I am the type of person who loves winter (I was born on the winter solstice!), but no matter how thick my socks are or how warm it is inside, my feet and fingers are likely to be cold.
Fall and winter are good times to diffuse essential oils (see my previous article here). I could tell you again that citrus essential oils are airborne antibacterials, and pines promote breathing space and are reminiscent of a forest, but this time, I wanted to try something new.
I am cold. Always. So, what if I diffused oils that promote movement, circulation, and warmth? I chose to look towards the yang oils – hot, dry, active – as opposed to yin oils – cool, moist, soft:
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
A digestive and circulatory stimulant, black pepper is one of the most warming oils. It also helps strengthen the will and to feel empowered – perfect for the sluggishness we tend to feel at the end of winter. As a bonus, it is also a powerful antiviral.
Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
Another excellent oil for the digestive system. Nutmeg is also warming, but where Black Pepper is stimulating, Nutmeg is great to help with fatigue and exhaustion, as it is relaxing for the nervous system. Its antiseptic and antiviral qualities will also help keep pathogens at bay.
Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)
Another warming and stimulating oil, and no surprise, also supportive of the digestive system. Cardamom supports the respiratory system as well and is good for “cold” lung conditions. Stimulating yet comforting, Nutmeg and Cardamom are also aphrodisiacs, which could be another good way to keep warm in the winter!
Coffee (Coffea arabica)
We all know the tonic, circulatory and stimulating virtues of coffee. There’s nothing like the smell of coffee in the winter to warm up my poor cold self. Note: I use a cold-pressed coffee essential oil from Zayat Aroma.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
There is nothing particularly warming in fennel, but it blends magnificently with spices, and brings a sweet, cozy roundness to the blend. On top of that, fennel is also supportive of the respiratory system, without being too harsh, and can help relieve lung congestion. Fennel is also helpful in times of transition; a good oil to smell while waiting for spring to come back!
My Winter Warmth Diffuser Synergy
This synergy is a big win for me; my husband approved it! Most of the time, he has very weird associations to smells, but here was his reaction: “It smells like a Sunday afternoon in winter, when coffee is brewing, and someone is cooking in a warm, steamy kitchen.”
I loved this so much.
7 drops Black Pepper
9 drops Nutmeg
6 drops Cardamom
6 drops Coffee
6 drops Fennel
Diffusion Do’s and Don’ts
This is a list I made already featured in “Diffusing for fall” article.
- Over-diffusing can lead to irritation of the airways and adverse effects on the nervous system (irritability, migraine, nausea…)
- Be mindful of the diffusing time, and never leave your diffuser on overnight.
- When diffusing around children and pregnant women, use half of the amount of essential oils for half the time and diffuse oils safe for them.
- When diffusing around pets, keep a window open for ventilation and allow them to leave the room if they feel uncomfortable. Do not diffuse essential oils in close proximity to birds.
- A diffusion time of 30 minutes with an ultrasonic diffuser (with water) is ideal. A nebulizer (without water) is much more potent, so 15 minutes on will be enough. You can repeat every 2-3 hours, while making sure your room is properly ventilated.
- For a strong germ cleanse, leave the room and set the nebulizer for 30 minutes with a 10 on / 10 off timer, then air out the room.
- Prior to diffusing in a shared space, make sure you are not hurting the olfactory sensitivity of people around you. Aromatic preferences are personal! Remember that placing a few drops of your synergy on a tissue or clay diffuser near you are other ways to keep it personal.