Last week I posted on several strongly antiviral and antimicrobial essential oils useful against swine flu. To review, they are:
Oregano (Origanum herocleoticum)
Winter savory (Satureja montana)
Eucalyptus radiata (Eucalyptus radiata)
Niaouli (Melaleuca quinquinervia viridiflora)
Clove (Eugenia caryophyllus)
Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora ct. cineole)
Hyssop decumbens (Hyssop officinalis var. decumbens)
Palmarosa (Andropogon martinii)
I would also add thyme (Thymus officinalis ct. linalool, geraniol, or thymol) to this list.
While it is important to sanitize your home as outlined in the previous blog post, you are most likely to encounter the virus in the outside environment... while at work, using public transportation, shopping, at school, etc. If you live in an area where the flu is known to be spreading, carry a bottle of essential oil (or better yet, a blend of essential oils) to use prophylactically throughout the day.
- If using public transportation, apply a dilute blend of eucalytpus radiata, niaouli, tea tree, ravintsara, hyssop decumbens and/or palmarosa topically along the "glands" at the side of your neck (which are actually lymph node chains) before and after travel. Do not attempt to use any of the other oils listed above for topical application, even if diluted. They can be very caustic to the skin in the hands of an inexperienced aromatherapy user, so save them for room diffusion and green houskeeping.
- If wearing a mask is a necessity, you may place one or two drops of undiluted essential oil on the front of the mask, reapplying during the day to refresh. Inquire about the appropriate type of disposable mask before purchasing, as not all masks provide the microfiltration necessary to protect from viruses.
- Make your own antiseptic soap for home or workplace. Add 10 drops of tea tree or niaouli to 2 oz. of unscented liquid soap. Once the flu epidemic has passed, go back to using your regular soap, so bacteria and viruses don't have a chance to develop resistance to the essential oils.
- During your morning shower, apply two or three drops of eucalytpus radiata, niaouli, tea tree, ravintsara, hyssop decumbens or palmarosa to a wet washcloth and friction all over the body. You'll get a mini-immune boost for the day ahead.
- Use a few drops of essential oil on a moistened tissue or paper towel to clean your office phone receiver, door handles and any other surfaces that come in frequent contact with other people.
- Two or three drops of any of the above-mentioned essential oils may be placed on a tissue or cotton ball and carried in your pocket for inhalation throughout the day.
Keep this information handy in the event that swine flu returns this fall as anticipated. In the interim, make sure to have a small stock of antiviral essential oils on hand.