It is that time of year again, and the Flu is roaring through my community. I have been hearing a lot about people using Essential Oils to help. I do not promote or recommend the internal use of Essential Oils because it is beyond the scope of my Aromatherapy practice. What I would suggest is using dried herbs in the form of a tea or tincture for internal use and saving your essential oils for using externally to soothe your body. Seeking the guidance of a Professional Herbalist or Naturopath is a great way to get the information you need to choose and use medicinal herbs that are appropriate for you.
In looking at Aromatherapy for helping to ease Flu symptoms, it is important to know what you are using. Essential oils are extremely powerful and many have contra-indications, particularly for those on medication or with pre-existing medical conditions like high blood pressure. If you are not sure if an essential oil is safe for you to use, it is always a good idea to check with a professional Aromatherapist.
So, if you aren't drinking your essential oils, what are you supposed to do with them?
Inhalation is a powerful method of application and the simplest and oldest way to do this is to put a few drops into a bowl of boiling water, lean over the steam and put a towel over your head to trap the vapours. My favourite essential oils for this are Thyme, which is highly anti-viral and anti-bacterial; Eucalyptus for loosening nasal and chest congestion; Peppermint, which also eases congestion; Lavender, which has anti-viral properties, but is also very good at calming and soothing your emotions. Using one or a combination of these oils can help to ease your suffering. Remember that you can have too much of a good thing, so only use a few drops of oil per bowl of water!
Essential Oils can also be useful if applied in a carrier oil to ease body aches. Oils such as Lavender, Peppermint, Ginger are all very soothing when applied topically. These should be diluted to no more than 2% dilution (no more than 12 drops of Essential Oil in 30ml of carrier oil).
Where Essential Oils can be of greatest benefit is in prevention! Diffusing germ-killing oils like Cinnamon, Clove, Tea Tree, or Eucalyptus in the home can help to clean the air of bugs that may be lingering. This is especially important when someone in the home is sick, as it can help prevent the spread of the illness. Diffusing essential oils in combination with the recommended frequent hand-washing and cleaning frequently touched surfaces can greatly improve the odds of keeping the family healthy.
If you are interested in learning more about Aromatherapy, look here for our upcoming workshop!
Wishing you wellness.