Natural therapies using essential oils treat a wide range of conditions through various applications. The healing properties of plants in essential oils can be harnessed by inhalation, topical application and sometimes via ingestion. Essential oils can be very useful in order to counter the effects of colds and flu.
Experimenting with essential oils needs to be carried out cautiously, since some essential oils are contraindicated in some circumstances, such as pregnancy or hypertension. Certain oils need to be balanced with other oils or diluted with a carrier oil. Essential oils should never be ingested without consulting with a qualified practitioner.
Treating respiratory ailments with essential oils
For colds, flu and congestion, try inhalation as a way to benefit from aromatherapy oils. Oils that contain anti-bacterial, anti-viral properties and treat respiratory problems include eucalyptus, ginger, cypress, lemon, cedarwood, tea tree and lavender. Place a few drops of essential oil of choice into a large bowl of boiling water, cover your head with a towel and inhale. Don’t get too close as steam can burn the nasal passages.
Ward off cold and flu germs by disinfecting the home or office with a clean air blend. Use a glass spray bottle and add 25 drops eucalyptus oil, 15 drops juniper oil and 10 drops lavender oil. Top up with distilled water, shake and spray into the room.
Relief for aches and pains
Some of the best essential oils with analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties include chamomile, lavender, sweet marjoram, thyme and juniper. Add to bath water or use as a compress by adding a capful of oil to a basin of water, soaking a cloth with the mixture and applying to skin.
For aching muscles, blend 5 drops lavender oil, 4 drops marjoram, 4 drops rosemary oil and 30ml sweet almond oil and massage into the affected area.
Mood oils when feeling unwell
Colds and flu can leave one feeling tired, miserable or even a little depressed. Essential oils can help to improve the mood and general sense of well-being.
* Lavender oil is well-known for its relaxing, calming effect and ability to counter sleeplessness.
* Chamomile is a stress-reliever and is gentle enough to calm down irritable, sick children.
* Rose is useful for treating asthma, bronchitis and emotional trauma.
* Grapefruit oil lifts the mood and is used with great success to counter muscle fatigue and stiffness.
* Sandalwood reduces tension and confusion, is ideal for use in depression and calms one down after a day which leaves one feeling run down.
Do not use essential oils directly on the skin – blend with a carrier oil first. Always buy therapeutic grade oil, as cheaper oils are usually impure and may even be toxic.
The Power of Essential Oils by Tanja van Wie, Dischem Benefits Magazine, pages 74 – 77, Issue no. 33