Fighting the Flu with Essential Oils
Influenza, commonly referred to as "the flu," is an infectious disease with symptoms such as: chills, fever, sore throat, muscle aches and pains, severe headache, coughing, weakness and fatigue and an overall general discomfort. It is more severe than the common cold and caused by a different virus. It is typically transmitted in the air by coughs or sneezes or by contact. The virus can be deactivated by sunlight, detergents, soap and disinfectants, which is where essential oils play their part.
The flu occasionally may develop into direct viral pneumonia or secondary bacterial pneumonia. Those with compromised immune systems are more susceptible. Essential oils in general are anti-infectious, anti-viral and anti-bacterial. They are effective when used as preventatives and fight like warriors when flu "invaders" bypass the defenses.
Infection of all kinds feed on sugar in the diet. Starving the infection will boost the immune response and speed recovery or help avoid succumbing to the flu as it makes its seasonal rounds. When we feel susceptible or have early flu symptoms coming on, we avoid the following because they are sugars or convert to sugar:
- fruits of all kinds
- grains (basmati or long-grain rice may be exceptions)
- dairy (except for homemade fermented dairy products
from raw milk such as kefir and yogurt)
While there is no guarantee that using essential oils will prevent you from contracting the seemingly ubiquitous flu bug, high quality essential oils may help lessen the duration of the symptoms. Our family has avoided the dreaded flu for years by drinking plenty of water, avoiding sugar and using the following oils:
- Plague Defense is applied on bottoms of feet morning and night when the flu is going around. We use it as a gargle (a drop in a little water) if the throat is tender or if we've gotten chilled. It is diffused nightly. We take a drop in a teaspoon of local, raw honey (sometimes with a drop of Lemon essential oil) for a cough.
- Plague Defense Spray is used in public places. We spray shopping cart handles, toilet seats, hands after handling a menu and so on. It can be used as an aerosol spray in lieu of toxic commercial disinfectants.
- Warrior is used on bottoms of feet if we suspect that the invaders have crossed the defenses.
- Respiratory Relief is our favorite for any respiratory issue. We diffuse it, apply topically to back and chest, soak with a few drops mixed with salts in a "hot" bath and have used it as a cough remedy with a drop added to a teaspoon of local, raw honey.
- Lung Healing is a close cousin to Respiratory Relief. It can also be diffused, applied on chest, back and throat, but its claim to fame in our family (and for many of our friends) is how effective it is for lung issues. If we have lung congestion, we put 3 drops of Lung Healing in a capsule and fill the rest up with castor oil (olive oil or any cooking oil will work). We make sure the capsule is fully lubricated with the castor oil and use it as we would a suppository (insert into the rectum at least an inch or so). The results are typically very immediate - coughing subsides and breathing improves. This may need to be repeated a few times and is most effective if it's used at the first sign that the invaders have settled in the lungs. For a lingering, ineffective cough, a drop on/under the tongue helps many.
- Myrtle is our favorite for sinus issues. We swab nostrils to avoid congestion altogether, but if infection sets in, we've found that it eradicates it completely overnight by simply swabbing high into the nostrils. It does not sting and can be used on small children without causing them any discomfort. It's actually a very desirable experience, but please try it on yourself before using it on a child. This way you will know what they are experiencing and can encourage them.
- Digestion Support is the perfect solution if the stomach virus (gastroenteritis) hits. We put a drop on the tongue or a few drops on the abdomen for vomiting and diarrhea. For more information about using essential oils
for gastroenteritis, click here.
- Nasal Inhalers are great to have on hand. We've used these for sinus congestion with great success.
- Nasal Sprays are also beneficial.
The following testimonies are representative of many that we've received.
