Aromatherapy may have once been dismissed as nonsense, but scientific evidence for it’s ability to improve or prevent certain health conditions is starting to grow. Aromatherapy refers to the use of a variety of volatile oils, including fragrance and essential oils from many different plants, to improve a user’s health. By using natural extracts and oils from flowers, herbs, and other sources, many people have been able to alleviate pain or even prevent illnesses.
As the weather changes and begins to warm in spring, most people face a higher risk for catching the flu and cold viruses that run rampant during this time of the year. The changing weather can make it hard on our bodies to fight off these intruders. With the right application of some aromatherapy techniques, as well as a balanced self care regiment, many people can avoid these illnesses completely.
Start by working with aromatherapy tools known to boost the immune system. The immune system is your body’s defender against all bacteria, viruses, and other problem causing invaders. If your immune system isn’t healthy, the flu or a cold can much more easily ruin your day. Rosemary, tea tree, vanilla, and juniper essential oils are all known for their immune boosting properties. Add a few drops to a hot bath, or heat your favorite oil for massage and mix a few drops into it. Give yourself a health boosting massage by rubbing the oil into your chest and upper back.
Citrus oils are also recommended for their system stimulating actions. Make a blend of lemon, orange, and grapefruit oils. This can be added to any essential oil warmer to add a wonderfully sunny smell to your home, while working to keep you healthy.
Keeping the air around you clean and free of bacteria and viruses is another great way to lower the risk for catching a cold. There are a variety of hospitals that employ essential oil warmers to disperse bacteria destroying aromatherapy staples into the air, and studies show that the results are tremendous. Eucalyptus is one of the best for improving air quality, especially when used in conjunction with cajuput and thyme. If you can’t use an essential oil warmer in your workplace or another public place where bacteria levels are high, put a few drops on a handkerchief for use throughout your day.
If a cold or the flu has already taken hold, there are even more aromatherapy techniques to help you feel better and get over your illness quickly. Respiratory inflammation and stuffy noses are often the most bothersome symptom of a cold. Again, eucalyptus oil comes to the rescue. Add a few drops of the oil, along with tea tree, bergamot, and lavender to a boiling pot of water. Inhale the steam. The steam will help sooth dry or cracked nasal passages, while the oils will work to release congestion.
For chest infections, you can use a direct application of aromatherapy massage oil to help relieve congestion and calm a cough. Mix 2 drops of pine, 1 drop of niaouli, and 2 drops of peppermint oil into an ounce of plain massage oil. If you don’t have any massage oil, pure vegetable oil or almond oil will also work. Simmer the oil for 10 minutes to blend it, and let it cool. Rub the aromatherapy oil into your chest and back twice a day.
In a study done in 2004, University of Manchester England researchers discovered three essential oils that can destroy the dangerous MRSA virus. The powers of essential oils are now starting to receive mainstream attention, and you can use this knowledge to your benefit. By using these techniques to prevent or treat a cold, you can boost your health naturally without the side effects most cold medications come with.