How to Skip the Cold and Flu Season With These 5 Essential Oils
(This is a guest post from John Bejakovic joining us from unusualhealth.com)
Have I stocked up on tissues?
Do I have my thermometer ready?
As November approaches each autumn, I start thinking about the more unpleasant side-effects of the coming cold weather. At the top of the list — getting sick with the flu.
Sure, there have been winters when I managed to get through without catching anything.
Typically though, I wind up wasting a week or two each winter, sneezing and coughing, fatigued and feverish, counting each long minute until I get better.
But is stocking up on tissues the only thing you can do to prepare for the flu? Isn’t there any way to avoid it altogether?
Today, I want to share a new approach I’m taking to minimize my chances of getting sick this winter.
First, Build Immunity
Before I get to that though, I want to address the best way to avoid any kind of illness, and that’s building up your natural immunity. If you are looking for more info on this topic, Melissa has a great article about how she uses 4 whole foods to boost her immunity naturally.
Oh, and what about the flu shot?
Personally, I don’t get it, mostly because the one time I did get the shot, I felt lousy for a few days, and I still got sick later in the season.
Melissa has also written down her reasons for avoiding the flu shot, which are more substantial and well-researched than mine. One of the things she points out is that the flu shot still gives you a 40% chance of becoming sick with the flu.
Anyways, I’m not here to convince you one way or another about the flu shot.
Instead, I want to tell you about a completely separate way to deal with viruses and bacteria. It’s something that can be combined with whatever approach you are taking to stay healthy.
So what exactly am I talking about?
Use Antiviral Essential Oils
It’s simple. I’m talking about using antiviral essential oils as a daily routine. Let me explain.
It turns out plants get viral infections just like we do. (Plants don’t get the flu, but they do get infected by various other viruses.)
And while plants don’t have immune systems like we do, they do have their own mechanisms for fighting off various invaders and intruders. Essential oils (basically aromatic plant extracts) are one of these protective mechanisms.
The good news is that essential oils from a few different plants seem to be effective against not just plant viruses, but also viruses that plague human beings like you and me.
How do we know? Well, scientists have tested many essential oils in the lab, and mixed them with cultures of various viruses. The viruses either break down or have trouble spreading as effectively as they would otherwise.
Beyond this, there’s also a lot of anecdotal evidence — many people who have started using essential oils in their lives claim to have skipped the cold and the flu, year after year.
So let’s say there is a reasonable possibility essential oils can reduce your chances of getting sick this winter… What should you do to actually make this happen?
Lots of essential oils seem to have antiviral effects, but the following 5 have repeated scientific backing:
- Tea Tree
The first step would be to get a few of these oils for your own collection at home. If you are looking for advice on where to actually buy essential oils, I’ve prepared a list of 9 essential oil companies that are recommended by multiple aromatherapy experts.
Once you have your oils, what should you do with them? There are lots of different ways to use essential oils, so let me tell you my own simple protocol.
First, while I’m at home, I diffuse one or more of these essential oils (typically just peppermint). I do this in a low-tech way: put a few drops of essential oil onto a cotton ball, and leave this to sit somewhere close to me.
A fancier option is to get a diffuser — a little gadget that vaporizes the essential oils and disperses them throughout the air in your home. I haven’t gotten one of these yet, but it’s on the list.
The second thing I do is to inhale deeply from a bottle of essential oil (most commonly tea tree) throughout the day.
I do this particularly if I’ve just come in from outside, where I’m more likely to be exposed to viruses due to the colder, drier air. It’s become a kind of health ritual, much like washing my hands when I come home.
And that’s all there is to it!
Give Them a Try!
If you’re skeptical that such a simple process can keep you from getting the flu this year, here are a few things to consider:
- Many of the scientific studies that confirmed the antiviral properties of essential oils used very low concentrations, down to 0.025%
- Inhalation seems to be a very good way of getting essential oils into the body, with up to 70% bioavailability
- I haven’t gotten sick! I know it’s early in the season, but several people I come into daily, close contact with have been sick for weeks, and have been sneezing and coughing all around me.
So why not give it a try? Essential oils smell great, they have a ton of other uses, and they might just keep you flu-free over the coming winter months.
John Bejakovic blogs about essential oils at unusualhealth.com. If you’re new to essential oils and would like to learn more, check out his free 7-day email course on using essential oils for improving your health.