5 Essential oils to beat the winter blues (+ how to use them!)

Winter is in full effect here in the northeast, as it snows outside my window and cold winds blow down from Canada. It’s a quiet time of year for most but it can also be a time of silent suffering for many. With the shorter days and colder temperatures comes SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is the form of depression that revolves around the changing of the seasons, typically occurring during the winter. Also known as seasonal depression, it comes with all the mood changes and symptoms of depression such as feeling sad, losing interest or pleasure in previously enjoyable activities, changes in appetite and sleep patterns, a loss of energy, difficulty with thinking, concentrating, or making decisions, and feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You can read more about seasonal depression here. It is a serious disorder that requires the care of a license healthcare professional as it can lead to suicidal thoughts and actions.

– Psychiatry.org, 2022

Knowing that the two worst months for seasonal depression (January and February) are upon us, I wanted to share five of my favorite wintertime essential oils. These essential oils are known to be warming and will fill your home with a cozy aroma, along with some great immune boosting benefits.

Even if the long winter nights aren’t affecting your mood, these five warming essential oils are great for supporting hard working muscles. You can use them after a long day shoveling snow or trying out that new workout routine you promised you’d start as part of your new year’s resolution.

Ginger oil (Zingiber officinale)

Ginger is an energizing essential oil with a warm, fresh, spicy aroma. It has antifungal and antibacterial properties and can act as a stimulant and aphrodisiac. Ginger essential oil is great to use for fatigue. It should be noted that ginger can cause skin reactions in some people (as can the other essential oils I’ll be mentioning here) so follow safe dilution ratios closely. I recommend a maximum dilution of 1% if using topically. Ginger blends well with citrus essential oils and woody oils like patchouli and frankincense.

Clove bud oil (Syzygium aromaticum)

Clove oil has a distinctive smell that is rich, spicy, and fresh. Clove blends well with many different essential oils like bergamot, black pepper, and my two favorite oils for relaxation clary sage and lavender. Clove has a strong aroma and I typically only use 1-2 drops in a blend. I enjoy combining clove bud with cinnamon, ginger, and sweet orange for a beautiful winter diffuser blend. It should be used at only 0.5% maximum dilution in topical blends as it contains the powerful phenol, eugenol. Eugenol is the chemical constituent that gives clove oil its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Clove bud is also known to be an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antiarthritic essential oil.

Cinnamon bark oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Warm, spicy, and sweet describe the scent of cinnamon bark essential oil perfectly. This sweet and spicy oil is fantastic for diffusing to help stimulate your senses and get you feeling energized. Not only could it put a pep in your step, but it is also great for supporting the immune system during times when seasonal illnesses are lurking. It also blends well with many other essential oils including citruses, mints, and woody aromas like cedarwoods. Cinnamon essential oil has been found to have analgesic, anti-arthritic, and anti-inflammatory properties.

Juniper berry oil (Juniperus communis)

Juniper essential oil is one of my go-to oils for many short-term topical blends. It has a fresh, fruity, balsamic aroma and blends well with essential oils like cedarwood, cypress, lavender, pine, clary sage, and cypress. Juniper is known to be an antibacterial and antimicrobial and is a natural purifier when diffused. Topically, juniper berry can produce a warming sensation, which I love in blends made for aching and sore muscles. Juniper essential oil comes with some safe use warnings – you shouldn’t use it if pregnant and should only use it topically for 4-6 weeks at a time before taking a four week break.

Black pepper oil (Piper nigrum)

The last, but certainly not least, of our warming winter oils is black pepper. Black pepper has a warm, fresh, woody scent that blends well with many different essential oils. It is a great addition to stimulating blends for heightening the senses and increasing alertness. It is also antibacterial and antiviral in nature making it a good choice for winter diffusions. Black pepper is great (especially when combined with juniper!) for easing sore muscles.

Winter diffuser blend

Follow the instructions for your specific diffuser. I usually use 3-5 drops of essential oil per 100mL of water when using an active diffuser. This blend was made when using 200mL of water in my diffuser. You’ll be diffusing:

  • 2 drops ginger essential oil
  • 2 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 1 drop clove essential oil
  • 3 drops sweet orange essential oil

Warming muscle massage oil

With the new year comes new year resolutions, so if you are back to the gym or doing at-home workouts this great warming muscle massage blend may come in handy! You’ll need your essential oils, a dark colored one-ounce bottle, and one ounce (approximately 2 tablespoons) of your preferred carrier oil.

You’ll need your essential oils, a dark colored one-ounce bottle, and one ounce (approximately 2 tablespoons) of your preferred carrier oil.Put one ounce (approximately 2 tablespoons) of carrier oil in a dark colored bottle, such as an amber dropper bottle, then add the following essential oils to the bottle:

  • 10 drops Black pepper Piper nigrum oil
  • 6 drops Ginger Zingiber officinale oil
  • 6 drops Juniper Juniperus communis oil
  • 5 drops Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis oil

This is a 3% dilution ratio. Use the warming muscle massage oil on sore muscles as needed throughout the day.

Winter can be a dreary time but utilizing essential oils to create uplifting and aromatic blends to fill your home can be helpful to drive out the long, dark nights. These five essential oils not only create a warm, inviting space they can also help fight off seasonal threats. When used topically, they can help support sore muscles from any winter time activity whether its shoveling snow or starting a new workout routine.

If you don’t have these essential oils on hand or would rather buy a premade blend check out our Loose Limbs roller blend here. Loose Limbs includes black pepper, cinnamon, clove, and ginger along with some other muscle supporting essential oils. If you’re looking to beat back the winter blues, some of our pick 2 aromatherapy inhalers and our roller blends feature mood supporting essential oils that can be found here.

Published by AirmidHolistics

Hi! I’m Melissa Murray, a certified aromatherapist, herbalist, & holistic health practitioner & founder of Airmid Holistics, LLC! I hold an Associates of Applied Science in Complementary Alternative Medicine, a Diploma in Holistic Health Practice, & a Diploma in Aromatherapy from the American College of Healthcare Sciences. I’ve used aromatherapy personally & professionally for over a decade & began to seriously pursue my formal education in holistic medicine after my military career ended abruptly due to an injury. I want to help people learn how to achieve their health & wellness goals with aromatherapy support & educate them on the safe use of essential oils.

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