Four essential tips for a healthy household in winter


Indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, according to the US Environmental Protection Authority.  So it’s little wonder so many of us get struck down with illness in winter time.  It’s no fun for anyone, is it?

There is so much more we can and need to do to support our bodies through this time of year to keep ourselves feeling healthy and well, beyond healthy food, exercise and ensuring we are well rested.  Each of these things is of course vitally important, but I want to share with you things you may not have thought about to keep your household healthy and well during the cooler months.

I guess you could say my body took a bit of a beating after going through cancer treatments and surgeries, meaning I now have an exquisitely fine tuned warning system that has made me acutely aware of just how much of a role our homes and our workplaces can play in  either making us sick, or keeping us healthy and well.

I rarely get colds and when I do – it’s usually always because I’ve been in a building that has triggered the onset of symptoms, and let one or a few of the things I regularly do to support my immunity, slip.

I managed to survive the longest winter I can recall in all my years in Melbourne 2016 (I still had my winter wardrobe out in December) without getting a cold.  Most people I knew were struck down with terrible colds, viruses or gastro at some point but not I.  Despite my immune system not being in great shape I managed to get through that winter unscathed.

The human body is truly amazing – when we nourish it, keep it moving and give it the right environment in which to thrive, it’s amazing how it responds.

Here are four things that I hope will help keep everyone in your household feeling well during the winter season.


  1. Minimise and prevent moisture in the home

Moisture and condensation in the home is prime breeding ground for mould, which can trigger a whole range of health issues. Looking back throughout my life there’s been a direct link between the home I’ve been living in and frequency of colds.  If you keep getting colds and it’s taking you a long time to recover, or you have ongoing respiratory symptoms, mould could be a suspect.

Dust is food for mould, so it’s important to clean every week, ideally using a vacuum with a HEPA filter. Let as much sunlight as you can into your home (sunlight kills mould spores) and make sure it is well ventilated. It’s important to let fresh air in, even in the cooler months.  Air out your Doona in the sunshine.

Make sure your drainage pipes are clear and water is flowing away from your home. Turn on the fan in your bathroom, laundry and kitchen when you are showering, washing and cooking to prevent condensation.

An air purifier can significantly reduce symptoms – but if you think mould is a suspect it’s important to get to the root cause of the issue, with a mould assessment by a trained building biologist.  I can’t emphasise enough the importance of getting it addressed before it becomes a bigger issue.  Mould can not only trigger respiratory symptoms (including asthma) and the common could but also more serious health issues in the 1 in 4 people in the population who are genetically susceptible. Every family has a doctor and it is my firm belief that every home should have a building biologist – particularly if illness in your house hold is a frequent thing.

2. Ditch toxic chemicals in your home

There are so many toxins in the built environment that are beyond our control – in paint, sealers, building materials, furniture, bedding, cookware, the list goes on.  It would be impossible to eliminate these without great expense and inconvenience.

It’s vitally important to eliminate any sources of toxicity that we do have control over – cleaning and laundry products, perfume, skincare and personal care products, for example.

Unfortunately you can’t assume that the products you buy from the supermarket or the pharmacy are safe, in fact the majority of them are not. They contain toxic ingredients that are known to contribute to a myriad of health issues. When we inhale these toxins they go into our bloodstreams, our organs, they get stored in our cells and this toxic overload compromises our immune system.

DoTERRA’s OnGuard protective blend is an amazing alternative for cleaning your household naturally and keeping any nasty bugs away.  It contains clove essential oil (as well as wild orange, cinnamon, Eucalyptus and rosemary), which is the most potent source of antioxidants on the planet.

You can use OnGuard to make your own hand wash, clean your dishes, shower, floors, toilet, make sanitising hand spray. (Details for how to order OnGuard wholesale can be found at the bottom of this blog post).

3. Reduce your exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF) and radiofrequencies (RF)
High level electromagnetic fields and radio frequencies throw our bodies out of balance. They quite literally reduce the frequency at which our body operates, which compromises our immune system and makes us more likely to get sick.

There are simple things you can do like powering down your wifi signal and disable your 5G modem if you don’t need it (call your internet provider and ask them to talk you through how to do this), turn your wifi off at night, and try to make your room and electronic free zone. Turn the power points off and make sure your bed is at least 1 metre away from electrical equipment.

