Winter automatically suggests cold and flu season, and study after study continues to confirm the antibacterial and antiviral effects of essential oils. Essential oils can protect us from microbes in many different ways, from keeping the space around us naturally microbe-free, to readying our immune system for defense, to actually destroying the microbes once they've entered our bodies.
Several oils have considerable anti-viral activity, and help to boost the immune system. For maximum effectiveness, it is important that you use them at the earliest sign of cold/flu or in some cases as a preventative to boost your immune system.
Essential Oils Useful for Colds and Flu:
• Tea Tree
To stop the spread of airborne viruses:
Protect yourself from others by gargling daily with 1 drop each of the essential oils of tea tree and lemon in a glass of warm water; stir well before each mouthful. Do not swallow.
To safeguard the office and home against Colds and Flu:
• Cinnamon 1 drop
• Clove 1 drop
• Eucalyptus 1 drop
• Niaouli 1 drop
• Pine 1 drop
Mix the above in 500 ml water. Pour into a spray bottle and shake well for the oils to mix and spray the office or home frequently.
If you come down with the flu and have chills add 5 drops of tea tree, 2 drops lavender and 2 drops of thyme to a hot bath. This may help your immune system fight the viral infection and ease your symptoms.
Then massage your whole body with 2 drops of tea tree and 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oils diluted in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil. Spray or diffuse your bedroom with lavender and thyme
Use the following oils in a hot bath:
• Thyme 2 drops
• Tea tree 2 drops
• Eucalyptus 1 drop
• Lemon 3 drops
Carry a tissue with you on which you have placed 1 drop of each, thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus and clove. Inhale deeply whenever possible.
Massage around chest, neck and sinus area with 1 drop lemon, 2 drops eucalyptus and 3 drops rosemary diluted in 1tsp of carrier oil.
Steam inhalation therapy works by thinning the mucus in the sinuses, relieving congestion, and increasing circulation due to the hot moist steam. Essential oils of eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, tea tree, niaouli and pine help to ease nasal congestion. Choose one to three of these oils and use them as inhalants or in steam inhalation treatments.
How to Prepare a Sinus Clearing Steam:
Pour about 4-6 cups of boiling water into a large glass bowl. Quickly drop 4-5 drops of essential oil into the water. Hold your head over the bowl and place a towel over your head (as you do this, your eyes should be closed); and breathe in the steam slowly and deeply. Keep your head under the towel, over the hot water for about 15 minutes.
Products are available in selected health shops and stockists can be found online at www.soil.co.za