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Everyone I have come into contact with lately either has a cold, just had a cold, or thinks they might be coming down with something. I myself am just getting over a nasty head cold... along with the rest of my family and friends. I thought this would be the perfect time to share some information with you about, and what they can do to help you. I try to take as little medicine as I can get away with so, when I do fall prey to illness, the first thing I reach for are my essential oils.
Plant essences derived from herbs, seeds, and leaves were the first medicines of our ancestors. Nowadays we look to pharmaceutical drugs instead of remedies that have survived the test of time to heal us. Now, these remedies may be slower to work (than say an antibiotic) but, when it comes to fighting colds and flu, oils such as sage, lemongrass, peppermint, lavender, myrrh, myrtle, & eucalyptus, just to name a few, are prized the world over by healers for their effectiveness.
Essential oils contain hundreds of molecules that all work together to kill bacteria and viruses, and to support our bodies health. Unlike drugs, viruses do not develop resistance to essential oils because each batch of oil is unique depending on a growing season’s temperature range, wind, rain, time of harvest and many other factors. This is why oils can be more effective at beating a cold or flu as opposed to drugs. They also continue to work long after a virus would have developed a resistance to antibiotics. Due to their pure potency, oils stay in the body and contiue to work for 7 to 10 days.
How to Use Them :
Diffusers, humidifiers, & vaporizers are common ways to put EO into the air. During cold and flu season, vaporizers are particularly helpful because they sterilize the air as it steams it, killing germs that pass through. For vaporizers and humidifiers add 2 to 6 drops for every application. Also placing water in a bowl and putting it in front of the heat register works well (if you don’t have a humidifier)for diffusing oils into the air as well as adding a bit of humidity to dry air. 5 to 10 drops will usually do the trick.
2 drops sage 2 drops lemongrass 2 drops myrtle
You can also go for a good old fashioned facial steam bath. Depending on the strength of the EO, add 3 to 5 drops of oil to a large bowl of hot water. With a towel covering your head, bend your face over the bowl. Close your eyes and inhale the rising steam for 5 to 10 minutes. This happens to be one of my favorite ways because it’s a nice steamy retreat. For an acute illness, you can repeat this 2 to 3 times a day.
1 drop eucalyptus 1 drop pine 1 drop lemon
You can also use a dry inhalation method which is a nasal inhaler. Use a small glass tube. Put 1/4 tsp. coarse salt in there with a drop or 2 of essential oil, and sniff when you are stuffed up. EO best for this would be Peppermint and eucalyptus mixed with a milder scent of lavender or even myrtle.
1 drop peppermint & 1 drop myrtle
1 drop & 1 drop lemongrass
The bath is another great way to EO when you are not feeling well. Not only are you getting the vapors, but your are soaking your sore tired muscles at the same time, which can be very soothing. Essential oils dissolve easily in honey. Honey is very nourishing to the skin, and has good anti-inflammatory properties. Dissolve 3 to 5 drops of oil in 3 to 4 tablespoons of honey , then pour the mixture into the tub. You can also add EO to Epsom salts or sea salts.
2 drops rosemary 2 drops 1 drops lavender
The last way I would like to cover(although there are certainly many more) is to apply EO to your body. Specifically applying them to the chest is very effective for releasing congestion. You can dilute them in a
2 tablespoons carrier oil 1 drop myrrh & 1 drop lavender- apply to chest and back
Essential Oils are great to use for everyday health. They increase your immune system, ease up congestion, and help speed away a cold or flu bug. They are a safe, natural alternative to cold medicines that make you drowsy or pills that can make you nauseous. With so many EO for the job, and so many ways to use them, you are sure to find a combination that works for you! Try out the different methods to see which ones are most practical and effective for you. It all depends on your preferences and the symptoms you are experiencing at the time. That is one of the beauties of aromatherapy; it can be completely tailored to suit your needs.
Essential oils can be found online at naturesgift.com or aromaland.com. They can also be found here at the Pittsburgh Center for Complementary Health and Healing as well as the Food Co-Op, Whole Foods and an array of natural health food stores. If they don’t have the oil you are looking for, don’t hesitate to ask. Most stores are happy to special order an oil for you.
So experiment, and feel better soon!!!