Understanding the EMF and RF levels in areas of your home in which you spend most of your time is really important.  In a recent home audit I did, I found that there were high level radio frequencies in the family living area and in the bedroom of the 15 month old boy living in the home. The wi-fi has been turned off as a result, which is a great outcome for this little boy, not to mention the peace of mind it has given his mother and father.


4. Support your body with powerful Mother Nature extracts
As well as loading up on nourishing, immune boosting foods like bone broth, lots of greens, turmeric, vegetables and garlic, essential oils are a  powerful weapon to have in your natural first aid kit and to give your body the extra support in needs to combat environmental threats during the cooler months.  These oils have played, and continue to play an integral role in keeping me healthy and well on a daily basis.

Essential oils act as the immune system of the plant from which they are derived, but they are 50 to 70 times more powerful than the plant itself. In an orange for example, the essential oil compounds in the peel ward off pests, cold fungus viruses and other environmental threats. They act the same way in our bodies, travelling along our bloodstream and going to cells that need it the most.

These are the oils I believe every household should have during winter:

DoTERRA’s OnGuard protective blend – as well as using it to clean your home you can diffuse it in the home, use it to make up a roller blend (and put it on the souls of your feet before bed), put it in your turmeric latte or spray on cut up apples.

Oregano oil – mother nature’s most powerful antibiotic – to be used in emergencies only, or at the onset of symptoms, never for more than 10 days at a time (because it kills everything, including beneficial gut bacteria). I diffuse this if I feel the wintery lurgy coming on (never more than 1 to drops), and add it to a roller bottle with fractionated coconut oil, OnGuard, Tea, Tree and Lemon.

essential oil – because it’s from the rind, the most nutrient dense part of the lemon, it has a high Vitamin C content (there are 40 organic lemons in each 250ml bottle of DoTERRA’s lemon essential oil).  I have one drop in my water each morning, use it in my surface spray, my laundry, diffuse it in the bathroom, the list goes on.

Tea Tree – another one that goes in my daily roller bottle, can also be taken internally, and great to diffuse with lemon, OnGuard and oregano.

DoTERRA’s Easy Air clear blend  – if I wake up with blocked sinuses, the first thing I do is inhale Easy Air (1 drop in the palm of my hand, rub them together and inhale, or diffuse it) – it’s a ridiculously invigorating blend of laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus, cardamom, lemon and ravensaranon-toxic version of brand I won’t mention. You can use it to make chest rub too. It’s also great before exercise.

Frankincense – the ‘king of oils’ a.ka. ‘the oil of everything’ – I have one drop under my tongue each morning (and use it in my facial serum with lavender, I’m also using it on my scar from my recent surgery, which my surgeon said to keep doing as it is healing beautifully). Frank is also wonderful with wild orange – diluted with fractionated coconut oil and rub it all over your body for a luxurious self-care ritual (known as an aromatic dressing).

There are thousands of studies on pub med – the world’s leading medical database – about the many benefits of essential oils, including this biblical oil (frank), oregano oil and many more.

If you’d like to book a mould assessment or an EMF/RF audit, email me at for a quote. 

Fllow this link for  info on how  to set up a wholesale DoTERRA account  (or feel free to reach out to me directly). When  you purchase these oils through me I send you a heap of resources to get you started on your oily journey and you get to attend my workshops complimentary.

I hope these tips help you and your loved ones feel healthy and well this winter season.



Zara is a healthy home coach and keynote speaker on a mission to empower 1 million people to takes steps towards a healthier home. Zara learned about the link between our homes and our health after going through two different types of cancer. Zara is passionate about shining the spotlight on what she believes to be the least understood health challenges of our time, and sharing the things she wishes she had known, that could have prevented the illnesses she has been through. Recognised as one of Australia’s leading health influencers, Zara was a finalist in the 2014 Bupa Health Influencer of the Year Awards. She has appeared on TEN News, Today Show and The Project, been featured in the Herald Sun, I Quit Sugar, and contributed Medibank’s Be. Magazine and Fairfax health online publications. Zara contributed to the National Breast Cancer Foundation’s first comprehensive report on breast cancer in young women in Australia.

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