Every year, right around this time, I try and do at least one post on essential oils for the flu.
Nearly every essential oil company now sells a special cold and flu blend. I’ve tried a number of them. I’ve even made my own blend of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon and eucalyptus essential oils and mixed them with a carrier oil. This is what I used throughout the winter, in an attempt to stay healthy.
Did it work? Well, I didn’t get a cold all season. A couple of times I thought I felt one coming on. So I put this mixture on the inside of my wrists. I can’t claim this is why the cold didn’t develop. Actually, I can’t claim or promise that any oil or other natural remedy will keep you healthy. (Instead, this post is written so I can share my personal experience of using essential oils.)
Maybe my scratchy throat wasn’t going to turn into a cold in the first place. I’ll never know. But I plan to always have germ-fighting essential oils in the house.
Essential Oils for the Flu
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There’s an interesting story behind the germ-fighting essential oil blends. The best-known blend is called Thieves. It’s a proprietary blend sold by the Young Living company. This formula appears to have its roots in a Medieval tale, involving four robbers. These men stole from the sick and dying during a plague.
Somehow, they didn’t get sick. This baffled the king, who demanded to know their secret. According to this account, the men came from a family of pharmacists. In those days, medicine was largely plant-based. They knew of a secret recipe to prevent illness. This is what they used to ward off the plague, apparently successfully.
Essential Oils for Fighting Flu
I first learned about germ-fighting blends after reading a blog post about a well-known MLM formula. However, I generally buy my essential oils outside of the multilevel marketing networks. So I decided to try a similar blend, from a company I trusted.
The germ fighting essential oil blend I have in my house right now is sold by Plant Therapy. This is where I get a lot of my oils. I know Plant Therapy essential oils are thoroughly tested for purity and potency.
Essential Oils to Combat Flu
I trust Plant Therapy oils enough to rely upon its Germ Fighter Synergy Blend during flu season. I ordered this blend last year. But it still smells good enough to use this year. (One way to tell when your essential oils have expired is by the smell. The oil will no longer smell the same. So you know not to use it.)
Previously, I’d used a similar blend sold by a smaller essential oil company. I was very happy with this formula as well.
Essential Oils for Respiratory Flu
There’s a long history of using certain herbs and aromatics to treat the flu. With the advent of pharmaceuticals, this concept fell by the wayside. Now, though, there’s a revived interest in natural medicine.
I’m not sure any of the essential oil blends, most of which contain the same five aromatics, were the exact recipe used by the Medieval thieves, if they even existed. I tend to think they did. A museum in Marseilles has reference to an ancient disease-fighting recipe.
Essential Oils for Flu Virus
It’s interesting to note the individual oils in these blends do show evidence of microbe busting in the lab. One of the blends, sold by multilevel marketing giant doTerra, was found to kill the influenza virus in the lab. We still don’t know if the same thing happens in the human body.
Do Terra also contains a slightly different mix of essential oils, compared to the other brands. For instance, my germ-fighting blend sold by Plant Therapy is made from lemon, rosemary, eucalyptus, clove and cinnamon essential oils. On Guard is made with orange, instead of lemon essential oil.
However, I prefer not to buy my oils from multilevel marketing networks. That’s because I know excellent choices exist elsewhere. I use my Germ Fighting blend with complete confidence it’s as good as anything sold by an MLM company.
What Essential Oils Are Good for the Flu?
Essential oils have been used for ages, to treat infectious disease as well as a host of other conditions. Aromatherapists believe that essential oils can help a wide range of physical and emotional problems.
Only recently have scientists begun to explore essential oils. In the lab, a number of essential oils have demonstrated they contain compounds that destroy pathogens.
Right now, it seems as if the most common oils used in germ-fighting blends are the five aromatics I mentioned earlier – clove, cinnamon, rosemary, eucalyptus and lemon essential oil. However, other essential oils are known (or strongly believed) to have germ-fighting ability. I’ve also used a germ-busting blend made with all of the above oils, except for rosemary. Peppermint and oregano were used instead. This formula smelled really good. It also seemed to work.
