We all know the misery of a cold: fatigue, the chills, bodily aches and pains, headache, congestion, sneezing and coughing… Before you reach for over the counter, synthetic medicines with many side effects, why not try a natural remedy instead? Using essential oils for colds and flu relief is an effective, all-natural treatment and an excellent alternative to prescription and over-the-counter medicines.
For your nose :
To fight a cold use eucalyptus radiata (not eucalyptus globulus). Extracted from the eucalyptus tree, this oil has a number of health benefits including powerful anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti septic, astringent, antispasmodic, analgesic (pain killing) and expectorant properties.
1- Steam inhalation with eucalyptus
Steam inhalation is like an essential oil sauna.
For best results, follow these steps:
- Place up to seven drops of eucalyptus oil in a large pot or bowl of boiling water.
- Lean over the bowl (keep about ten inches away or you may get a steam burn) and cover your head with a towel to create a tent.
- Close your eyes and breathe through your nose during 5 minutes. It is essential that you inhale the vapours through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
This will help reduce the inflammation of your mucosal linings, expel the phlegm built up in your airways and help make you breathe easier. Do this at least three times a day in case of a severe cold and two times a day in case of a moderate one.
2- Drop some eucalyptus oil under your pillow
When you sleep or lie down, you might have noticed that it gets more difficult to breathe. All the mucus tends to collect in the nose and throat sometimes causing breathlessness.
A good remedy to beat that is to apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a soft cloth and placing it just below your pillow cover. The gradual release of the oil’s aroma will help unblock your nose and give you a good night’s sleep.
Do this for at least three nights in succession.
3- Put some eucalypsus on a handkerchief and keep it with you throughout the day
Most people don’t have the time to practice inhalation three times a day. So if you are on the go, this remedy is for you. Take a few drops of eucalyptus oil on your handkerchief (do not put it on tissue it will not help as the oil will evaporate very quickly), and keep sniffing it throughout the day.
To help the scent last longer you could seal the handkerchief in a zip lock bag and sniff it when you feel really uneasy. You could alternatively carry a small bottle of the oil with you and reapply it to the handkerchief throughout the day.
For your throat :
Make yourself a hot tea with fresh ginger, honey and lemon.
See below my magic recipe:
- Pour 1 cup boiling water or hot tea over the fresh ginger root peeled and sliced and let it steep for 3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, put the lemon juice and the honey in a large mug.
- Strain the ginger tea into the mug if desired – I like to leave the ginger chunks in.
- Stir to dissolve the honey.
- Add whiskey if desired (recommended at bedtime only!)
You can help relieve headaches by dabbing a drop of diluted peppermint oil onto your temples.
CAUTION ! Peppermint oil should never be used un-diluted directly onto your skin. There are many ways to dilute it including almond oil and coconut oil.
Natural solutions work just as well as prescripted drugs and are way healthier. Essential oils are exceptionally therapeutic. If you take the time to learn about them they are a wonderful alternative to OTC medicine. Keep it in mind while going through the winter !