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Essential Oils

Nature's antibiotics

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Essential Oils

There are few better agents to reduce the spread of viral and bacterial illness during the cold and flu season than essential oils. A cabinet of wisely chosen, high quality essential oils can provide an effective natural pharmacy.

There are few better agents to reduce the spread of viral and bacterial illness during the cold and flu season than essential oils. A cabinet of wisely chosen, high quality essential oils can provide an effective natural pharmacy.

The role an essential oil plays in the health of a plant is similar to that of our own immune system: it acts in its defence. The composition of essential oils makes them powerful healing agents; they can kill microbes and fungi and have a proven impact on many of the body’s basic systems, including the immune system.

Essential Oils for Steam Inhalation

Many essential oils are ideal for treating infections in the respiratory system through inhalation. For steam inhalation, place a few drops of essential oil in a bowl of hot water; with a towel over your head, bend over the bowl to create a steam tent. (These oils may also be diffused.)

Thyme linalol is a strong antimicrobial agent. The linalol chemotype of thyme combines the strong antiseptic action of carvacrol with the gentle healing effects of linalool. Thyme linalol will fight viral and bacterial infection and soothe irritated tissue in the respiratory passages.

Rosemary and Hyssop decumbens are excellent oils for respiratory infection; both oils are expectorants. Rosemary is one of the most effective agents to treat sinus infection.

Eucalyptus radiat/Eucalyptus globulus are both very useful for the treatment and prevention of colds and flu. E. radiata is better suited to long-term use and for children.

Tea tree is antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial.

Elecampane is an excellent expectorant for chronic, dry coughs.

Khella is useful for crisis coughs and bronchial spasm.

Myrtle green helps with coughs and congestion due to allergy and hay fever.

Essential Oils for Environmental Diffusion

Diffusing essential oils in your home or workplace helps reduce the spread of airborne illness. Purchase an essential oil diffuser or add a few drops of essential oil to your humidifier.

Lavender is calming, sedative, and antiseptic–one of the best oils to promote rest and recovery from illness.

Lemon is a strong antiseptic. Diffuse lemon to prevent the spread of infection.

Cinnamon, clove, and oregano are very aggressive, broad-spectrum antimicrobials. These oils should be used with care.

Essential Oils for Bath and Massage

Black spruce, bay laurel, and vetiver have been shown to boost immunity. Blend any one of them in jojoba and massage across the lower back.

Sweet marjoram is analgesic, sedative, and a muscle relaxant. Blend 10 drops lavender with 5 drops marjoram in 6 teaspoons (30 mL) jojoba. Add to a bath or use in massage for aches or pain.

Nature’s antibiotics will be all you need to get you through the cold and flu season.

The Question of Quality

Because there is disparity in the quality of essential oils, choose a reputable brand that provides vital information about the oil. Look for the botanical name, cultivation method, a batch number, and a date of expiration. Organic oils are generally the most vital and active.

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