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Stimulate immune system, ward-off superbugs, and release COVID-19 anxiety

Antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral essential oils

Natalie Cole Publisher | 4/9/2020, midnight

“Infectious microbes do not appear to become accustomed to the essential oils as they do the many forms of treatment using antibiotics” Dr. Jean Valnet, The Practice of Aromatherapy.

As we manage through the COVID-19 pandemic, there are natural ways to boost your immune system and utilizing essential oils (EOs) is a low cost way to do so. When you have germs or infections that do not respond to antibiotics, you may have a superbug or an antimicrobial resistant strain or germ. For thousands of years, the healing properties of flowers and herbs have been put to good use.

Food grade EOs made from quality flowers and herbs smell wonderful, but more importantly, they can be inhaled, ingested and applied topically for healing. Some researchers believe that EOs could be useful in the fight against superbugs and the low cost and gentle impacts to our bodies in comparison to antibiotics are added benefits.

Antibacterial essential oils are warriors against germs as they destroy and block the growth of bacteria and can stimulate our immune systems and its response to infection.

Ways to use essential oils:

—Air freshening/Diffuser/Vaporization

—Bathing, foot and hand baths

—Saunas

—Showers

—Compresses

—Massage blends

—Hair care (Shampoo)

— Skin care (moisturizer or therapeutic blends)

—Gargle/gum or throat treatment

—Steam inhalations

Safety with essential oils:

Consult your doctor prior to introducing EOs into your routine as they are potent and can also interfere with prescription medicines or exacerbate an underlying health condition. For instance, people with cancer, epilepsy, are pregnant, or have heart problems are not suitable for several essential oils and should likely avoid using EOs. While rosemary, sage, and thyme are beneficial EOs for various health and well being they are poor choices for those who have hypertension as they are very stimulating and can increase blood pressure. Peppermint oil in large dosage can cause heart palpitations.

Several EOs should NOT be used on or taken by children and great care and consideration should be given if considering the usage of EOs on the elderly. Read all labels carefully as most need to be diluted or mixed with carrier oils to prevent skin irritations and/or burns.

Diluting Essential Oils

How or how much you dilute your oil is dependent upon how you intend to use the oil.

Bathing: A leisurely bath is timely to help minimize COVID-19 anxiety as we practice social distancing. Add about seven drops of essential oils to a full bath of water prior to getting into the tub. However, if you are trying new oil or are new to essential oils or if you have sensitive skin, mix the essential oil with a small amount of shampoo or with carrier oil prior to putting into your bath water.

Diffusers or Vaporizers: Generally direct six drops of oil into the device. However, the type or size of the vaporizer or diffuser used, the age of the inhalers, size of room, and the essential oil to be used are factors in determining the number of drops. Therefore, read the directions on both the essential oil bottle and the mechanism you are using for its disbursement.

Face creams, lotions, and shampoos: As EOs are very concentrated and therefore potent; never apply pure undiluted essential oil on the skin. EO can be applied to correct some skin conditions and can be mixed with a plain unperfumed cream base purchased from the pharmacy. EO should not exceed 2 percent, must be mixed well and check for allergic reaction prior to slathering it onto your skin. The pharmacist can assist with the cream and give guidance on the 2 percent EO. If not, consult your physician. See below for patch test.

EOs are useful for massages and to add into shampoos as well, but please take precautions based on the many factors noted above, including consulting with your doctor, the age of user, underlying health conditions, type of oil, and doing a skin patch test beforehand.

10 Great Antibacterial and Antifungal Essential Oils:

Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) - a favorite go to antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antifungal EO. Use tea tree oil to fight acne, soothe and correct other skin conditions and irritants, fight and inhibit bacterial, fungal and viral Infections, dissolve warts, relieve congestion and respiratory tract infections.

Clove Oil (Eugenia caryophyllata) - antibacterial and anti-viral EO. Clove oil kills parasites, eliminates mold and fungus, alleviates and prevents bloating and indigestion, improves acne, inhibits pain and is great to calm toothaches.

Lavender Oil (Lavandula angustifolia) - lavender oil is calming and aromatic and offers a host of body-wide benefits, including: alleviating insomnia, pain and stress, improving digestion and respiratory disorders, relieve joint pain and sore muscles, disinfect cuts, bruises and burns, repels insects and soothes insect bites.

Oregano Oil (Origanum vulgare) -antibacterial and antifungal, useful as a household cleansing agent, treats respiratory conditions, prevents and fights infections while strengthening the immune system, treats skin conditions and infections, eliminates dandruff and treats scalp inflammation.

Cinnamon Bark Oil (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Cinnamon has a long list of benefits as it is known to possess antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and anti-diabetic, properties. It offers cardiovascular and immune systems support; soothes sore throats and supports healthy metabolic function.

Lemon Oil (Citrus Limon) Lemon oil is another EO with a long list of benefits too numerous to exhaust in this writing. Its therapeutic and healing properties include: antioxidant, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, anti-sclerotic, anti-cancer, antimicrobial, relieve stress, boost immune, helps control asthma, relieve stomach disorders, acts as a diuretic, curbs stress and anxiety, coughs and common cold.

Lemongrass Oil (Cymbopogon flexuosus) - improve mood, fight infections and fevers, improve and support nervous system, kidneys and digestion, assist in wound healing, sleeping and relieving pain, combat fungal infections, reduce bleeding and assist in repairing hair and skin conditions.

Eucalyptus Oil (Eucalyptus globules) - Opens airways, relieves sinus headache, revitalizes skin, cleans surfaces, uplifts spirits, reduces tension, cleans cuts and abrasions.

Peppermint Oil (Mentha piperita) - improves digestion, alleviate respiratory problems, nausea, fever and headaches. It also reduces muscle, joint pain, swelling and inflammation. Relieves sinus congestion and helps prevent nasal congestion, cold, cough, asthma, allergies, and bronchitis. Anti-itch treatment and is cooling to the skin, and clears acne.

Thyme Oil (Thumus vulgaris) - boosts the immune system and energy level, normalizes blood pressure, eases joint pain, treats stomach/bowel bloating, detox toxins, improves digestion, promotes circulation, treats respiratory problems and reduces anxiety.

How to do a skin patch test

Use carrier oil that you are familiar with (sweet almond or grape seed oil). Mix 1 teaspoon of carrier oil with 1 drop of the EO. Using the inside of your wrist or elbow, apply a small amount of this mixed oil and leave untouched and unwashed for 24 hours. After 24 hours observe your treated skin for signs of redness,