Winter can be a rough time for all of us. It’s cold, the days are short and often our moods follow suit. But there’s a simple way to make the blues more manageable. You guessed it, citrus essential oils.
What are they?
Citrus essential oils are cold pressed from the rinds of fruit. Orange, tangerine, lemon, lime, bergamot…use your imagination. These oils tend to have a bright, cheery aroma. Just pop them in a diffuser and breathe in.
Oh yeah, and why use a diffuser instead of citrus-scented candles? Because most scented candles have fake citrus fragrance added, or worse, formaldehyde. Both can have drastic effects on your health, from hormone disruption to cancer. Quality essential oils don’t have the same serious risks and can actually support emotional and physical health.
How do they work?
Essential oils have very tiny molecules, so they are absorbed into your body faster than any modern substance. And since your sense of smell has a straight shot to the limbic center of your brain, those little molecules get an express ride to your emotional center. That means the citrus scent is bringing all its bright and cheeriness directly to your brain, which can help improve mood.
And it’s not just via the sense of smell. Applying citrus essential oils topically on the skin can also get those molecules into your blood stream. Topical application would be a good idea at night or under clothing, since citrus oils can have photosensitive properties.
But I digress. To be specific, citrus essential oils are high in d-limonene, a natural chemical constituent that has been extensively studied for powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, also for its effects on improving depression (good news for folks familiar with Seasonal Affect Disorder).
And let’s not forget some other charming qualities.
Vitamin D deficiency is pretty common during the winter months. Though no oil can replace a quality supplement, they can support your body getting enough Vitamin D. Vitamin D is metabolized through the liver, and your liver can be working overtime detoxifying your body from all the winter yuck.
That’s where citrus essential oils come in. Lemon for example, is very detoxifying, and lime supports blood alkalinity – something that can stress a busy liver. A great way to get these oils into your system is to add a drop to your water and sip.*
So go ahead – citrus it up!** Your mood and your body will thank you.
(*Most essential oil companies are not safe for ingestion. Use only FDA GRAS certified essential oils for ingestion.)
(**As always, using quality essential oils is key. Not sure where to get them? Check out my supporting posts here.)