By now, I’m sure we’re all extremely well versed in the CDC’s guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We’ve all been washing our hands, disinfecting surfaces, social distancing, and wearing masks for months, but there are other measures we can take to keep ourselves healthy too!
Following those guidelines from the CDC reduces your chances of being exposed to COVID-19 and other harmful viruses and bacteria. But as individuals, we can go a step further by also shoring up our internal defenses (AKA our immune system) by practicing healthy habits, such as:
- Getting enough sleep. Sleep allows our bodies to rest and recharge, and many of our bodily functions are compromised when we don’t get enough of it. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule is one easy way to ensure you’re getting enough rest.
- Eating a balanced diet. Treats abound during the holiday season, but try to stick to a balanced diet as much as you can. Make sure you’re eating lots of fruits and vegetables, and getting a good balance of protein, carbs, and other essential nutrients.
- Exercising regularly. Whether you prefer to walk, jog, or do an activity like yoga, regular exercise is an important part of staying healthy (and it improves circulation too!)
And since I’ve always been one to use all the tools in my toolkit, I’ll personally be using essential oils as an additional supportive measure this winter. Many essential oils are known to have antiviral and antibacterial properties after all, including several in the blend I turn to most often during the cold winter months: Defend!
What Is Defend Blend?
Defend is a blend of cinnamon, lemon, clove bud, lime, eucalyptus, rosemary, peppermint, spearmint, and oregano essential oils. Many of these oils (including peppermint and eucalyptus) are known to have antiviral properties, making it a useful addition to your immunity support toolkit.
Because this blend contains oils that can irritate sensitive skin, it’s important to dilute it with a carrier oil before application. Avoid using Defend on children under 6, and take care when diffusing it if you have pets. (As a general rule, your pet should always have the option to leave the room when you have a diffuser running!)
Below I’ve put together a list of 8 different ways to put Defend to good use. In addition to health guidelines, common sense practices, and good habits, it’s one more useful tool worth having at your disposal!
8 Ways To Use Defend Blend
1. Diffuse It
Use Defend blend in your diffuser to spread those antimicrobial oils into the air and around your house! (And as an added bonus, the aromas of clove, cinnamon, peppermint, and other oils in this blend are reminiscent of the holidays, so it’s perfect for diffusing during wintertime!)
2. Roll It On
Keep your Defend Roll-On close at hand at home, school, or work, and swipe it on the back of your neck or onto your wrists throughout your day.
3. Add To Soap
As we all know, frequent hand washing is one of the best things we can do to keep ourselves healthy and prevent illness. You can add a drop of Defend blend to your handful of soap before washing for added peace of mind, or add it to a squirt of hand sanitizer if when you’re out and about!
4. Soak It In
Nothing beats a warm soak in the tub for warming up and relaxing your muscles, and it’s also a great opportunity to use Defend blend! Just add about 12 drops of Defend to 4 ounces of your favorite carrier oil, then add a small amount to the running water while you fill your bathtub.
Soak in the warm water for 20-30 minutes to ease tight or sore muscles and open your airways. (You can also prepare the same mixture of Defend and a carrier oil to use as a massage oil!)
5. Make A Warm Compress
Suffering from sinus pressure? Using a warm compress can help alleviate sinus pressure and pain without the need for additional medication.
Add a couple of drops of Defend blend to a cotton ball, place it on your warm compress, and wrap them together with a thin towel. Apply the compress to your sinus area to help alleviate pain and open your airways.
6. Sleep On It
Don’t want to run a diffuser all night, every night during the winter? Using a cotton ball is a great low-tech alternative.
Add a couple of drops of Defend to a cotton ball, then stow it away in your pillowcase. The oils will permeate the pillowcase while you sleep for a diffuser-free aromatherapy experience!
7. Steam Treatment
Another useful way to alleviate sinus pressure and stubborn congestion is with a simple steam treatment! Add a few drops of Defend to a bowl of hot, steamy water, then lean over the bowl and take several slow, deep breaths. You’ll be breathing easier in no time!
8. Make An “Inhaler”
You can experience the benefits of Defend just by breathing it in through your nose! Making your own simple aromatherapy inhaler with Defend is a great way to keep it close at hand without carrying around the whole bottle.
Read this post to get all the details about making your own aromatherapy inhalers.