Winter can be a beautiful, cosy season filled with comforting moments and family gatherings.
But with these moments can also come darker days and colder temperatures that may leave us feeling a little bit worse for wear - both physically and mentally.
The "Winter Blues", as they are occasionally described, are commonly experienced as a result of vitamin D deficiencies from reduced sunlight, which in turn can affect sleep, energy levels and even hormones to a sometimes significant degree.
Our physical bodies are also put through great trials during this time, as the lower temperatures can weaken our immunity and make us more susceptible to colds, flu, and pain.
Thankfully, there are a number of essential oils that have been used for centuries to help tackle these issues - providing us with relief from the many symptoms that winter can bring, as well as helping to create an atmosphere of warmth, reassurance and protection.
What are the best essential oils for winter?
Whether you're looking to protect your wellbeing this season or simply create a festive environment in preparation for the holidays, these winter essential oils can help.
You can also discover some of our favourite essential oils for Christmas here.
Is cinnamon oil good for the cold?
Nothing says winter quite like the sweet scent of cinnamon - and there's no surprise this highly treasured oil is so popular this time of year.
Many people find that the aromas of cinnamon can physically warm them from within, facilitating feels of cosiness and relaxation as well as protecting them from the cold.
Cinnamon has also been tied to stress relief and better sleep, as well as a number of antimicrobial benefits including the ability to fight parasites and bacterial infections in the body to a significant degree.
Using black pepper oil to ease winter aches
In a similar way to cinnamon, black pepper is also known as one of the warming essential oils for winter - with a slightly reduced level of sweetness.
Its comforting effects can help to soothe aching muscles as well as other related pains when applied to the skin with a carrier oil - a symptom which can be very common during the winter time due to increased icy conditions and lack of exercise.
Black pepper has also become revered for its ability to detoxify the body and protect it against free radicals, as well as soothe the mind in moments of increased stress and restlessness.
Can peppermint oil give you more energy?
In the winter, peppermint's expectorant properties take the foreground, helping to relieve the body against blocked sinuses and allowing for easier breathing during periods of cold and flu.
Peppermint is also great for energising the body as well as providing a sense of mental clarity and focus.
So powerful are these mood-boosting properties, that athletes have often mentioned their preference for peppermint as a performance enhancer, with a 2013 study confirming these effects.
Energising benefits are particularly important during the winter season as they can help disperse the negative emotions that come with darker, colder days.
Does ginger oil help against cold and flu?
Like peppermint, ginger essential oil is an expectorant, meaning it can effectively shift mucus through blocked airways as well as remove harmful bacteria in the body.
A study in 2013 even found that ginger can physically relax the muscles in and around the nasal passageway to allow for easy breathing - making it a very popular choice in the colder seasons.
Ginger is also incredibly powerful for lifting moods and promoting happiness, with a study in 2010 discovering that the oil can effectively activate the human serotonin receptor to produce greater levels of confidence and emotional wellbeing.
Lifting winter blues using marjoram oil
The sweet, herbal scent of marjoram may be a more niche choice when you think of essential oils for winter, but its properties can actually be extremely helpful for promoting emotional balance and relaxation in moments of tenseness.
If you're someone that is greatly affected by the winter blues, marjoram oil can help provide mental clarity as well as decrease stress by calming the mind from within.
Marjoram is also a good choice for relieving tightened muscles caused by stress or exposure to the cold as a result of its antispasmodic properties.
Will clove bud oil protect your immune system?
If you're looking for the best remedy for protecting your immune system and providing a warming, seasonal atmosphere in your home, clove bud may be just the thing for you.
Spicy and aromatic, clove has been shown to help the body fight against cold and flu symptoms, bacterial infections, and even oxidative stress as a result of its strong constituent eugenol.
Studies in 2005 and 2012 respectively have proven these incredible effects, and further studies are even beginning to compare clove with a similar antioxidant effect to blueberries.
Antibacterial thyme oil can help keep you safe
Another antibacterial oil, thyme's herbaceous and surprisingly warming scent can prove very effective if you prefer your winter scents to be less sweet and more restorative.
In fact, thyme oil has been proven to be effective against over 120 strains of bacteria, according to a study in 2011, and may even be able to combat antibiotic-resistant types over time.
Thyme oil can also help to balance our hormones by encouraging the body to produce more progesterone. A lack of progesterone has been linked to unstable mood and sadness as well as a number of other mental and physical symptoms.
Diffusing some thyme when you're feeling a bit low can be a great way to help dispel these emotions.
Is juniper berry oil good for sleep?
While colder nights may help some of us drift into sleep a little easier, this isn't necessarily the case for everyone - and juniper berry can be a good, natural way of dealing with lack of sleep caused by the darkness and uncertainty of winter weather.
A study in 2006 found that inhaling the scent of juniper berry contributed to the bodily sensation of needing sleep, and in turn created an extremely beneficial environment for relaxation and anxiety relief.
In fact, these effects were so powerful that some subjects replaced their sleep medications in favour of diffusing juniper.
Incorporating one or more of these essential oils into your winter wellness routine can be a great way to tackle the illnesses, mood swings, and general life adjustments that come with the changing seasons.
If you're wanting to target more than one oil benefit at once, creating your own blends using our essential oil blending guide can be a great way to get started, or alternatively you can check out our expertly-crafted essential oil blends available here.
Shop our essential oils here.