Goodbye to stuffy noses, irritating coughs, sore throats, aches and more…
It’s happened. You’ve taken every precaution possible. But your nose is all blocked up, you have a sore, scratchy throat and can’t stop coughing. You’ve got a cold. Or even worse – the flu…
Most of us immediately rush off to stock up with a basket full of goodies – cold and flu meds, cough drops, Vicks Vapor Rub, nasal sprays, among many other drugstore medications promising to help.
But what if you only need one powerful natural remedy in your medicine cabinet?
Eucalyptus essential oil is a little miracle multi-tasker that can help relieve not only one or two, but is good for all of your cold and flu symptoms. Even better, it can actually help stop them before they even catch hold. And as an added bonus, it also boosts your immunity to help prevent you catching them again.
Perhaps it’s time to turn to eucalyptus essential oil – a simple yet proven all-natural home remedy – as your cold and flu savior this winter…
DO YOU HAVE A COLD OR THE FLU?
The symptoms of both a cold and the flu are similar in many respects but there are distinct signs you have either one or the other.
The main difference is that cold symptoms are generally milder than flu – sneezing, a runny or stuffy nose, a wet cough, sore throat, possibly a headache, minor body aches plus a general rundown feeling. A severe cold can sometimes morph into a nasty case of bronchitis or a sinus infection.
Unlike a cold which starts off slowly and can worsen over time, flu strikes very quickly. You feel feverish, have the chills and sweats, your body aches all over and you experience severe fatigue. Other signs are a dry cough, sore throat, headaches and a stuffy nose.
WHAT CAUSES COLDS AND FLU?
Like most respiratory tract infections, colds and flu are caused by viruses. A virus cannot survive without a living host which is why they invade your body – basically they need you to stay alive. Once they’re there, they multiply and result in an infection.
Unfortunately, locking ourselves up in the cold winter months with little to no fresh air creates the perfect environment for cold and flu viruses to take hold. The most important thing to know about viruses is that they can only be treated by immunisation or antiviral drugs.
On the other hand, if you have an infection caused by bacteria, it can be treated with antibiotics. But unfortunately, these don’t work for colds or flu as they are caused by viruses, not bacteria. The only time antibiotics are sometimes prescribed is to treat secondary infections such as an ear or sinus infection, and bacterial pneumonia.
So, if you’ve missed the flu shot this winter and are not protected, what are you supposed to do if you suddenly get struck down with the dreaded bug?
HOW TO TREAT COLDS AND FLU
The bottom line is that you pretty much have to wait it out until the virus has run its course. This can range from a few days to a couple of weeks depending upon the person and severity of the infection. Not something you want to hear…
And yes - the many cold and flu non-prescription medications can help reduce and ease the symptoms. But that’s all they do - ease the symptoms. They can however be useful to minimise the risks of all sorts of other ailments such as a cough, sinusitis and bronchitis which can arise when cold and flu viruses have gone a bit rampant.
There are also flu antiviral drugs which can be prescribed by a medical practitioner, but these are generally used for high risk cases where serious health complications could arise.
In fact, one of the best things you can do is to not infect anyone else. Coughing and sneezing, direct physical contact with infected individuals and contaminated surfaces, food, and water all play a role in passing on the virus.
The frustrations we all have with these ailments are real. After all, we just want some way to get rid of our coughs, colds or flu, and aside from some temporary relief from non-prescription meds, it seems that this is not possible.
But there is hope. Eucalyptus essential oil is home remedy that can help more than you think…
HOW DOES EUCALYPTUS OIL HELP TREAT COLDS AND FLU?
Eucalyptus essential oil – and in particular, its major component 1,8-cineole –has highly effective powerful and proven antimicrobial properties. That means it has triple-action bug fighting powers – it can not only attack certain viruses like cold and flu, but also kills off bacteria that can cause secondary infections like sinusitis.
Plus, the antispasmodic, mucolytic and expectorant properties of eucalyptus oil help calm a cough, clear blocked sinuses and loosen mucus to allow you breathe more easily. By clearing up lung and nasal congestion, eucalyptus oil can also help relieve fever symptoms. It has even been found to help respiratory tract complications such as bronchitis.