What is a Good Essential Oil for the Flu?
Single essential oils can be used to help fight the flu. For instance, lemon essential oil is considered a good all-around cold and flu remedy.
However, I prefer aromatic blends. That’s because it’s believed that using multiple oils at once creates a “synergy.” That’s why these formulas are often known as synergy blends. You see this principle in herbal medicine too.
Herbalists, much like aromatherapists, like to recommend multi-oilrecipes. So when I think of germ-fighting essential oils, I immediately think about blends.
One popular germ-fighting blend known as On Guard was scientifically proven to kill the influenza virus in a laboratory setting.
Other individual oils typically used in various germ fighting blends have also demonstrated antimicrobial activity in the lab.
Essential Oils for Flu and Cough
Plant Therapy Germ Fighter is an excellent product. But it has one drawback. It contains ingredients that shouldn’t be used with children under 10. But the company also offers an alternative called Germ Destroyer. This is designed for children between the ages of 2 and 10. (Essential oils are not recommended for children younger than 2.)
You can see both of these blends below. Adults can use either Germ Fighter or Germ Destroyer, which contains full-strength spruce, marjoram, lavender, rosalina and lemon essential oils. These oils are still very strong, but are considered safe for children.
Essential Oils to Help the Flu
I want to stress that I’m not a doctor or a medical professional. So I can’t give medical advice. Above all, I also can’t claim or promise that any of the essential oils on this page will keep you healthy. All I can do is share my personal experience of using essential oils. Aromatics are my first line of defense when I’m sick.
Sometimes, I also use homeopathic remedies. I’ve used homeopathy ever since my children were little, because I’m committed to natural healing. I never buy OTC cold medication. Actually, I don’t even own any OTC pain relievers either. I feel I don’t need them. The little benefit they provide far outweigh their potential risks, as far as I’m concerned.
Homeopathy is amazingly effective for minor illnesses, such as upper respiratory infections. But it’s not a user friendly healing method. You need to choose the exact remedy. This is often difficult to do, unless you’re working with a professional. That’s one reason essential oils have a huge advantage over homeopathic remedies. I wish I knew about essential oils when my children were little.
Essential Oils for Flu Prevention
Presumably, you can also use germ-fighting essential oils for flu prevention. Again, I can’t claim or promise this will work. But I’ve used them before myself, with the same idea in mind. One fall I was worried more than usual about infectious disease. So I ran a cold air diffuser every evening. This ensured that everyone in my family was breathing a germ-fighting blend.
Inhalation is considered one of the best ways to get essential oils into your body. If you diffuse your oils, the fine aromatic mist reaches your lungs. From there, it goes to your bloodstream. Some people like to run a diffuser when family member is sick, in hopes the illness won’t make its way through the house.
If you don’t already own an essential oil diffuser, you can probably find them at your local health food store. They’re also widely available online.
How To Use Plant Therapy Germ Fighter
Aside from diffusing your essential oils, there are a number of other ways to use them. You can put a drop or two on a cloth, and keep it nearby. You can also use essential oils for massage. However, first, you’d need to dilute them with a carrier oil. A carrier is an oily oil that protects your skin. Essential oils are highly concentrated. Germ fighting blends also use very potent oils. So you definitely need a carrier, such as grapeseed oil or fractionated coconut oil.
You only need about 3 drops of essential oil to one teaspoon of carrier oil. (This is why essential oils can last a long time.) This mixture can then be applied inside your wrists. Once an essential oil hits your skin, it will travel to your bloodstream. You can also put germ-fighting blends on your feet. This is a good idea if you have sensitive skin.
I’ve seen a lot of bad essential oil advice. But some of the worst involves germ-fighting blends. Some people tell other people to put these blends in capsules, and swallow daily during flu season.
However, it’s not a good idea to use essential oils internally. Professional aromatherapists generally frown upon this practice. It’s considered unsafe, unless you’re working with a medical doctor trained in this application.
I don’t take my oils internally, because there’s no need to do that. That’s because massage and inhalation are both very effective.
For More Reading
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.