Take a deep breath in and…cough, cough…[nose blow], clear throat…and exhale.

Yup, it’s fall time and by the sounds of it, cold and flu season has descended down on us. Frequent hand washing is vital, along with getting lots of rest, and eating a multitude of colourful fruits and veggies for their vitamin and mineral content. If you are sick, take a sick day! This isn’t just about you – it’s also about your co-workers. If you get them sick, they will not be happy about it.

As a naturopathic doctor, I use many different tools to help you support your health and wellness. Botanical medicine is one of these powerful tools and teas, tinctures, salves and poultices can all be used in treating a multitude of conditions. (Check out Dr. Smulder’s blog post on the 5 top herbs to boost your immune system).

Essential Oils for Fall:

Essentials Oils are a type of botanical medicine that you can use in your home to help ward off cold-causing bugs. Not only do they smell great, but good quality oils can be very supportive in your health. As with any botanical medicine, it’s important to know what you are getting. Good quality oils are ones that have been harvested ethically, extracted carefully without use of chemicals, and stored in a way to ensure the oils haven’t become rancid. It’s also important to know how to dilute the oils – whether its in a diffuser, a carrier oil or another application.

Here are three of my favourite essential oils for the fall:

Melaleuca/Tea Tree:

With over 92 organic compounds found within the oil, tea tree has been used around the world to help cleanse skin. With chemical constituents called Terpinenes, tea tree has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that can make it useful in the fall.


These tall trees contain the chemical components Eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol. It can help your respiratory tract feel more open and promotes feelings of relaxation. It is commonly used in mouth washes to help promote good oral health.


This is my favourite blend of essential oils and we often have it diffusing in the clinic. It has a lovely, warming aroma that is perfect for the fall. OnGuard is a blend of orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary which can help purify and clean. Clove and Cinnamon are both strong anti-bacterial oils, while orange is an uplifting aroma to balance out the darker fall and winter days.

For an upper respiratory tract or sinus infection:

Try a steam inhalation. Fill your sink with hot tap water, lean over it and drape a towel over your head to keep the steam in. The steam will help loosen up mucous in the nasal cavities so that you can blow it out more easily. For added benefit, add one drop of good quality Eucalyptus Oil or a drop of OnGuard Essential Oil blend. Breathe in the steam for 5-10 minutes and repeat daily until you are feeling better.

We have all of these oils available for purchase at the clinic. Swing by, take a deep inhale…and exhale. The Local Health team is happy to support you and your family’s health through cold and flu season.