I’m sure you’ve all probably heard the recent hysteria over the flu “epidemic” this year….
While I’m not too sure if this year’s outbreak warrants all the panic, I do know one thing:
You won’t catch me or my family getting a flu shot– Not last year, not this year, not ever.
I’m not interested in injecting myself with a bunch of preservatives and mercury, plus there is no guarantee that getting the shot will actually prevent you from getting “the flu” since there are so many strains of it…
I prefer to arm myself and my family with natural defenses against illness– and I am happy to say that I don’t even remember the last time we went to the doctor for a flu or cold. In fact, Prairie Girl has never been on a round of antibiotics or had an ear infection– ever.
My hubby came down with a nasty bug over Christmas… I can’t say for sure if it was the “official” 2012 flu, but I do know it was bad stuff… Fever for many days, chills, aches, and a nasty cough. Hubby got it the worst, and Prairie Girl caught a milder version. I immediately started taking preventative measures for myself, and neither Prairie Boy or I ever came down with it. (I’m still amazed he didn’t get it, because he was only 2 months old… However, I’m pretty sure the combination of breastfeeding and a lot of prayer did the trick. )
Here is how we dealt with our recent bout of flu– no antibiotics or conventional medications required!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and these ideas are not to be taken as medical advice– they are simply what works for us. Also, while essential oils are fairly safe, it is important to never, ever ingest an oil unless it specifically states it is approved for internal usage. (The cheap oils at the health food store usually are NOT.) I use and love doTERRA oils, and all of the oils I ingest are 100% pure, therapeutic-grade oils with supplement information printed directly on the label.
How to Use Essential Oils and Natural Remedies to Combat Colds & Flu
Blow it Away with a Flu Bomb
The minute hubby said that he thought he was getting sick, we both started taking essential oil ”flu bombs.”
A flu bomb is simply a combination of several powerful anti-biotic and anti-viral essential oils in a gelatin capsule. There are a variety of different flu bomb “recipes” out there, so if you don’t have one of the oils, just use the oils you do have.
I like to take a flu bomb capsule 2-3 times per day when I’m heavily exposed to the flu or coming down with a sickess. I had my sick hubby follow the same regime. I guess you *could* also place this combination of oils in a small amout of liquid and slug it down, but I wouldn’t recommend it… They are pretty hot oils and the mixture will definitely be less than palatable!
There were several days where I felt like I *might* be coming down with something (slight headache, extra tired, tingling throat), but as long as I kept taking the bombs, the illness never took hold of me.
I don’t give the flu bomb to Prairie Girl, since it would be too many strong oils for her young system (in my opinion). However, I did rub the On Guard blend on the bottoms of her feet several times per day instead.
For Sore Throats
You can gargle with doTERRA’s On Guard blend (a mixture of wild orange, clove bud, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary oils) or dilute it and rub in our your neck.
You can also mix up a mug with about 2 tablespoons raw honey, heated water (hot, but not boiling), and several drops of lemon essential oil. Stir well and sip for a soothing drink. (Or, simply add the honey and lemon to a cup of hot tea.)
For Runny Noses
I just hate it when I end up blowing my nose so much that I make it raw… I like to rub a drop of lemon oil on the side of my nose to get relief from the constant runniness.
I’m not a fan of using fever-reducing medications. I believe that a fever is your body’s natural defense against illness, and that repeatedly “blocking” the work of a fever can actually make the sickness last longer. However, I do closely monitor fevers and have about a billion thermometers.
To provide relief from fevers without using drugs, I like to use peppermint, lavender, and/or frankincense oil. I dilute them in a carrier (sweet almond oil or olive oil will work), then rub them on the bottoms of the feet and on the back. The peppermint provides an instant cooling sensation, the lavender is soothing, and the frankincense is helpful for the immune system and more.
For Congestion & Coughs
Coughs are a big aspect of most colds/flus at our house since hubby has severe asthma. Many sicknesses seem to go straight to his lungs… To ease congestion in the nose and lungs, Breathe (a doTERRA blend containing laurel leaf, peppermint, eucalyptus radiata, ravensara, melaleuca alternifolia, and lemon) is my go-to oil.
I like to combine it with lime essential oil and rub it on hubby’s chest, back, and bottoms of his feet. (Dilute it with a carrier oil for more coverage.) It works immediately, and I even get to reap the benefits, since it absorbs into my hands as I rub it on him. It’s also wonderful in a diffuser, especially at night.
