Sometimes, it seems like you can barely breathe during the winter months. You’re stuffed up and it seems like you only have one functioning nostril. Contrary to popular belief, the cold weather isn’t to blame; rather, the conditions that come with cold weather are.
When membranes inside the nostril lining swell up, it’s common to experience a stuffy nose. The air has difficulty passing through the nasal passages and mucus drainage is often the next symptom you experience. Inflammation happens when you are exposed to irritants, experience allergies, develop sinus infections, or come in contact with viruses.
In the case of winter, stuffiness usually stems from the circulation of more colds and flus. Additionally, allergies are more active during wintertime. People also spend more time indoors, which increases the exposure to dust, allergens, and cold germs. Basically, you can’t blame stuffiness on cold weather alone. You can, however, do things that help relieve congestion. Making the DIY candle in this article is one of those things.
Peppermint Essential Oil
When sinuses are blocked, inhaling peppermint oil helps to promote decongestion. Peppermint oil contains menthol, which affects mucus receptors in the nose and helps open the airways to release mucus. According to several lab studies, peppermint oil may fight bacteria that contribute to sinus congestion.
Lemon Essential Oil
Lemon essential oil contains powerful extracts of the lemon rind that help combat infection. In the case of sinus congestion, these properties help break down mucus and open the airways. Lemon essential oil may strengthen the immune system and prevent infection from occurring again. It’s best to inhale this oil the moment you notice the subtlest sign of congestion.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Many over-the-counter decongestants include eucalyptus essential oil because of its notorious decongestant properties. Eucalyptus essential oil is commonly added to baths or showers to help reduce stuffiness and congestion in the sinuses. This oil contains cineole, an active compound that may be a safe and effective treatment for sinus issues. Researchers found that cineole improved symptoms of sinusitis, including headaches runny nose, and nasal obstruction.
Rosemary Essential Oil
Due to the anti-inflammatory properties, rosemary essential oil may help relieve swollen sinuses. According to a 2016 review of studies, rosemary essential oil possesses antioxidant properties that may calm inflammation in the sinuses. The volatile oils in rosemary make it a great addition to warm baths, bringing about easier breathing and more relaxation. In addition to relieving congestion, rosemary essential oil may also enhance memory.
DIY Sinus Relief Candle
- glass jar (4-8 ounces in size)
- 1 brick paraffin wax (or soy wax)
- 1 candlewick (with a weighted bottom)
- 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 12 drops rosemary essential oil
- 15 drops peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- Fill the bottom of a double boiler about one-third full with water and set the stove to medium-high heat.
- Place the wax in the upper portion and allow it to melt. You should only need to stir it once or twice, but this may vary if you use paraffin or soy wax. The choice is yours.
- Keep an eye on the wax because you don’t want to overheat it. If you see that it begins to boil on the bottom, reduce the flame to a lower heat. It should be completely melted within 10 minutes.
- Place the candlewick in the glass jar and set the weighted bottom in the center. You can tie the wick around a pencil and place it horizontally across the top to hold it in place.
- Remove the wax from the heat and allow it to cool for a couple minutes before you add the essential oils. Once you add the essential oils, mix well to combine.
- Pour the wax mixture into the jar and adjust the wick if necessary.
- Allow the candle to harden for a couple hours. It’s ready when the bottom center of the jar is cool to the touch.
- Trim the wick, light the candle, and enjoy!