As the lazy days of summer slowly wind to an end, and the hustle and bustle of fall and the holidays start to come into view, that nagging dread of cold and flu season starts to slip into the backs of our minds. Very soon we will be sending our precious little angels back into the petri dish that we call school. Soon we will attend to runny noses, stuffy heads, coughs, sore throats, middle of the night fevers, sneezes, headaches, chills and yes worst of all….the dreaded stomach flu. Just the thought of that makes this mother of three weak in the knees. The memories of rocking my poor babies in the middle of the night as their body temperatures rose to an uncomfortable degree, their immune systems trying to burn out the unwelcome germs of a flu or virus, come back all too clear. Is there any relief out there or, are we destined to go through this every winter season, strictly at the mercy of every new mutant strain and germ out there, left only to hope and pray that we too don’t fall victim to the same doom? After all, who’s going to take care of us when we’re couch bound and feeling like we’re at death’s door?
Well, I’m here to tell you that there is help! Fortunately for us there are wonderful, hard-working essential oils out there to soothe, comfort, heal and prevent some of the most awful of illnesses. As stated in one of my other articles, the winter of 2012-2013 was my families’ sickest. I landed in the ER with the flu and a terrible case of mastitis, from nursing my then infant Piper, along with what seemed to be an unending dry cough and a constant feeling like I was coming down with something worse. My daughter Izzy had an ear infection, my son Owen was first diagnosed with pneumonia which then turned into RSV (respiratory virus) which then landed him in the ER and a two night stay in the hospital with pneumonia yet again. My then six month old infant Piper came down with RSV which landed us yet again in the ER. The receptionist at the front desk knew us by name and I believe they were contemplating giving us our own personal room by then. It was terrible! I promised my family that the next year would be different if I could help it. I armed myself with an essential oil named Thieves oil. Thieves oil is an amazing blend of highly antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-infectious essential oils. Legend has it that 15th century thieves rubbed oils on themselves to avoid contracting the plague while they robbed the bodies of the dead and dying. When apprehended, the thieves were forced to tell what their secret was and disclosed the formula of the herbs, spices, and oils they used to protect themselves in exchange for more lenient punishment. Studies conducted at Weber State University during 1997 demonstrated the killing power of these oils against airborne microorganisms. One analysis showed a 90% reduction of organisms after diffusing for 12 minutes. After 20 minutes of diffusing, the kill rate jumped to 99.3%. The ingredients included in the Thieves oil blend are as follows: (Taken out of the Essential Oils Pocket Reference Book).
Clove – is one of the most antimicrobial, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-infectious of all essential oils.
Lemon – has antiseptic like properties and contains compounds that amplify immunity. It promotes circulation, leukocyte formation, and lymphatic function.
Cinnamon Bark – is one of the most powerful antiseptics known and is strongly antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal.
Eucalyptus – is anti-infectious, antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory.
Rosemary – is antiseptic and antimicrobial. It is high in cineole – a key ingredient in antiseptic drugs.
For application, apply thieves oil “neat” to the bottoms of the feet. Applying an oil “neat” means spreading it onto the skin without diluting it with a carrier oil. For headaches put 1 drop on the tongue and push to the roof of the mouth. Yes, most of Young Livings essential oils are pure enough and safe enough to ingest without any harmful side effects. And, while on the subject of safety, never try to tone down or remove oil with water, it will only intensify the effect. If a slight burning sensation occurs on sensitive skin, adding a little bit of carrier oil such as, vegetable, coconut, almond or grape seed will help to alleviate the sensation. Applications of oils on children, other than on the bottoms of their feet, should normally include one of the above carrier oils. You may also diffuse Thieves oil in your home or office space to kill off any airborne germs. Young Living has a whole line of Thieves oil products such as cleaners for your home, mouth wash, and toothpaste and hand soap.
This past winter we used Thieves oil nonstop. Having two school aged kids, germs were running rampant. I’m happy to say that we had our best winter/school year yet. Whenever the kids came home and had that rundown tired look to them or the slightest sound of a sniffle came out of them, on went the thieves. With the use of Thieves oil combined with a healthy diet and plenty of rest, we had no trips to the doctor, and a much healthier cold and flu season. And, as if that’s not enough, thieves oil has many other uses as well. Here is a short list of the many other ways to use thieves oil for yourself and your home.
• Apply 1-3 drops to cuts or open wounds to prevent infection and promote healing. (Dilute with a carrier oil). You can also use this on your pets.
• Mix with a tablespoon of water, gargle and swallow for a sore throat.
• Apply to upper chest and throat with a carrier oil for bronchitis.
• For acne, take internally and apply to the skin diluted.
• Add 1 drop to orange juice and drink to reduce phlegm and congestion.
• Rub on sore joints diluted to relieve arthritis pain.
• Breathe and apply for sinus headache relief.
• Apply with a carrier oil to poison ivy rashes to relieve the itch.
• Inhale for relief of allergy symptoms.
• Put a drop on the tip of your tongue to help you stop smoking. And many more!
Thieves oil is just one of many essential oils to help assist you during cold and flu season or any season for that matter. Another valuable oil we used was Young Living’s RC oil. It is specifically generated for respiratory infections and problems. I used this on Owen to help ward off his yearly winter respiratory problems. A few drops rubbed onto his chest helps almost instantly. It has a nice vapor scent to help soothe coughs and sinus congestion. Eucalyptus and Peppermint oils are also excellent oils to have around during the sick season. They are both excellent to inhale or diffuse for any kind of congestion whether it is cold or allergy related. Peppermint oil when applied to the bottoms of the feet will also bring a fever down in minutes. You could also apply a few drops to a cool wash cloth and apply to a fever stricken head or neck. Take special care not to get too close to the eyes. Nature has provided us with many different remedies to prevent, soothe and heal.
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