The Best Winter Essential Oils That Can Ease Your Woes When The Weather Gets Cold

Staying indoors and coming in close contact are good reasons to learn about winter essential oils.

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Cold winters are associated with some common complaints such as chills, dry skin, chapped lips, dry stale interior air, colds and flu, joint stiffness, and depressed moods.

Obviously, the best essential oils for winter woes depend on how you experience the season, but chances are you can relate to most of these issues mentioned. 

It's difficult to generalize about which winter essential oils blends or applications will be best for you without knowing what your particular symptoms are.


For example, some colds present more in the head and nose with heavy congestion while others are more centered in the throat or chest.

Match the appropriate oils and application to your symptoms but don't overdo it. Essential oils are highly concentrated.

RELATED: What Are Essential Oils? + How They Work & Which Are The Best To Use

Here are the best winter essential oils that can ease your woes when the weather gets cold. 

1. Anti-oxidants

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllus)

Narrow-leaf eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)

Lemon (Citrus limon), and manuka (Leptospermum scoparium)


2. Anti-depressants 

Ylang ylang (Cananga odorata)

Orange (Citrus sinensis)

Myrtle (Myrtus communis).

3. For cold and flu symptoms

Palo santo (Bulnesia sarmientoi)

Peppermint eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dives)

Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestrus)

Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis)

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis var camphor).

4. Aches and pain

Clove (Eugenia caryophyllus)

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

Black pepper (Piper nigrum), and ginger (Zingiber offinciale).

5. Deodorizers 

Grapefruit (Citrus x pradisi)

Lemon (Citrus limon).

6. Emollients

Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)

Aromatherapy applications of essential oils for the winter

An aromatherapy application just refers to how best to apply essential oils to the body for the best results (e.g., in a cream, personal inhaler, bath).


Some of the typical winter aromatherapy applications are warm baths, balms, body butter, body oils, diffusers, and inhalers.

RELATED: How To Use Essential Oils To Detox & Rejuvenate Yourself This Spring

1. Warm baths

Warm baths are particularly therapeutic and enjoyable in winter. They're helpful for chills or when one fills cold all the way down to the bone.

I like to add bubbles because they keep the water warmer longer. I also include a dash of carrier oil — any one of a wide range of all-natural carriers — but sesame and olive oil are especially warming.

I don't like the bath to be very oily, but if you like that, just add more carrier.


A cautionary note — make sure when using essential oils to use only those that are considered non-irritating to the skin and be aware that warm water can increase the potential for irritation. For example, don't use clove or cinnamon in the bath.

Make sure to dilute the essential oils in an emulsifying carrier (vegetable oil, vegetable glycerin, and even whole — not fat-free or skim — milk) before adding them to the bath to assure they disperse and are less concentrated.

If you just add them to water, they'll float around in tiny droplets. You don't want these little essential oil bubbles making direct contact with your warm skin.

Choose essential oils with properties that support your intentions such as warming, moisturizing dry skin, or emotionally supportive and uplifting.


2. Balms, body butters, and body oils

Balms, body butters, and body oils can provide protection against the cold and windburn as well as moisturize and nourish the skin. The choice of the carrier can really make the difference between a good and a great balm, butter, or oil.

Avocado, carrot seed, coconut, and argan oil all moisturize and soothe dry parched skin. Shea and cocoa butter, often found in natural balms, are excellent emollients. Arnica and safflower oil are good for aches and pains.

Add a bit of the essential oils listed under aches and pains to get some relief for an achy, creaking winter body. 

While body oils, butters, and balms can feel a bit heavy in the summer months, they tend to warm, moisturize, and soothe the skin during the cold, dry months of winter.


Make sure to use a safe and proper dilution for each specific intention and application.

As a general rule use these dilutions of essential oils for specific applications:

3 percent for products applied to specific limited areas of the body.

1-2 percent for body oils and other applications that are applied to large portions of the body (e.g. massage oil, lotion, cream, body butter).


4-8 drops per bath: the essential oils should be added to the bath with a dispersant such as vegetable oil, whole — not fat-free or skim-milk, vegetable glycerin, or salt (those with sensitive skin should use fewer drops).

100 percent essential oil or essential oil blend for inhalers.

3-6 drops (100 percent essential oils or essential oil blend) for a diffuser (for a 12 ft x 12 ft room). Less for energetic blends.

1 percent dilution for children, the elderly, and those with sensitive skin or compromised systems.

3. Diffuser oils

Diffuser oils can be used to eliminate stale winter odors, disinfect, and brighten moods. Citrus oils are good odor eaters, while many other essential oils can mask unpleasant odors.


Use essential oils listed as high in anti-oxidants to provide a good immune boost. A few drops of essential oil in a diffuser are sufficient. Really, you don't need a lot.

Alternatively, place a few drops in a vaporizer to open congested sinuses and soothe other cold symptoms. For example, peppermint eucalyptus is high in pipestone, which works great to loosen and clear thick mucus.

4. Inhalers

Inhalers can offer a convenient, portable, and personal treatment.

A personal inhaler can be filled with a blend that uplifts the spirits, gives an immune boost, or helps knock a cold out before it gets going. 

RELATED: The Different Types Of Essential Oils And How Aromatherapy Works


Patricia Bonnard, Ph.D., ACC is a life coach and energy healer. She blends conventional coaching, embodied practices, and energy healing in ways that best suit the needs and preferences of her clients. She offers virtual and in-person sessions and workshops for workplaces and the general public.