Ask The Pharmacist: Teas, essential oils and supplements needed in winter

Suzy Cohen

The winter is lovely, the trees are all flocked and the air is so fresh. You can make snowballs and fire up the crock pot with soup. I SO love winter, and when the snow begins to fall, I stay in my PJs and crawl into my favorite recliner, with a big fuzzy blue throw and a hot pack.

Stock image: Adult and child holding hands and walking in winter weather.

When it’s cold, many biochemical changes take place in the human body which lead to dryness of the skin and lips, suppressed immunity, reduced production of some neurotransmitters, the packing on of winter fat, higher risk of heart attacks and certainly more sniffles, coughing and general sickness from cold and flu. Sadness and depression are common. 

Today my focus will be to help you stay as well and comfy as possible during the hibernation months. I have a more comprehensive version of this article available only to my newsletter subscribers. Join my online community at and I will email it to you.
Here are some common winter problems …

File Illustration - Winter Weather

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) a.k.a. depression

This is a seasonal type of depression and sadness that lifts in the springtime and summer. Researchers sometimes attribute the winter blues to reduced exposure to sunlight. Therefore, a natural mood booster might be a light device, or some vitamin D supplementation. Vitamin C could help because it helps contribute to production of happy brain chemicals. 


Cold climates cause blood vessels to tighten a little bit, and the narrowing reduces blood flow. When blood vessels are constricted, it can trigger headaches and migraines. The fix might be to maintain hydration and supplement with magnesium which keeps your blood vessels dilated. Vitamin C helps them maintain elasticity.

Dryness and dehydration

Skin gets very dry, especially your heels. Look at them, I bet they’re cracked and dry. Put some pure jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive or grape seed oil on your finger, or a cotton pad and apply it it to your heels. Then put on your socks and shoes. Repeat this if you need after your evening shower. Drink plenty of water that has been infused with marshmallow root. I have a video on You Tube showing you how to make this. Also, add a pinch of sea salt or “Real Salt” to your water for electrolytes.

Cough, cold and flu

In order to reduce your risk for respiratory illness and cold or flu, you have to rev up your immune system. Start with probiotics and vitamin C for prevention. Eucalyptus essential oil (EO) is another natural fix for when you are sick. When I was down with the flu, I found that a steam inhalation using just 2 drops in a pot of hot water worked great to open up my sinuses and stop the coughing. I also took drank Melissa officinalis as well as green tea. I’m not advising any of you, just sharing my personal experiences. Please ask a holistic practitioner or doctor if these are right for you. 

Suzy Cohen is a registered pharmacist. The information presented here is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any condition. Visit