Are you looking for a natural way to fight common illnesses? Essential oils might be the answer.
Nandini Weitzman, a licensed clinical nutritionist in the state of New York and an alternative health practitioner who has been using Young Living essential oils and oil-based products for 13 years, recommends that you keep five essential oils on hand to help ward off or reduce the severity of a cold, cough, virus, fever or flu.
These oils are oregano, lemon, peppermint, Respiratory Comfort (known as “RC”) and Thieves. RC is a blend of myrtle, spruce, peppermint, pine, lavender and marjoram oils and three varieties of eucalyptus oil. Thieves is a blend of clove, cinnamon bark, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus radiata oils.
While all five oils work to ease common illnesses, they have their specialties.
- Thieves and oregano are best for the flu.
- Lemon oil is most effective in warding off or reducing the severity of a virus.
- Thieves and oregano can be good at controlling a virus, too.
- Peppermint is best known for reducing or preventing a cold, cough or fever.
- RC works well when it’s applied to the chest or back or when it’s diffused or inhaled for sinus or chest relief.
- Thieves works well to combat a cough. The essential oil can ward off the illness if you act quickly as soon as you feel the first signs of getting sick. The oil helps reduce the severity of the sickness if you act after you’re sick.
How to Use These Oils
You can breathe in these oils so they enter the body through the nose and lungs, rub them on the skin for quick absorption, or consume the oils in a capsule or lozenge. Nandini recommends using a cold air essential oil diffuser to diffuse the oil into the air and breathe it in. She says this method is especially effective because smelling is our most direct sense, sending the oil directly to the amygdala, the part of the brain where the seat of emotions is located.
Breathing the oil into your sinuses and lungs can help prevent or alleviate the mucus buildup from a cold or a cough. Cold air diffusers also protect the oil quality, unlike heat, which can damage the oil and make it less effective.
You also can boil any size pot of water, add four or five drops of oil to the boiled water, cover your head with a towel and, while holding your head over the liquid, let the steam enter your sinuses and lungs. The oils, carried by the steam water molecules, will start to release and neutralize the pathogens that have taken residence in these areas.
Applying Oil Directly on the Skin
For flu you can apply the oil in strokes to the back, right next to the spine. The skin absorbs the oil quickly as essential oils naturally penetrate the cell wall and work inside the cell. Nandini also suggests putting a drop or two of oil on a warm washcloth and then placing the washcloth on your chest to help ease a chest cold. She recommends rubbing some oil directly on your chest or back to fight a cold or a virus.
Naturally Reduce Your Baby’s Fever
An easy way to reduce a fever in a baby is to put a drop of peppermint oil on the tip of your finger and then run your finger along the bottom of the baby’s foot. Let the oil sit on the baby’s foot for a short time and the fever should decrease. You can let the baby smell the remaining oil on your hand. This method also can work on older children. If a child complains about the scent, simply put a sock on the child’s foot to mask the smell.
Lozenges for a Cough
For a cough you can try a Thieves oil-based throat lozenge, spray or mouthwash. If you take a lozenge, Nandini recommends keeping it between the back teeth and cheek to allow the juice of the lozenge to drip along the back of your throat. So, the next time you feel like you’re getting sick, perhaps consider one of these essential oils for a natural road to recovery.
Nandini Weitzman can be reached at email@example.com.
- By Jessica Braun
Jessica Braun is a writer and an editor at WholesomeOne. She can be reached at jessica.braun[at]wholesomeone[dot]com.