Soon the holiday break and vacations will be over and the schools will be buzzing again after a couple weeks break.
Most of us were busy visiting relatives across the country. So being exposed to viruses and ill folks has increased.
We will be spending more hours confined indoors around folks that may have been exposed to any number of viruses.
This increases the chances of you and your loved ones spreading these flu or cold virus.
As the spread of the flu virus has been increasing, many are concerned and wonder what they can do from a natural stand point.
In this article are suggestions that apply to ANY kind of influenza or cold virus. As always, you need to use essential oils in a safe and cautious manner and remember that you should always seek medical attention when you are not sure if your cold or flu is more serious.
Prevention is your first line of defense. Having a strong immune system and avoiding folks that are ill is advisable but not always an option.
As with many viruses, you are infectious long before you are too ill to be forced to stay in bed. This gives the virus many chances to infect the masses. One infected person sneezing in a crowded room easily spread certain viruses to hundreds of others.
So what can you do to minimize the chances of getting the virus and what should you do once you are infected?
Eat nourishing whole natural, minimally processed food, get plenty of exercise, rest and utmost is WASH your hands!
Washing your hands frequently should be the first thing that you do when you are out among the public.
Now, don’t become over compulsive about this but using common sense says – wash your hands after being in public and of course before eating or touching food.
Avoid touching your face and especially the area around your eyes. It is believed by me and others that one mode of transmission of viruses is through the mucous membranes of the eyes. So avoid touching your face or rubbing your eyes.
At home you can use a surface spray made with an All Purpose Cleaner or distilled water and adding one of several choices of essential oils to it.
Our suggestions would be to use All Purpose spray cleaner with Four robbers or All Purpose spray cleaner with Pure Cleansing but you can make your own using a simple refreshing blends of the Citrus Blend or Pine oils Blend such as Conifer Blend will help fight surface germs, too.
As Aromatherapists our first suggestion is to use essential oils is by diffusing them.
The body is able to assimilate the molecules of the essential oils by inhalation better than any other method of application. Breathing them in is you absolute first line of defense.
Never ingest essential oils unless they are prescribed by a licensed medical practitioner. If you ingest them you are more likely to cause damage that will require your body to work harder to repair instead of being able to concentrate on your current viral attack.
Diffusing essential oils into the air by using either a fan diffuser or tart warmers will freshen the air and fight air borne infectious agents including viral, bacterial or fungal.
Remember almost all essential oils have germicidal effects to varying degrees. Some are better over others.
Our favorite blends, and that of many of our customers are diffusing our Four Robbers blend and Pure Cleansing blend.
The essential oils in both of these blends when combined include Clove bud, Lemon, Eucalyptus globulus, Rosemary, Bergamot Grapefruit, Cinnamon leaf and Thyme See product listing for essential oils in each blend.)
Now, although these two blends are especially important once you have been exposed, they can also be diffused daily to help prevent problems and to help build your immune system. And if by chance you do get ill, the oils in these two blends can help with all the symptoms and give you relief too.
Of course, any of the individual oils in these blends can be used alone as they all will help to speed your recovery. The synergistic effect of blending two or more oils together is usually more beneficial. So if possible, blending more than one of these oils from those listed above are more effective against those nasty little viruses.
Another concern is that of secondary infections. After you have nearly recovered from the ‘flu’ it is not uncommon for another type of infection to get a hold of you. Pneumonia is very common and may even develop while you are down with the flu.
These two infections can really bring your immune system down and become life threatening in a matter of a few hours. SEEK immediate medical attention if you have any signs of worsening infection such as but not all inclusive would be high fever and/or difficulty breathing.
Extreme fatigue, coughing and achiness throughout your body are common signs you have more than a cold-type viral infection.
Colds often let you continue with a few light activities like watching TV or listening to music, but when the ‘flu’ hits you can barely lift your head let alone feel like doing anything but try to sleep, moan and groan.
You can use essential oils to help you feel more comfortable. Massage oils for the aches and pains. Add a few drops to the hot bath to help relieve congestion and to warm you up if you feel cold. OR if your fever is too high use a cool cloth to cool your skin.
Both Eucalyptus globulus and Peppermint can have heating or cooling effects on your skin when used in a basin of water (wring your cloth out and placed on your forehead).
A cool cloth on the forehead and one on the back of the neck can help to bring a fever down to tolerable levels. Also this cool cloth can help to relieve headache pain too.
Eucalyptus globulus and Peppermint are great for sinus and head congestion and pain relief too.
The best suggestion is to use a few essential oils that will give you relief of the symptoms that are giving you the most discomfort.
