Did you know that dry air is one of the primary factors that spurs viral outbreaks?
While lack of proper sun exposure and fresh produce are obvious factors in the prevalence of sickness during the winter months in temperate zones, researchers have found that the dry air inside our homes can contribute to outbreaks of influenza and other viral illnesses.
One simple and inexpensive way to combat this issue in the home is to use a good ol’ fashioned vaporizer.
When you were a child, your caretakers likely used a vaporizer to help your respiratory system recover. My mom used to slather that thing with Vick’s vaporub, and the whole bedroom would smell of eucalyptus and menthol. I loved the smell, and something about the steam was very comforting.
To help keep the air in your house properly humidified during these dry months, run a vaporizer at night with 2-3 drops of the essential oil of your choice in the diffuser tray.
If you have cats, use ONLY lavender or copaiba, as other essential oils can be very harmful to cats.
If you have birds or reptiles, I would skip the essential oils without first speaking to your exotic animal vet.
My favorite places to get affordable, high quality essential oils are Revive Essential Oils and Mountain Rose Herbs.
Both Young Living and DoTerra also make high quality oils, but their prices are a bit higher due to their MLM business model.
Using a vaporizer with essential oils will humidify the air in your home while you are sleeping and most vulnerable to dryness in the respiratory tract. Additionally, diffusing these essential oils helps to relieve stress, improve sleep quality, clear the air of pathogens, and introduces an antimicrobial vapor into your respiratory tract. This reduces the bacterial load on your system and helps your immune system remain strong and well resourced.
If you do not have a vaporizer and do not wish to leave your home at this time, you can:
- Fill empty food cans with water and place on top of a baseboard heater.
- Run hot water in your shower for a few minutes to generate steam.
- Place a bowl of water inside your heat register (if it has a platform inside)
- Mist your woodburning stove with a water bottle during operation.
- Set a pot of water on your electric stove and let it simmer with no cover.
- Place a tray of pebbles under your bigger houseplants and top up with water.
With these simple, cheap strategies to keep the air in your home properly humidified, you will give your body the advantage and keep your immune system strong during challenging times.
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