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Whether it’s your mind or your body that needs to be rescued from the cold, cruel grips of winter, one of the best ways to stay healthy is with nature’s very own elixirs – essential oils.

A 2010 study found that a combination of wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary significantly suppressed the flu virus, while another 2007 paper discovered thyme had potential respiratory infection-fighting agents.

So, if you’d like to remain fighting fit during the cooler months, give these natural, inexpensive remedies a try.

1. Lavender

Easily one of the most popular oils out there, lavender oil is widely used in aromatherapy and is believed to have antibacterial, antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also helpful in clearing a blocked nose – simply put a few drops on a tissue and place the tissue under your bed.

2. Oregano

Many people swear by oregano oil as a powerful antiviral, antifungal, anti-parasite, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. Because of this, it’s great for easing a sore throat. Just add two drops to a glass of water and drink it fast. Why? We’ll be honest – it tastes pretty gross!

3. Peppermint

Any member of the mint family is going to work wonders clearing a stuffy nose, and peppermint in particular is great for relieving the heavy pressure caused by sinus headaches. All you need to do is add three drops to a bowl of steaming hot water, cover your face with a towel, keep your eyes closed, then lean over the bowl and breathe deeply.

4. Eucalyptus

There’s a reason so many of us turn to eucalyptus lollies when we’re feeling sick – as an antiseptic and antibacterial, it’s great for your immunity and works wonders on sore throat and sinus infections. To make the most of its benefits, you can use the same method as with peppermint oil. Otherwise, you can simply rub a few drops onto your chest.

5. Rosemary

As if the link between rosemary and preventing dementia wasn’t incentive enough, the herb’s oil is also fantastic for improving circulation and easing sore muscles. All you have to do is mix a few drops with a massage oil and rub into the site of the pain.

Which essential oils do you swear by? How have they improved your health? Let us know in the comments.