According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control) we have a “flu season” every year. They map the progression of flu viruses all over the world and do their best to predict how bad each season will be. For the 2019/2020 flu season, which usually starts in October/November and can last into May of the next year, the estimated number of cases will be between 32 million and 45 million. This will mean up to 21 million medical visits, leading to over 500,000 hospitalizations and ultimately up to 18,000 to 46,000 deaths. This is all just the normal statistics of an average flu season. Some years are better and some years are much worse. Of course it’s always the very young or the elderly and infirm that are the most vulnerable.
This article is in no way suggesting that regular medical intervention should not be the first choice in combating flu symptoms. The use of essential oils, in this case, is an added option in the arsenal of protection against the flu.
What is Influenza
Influenza or the flu is much more than a case of the sniffles or a cough. It is a virus that infects the respiratory tract via the airways of the nose, throat and lungs. Inflammation causes a cough and sore throat. When the immune system responds to fight the virus a fever usually ensues, causing muscle aches and pains. Pneumonia is a serious complication and requires medical intervention.
Most people recover from the flu within a few days, up to a couple of weeks. These cases are mild to moderate and don’t require medical care. Some may become severe and require antiviral drugs and hospitalization. Because the virus constantly mutates and changes, it is very difficult to pin it down and find a drug that can cure it.
Are Essential Oils Effective
Essential oils have been used for centuries to treat all sorts of ailments. Some look at them as “alternative medicine” and some discount them as nothing more than smelly oils, but scientific research is beginning to confirm, again and again, the various health benefits of essential oils. Treatments can include aromatherapy, massage, ingestion and inhalation, to name but a few. Of course, choosing the right oils by a reputable supplier is paramount. In one study the antiviral properties of eucalyptus, tea tree and thyme were pitted against the herpes simplex virus. It was concluded that these oils were able to reduce the infectivity of the virus by 96%. That’s pretty effective.
Many oils have properties that are antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal, antiseptic and antianxietal as well as others. For the purpose of this article I am going to show you the 6 best oils to fight the flu season. These can be used individually or as a blend. I will also give you an affiliate link to a trusted source where you can find all of these oils.
The Top 6 Flu Fighters
According to an article in Medical News Today from April 2018, their top recommended flu fighting oils were;
Bergamot – Citrus Bergamia – Should not be used directly on the skin but can be added to a carrier oil. Has antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. Can help in relieving depression, anxiety and other mood disorders.
Eucalyptus Oil – An excellent oil for respiratory ailments. It acts as a decongestant and expectorant. Will sooth a cough and sore throat. Has antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties. Used in a good deal of cold and flu related treatments.
Red Thyme – Thymus vulgaris – Has great antibacterial, anti fungal, antiseptic and sedative properties. Good for respiratory infections and coughs.
Cinnamon Leaf Oil – Rich in eugenol which is antibacterial, anti viral, anti fungal and antioxidant. Eugenol also has analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. Cinnamon bark oil contains smaller amounts of eugenol but is aldehyde rich which is good for soothing nausea, stimulating appetite and calming aches due to cold and flu.
Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia – One of the strongest disinfectants of the essential oils. Proven to be effective against the herpes simplex virus along with eucalyptus. Strong antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral properties.
Lemon Balm – Melissa officinalis – A perennial herb from the mint family. It can relieve stress, reduce anxiety and ease insomnia and other sleep disorders. Used to help with digestive tract disorders and problems of the liver. Strong antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.
This coincides with an extensive study printed in The National Library of Medicine titled,”Protective essential oil attenuates influenza virus infection: An in vitro study in MDCK cells”. Although their conclusions came from testing a specific brand of popular oils, particularly one synergistic blend, other companies have very similar blends with the same properties.
In short the study proved that the use of essential oils and specifically blends of oils, can slow the infectivity of the flu virus considerably and help to protect you.
For years I have been using the blend known as “Thieves” from Young Living Essential oils. It is said to replicate botanicals used by grave robbers in the 15th century, hence, the name. I love this stuff and used it in everything. You can diffuse it, gargle with it for sore throats, mix a drop in your toothpaste to fight gum infections or put in a mouthwash. I specifically used it whenever flying due to the proximity to people and germ infested, recirculated air. Young living is a great company but a tad expensive. do TERRA is also a great company with a similar product called “On Guard“. Very similar recipe but, unfortunately, also expensive. I am very happy to say that I have found a new company in Barefut essential oils and they also make this similar blend called “Thrive“, at a much more affordable price. All three of these companies use almost identical components. Mainly cinnamon, clove, rosemary, eucalyptus and lemon/lemon balm/orange peel/sweet orange. It surprises me that clove and rosemary were not listed in the top 6 flu fighters above. Possibly because that study was listing individual oils and their various properties as “standalone agents”.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link. “As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases”.
Whether you choose to use a single oil, a combination of oils or a blend, I don’t think you will be disappointed. They can be put into a diffuser to mist your room or added to water to disinfect surfaces along with a multitude of different ways to use them. Barefut will help you out with instructions for use. I mixed up a blend this morning, as my son came home from work with a cough and sore throat. I am out of eucalyptus (have to remedy that!) but I used clove, cinnamon, bergamot, lemon and tea tree in a spray bottle of purified water. A good solid shake to mix the ingredients and off I went, spraying down surfaces and misting everything in sight. My house smells great!
The best thing about essential oils is that they are very concentrated and “a little goes a long way”. It is so much nicer than the overpowering stench of bleach! Be sensible folks and be proactive this flu season. Protect yourself and your loved ones from those nasty viruses. Be healthy and be happy! All the best.
– Dolly –Please share us with your friends on Thank you