Why do more people seem to get sick during the winter?
Is it because people spend more time cooped up indoors and in close contact, sharing stuffy germ-filled air?
Or is it that schools are in session during this time and kids share germs at school?
Or maybe because there’s less sunlight during winter, the reduced Vitamin D exposure weakens the body’s immune system, making people more susceptible to illness?
All those things play a role, but one of the main reasons there’s more illness during winter is because of cold and dry air. Here’s why:
Cold air can’t hold as much humidity as warm air. That’s why cold air naturally feels drier. In dry air, viruses are able to stay airborne for longer. See, the virus exists in the air in tiny water molecules, and as the humidity increases and the air’s water particles enlarge, the flu-containing droplets fall to the ground.
So higher temperatures and damp air actually help neutralize cold and flu viruses. This is why flu season doesn’t exist in the tropical parts of the world!
The good news is that you can combat the cold, dry air. Here are a few tips:
- Use a humidifier in your home.
- Diffuse essential oils. Some essential oils contain components that disinfect the air as well as smelling amazing. Electric diffusers work well, but for smaller rooms you can use a candle diffuser.
- Use an essential oil inhaler. Inhalers are portable, convenient, and provide a great way to deliver healing essential oils directly to your respiratory system.
- Apply essential oil blends to your body. This means you're breathing them in and your body is absorbing the components wherever you go. No need to pause to get out your inhaler.
There are many great essential oils that are beneficial for diffusing and inhaling.
One type you may want to take note of is citrus oils. The citruses are very effective in fighting sickness because they contain a high amount of a compound called d-limonene, known to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation.
Some great citrus oils to use are: lemongrass, orange, grapefruit, and clementine. You might consider a blend that includes a few of these cleansing and refreshing essential oils as well: eucalyptus, tea tree, balsam fir, ginger, rosemary, and peppermint, juniper berry, and sage.