Lavender essential oil is is my #1 favorite remedy. It has the most uses of almost any essential oil. Lavender essential oil has natural antiviral and antibiotic properties. It is an effective decongestant when inhaled, alieviates body aches when added to a bath, warm compress, or body oil or lotion and applied to the body. I have put a few drops on cotton balls and placed the cotton ball in my ears (like ear buds) to cope with ear ache pain. Many warm mist vaporizers have a way to medications or aromatherapy oils to the steam.
You can add some lavender oil and water to a spray bottle and use the mist to naturally disinfect your home. Natural cleaning is essential to stop the spread of germs, and lavender does a great job of disinfecting. By disinfecting commonly-touched areas, like door knobs, telephones, countertops, etc., you help prevent the spread of disease. Bonus- lavender smells great.
Please note, these healing properties are attributed only to the actual plant-based essential oil. Synthetic fragrance oils have none of the chemical compounds of the real thing, and are worthless for aromatherapy. NEVER ingest essential oils.
Any member of the mint family (peppermint, spearmint, etc.) will help thin mucus. Add some lemon for some extra Vitamin C. You can add mullein to help with chest congestion, anise for sinus congestion, and Slippery Elm for a sore throat.
However, here is what I drink when I feel a cold or flu coming on:
- Ginger root, a piece about the size of your thumb, peeled (aches and fever relief)
- Garlic cloves, at least three, peeled and cut in half (boost immune function)
- 9 whole cloves- the kind you stick in a ham (pain relief)
- 3-4 cinamon sticks, broken (sore throat relief)
- 1 Tablespoon of thyme (antibiotic)
- 5 cups of water, cool
- Honey to taste (enzymes, anti-bacterial, anti-viral properties)
It is recommended to begin drinking this tea at the onset of symptoms for greatest relief. Of course, if you have an allergy to any ingredient, leave it out.
(Technically, this is called a decoction, not a tea, because it uses roots and barks which must be added to cool water and brought to a boil A tea uses leaf or flower parts of the plant and are added to hot, but not boiling water.)
Herbal Tinctures (Extracts)
Tinctures offer concentrated herbal properties in a standardized dosage. Some of the tinctures reputed to help fight the flu include elderberry and golden seal. Reports on echinacea are conflicting. There are many studies (as well as lengthy, historical usage) to suggest that echinacea is effective if begun at the onset of symptoms. There are, however, many studies that show echinacea to be ineffective on the flu.
Where to Buy Herbal and Aromatherapy Supplies
I have had good experiences ordering from the following companies:
- Mountain Rose Herbs They carry bulk herbs, essential oils, and more.
- Herb Pharm They specialize in standardized herbal tinctures (extracts)
Live better, a little every day.