If you don’t have Breathe, try peppermint and eucalyptus in a pinch.
Other oils we have found useful for coughs and lung issues are lemon, rosemary, and frankincense.
You can diffuse any of these oils, or make a “hand inhaler” by placing several drops in your palm, rubbing your hands together, and then cupping your hands over your mouth and nose.
Take a Bath…
Hubby was so miserable for several nights during his flu, that I had him sit in a hot “detox” bath. Many people rave about the benefits of a detox bath while fighting the flu. Although hubby didn’t necessarily feel any detox effects from his baths, it did help him to relax and sleep better. There are about a million different ways to mix up a detox bath, but here are a few ideas to get you started:
(Remember to drink LOTS of water before and after a hot bath to avoid dehydration when you are ill!)
- A clay detox bath (I’m trying this one next time…)
- Here are a bunch of different detox bath recipes– including several using Epsom salts
- A ginger/hydrogen peroxide bath recipe
We didn’t have all the ingredients on hand at the time, so I used what I had. I brewed him up a bath with about a 1/2 cup of Epsom salts (Here’s another reason to keep them on hand…), 1/8 cup of ground ginger, and several drops of eucalyptus and lavender essential oils.
Homemade “Vicks” Rub
My friend and neighbor (well, she lives 30 minutes away, but that’s still considered a neighbor out here…), Jana, is the one who originally introduced me to the idea of essential oils. She recently shared a post at her blog highlighting all the ways she and her family uses oils to combat flu bugs (Everyone has different preferences, and she has some great ideas!). I love her idea for a homemade “Vicks” salve– you can bet I’ll be mixing up a batch soon!
DIY “Vicks” Rub (courtesy of The Essential Homestead)
- 1/4 oz beeswax
- 1/4 cup olive oil or coconut oil
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil
- 20 drops Breathe essential oil
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 10 drops wintergreen OR white fir essential oil
Gently melt the beeswax and olive oil/coconut oil in a double boiler. Remove from heat, allow it to slighly cool, then add in essential oils.
Store in a small glass container. Apply it to the bottoms of feet and chest.
And don’t forget the diffuser!
I have two essential oil diffusers in my home, and you can bet they were running non-stop during our battle with the flu. On Guard is an excellent choice to purify the air and living space, while a combo of Breathe, lime, and rosemary helped hubby to sleep more soundly through the night.
Prevention is Key…
Of course, it’s always better to simply avoid getting sick if at all possible. These are my tried-and-true natural methods of supporting my immune system during flu season:
Sleep! I know you’ve heard this before, but it’s true! It’s vital that your body has adequate rest in order to ward off bugs. Good sleep is important all the time, but especially when you’ve been exposed to sickness.
Eat nourishing foods. Again, you’ve heard this before, but we must give our bodies the proper fuel. Sugar is never really good any time of the year, but definitely try to avoid it during flu season. White sugar drastically hampers your immune function– and I know this from personal experience.
If I ever feel like I’m coming down with something, I immediately cut out every last scrap of refined sugar from my diet. But if I happen to fall off the wagon, the bug takes hold like clockwork. Probiotic foods (yogurt, etc) and homemade bone broths (I like to have my home-canned version ready to go at all times) are especially helpful. I’ve also noticed that I tend to crave vitamin C-rich foods when I’m sick (like oranges and grapefruit.)
Take fermented cod liver oil- I know, not the most appealing sounding thing, huh? But with it’s high levels of vitamin D and other nutrients, this stuff is like gold for your body. I originally purchased it to help with my teeth issues, but it is wonderful to take for numerous other reasons– including boosting the immune system. We find the Cinnamon Tingle version fairly palatable. (Prairie Girl even asks for seconds, although one spoonful is plenty for my tastebuds…)
Even with our healthy lifestyle habits, there is no guarantee that we will completely miss the flu bugs this season. But you can be sure of one thing– if Mr. FluBug comes knocking at my door, we’ll be ready!
Other Essential Oil Posts you Might Like:
- How I Used Essential Oils During Pregnancy and Birth
- How We Treated a Dog Bite with Essential Oils
- DIY Thieves Oil
- Homemade Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer
- Get my new essential oil eBook– for free!
What are your favorite natural flu and cold remedies?