When life gets hectic and I start to feel by body heading down the slope towards coughs, colds and fatigue I am so damn thankful that I have a selection of natural solutions at my finger tips to apply topically, diffuse and ingest to give my body the best chance of being able to heal itself naturally. Don’t get me wrong if required I would always utilize western medicine, however my approach is to reach for natural solutions first and save the stronger stuff for when its absolutely necessary. This means it not only increases its ability to work within your body because it hasn’t built up a resistance to it, but it also reduces the risk of experiencing unpleasant side effects and out of pocket expenses.
Below I have done some research so that I can share some info with you regarding the use of essentials oils to ward off your colds, germs, combat daycare lurgies, boost you up if you’re immune system has had a bit of a flogging and just for general support during times when you’re run down.
Firstly just a couple of IMPORTANT things to know about Essential Oils:
Essential oils are derived from plants, roots, flowers, resin, bark and leaves of plants via different distillation methods. They are essentially the immune system of the plant, nature in her purest form in a bottle. Different oils possess different chemical compounds that do different things for us. When different oils are combined they can work together to have a powerful synergistic effect, hence why certain oil ‘blends’ have been created for certain purposes eg. respiratory blend, digestive blend + immune blend.
Essential oils from doTERRA are harvested via co-impact sourcing, benefiting not only the farmers but the communities surrounding where the oils are harvested from. Each oil is sourced from the country in which the plant best thrives ensuring the chemical constitutes of each plant are at their absolute prime. This enables the oil to possess high therapeutic value. doTERRA oils are sourced from over 40 countries globally, and more than half of those are classified as developing countries.
Essential oils are incredibly powerful and very potent. One drop of peppermint oil is the therapeutic equivalent of 28 cups of peppermint tea, therefore less is best in terms of how much you use. 1-2 drops is more than enough. Starting off in low doses is always best.
Always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, rose hip oil ect prior to applying topically. Not only will this prevent irritation to the skin but it will help the body better absorb the oil, allowing it to penetrate the tissue and be carried into the bloodstream providing a systemic effect.
doTERRA essential oils are certified therapeutic grade and are safe for topical, aromatic and internal use, however a small number of oils are not suitable for ingestion so if you are considering using them internally please do some research so that you feel confident in doing so. I am comfortable ingesting oils as I am not taking any medications or suffering any health conditions that require careful monitoring. Like anything, essential oils can effect your body in profound ways and its important to be aware that essential oils may interact with, enhance or hinder the effectiveness of medications, therefore its paramount that you do some research and seek advice from an aromatic medicine practitioner or a medical practitioner familiar with essential oils before ingesting oils for ailments, in conjunction with medications or as an adjunct therapy.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to replace that of a medical professional, aromatherapist or aromatic medicine practitioner. The information found here is based on my own reading and research using journal articles from Pubmed and the aromatherapy texts listed at the bottom of the article. It is intended to provide some potential uses within the home and to support the body by reducing stress, enhancing rest, providing emotional support as well as utilising the powerful compounds found in essential oils to enhance the bodies natural ability to heal and regenerate itself.
Essential Oils to Help Fight Lurgies
OnGuard is an immune support blend, it’s my lifesaver when I feel like I am getting sick and I use it everyday in my cooking. It is a blend, which contains wild orange, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary oil.
All of these oils in synergy promote strong immune system support and protective factors as you’ll see based on the properties of the individual oils in the mix. The oils in this mix are also wonderful on their own for the properties listed below, however I love utilizing this blend.
Clove is very high in antioxidants, it is excellent for the treatment of inflammatory oral and pharyngeal changes as well as symptomatic treatment of toothaches therefore it can be used as a mouth wash or gargle when getting sick, to ease toothaches or treat sore gums.
Clove can also stimulate digestion and restore appetite and relieve flatulence.
Clove also works wonders on mold and tough grease.
Cinnamon oil has been found to have an antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial effect, it supports the nervous system and is very warming helping to relieve aches and chills in the early stages of cold and flu’s.
Eucalyptus is amazing for treating respiratory disorders as well as colds and flu’s. The inhalation of eucalyptus helps to reduce inflammation of the mucous membranes and loosen mucous easing respiratory tract congestion.
Rosemary also has mucolytic properties assisting with ailments like asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis. It is also an anti-fungal agent, amongst many other things.
I add this blend of oil to my baking when making cakes, smoothies, overnight oats, porridge, soups and mulled wine.
It’s great for use in cleaning products, as with tea tree, for its strong antibacterial and disinfectant properties, it can be used to clean floors, the shower and bathroom ect.
When you’re unwell or there is a bug in the household diffuse to kill pathogens in the air.
I also apply it to the soles of my feet mixed with oregano oil, then heavily diluted with carrier oil (its a ‘hot” oil so don’t apply on its own or it will burn), for immune support daily.
If I feel like I am coming down with something I also mix 1x drop of OnGuard in hot water with lemon, ginger, honey and turmeric and it works a treat.
Can be diffused, used topically with carrier oil and ingested as I do regularly as mentioned above.