As a natural anti-inflammatory, this study found it also acts as a painkiller by reducing swelling and increasing blood flow to relieve headaches, sore throats, muscle pain, fever and an aching body. And it does all of this while boosting the immune system to help you recover quicker. Which is exactly what you need when you’re struggling with those terrible cold and flu symptoms…
Eucalyptus is not only effective, but it works fast as well. This study found that an oil and water mix totally halted the flu virus in its tracks. Another study found that eucalyptus rendered an airborne flu virus completely inactive within 5–10 minutes of contact.
And this study showed that eucalyptus not only deactivated the cold sore virus, but more importantly, it found that, if caught early enough, exposure to eucalyptus killed most of virus spores before they even had a chance to enter the host body (that’s you).
This suggests that you should start with eucalyptus oil as early as possible - preferably within the first 2 days when you feel any twinges or sniffles coming on. Even better, if someone around you is already ill, start diffusing eucalyptus to kill off the airborne virus before it even gets to you.
Imagine being able to get through winter with no sign of a cold or flu at all…
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HOW TO USE EUCALYPTUS FOR COUGHS, COLDS AND FLU
By far the best thing for you and your family is to avoid catching cold and flu in the first place. Start with regularly diffusing eucalyptus oil as well as disinfecting surfaces to stop the spread of the virus before it even catches hold. But if you’ve already succumbed to a bug, how you use eucalyptus oil depends on what you are trying to treat.
Diffusing or steam inhalation is best if you want to dislodge mucus, clear your airways and sinuses - and get rid of a nasty cough. Eucalyptus oil can also be used as a rub to treat muscle pain and headaches as well as clear a congested chest. It has a soothing, cooling sensation that helps relieve soreness and discomfort. You can use either or both methods depending upon your symptoms.
INHALATION OF EUCALYPTUS OIL FOR COLDS AND FLU
Good for: Prevention of colds and flu, dry cough, blocked sinuses, irritated throat, mucus, stuffy or blocked nose.
One of the best ways to use diffusing is as a preventative measure. Simply add 5-8 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to your diffuser. Try and do this within the first two days of being exposed to a family member, friend or work colleague with any cold or flu symptoms.
Alternatively, you can regularly diffuse eucalyptus oil in your home or office for about 30 minutes to an hour each day to help prevent the spread of these airborne viruses during the winter cold and flu season.
Diffusing eucalyptus essential oil does however also help once you’ve already caught the bug and want to ease the symptoms, especially right before you go to bed and need a good night’s sleep.
And if you don’t have a diffuser, you can also use an essential oil burner with 3-6 drops of eucalyptus oil to do the same job.
A humidifier is a good option if you want to inhale for a long period of time to provide ongoing relief during the day or overnight. All it need is 25 drops of eucalyptus essential oil added to the water.
Perfect for the treatment of blocked sinuses, congested lungs, a dry cough or an irritated throat, add 2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of hot water. Place your face over the bowl and throw a towel over your head to trap the steam. Breathe in the healing vapors for about 5-10 minutes and repeat every three hours for up to three days.
The oil reacts with mucous membranes, not only reducing mucus but helping loosen it so that you can cough it up. Just be cautious about using too many drops as this can actually cause mucous production to go into overdrive, and also be irritating to the eyes, throat and lungs.
A bath or shower can provide the same benefits of steam inhalation but without any of the hassle.
Simply add a few drops or eucalyptus essential oil to a warm bath and inhale the steam while relaxing. Luxury bath salts infused with pure eucalyptus oil will achieve the same result but with a little bit of much-needed added indulgence.
A long, hot shower can also be your own built-in steam room. To avoid water draining away the benefits of the oil, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the shower walls away from the spray.
This method is great if you’re at the office or otherwise away from home. Simply apply 1-2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil on a handkerchief or kleenex to sniff at regular intervals.
