What Essential Oils Can Fight Viruses
By Cal Orey
Forget risky drugs or waiting for a vaccine and use one of these nature’s pharmacy potions for immune health instead.
People have been using essential oils to help beat flu and plagues for centuries. Top health doctors know certain essential oils contain antiviral and antibacterial components for bolstering immunity against germs.
In the twenty-first century, viruses and bacterial infections are contracted wherever you go, be it at the workplace, store, airplane, or even your home with family and friends. Essential oils and their protective compounds may help guard you from catching a virus or flu—deadly even in a present-day pandemic as we live with a novel virus spreading around the globe.
As we learn more about Covid-19, a new respiratory virus—coronavirus--and other viruses and the flu (common in the fall and winter) we are not powerless. Nobody is immune. But it doesn't take a virologist to figure out that if you bolster your immune system, your body will be in better shape to ward off a virus and fight the symptoms of getting sick and if you do fall ill you may get well faster.
Here are essential oils that you can use to stave off viruses as part of your anti-virus arsenal to stay well.
5 Oils to Bolster Your Immune System
#1 Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus oil is one of the best essential oils to keep the flu at because it apparently boosts your immune system. Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, founder of the Pacific Aromatherapy Institute points out that “the most effective essential oils for viral infections are those with sizable contents of cineole, mono terpene alcohol, and mono terpene hydrocarbons.” He adds, “These types of components form an effective antiviral synergy.”
What Scent-sational Rx to Use: Mix 6 drops of eucalyptus oil into a large pot of hot water. Cover your head with a lightweight towel and inhale the steam for a few minutes.
Why You’ll Feel Essentially Fine: Research shows that eucalyptus oil may be helpful because of its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Bronchitis, which is a viral health ailment that can be contagious, too, can be made less severe and recovery may be quicker than if one inhales eucalyptus oil.
#2 Lavender. During the fall and winter months when the temperature drops and we’re indoors more and closer to people, colds are common. But the right essential oil can help bolster your immunity and keep a miserable cold at bay!
What Scent-sational Rx to Use: Take a lavender-scented bath. Mix 3 drops of essential lavender oil with ¼ cup of jojoba or almond oil. Put the concoction into a tub filled with water.
Why You’ll Feel Essentially Fine: Lavender is a calming bacteria-fighting essential oil. Its anti-inflammatory compounds can help to keep you safeguarded against germs found on surfaces and the environment.
#3 Rosemary. When you have that irritating tickle in your throat and need to cough, well, its’ irritating. Hacking can hurt, too!
What Scent-sational Rx to Use: Combine 4 drops of rosemary essential oil into a diffuser or vaporizer. Or simply put the oil onto a handkerchief and take a whiff or two.
Why You’ll Feel Essentially Fine: Rosemary can be an aid to lessen the need to cough with due credit to a compound called 1,8-cinole. It may calm the muscles in the respiratory system, preventing coughing.
#4 Lemon. Ouch! A sore throat is an unwelcome irritation of scratch pain when you talk and swallow. It can be a sign that you may be coming down with a cold or flu. (Refer to #1.) Or it could be caused by seasonal allergies or even talking too much.
What Scent-sational Rx to Use: Try putting 1 drop of lemon oil in 8 ounces of hot water. Add 1 teaspoon raw honey for taste. Repeat twice daily.
Why You’ll Feel Essentially Fine: The oil has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. This popular oil also may trigger saliva, which can keep the throat hydrated. Use the magical cure--you’ll be chatting soon!
#5 Sage. The primary compounds include the main antibacterial compounds, including a-pinene, camphor, b-pinene, nyrcene, and limonene—which may help lessen the risk of developing inflammation, and even protect again microbes.
What Scent-sational Rx to Use: Make a spray or lotion including sage oil isn’t a bad idea. Note to self: Bring a sage spray before entering hotel rooms when traveling, and at home after being around people.
Why You’ll Feel Essentially Fine: Sage oil is a versatile essential oil. It can be used in a vaporizer to zap germs and fight viruses. You can use it diluted with a carrier oil such as olive oil. Sage is also a culinary oil—which means diluted you can use it (1 toothpick drop) in a soup or fish dish with garlic, another germ warrior.
The bottom line: The essential oil cure may be the cure-all for you. Plus, taking care of you during uncertain times – can provide more health benefits and keep your immune system healthy.
8 Anti-Virus Warrior Tips to Fight Against Germs
During the fall we're often indoors more often and can cause us to be more vulnerable to catching a cold or flu. Other ways to build your immune system? Take a look.
1. Drink plenty of fluids. Drinking water, herbal teas, and vitamin C-rich liquids can flush out any toxins that you accumulate.
2. Wash your hands often to keep germs away.
3. Eat right. Plant-based foods contain carotenoids and flavonoids that have antiviral and antibacterial activity. So eating nutritious produce daily will help keep your immune system strong.
4. Forego sugar. Sugar can interfere with the proper functioning of the immune system.
5. Take vitamin C and D or get it in fortified foods like cereal, juice, or milk. Most of the research says that it improves the immune system.
6. Zinc yourself well. Zinc is a potent virus-fighter that can cut the time you spend in misery.
7. Exercise, exercise, exercise. It lowers stress levels and ups better sleep to allow the immune to get revitalized." pointed out the health practitioner that taught me well.
8. Chill out. By keeping your stress levels down, sleep better and you can keep your immune system up and healthy.
Cal Orey, M.A. Is an author and journalist. Her books include the Healing Powers Series (Vinegar, Olive Oil, Chocolate, Honey, Coffee, Tea, Superfoods, Essential Oils, and Herbs and Spices) published by Kensington. (The collection has been featured by the Good Cook Book Club.) For more information.