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Every year I manage to side step the colds and flu that sweeps through town although I do tend to suffer a bit from the odd allergy here and there. Only a handful of times in my life have I ever been super sick.

I was feeling pretty good, dare I say a bit smug, and fairly confident that all of my healthy eating, yoga and dedication to juicing were going to ward off any germs that should come my way. And then I got sick. Like, really sick. As in- I cannot even get out of bed because I’m so sick.

After trying my homeopathic remedies and still not feeling any better, I dragged myself to urgent care where I was diagnosed with bronchitis and a sinus infection and that was ten days ago. I cannot seem to shake whatever sickness is bringing me down and all I want to do is lay in bed and sleep.

Frustrated with medicine and my immune system, I started looking up essential oils for their therapeutic effect. Essential oils contain antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial properties and can stimulate the immune system, circulation and respiratory system, and help protect against the flu, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts, and more.  (source)

Something called Thieves Blend is supposed to be great for colds and the flu. This is a blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary. The blend is credited by 15th century thieves who rubbed these oils on themselves during the Black Plague so they didn’t contract any diseases while robbing the dead. How innovative! Nothing like a good  blend of oil for getting the stench of the dead off yourself!

You can diffuse any essential oils in an aromatic mist diffuser, you can rub a few drops on the bottom of your feet,  and use a little in a spray bottle with distilled water. In a pinch, you can add a few drops to your hands and breathe in deeply.

The favored application during illness is on the bottoms of the feet. Why apply to the feet? I had to look this up and here’s what I found-“The feet are the second fastest area of the body to absorb oils because of the large pores. Other quick absorbing areas include behind the ears and on the wrists.”

Here’s how essential oils work: “Molecules inhaled through the nose or mouth are also carried to the lungs and interact with the respiratory system. Thus, inhaled essential oils can affect the body through several systems and pathways.” source

You can buy the Thieves blend, a powerful tonic, already made or make it yourself. Here’s a recipe from Mountain Rose Herbs:

Ingredients:

40 drops organic Clove Bud essential oil

35 drops organic Lemon essential oil

20 drops organic Cinnamon Bark essential oil

15 drops organic Eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops organic Rosemary essential oil –

Mix all essential oils together in a dark glass bottle.

It might be good idea to have several essential oils on hand in case of the appearance of a cold or flu. Its always good to be prepared especially when you have kids, notorious for bringing school germs home!

For a cold, try these essential oils:  Tea Tree- Eucalyptus – Lavender – Cinnamon – Peppermint

For the flu:  Lavender – Eucalyptus – Clove

For a cough: Lemon – Marjoram – Lavender – Eucalyptus – Rosemary – Thyme

My favorite is eucalyptus oil! I love it for the clean uplifting scent. I always have a bottle of it for my special cleaning solution. I came across this information about my favorite oil:

Eucalyptus essential oil stimulates the regeneration of lung tissue and is excellent medicine for all types of respiratory conditions, including coughs, nasal mucus (snotty/ stuffy nose), and congestion, sinusitis, hay fever, emphysema, malaria, bronchitis, pneumonia, tuberculosis, and chest infections. When dealing with respiratory issues the most effective way to use Eucalyptus essential oil is to massage it into the chest and upper back area, as well as on the bottoms of feet, and also inhale it or diffuse it into the air. source

Have you tried using essential oils for the cold or flu? Will you keep some on hand this season? I think its a good idea to have some oils ready in case of illness! I ordered some Thieves from Amazon.com and a diffuser from iherb.com.

Additional reading:

Essential oil application

More on how to apply essential oils