

Grapefruit – stimulates immunity to prevent colds and flu.

Lemon – stimulates the immune system to produce protective white blood cells.

Orange – helps prevent against the infection of colds and flu.

Petitgrain – helps the body recover after illness.

Rosewood – improves immunity and effective at protecting against colds, flus and infections.

Tea tree – boosts the immune system and shortens the time of illness.

Thyme – boosts the immune system.

essential oil recipe for immunity

Body oil to strengthen the immune system

  • 100ml Sweet Almond Oil
  • 8 drops Bergamot
  • 6 drops Clary sage
  • 6 drops Grapefruit

Stimulates immunity diffuser blend #1

  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon
  • Thyme

Stimulates immunity diffuser blend #2

  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Rosewood

Recovery from illness body oil

  • 100ml Sweet almond oil
  • 6 drops Tea tree
  • 8 drops Petitgrain
  • 6 drops Clary sage
About the Author
Alison Angold is a fully qualified (certified) beauty therapist, massage therapist, and aromatherapist from the UK. She has over 25 years of experience in this industry and has worked in a variety of beauty salons, spa’s as well as running her own successful beauty and massage business. Her career has allowed her to treat many, many clients, with skincare concerns, medical conditions, and a whole variety of other ailments and issues, which has enabled her to work closely with essential oils, prescribing specific blends for these clients to help with these conditions. Her qualifications in the use of essential oils and aromatherapy, allow her to share this knowledge with others, in a safe, reliable way.