Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. The information contained in this post is for educational and entertainment purposes only.
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.
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. If you are using essential oils for medicinal purposes, make sure you are using a high-quality oil.
Natural Remedies for Cold & Flu
For Scratchy Throats
A steaming mug of Honey Lemon Tea is always a welcome option. Also, sometimes we gargle with a protective essential oil blend that contains cinnamon, clove, wild orange, and several other powerful essential oils, or use these homemade herbal throat drops.
To Maintain Proper Body Temperature
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.
I like to use peppermint, lavender, and/or frankincense essential oil to cool and soothe the body. 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.
For Lung Support
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… Here are some of my other favorite tricks:
- Essential oils we love for lung support are rosemary, peppermint, eucalyptus, lemon, frankincense, and/or lime.
- We also diffuse these oils, or make a “hand inhaler” by placing several drops in our palms, rubbing our hands together, and then cupping our hands over our mouth and nose.
- These homemade herbal cough drops are handy if you can’t stop hacking.
- Or try one of these powerful homemade herbal steams to clear airways.
Homemade Chest Rub
(thanks to my neighbor Jana for this recipe!)
- 1/4 oz beeswax (where to buy)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil (where to buy)
- 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil (where to get wholesale pricing on essential oils)
- 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 stir in essential oils.
Store in a small glass container. Apply it to the bottoms of feet and chest.
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 1/2 cup of Epsom salts, 1/8 cup of ground ginger, and several drops of eucalyptus and lavender essential oils.
And don’t forget the essential oil diffuser!
I have two essential oil diffusers in my home, and they run non-stop when anyone in our home is sick. We love using protective blends (like my DIY protective blend) especially.
If you aren’t sure which diffuser option to go with, check out my very comprehensive essential oil diffuser review post.
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:
- Wash your hands and use germ-fighting measures like my homemade hand sanitizer.
- 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 We must give our bodies the proper fuel if we expect them to function properly. 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.
- Cut out the sugar. 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 (like homemade yogurt) and homemade bone broths (I like to have my home-canned beef broth 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.)
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
- DIY All-Purpose Protective Blend Oil
- Homemade Essential Oil Hand Sanitizer
- The Best Essential Oils for a Good Night’s Sleep
What are your favorite natural flu and cold remedies?