Sniffle, sniffle, sneeze. It's cold + flu season in Canada and already, my phone is ringing off the hook with calls for substitute teaching jobs due to classroom teachers taking sick days. Ah, the life of anyone who leaves their house in the winter - germs, germs everywhere. But wait! What if I told you that you could curb a cold before it even starts? What if I told you that you could clean the air in your classroom/home/workspace to keep germs at bay? Beat cold + flu season this year with some natural remedies to get you back up and running in no time.
The Remedy: Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil is an insanely effective anti-viral essential oil that can be used to treat a whole myriad of respiratory issues from the common cold to blocked sinuses to chest congestion. Anytime I feel a tickle in my throat, I grab my eucalyptus oil and boil a kettle of water to do a steam. 4-6 drops is more than enough to add to your bowl of water before putting a towel over your head and deep breathing through both your mouth and your nose for 10-15 mins; throw on a podcast and relax! Alternately, if you have a diffuser at home, you can diffuse some eucalyptus oil as well. (Though I personally think a steam is much more beneficial if you feel a cold coming on as it's more direct) The key is to attack the germs as soon as you feel the cold coming on - the more it invades your system, the longer it takes to leave.
Cautions: Eucalyptus globulus, which is the main genus of eucalyptus that is sold in stores (and is the type that we sell at Dadirri Naturals) is not safe for children under the age of 10 years old due to chemical constituents which can inhibit breathing.
The Remedy: Peppermint Oil
Headaches related to cold/flu can be combatted with peppermint essential oil, which is a cooling oil. Studies have shown that a combination of 50% peppermint and 50% lavender have been as effective as taking a painkiller! If using for a headache, the oil is best applied to your temples and the back of your neck. (Diluted to a maximum of 3% which works out to 3 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil such as coconut or olive oil)
The Remedy: Ginger Oil
Ginger has a long history in the world of natural/alternative medicine and is one of the best oils I can recommend for upset stomach. Spicy and warming, you can add up to 3 drops into a teaspoon of carrier oil and rub it directly onto your stomach to ease indigestion, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. Don't have ginger essential oil on hand? Steep a cup of tea that contains ginger or cut up some fresh ginger and add it to hot water with some honey from your local beekeeper.
Germs in General
The Remedy: Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has a medicinal scent that you rave about in either a good way or a bad way. Love it or hate it, it's another great antiviral and antibacterial oil that works well to clean and purify the air in your home/workspace. Diffusing tea tree oil when members of your family or your coworkers are sick can help to kill any germs that are in the air, thus decreasing the spread of them.
While using natural remedies can certainly help, it's always important to consult with a medical professional if your symptoms are not getting any better. Here's to staying happy and healthy this winter!
Love, Ash XO