When it comes to winter wellness, essential oils are exactly that — absolutely essential, at least according to aromatherapy practitioners.
From the flu to seasonal depression remedies, these little bottles pack a serious punch, and Provisions Natural Foods Grocery and Café has more than 60 varieties to choose from.
“Breathing in the oils is a very sufficient way of getting the benefit from them,” explained Susan Blacklocke, a nutritionist and vitamin specialist at the Sag Harbor shop. “It all begins with your nose.”
Aromatherapy, or the medicinal use of aromatic plant extracts, dates back at least 6,000 years, but the 20thcentury has seen it recognized as a quick and effective treatment for a myriad of ailments — such as eucalyptus for congestion and lavender for mood swings.
Oils like peppermint and Dragon’s Breath are known to be anti-viral, perfect for warding off the common cold and even the flu — “and they also smell good,” Blacklocke said.
“Back when people had the bubonic plague, the thieves would wear these Dragon’s Breath essential oils and they didn’t get the plague,” she said. “People were like, ‘Why don’t they get the plague?’ and these essential oils protected them. Nature’s Sword is another formula for extreme protection, and it’s pretty awesome except it smells like garlic.”
If an essential oil is especially potent, Blacklocke recommends mixing it with a host oil. Otherwise, they can be rubbed directly on the body, misted with a diffuser, or even dropped into the bottom of a hot shower, allowing the steam to waft them up gently.
Each half-ounce bottle ranges from $8 to $18. For more information, call (631) 725-3636 or visit provisionsnaturalfoods.com.