Aromatherapy for Colds & Flu: Do as I Say, Not as I Do

Nov 25, 02:04 PM

by Katharine Koeppen, RA

Two days after my post on EO's for pollen allergies and holiday travel, I was struck down with a severe cold. The reason: I let my sore throat go untreated for nearly nine hours. Which brings me to a point I didn't make in that previous post: when it comes to colds and flu, essential oils have a near 95% effectiveness rate at killing airborne bacterial or viral pathogens, but only if used at first onset of symptoms. If you allow a cold or flu virus just a little time to become established, essential oils can help ease your respiratory symptoms a bit, but will not reverse the illness. I am sorry to say that until last week, timely and religious use of essential oils had kept me cold- and flu-free for 15 years! However, because of my slip-up I have been paying the price.

By the way, herbal tinctures work even more effectively when combined with aromatherapy, which has a synergistic effect on the tinctures. In addition to everyone's old standby, echinacea, I highly recommend tincture of propolis.

If you work in an environment where you are in constant contact with a lot of people during the height of the cold season, consider running a small diffuser in your office space as a prophylactic. Ditto for car diffusers between trips to crowded malls or holiday visits to relatives. Best choice oils for this time of year: eucalyptus radiata, niaouli, ravintsara and bay laurel.

Stay healthy this winter, and Happy Thanksgiving!

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