Feeling under the Welsh winter weather? We get more susceptible to colds and ‘flu during times of stress, poor nutrition and overwork as this creates the right conditions for our immune systems to get depleted and the conniving viruses that have been lurking, jump in to take hold of your immune system. Add to this lack of sleep to aggravate the situation you unfortunately have a concoction for a dose of ‘flu or a bad cold.
‘Flu is a viral infection affecting the upper respiratory tract, causing fever, headache, general aches, pains and nasal congestion. The symptoms often deteriorate at night and worsen if you physically exert yourself. Colds are viruses too, but usually less severe, and it can be possible to plough on with your work, even although you feel grotty.
Essential oils are really effective in helping reduce the length and severity of the viral infection. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is the number one oil. If you feel the beginning of symptoms utilise the antiviral property of tea tree to ward off the lurgies. Dilute 3 drops of tea tree in a squirt of shampoo to add to your bath just before you get in. Soak up the essential oil, helping you move through the illness quickly, sometimes hardly noticeably in hours, without any secondary infections such as bronchitis. Tea tree does not suppress the virus, it simply kick-starts the bodies immune system into a quick reaction against it. If you have sensitive skin also add 3 drops of lavender as it can be irritated by tea tree. 6 drops of Lavender can also be used alone in a bath as a tonic, or else, to help you to sleep.
5 to 10 drops of tea tree in water in an aromatic burner, or safely placed away from children on a wood burner or radiator also cleans the air of viruses stopping other people in the vicinity getting ill too.
One highly effective method of clearing a congested respiratory system is through the age-old method of inhalation. Adding 3 drops of eucalyptus essential oils to very hot water then placing a towel over your head and the bowl, to warm and decongest lungs by gently breathing in the vapours (do not forget to take a tissue in there!). If the person receiving the inhalation is young or vulnerable, putting a few drops on a tissue and placing it near them could be a safer option. A drop or two of lavender rubbed neat around the throat also really reduces coughing and sore throats.
Do not forget to sip the traditional honey and lemon, maybe adding some slices of fresh ginger. A supplement of 2 x 50mg of vitamin C also supports the body’s immune system.
It’s important to withdraw and rest, reducing the contact that the virus has with others. Pushing our energy reserves can cause the illness to boomerang back, and the viruses around at the moment seem to have an aptitude to do just that. Colds also detoxify deeply through the production and release of mucous and sometimes we should trust this process. Snuggle in, tend to your body that works so hard, and enjoy using some wonderful aromatic medicine.