When I get sick my first line of defense is homeopathy.
But I realize not everyone has homeopathic remedies or access to homeopathic care.
(It may not be a bad idea to buy some homeopathic remedies, though, for when the next time you’re hit with the flu.)
Essential oils are not homeopathy, which involves giving a highly diluted substance, which in crude form will cause the symptoms you want to relieve.
But you can still use essential oils when you have the flu. (However, don’t use them with alongside homeopathic remedies because the strong aroma will cancel out your remedies.)
Aromatherapy is good support if you have no homeopathic remedies in the house.
Flu fighting aromatherapy blends are inspired by a medieval recipe. Whether or not the story behind this legend is true, here’s how this blend has helped me.
Perhaps this is just a coincidence. But here’s what happened.
A number of winters ago, for the first time in my entire life, I didn’t get sick. Everyone else was coughing and sneezing. A few times, I did feel a cold coming on.
I developed a sore throat, along with that achy, rundown feeling. But I grabbed my infection-fighting blend, and put some on the inside of my wrists. Very quickly, my symptoms subsided and didn’t come back.
Of course, I can’t prove any association between the fact that I somehow managed to stay healthy, using an ancient aromatic recipe. (Nor can I imply you’ll see the same results, and I have to make it clear I’m not promising a cure for bronchitis or any other condition.)
But consider adding essential oils to your winter defense arsenal.
Nowadays cold and flu season is much worse. So I take quercetin, zinc, Vitamin C and D when I feel something coming on. Then I take a well-indicated homeopathic remedy.
Flu fighting blends I use for prevention only now. (As long as I’m not using them at the same time I’m using homeopathy.)
One year, I had ordered a lot of germ-fighting oils. I used them all the time. Most nights, I added it to my cold air diffuser, which I kept on the kitchen counter. Although my family members didn’t put this blend on their wrists, as I did, they still inhaled the medicinal compounds. My husband did catch a slight cold. It lasted a couple of days. So did my daughter. She recovered quickly as well.
Was it because of our aromatic blend? I’ll never know. However, I like to have them in the house. Of course, once again, I’m not promising anyone the same results. I can’t claim an essential oil blend will spare you from the flu.
Thieves Oil for Sale
Thieves oil is sold by the Young Living company. It is an excellent product with research behind it. One study showed it killed several strains of bacteria in the lab. If you want to order some of the original proprietary germ-fighting oil, it’s available online.
Young Living makes the original proprietary Thieves oil blend. It’s probably the best well known of all the germ-fighting aromatic formulas available. A number of competitors also market similar products.
One germ-fighting blend made by the doTerra company has also been researched. The name of this product is OnGuard. In the lab, doTerra OnGuard was found to kill one strain of the influenza virus.
Essential Oils for Germs
There are a few variations in the story of how these germ-fighting oils came into being. Here’s the most common. In the Middle Ages, a band of thieves was getting rich. They robbed the sick, with no apparent fear of contracting the disease. Once apprehended, they were pressured to confess. If they told their secret, they’d receive a lighter sentence.
As the story goes, these four men possessed a secret recipe. It was handed down by family members, some of whom were apothecaries. This blend protected them from getting sick.
The original, proprietary Thieves oil contains clove, cinnamon, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus oils. So do a number of other brands. These competitors are often collectively referred to as “four thieves” oils.
Whether or not this story is true, I stocked up on this particular four thieves type blend one year. This is the brand I now have in my house. It’s made by a small company located in California.
Thieves Oil for Cold and Flu
I need to make it clear that the original Thieves was created by the Young Living company. But I like to offer my readers different options. I also need to point out that I’m not a doctor, so I can’t give medical advice. Nor can I claim any ancient medieval recipe will keep you well, when everyone else is sniffing and sneezing. But I can share what I know about the various aromatic products designed for germs.
Germ-fighting blends are now sold by a number of competing essential oil companies. They go by different names. There are now are numerous variations on the recipe.
But the most commonly used ingredients are cinnamon, clove, lemon, rosemary and eucalyptus. Mixing these together produces a a very distinctive fragrance. Last flu season, when I diffused this mix throughout my kitchen, my daughter remarked that it “smelled like fall.”
I can’t claim that Thieves oil (or similar products) can cure bronchitis. That’s because I’m not aware of any clinical trials on using essential oils to treat this condition. However, I can tell you that this recipe has become a popular folk remedy for the flu.
Bronchitis is a condition in which the lining of the bronchial tubes becomes inflamed. This condition often follows an upper respiratory infection. It usually goes away on its own. If you’re fighting chest congestion, many aromatherapists recommended inhaling essential oils and rubbing them (diluted) on your chest.
So, if you want to whip of your own batch of medieval-inspired germ-fighting oils, here’s how to do it.
- 50 drops of clove bud oil (available here)
- 38 drops of lemon oil (available here)
- 22 drops of cinnamon oil (available here)
- 18 drops of eucalyptus oil (available here)
- 12 drops of rosemary oil (available here)
Put this mixture in a covered glass jar. A dark jar is better, but you can also use a clear glass jar if you store it in a dark place. This blend can be put into a cold air diffuser with water. Add about 10 drops. Or it can be used or massage if you first dilute it with a carrier oil. Put two drops of your homemade thieves blend in one teaspoon of olive oil, or another neutral carrier oil, such as coconut. Some aromatherapists say not to use this blend on children under 10, because it’s so strong.
Thieves Oil for Colds
If you don’t want to buy several different types of oils to make this one blend, an easier approach is to buy it already made. One option is to get the original Young Living Thieves. Or you can buy a very similar product from one of the many competitors.
Plant Therapy Germ Fighter Synergy Blend, shown here, contains the five essential oils most often used in making germ-busting blends. This is a company I’ve purchased from multiple times. I use essential oils every day, and I usually buy them outside of the MLM networks. For me, Plant Therapy is a good alternative. Each batch is tested for purity and potency. On its line of KidSafe oils, Plant Therapy also works with Robert Tisserand, a world-known aromatherapist and a leading expert on essential oil safety.
Research on Thieves Oil
There’s some research on the original Thieves, made by Young Living. Researchers at Weber State University in Utah showed this five-oil formula was highly effective against certain pathogens when diffused in the air. After 10 minutes, it had killed 96 percent of Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacteria in a laboratory setting.
Just to be clear, the original Thieves is made by Young Living, and its product was the subject of the study cited above. We can’t assume the same results will be seen with other labels.
When to Call a Doctor for Bronchitis
Because I’m not a medical professional, if you or a family member is sick, please consult your health provider on the proper course of action. When my children were little, I treated their illnesses with homeopathy and other natural remedies. But I often checked with my pediatrician, to make sure I was on the right track. According to the Mayo Clinic website, here’s when you should consult an expert when battling bronchitis. (Please understand I’m not giving medical advice, but just passing along the following information from this authority site.)
- If a cough lasts longer than three weeks.
- If your symptoms prevent you from sleeping.
- If your fever hits 100.4 or higher. (Farenheit)
- If the mucus you cough up has a funny color.
- If your sputum contains blood.
- If you have trouble breathing, or you start to wheeze.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. People with health concerns should discuss them with a doctor. Women who are pregnant or nursing should not use essential oils, unless under the direction of a health care professional. Asthmatics should also check with a doctor before using essential oils. Please consult a doctor before using essential oils on children.
I’m not a healthcare professional, so all of the above statements are my personal opinion, and are not intended as medical advice.