A Guide to Essential Oils
Sure, they smell nice. But if you're stressed-out or stuffed up, a few drops might also help you feel better, fast.
Try it when: You’re congested.
How it works: “Eucalyptus oil acts as an expectorant, helping to clear mucus from the respiratory passages,” says Jennie Harding, an aromatherapist and the author of The Essential Oils Handbook ($13, amazon.com). Boil 1 quart of water, let it cool slightly, then pour it into a bowl. Add 4 drops of oil, drape a towel over your head, and lean over the steam, inhaling for 10 to 15 minutes.
Good to know: If you’re pregnant or under a doctor’s care, see your physician before trying any essential oil.