1. I really blew my diet last week and paid for it, but not as dearly as in the past. After eating a bunch of grains and sweets over the holidays, I further assaulted my immune system by taking a walk on a damp, windy and frigid evening without sufficient warmth. By the time I got inside, I was shivering and my teeth were chattering. Just after midnight I awoke with a very bad sore throat which progressed into a hard cough by early morning. I slept fitfully and chided myself for being so stupid. I should have gotten up and used the oils, but I kept hoping it would go away. By morning, I had a fever and chills along with the sore throat and cough. Here's the amazing part: I took Warrior in a capsule 6 or 7 times through the day, put Ancient Healing on the bottoms of my feet, and for the cough, I put a drop of Frankincense and Lemon on a teaspoon and added small amount of local, raw honey. This was a fantastic remedy for the cough. I had to take it about every hour, but by evening I was hardly coughing at all. I also gargled Plague Defense a few times for the sore throat. By bedtime, I had no fever, hardly a cough and felt 80% better. I took a really warm bath with a few drops of Respiratory Relief mixed with Epsom Salts and soaked that up until the water had cooled down. I took another Warrior capsule, applied the Ancient Healing to the bottoms of my feet, took the cough remedy one last time and rubbed Respiratory Relief all over my chest and neck. I snuggled into bed and slept soundly. Would you believe that the next morning I felt like a new person? I did cough a few times to clear the nighttime mucus, but seriously, I had experienced an astounding recovery from what normally would have lasted several days and left me worn out and weak. Wow!
2. When flu season comes around, I start diffusing Plague Defense in the living area of our home. We've gone several years with the flu bug getting hold of our closest friends, but bypassed it ourselves. I'm confident these oils are effectively defending us.
3. This is my first flu season using essential oils instead of the pharmaceuticals we used to use. When my husband came home with signs of the flu, I remembered the infection-fighting formula you wrote about Warrior, and fixed him a capsule of it right away. He had the chills and a sore throat when he came in, so after taking the Warrior, and gargling a drop of Plague Defense, he laid back in his recliner with a warm blanket. I went to the kitchen and started cooking a chicken so I'd have some soup for him when he woke up. After a couple hours of sound sleep, he woke up and said he felt 90% better. The chills were gone and he was hungry. I gave him another capsule of Warrior and fed him the chicken soup. He stayed up another couple of hours, and by bedtime said he felt totally fine, but I gave him one more capsule for good measure. He woke up saying he'd had the best night's sleep he'd had in months and felt like a top. We both send our love and appreciation to you and your "crew" for making these wonderful oils available to us. The information and care you provide is unsurpassed.
4. I want to share an experience I had last night - a testimony to the power of these oils. I felt nausea coming rapidly on me about bedtime. My stomach was cramping and I had diarrhea. It was basically the typical stomach flu onset. I felt miserable, and I knew I'd fallen victim to the "bug" that many of my co-workers had fought this past week. With a determined vengeance against this "invader," I put a drop of Plague Defense on my tongue, and then I diluted it and rubbed it on my throat. I decided to add some Frankincense to this battle plan. I rubbed the diluted Frankincense and Plague Defense all over my throat, upper torso and shoulders. My stomach was having big fits, and I was near to throwing up, so grabbed the Digestion Support and rubbed a few drops on my abdomen. The nausea subsided almost before I put the lid on the bottle - literally! I went to bed and prayed for "deliverance." I woke up once in the night feeling much better, but still not 100%, so I reapplied the Digestion Support on my stomach and went back to bed. I slept better than usual, and by morning there was no sign of the flu of any kind. These oils are amazing!
5. I have been sick and ended up with a cough that would not go away. A friend of mine suggested that I try putting a drop of Lung Healing under my tongue to see if it would help. I had already been using Respiratory Relief on my chest and diffusing Lung Healing at night. I put one drop of Lung Healing under my tongue, and instantly I could feel a difference in my throat! My throat/bronchial tube felt healed. No irritation at all. So now when I feel a little irritation in my throat, I just put a drop under my tongue and it goes away. Thank you so much for all your help with the oils.
May you have a wonderful, healthy fall,