The absolute best way to purify air in the winter is through aromatherapy (as in the use of essential oils, not to be confused with the misused marketing term of smelling stuff). Air gets stagnant and polluted in indoor spaces and this is one of the reasons why there is so much illness this time of year. When we are exposed to fresh air, we naturally inhale the essential oils from the plants and trees around us. Their therapeutic molecules are comprised of many antiseptic and medicinal properties that we miss out in when we become shut-ins with closed windows. The best way to recreate this air inside is by using essential oils as much as possible.
When choosing essential oils for the home, there are a few things to consider.
Antiseptic properties: Essential oils have amazing anti-bacterial properties (even against viruses). This is why they are ideal for purifying air and are also perfect for cleaning floors and surfaces. The strongest anti-bacterials are oregano, thyme, cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lavender, pine and savoury. Choose at least one of these.
Medicinal properties: Some of the most therapeutic oils for the respiratory system come from trees – eucalyptus, tea tree, pine, spruce etc. Choose at least one of these for cough and colds.
Psychological properties: Essential oils are all very grounding and uplifting but some are more specifically for relaxation (lavender, neroli) and some are more energizing (rosemary, peppermint). Consider your needs.
How to get them in the air:
Room Spray – DIY a room spray by adding drops of essential oils to a spray bottle filled with water. Spray every room in your house first thing in the morning and throughout the day.
Cleaning – Clean with essentials oils by adding drops to your mop buckets, cloths, sponges, toilet bowl water, glass cleaner and basically any surfaces (dilute them first because they can be corrosive to some materials).
Diffusing – There are many diffusers on the market for spreading essential oil in the air but you can also make your own on the stove with a pot of water (extremely low heat). A crockpot works even better.