And don’t forget that old time and all-time favorite – Chicken soup and broth. Replenishing your fluids and getting some balanced electrolytes can help prevent dehydration. Dehydration is a big factor in anyone stricken with a fever.
Children and adults alike need have their fluids replenished. Broths and teas are some of the best choices for those folks that prefer natural and are avoiding those over the counter ‘drinks’.
SO ... BEFORE you are stricken with the flu or a cold, get your essential oils ready. If you have been using essential oils for a while, you know those that are your favorites to use for various conditions and symptoms.
But if you are new to using them the best suggestion is to read through several of our past newsletters looking for the essential oils for symptomatic solutions i.e. coughing, congestion, headaches, muscle soreness and aches etc.
You may have many of them already in your home. Now, if the oils you have are old (say over 2-3 years) and have been opened you might want to consider getting a fresh supply before you or someone in your family gets ill.
What do WE do when we have been exposed to a viral infection? First we diffuse Four Robbers blend and Pure Cleansing blend throughout the house. Especially in the rooms we spend the majority of our time in.
Also prior to going to bed we use a blend of each of these in carrier oil such as Jojoba or Fractionated coconut oil. I prefer Jojoba as it absorbs into the skin more quickly.
Then we rub some of these on both of our feet and put on a pair of clean socks. This preventive measure has kept Al and me from getting ill many times over the past several years.
Now what do we do should we be caught off guard and start to show symptoms of illness? First is diffusing the Four Robbers blend and Pure Cleansing blend in the rooms and of course the foot applications, BUT we also will gargle with warm water that we have added sea salt to.
We will gargle a couple of times with that mixture then with a fresh 4 oz glass of warm water, we add either 1 drop of Oregano OR 1 drop of Thyme ct. linalol. Then we gargle with that several times.
It may burn like crazy on a sore throat but gargling with that every 2 hours will speed your recovery. For us, by the next morning our sore throat is gone.
The next thing we do is use essential oils for any other specific ailment that is giving us discomfort. If it is a headache, a little Peppermint and Rosemary (with a carrier or our Peppermint and Rosemary Roll-on ) and dab a little on the back of our neck or temples or wherever the head is aching.
What to do concerning small children, babies, pregnant women and the elderly? As for the use of essential oils you should follow the guidelines for the youngest member of the house hold.
And in general it is suggested that only half the amount of essential oils should be used for babies, children (under two), pregnant and the elderly that are used for an average adult when diffusing or in massage. Only if the older members of the house are in their own confined rooms should normal adult suggested amounts be used.
Some essential oils (namely Eucalyptus globulus and Peppermint) can potentially cause airway constriction in small children and babies.
These two oils in particular should never be applied to the skin or chest/neck area, even when diluted, to those under two years of age. AND use lesser amounts should be used when diffused too in the rooms they are in.
Flu in anyone can be very serious but influenza in a pregnant women can be even more dangerous and life threatening to not only the mother but also the baby. If you become ill see your doctor.
AND only after they have given you the okay to use essential oils for your illness whether it is the flu or the cold should you use them.
Reports by the CDC say that pregnant women are at more risk especially with any flu virus of having complications. So seek medical attention if you are pregnant and have the flu or a cold.
- Wash your hands frequently,
- Eat good meals with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, eat your lean proteins too.
- Moderate exercise and getting plenty of rest all help to keep your body in good shape.
- Stay away from ill folks and likewise,
- when you are feeling under the weather stay at home and away from others too.
-Diffuse essential oils especially after you have been out in public or confined where you have seen or heard folks that are not feeling well.
-Remember too that although essential oils are great at many things, they are not a ‘cure all’ and you must seek medical attention as needed.
We do hope you and your family will use essential oils now to build your immune systems and to ward off any viral or bacterial infections.
Use them safely and responsibly to stay healthy and happy throughout the next several months. Take care!
Here are a few articles that may be very helpful. There are many more you may want to read from those Indexes listed above. These that follow may give you a quick reference with immediate information.
What oils have Anti-viral properties? - http://birchhillhappenings.com/aromatip/tip4108.pdf
Better Than Mom’s Remedy for Colds and Flu Recipe (Similar to Vick’s Vapo-rub only made with pure essential oils) - http://birchhillhappenings.com/aromatip/5909.pdf
What is an Expectorant? http://birchhillhappenings.com/aromatip/5409.pdf
Coughing and Coughs http://birchhillhappenings.com/v952006.htm
Influenza and Colds, Immune building (2006 Newsletter) http://birchhillhappenings.com/v942006.htm
All the products listed in the article are available at our Shopping Site - see link below.
Print this Article The Influenza and Cold Season is upon us!
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