Using Natural Essential Oils to Prevent Influenza

For many people the changing of the seasons brings with it the promise of itchy, red eyes, sniffling, coughing, sore throat, and even asthma.  Seasonal allergies can be rough on their own, but they can also lower some people's resistance to airborne viruses, such as the flu.  Many Essential Oils have natural antibacterial properties, making them a great ally in the war on germs. 

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Tea Tree Essential Oil – A standard in herbal medicine cabinets, Tea Tree Essential Oil is one of the strongest anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral Essential Oils available.  It makes a great addition to Liquid Castile Soaps, antibacterial sprays, and medicinal salves.  It has a slightly medicinal aroma, but blends well with Lavender, Mint or Citrus.

Cajeput Essential Oil – This Essential Oil comes from a plant that is a close relative of Tea Tree.  Like its cousin, Cajeput contains antiviral and antibacterial properties.  It is often included in room sprays and diffuser formulas in order to help cleanse the air from harmful viruses and bacterias.

Juniper Berry Essential Oil– Though it lacks the strength of an oil such as Tea Tree, it does contain some antiseptic properties, as well as a woody, balsamic aroma, making it a pleasant and helpful addition to antibacterial washes, diffuser blends, and sprays.

Lavender Essential Oil – One of the most versatile and well used Essential Oils of all, Lavender Essential Oil again proves its worth when it comes to cold and flu season.  Lavender can kill germs, stomping out viruses while providing a lovely aroma.  Try adding it to room sprays, hand washes, and antibacterial cleaners.

Lemon Essential Oil – Another pleasant smelling antibacterial Essential Oil is Lemon.  While most Citrus Essential Oils contain germ fighting properties, Lemon is one of the favorites.  It's sweet, sunny scent is energizing, and blends well with almost any antibacterial Essential Oil.  Take care when using Lemon or other Citrus Essential Oils in skin care products as they can be strong photosensitizers.

Ravensara Essential Oil – This powerful Essential Oil packs a punch of antiviral and antibacterial properites, but is also thought to help boost immunity.  This makes it a great addition to diffuser blends and hands on products such as hand washes.  It does have a rather medicinal aroma, but it blends well with Lavender or Citrus Essential Oils, making it suitable for a wide range of products.

Saro Essential Oil – A slightly camphorous Essential Oil, Saro makes a lovely choice for diffuser blends.  It has a touch of cheerful lemon aroma that helps to cheer the spirit as well as cleanse the air.  Saro has strong antibacterial and antiviral properties, making it an excellent choice for other types of cold season products, such as soaps, and sprays.

The Simplest Solutions
Of course, the most effective preventive steps are often the simplest. 

  • Avoid touching your face, especially your nose, mouth, or eyes.  Germs often enter the body when people rub their eyes, chew their fingernails, or scratch their nose. 
  • Wash your hands regularly. Bar soap is still known as one of the most safe and effective antibacterial agents.  By washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, germs will be rinsed away, while helpful bacteria will remain unharmed. It is especially important to wash your hands before cooking or eating and after handling money or visiting public places.
  • Teach kids healthy habits.  Children are notorious for catching and carrying cold and flu bugs.  Teach your children the importance of hand washing to help reduce your family's risk of catching colds and flu.

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