As mentioned above eucalyptus is great for its ability to loosen mucous and reduce inflammation in the airways. The WHO recommend it for the symptomatic treatment of excessive discharge or build-up of mucus in the nose or throat, coughs and topically for rheumatic complaints.
Studies have supported the use of eucalyptus as an analgesic, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-tussive, decongestant and expectorant.
In traditional herbal medicine eucalyptus is used for treating asthma, fever, flu, whooping cough, loss of appetite, inflammatory and infectious kidney and bladder diseases as well as diabetes.
Eucalyptus is often used externally for wounds, acne, poor healing, ulcers, bleeding gums and neuralgia.
It has anti-fungal and potent anti-viral properties shown to be effective against herpes simplex virus type 1 and also mild anti-viral activity against mumps.
I use Eucalyptus topically with peppermint, or the respiratory blend, over the chest, under the nose and behind the ears when I am feeling congested.
I also use it as a steam bath – a few drops in a bowl of hot water, head placed over the bowl with a towel over the head with deep inhalations to clear airways.
A few drops in the bottom of the shower to steam up the room and loosen any mucous.
Dabbed on coldsore’s to reduce severity of outbreak.
In the diffuser overnight when feeling a bit snuffly and congested.
Tea tree is a very powerful immune-stimulant, when the body is threatened by infection tea tree increases its ability to respond. It is also recommended for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, coughs, sinusitis and whooping cough.
Wonderful to help dry out pimples, cold sores, chickenpox and blisters or any fungal infections.
Works wonders for its anti-bacterial properties on things like bites, stings, burns, wounds and scrapes or grazes.
Can be applied outside of the ear (not inside) to help relieve ear-aches.
Pop a few drops in shampoo or conditioner to help deter and treat head-lice
Great for mixing with Castile soap to use as a body wash or face wash, can also be mixed with water and used as a toner or added to hand sanitizer.
Works really well in cleaning products such as multi-purposes sprays for bathroom, toilet, sinks, use to clean out bins, clean toys, tables ect.
Add to washing with eucalyptus to add a fresh scent and kill germs.
Works well as a repellent when used with peppermint and lemon oil.
Using topically: I would recommend diluting it, but I have used it on my skin without diluting for things like pimples ect. If using using on kids dilution is neccesary. Mix with fractionated coconut oil.
Diffuse to ward off germs.
Lemon is the oil of focus and is a very cleansing and detoxifying oil.
Such a great oil to have on hand for use in the kitchen, can be used in salad dressings, with tahini, olive oil & maple syrup, to make hummus, and in vinaigrette with olive oil as a dressing.
Also delicious for use in cakes, bliss balls and added to sparkling water with grapefruit and lime, or to cocktails.
Detoxifies liver, gall bladder + lymphatic system. A drop in warm water first thing in the morning aids and stimulates digestion. Using essential oil in your water instead of lemon juice is better for your teeth as because it is distilled from the rind and not the juice it doesn’t contain the citric acid, which can erode tooth enamel.
Lemon is a great oil to use in cleaning products due to its purification properties. Its detoxifying for the environment hence why so many cleaning products are lemon scented. It is super easy and cost effective to make your own cleaning products, I love using a mixture of vinegar, water and lemon as a multi-surface cleaner – on windows, glass, counters & sinks.
When diffused it kills air-borne pathogens
Lemon in the diffuser with peppermint is a great blend for focus and clarity. When I need to get sh*t done, this is my blend. 3-5 drops per 100ml of water is recommended for diffusing. I also find it works well rolled underneath the nose with a bit of fractionated coconut oil (FCO) to put that pep in your step.
Lavender is a must have oil, I have it with me at all times as it pretty much assists with everything. Some of which includes;
Stimulates new cell growth
Kills bacteria and has an anti-viral effect making it ideal for skin problems such as dermatitis, acne, psoriasis, dermatitis, sunburn, allergies, burns, insect bites, stings and inflammation. It also reduces scarring.
It eases painful muscles, relieves cramps and spasms in the intestine and uterus and regulates menstrual flow.
It has anti-septic, anti-viral and antibiotic properties making it ideal for coughs, laryngitis, excess mucous and throat infections.
It’s use is also well documented for the treatment of stress, headaches and sleep issues, by calming the nervous system, relieving tension and creating a sense of calm and order.
Can be worn diluted topically or can be diffused, it is also safe to ingest however I tried to make lavender chocolate once but put 3 drops in by accident and ruined the whole batch. So remember less is more, always.
I am absolutely fascinated and enthralled in the use of essential oils to benefit and enhance our busy lifestyles and I hope this information has got you excited about the place for them in your home.
– The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for everyday wellness – Nerys Purchon & Lora Cantele.
– The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy – Third Edition VOL1 – Foundations & Materia Medica – Salvatore Battaglia.
– Modern Essentials – A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.
– Essential Oils for a Clean and Healthy Home – Kasey Schwartz.
– Emotions & Essential Oils – A reference Guide for Emotional Healing 2017 Sixth Edition – Enlightened Alternative Healing.