You can also tuck it inside your pillow case for ongoing all-night relief. Or spoil your pillow case (and yourself) with a eucalyptus sachet blended with soothing lavender to not only clear up your stuffy nose but also help you sleep like a baby.
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TOPICAL APPLICATIONS OF EUCALYPTUS OIL FOR COLDS AND FLU
Good for: Blocked nose and sinuses, mucus, coughs, fever, headaches, aches and pains.
Vapor Rub Balm:
Because eucalyptus essential oil is highly concentrated, it needs to be diluted before applying it to your skin. Blend eucalyptus with a carrier oil, such as coconut, jojoba or sweet almond oil - usually 2-5 drops for every 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. But you can also mix and bottle your own homemade vapor rub with five simple ingredients.
Applying the essential oil rub onto the chest, neck or under the nose is ideal for helping to clear the airways, reducing the severity of a cough and loosening mucus so that when you do cough, it’s expelled. And to ease a persistent headache, simply apply to the temples or back of the neck.
A eucalyptus essential oil balm can also be used for an all-over massage to help ease a fever and all those muscular aches and pains commonly associated with flu. Or you could try a spa favorite - a rich, luxurious eucalyptus massage oil.
If you need to clear out your sinuses, another reflexology technique is to massage eucalyptus oil into the balls of your feet, focussing on the base of your three middle toes.
Hot or Cold Compress:
If surrounding yourself with steam doesn’t appeal, then try a hot compress. Add 2-3 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of warm water. Thoroughly soak a washcloth and wring out excess water. Apply to chest and repeat as required.
A cold compress can also provide relief for painful sinuses. Follow the same steps as above using lukewarm to cold water. Apply the compress to the face especially over the forehead, cheeks and around the jaw line. A cold compress can also be used to reduce a fever.
A simple and convenient solution that offers both hot and cold compress options is a ready-made eucalyptus spa pillow mask to use on the face, or a eucalyptus spa wrap or cuddle blankie for use anywhere on the body. All can either be heated in the microwave or cooled in the freezer.
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DISINFECTANT SPRAY FOR COLDS AND FLU
Good for: Prevention of and killing active cold and flu viruses
One of the best things you can do for colds and flu is to stop the spread of the virus before it has time to catch up with you or any of your family. The powerful bug busting properties of eucalyptus, particularly on these airborne viruses, can make this a breeze.
For a simple disinfectant spray, add 10 to 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to 500ml of water in a spray bottle. Shake before use, and start spraying to get rid of the cold or flu viruses floating around your home.
Clean all kitchen surfaces, tables, floors and even your children’s toys. Then use a eucalyptus essential oil spray in the heat pump or air conditioner vents, or to just purify and freshen a room. Opt for a decorative eucalyptus oil diffuser to chase all those nasties away. And use eucalyptus body lotion on your arms and hands to reduce the chance of a virus transferring onto your skin by touch. You get the picture. Prevention is easier than cure.
The Ultimate Guide on How to Use Essential Oils – Read More
While eucalyptus essential oil is able to treat most, if not all, of the symptoms of a cold or flu, its most powerful ability is to help stop these common winter ailments before they even start. This simple all-natural remedy is everything you need to get through winter with no sign of colds or flu at all…
CAUTIONARY NOTES & SIDE EFFECTS
If you have any medical condition, please consult with your health care professional before you use eucalyptus essential oil. There are certain people who should avoid it altogether, including babies, young children, pregnant women, those with epilepsy or high blood pressure, and the convalescing or elderly, unless under the guidance of a qualified practitioner.
When using with older children, always dilute and reduce dosages to one drop of eucalyptus per teaspoon of carrier oil, and avoid using it on their faces, as it is potent and can be irritating. For the same reason, sensitive skin users should proceed with caution. If in doubt, patch test a couple of drops on the upper inside arm for 24 hours. Otherwise stick to diffusing or compresses which are the safest routes.
Ensure that you always use top quality essential oils. There's a difference between an essential oil and simply an oil, which is basically a perfume. If a label does not clearly state that it is an 'essential oil,' then it is not a pure oil and should not be used as suggested.