Essential oils can be a useful alternative to over the counter medications when self medicating for colds, viruses and flu. Treatment is most effective if started at the first signs of illness. The best way to utilise these oils is either:
Steam Inhalation: This has several beneficial effects. It clears the congested nasal passages, soothes the inflamed mucous membranes and kills many of the bacteria and viruses. Either use a specially designed pot or simply a bowl containing hot water. Just add 2-3 drops of your chosen oil in hot (not boiling) water and inhale gently but deeply. Repeat 2-3 times daily. Use the more stimulating oils such as Eucalyptus and Tea Tree earlier in the day and more soothing oils such as Lavender nearer to bedtime.
Bathing – just add 3-4 drops of your chosen oil to the bath and soak for 10 – 15 minutes.
Vapourising – use your chosen essential oils in a burner or diffuser to purify and scent the air in your home. This is a good method when you want to provide general protection from cold and flu viruses for the whole family.
Good anti-viral and protective oils include:
- Tea Tree