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Breathe it in: Wellness in Winter with Aromatic Plants

As cases of the sniffles start to spread and we spend more and more time indoors, we need to bring in reinforcements to keep colds and flus at bay. Turning to natural remedies that humans have relied on for centuries allows us to support our family’s health in a holistic and sustainable way. Nature’s bounty is all around us, we just have to know how to use it.

One of the most common ways of utilizing nature’s medicine is through the use of aromatics. When we breathe in plants' aromas, we are inhaling the incredibly potent healing effects of the plant itself. Their anti-inflammatory, anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties are brought into the lungs, reaching deep into our respiratory tract, tissues, and bloodstream. They also perfuse our homes, stopping bacteria and viruses in their tracks. 

Aromatics are incredibly accessible and easy to use. Here are some of the best ways to utilize them. 

Steam It Out

Steaming is a super gentle and relaxing way to use aromatics. It involves heating up water combined with essentials oils, fresh herbs and/or salts. Once the mixture is hot enough, you pour it into a large bowl and hold your face over the bowl, draping a towel over your head to keep the steam in. Breathe deep.

Another perk to steaming, is that it opens up your pores and clears the skin making it a perfect tool for an at-home spa. 

Wondering what to put in your steam? Try:

  • Rosemary: This comforting herb opens airways and relieves congestion.
  • Eucalyptus: Invigorating and energizing while easing colds and congestion.
  • Balsam Fir: A natural expectorant, fir thins and loosens mucus in the airways making it ideal for coughs and congestion.

Delightful Diffusers

Using a diffuser allows the potent properties of plant essential oils to permeate a room or home, clearing microbes, imparting aromatherapeutic benefits and making the space smell incredibly irresistible.  

The essential oils you use set the mood for your home and give everyone who’s breathing them in their beneficial qualities. Some of our favorites for cold season are:

  • Wild Carrot Vaporizer Blend:  This family friendly blend of Eucalyptus, Lavender, Mandarin, Rosemary, Tea Tree, Niaouli, and Roman Chamomile alleviates chest pain and tightness from irritated lungs. 
  • Amrita Invincible Immunity Synergy Blend: This lovingly combined mixture of Bay Laurel, Eucalyptus, Oregano, Tea Tree, and Thyme soothes sore throats, relaxes the respiratory system, and wipes out airborne viruses.
  • Wild Carrot Robber’s Blend: This classical combination of Clove, Lemon, Rosemary, Cinnamon, and Eucalyptus has a rich history of being used by grave robbers and thieves during the Middle Ages to protect themselves against illnesses like the bubonic plague. Yikes! Robber’s Blend is also great for a DIY home cleaner by mixing it with water and witch hazel or vinegar.

Stovetop Potpourri 

Making your own stovetop potpourri releases moisture into the air while simmering herbs fill your home with sweet scents. Combine a good amount of water with goodies from your garden, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer, and let this mixture work its magic. Add more water when needed. Here are some of our favorite botanicals to use:  

  • Citrus: Luscious lemon and orange energize your home, while filling it with their anti-viral properties.
  • Basil: This natural decongestant is ideal for chest congestion and lung irritation.
  • Thyme: Packed with anti-viral and antiseptic properties, thyme is a natural cough killer.

Other great additions to your potpourri are Cinnamon, Star Anise, Bay Leaf, and Lavender.  Or make a mulled wine or cider with cinnamon, clove, star anise, and ginger for a delicious drink and an aromatic home!  

Herbal Bath

Just the mere mention of a bath is enough to make us go ahhh. Add in healing herbs and oils, and your bath just got taken to the next level. If you are using plant material, we recommend putting it in a muslin bag or sock and letting it soak like a giant tea bag in your bath. While herbs and flowers look lovely floating in your bath, they can stick to you and be tricky to clean up.  

  • Lavender, Rosemary, Thyme, Rosehips, Juniper and Sage are some of our go-to herbs for use in the bath. Our bath salts and aromatic bubble baths, made with high quality essential oils, also provide deep herbal relief.  

Inhalers

Pre-made aromatherapy inhalers are perfect for the anyone on the go. Wild Carrot’s offerings include protective blends like Breathe Ease, Defense and Sleep which are all perfect for stuffy airplanes, crowded classrooms or long work days.

You can also make your own using plain Aromatherapy Inhaler Sticks with essential oils like Clove to help you breathe easy, or Juniper Berry to fight colds and infections. 

Back Up

Still fighting a case of the sniffles? It’s time for back up like our Herbal Chest Rub to open tightened respiratory passages. Or for the young ones in your life, try our Baby Herbal Chest Rub.  

Sore Throat? Try honey-sweetened Golden Lotus Throat Soothing Drops. Made in Oregon, these lozenges contain traditional Chinese and Western herbs to help clear and open airways.  

Stay Smelly

Whatever aromatic tool you reach for, you’re sure to be pleased with the heartwarming and air cleansing effects of the incredible plant world.