The temperature is rising; you’re dreaming of long, hot, sunny days at the beach… But then the sniffles start! All too often, colds and flu can hit as the seasons change. Luckily, it’s possible to tackle the symptoms and protect yourself from future illnesses in a natural way, rather than having to sit in a dreary doctor’s surgery to be handed a packet of Panadol!
Essential oils are more than just nice scents (although they do smell great)! All of them have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties in different degrees, so they can help keep infections to a minimum, boost your immunity and raise your energy levels when your symptoms have left you feeling low.
Begin by diffusing some essential oils in your home and in your bedroom if you’re feeling really grotty. You don’t need to diffuse a lot each day; just a few drops in the air in the evening is a great first line of defense against icky viruses and bacteria! When you breathe in the diffused essential oils, they go straight into your lungs, so they’re quickly absorbed into your bloodstream and transported to the parts of your body that need their healing properties. Nature’s very own medicine!
You can also use essential oils as a skin rub, which will release them into your body more slowly, but we suggest you mix them with a carrier oil or lotion before massaging onto your chest or feet. Let’s face it, who doesn’t like a foot rub when they are feeling sickly?! Essential oils can be used in mouthwash too, but don’t use too much! They are so strong that you won’t want more than a drop or two in a regular small bottle of water. Remember not to swallow! Essential oils shouldn’t be ingested unless your doctor prescribes them to you, as they can harm your stomach and throw off the delicate balance of healthy bacteria in your gut.
So which essential oils should you be using?
Well, when you’ve already been exposed to yucky germs and viruses Bay Laurel, Cinnamon leaf, Eucalyptus globulus, Frankincense, Oregano and Sage are thought to increase the activity in different parts of your immune system.
When you’ve recovered from your cold and want to build your defences back up Bergamot, Chamomile, Lavender, Lemon, Myrrh, Pine, Tea Tree and our favourites, Rosemary, Thyme and Sandalwood can help keep your white blood cells in production and improve immunity.