As we head into flu season, we realize the new habits we've already made to prevent germs from spreading. Living with and through the Covid pandemic stressed the importance of washing our hands frequently, not touching our face without washing our hands first, sanitizing our hands when out and about, wearing masks and staying home when ill, and social distancing when important to do so. These are likely the major reasons for a steep decline of flu cases last season in the U.S., according to experts.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reported that it had logged 1,316 positive flu cases in its surveillance network between September 2020 and the end of January 2021. During that same period last year, the CDC had recorded nearly 130,000 cases.
We may become a bit casual about some of these measures as Covid restrictions ease; I know I have slacked off - especially since the vaccine. However, I remain prepared just in case I find myself fighting a cold, sore throat, or worse, the flu.
I've made it my life’s work to understand how to use essential oils to optimal effect; here are some tried and true go-to's that are a vital part of my own first aid kit:
Shopping List for Flu Season
Warm Mist Humidifier I like this model by Vicks. Target has them for $15. Get one now while they’re plentiful! It is much sturdier than the tall clear plastic one I used to recommend, and it is super affordable.
Congestion, body aches, coughs, and cold symptoms.
I cannot say enough about this powerful blend for flu symptoms. I have used it with my own children and in my private practice for 25 years. Here are some of the applications:
- Use with your warm mist humidifier in the medicine cup to help open breathing passages.
- Use in the bath to ease body aches and fever from flu and congestion from colds.
- Apply carefully to sinus acupressure points (avoid eyes!). I would watch amazed as my girls’ stuffy sinuses would clear and they would drift off to sleep in breathing comfort.
- Apply to chest, under nostrils, and on back (per label instructions) using gentle massage, to help fight viruses, ease congestion and increase circulation.
Chamomile Baby Rub:
Healing, soothing, ease pain and inflammation.
This magical oil is great for preventing and easing chapped skin from frequent nose blowing. Apply frequently under nostrils and on chest to relax and comfort your loved ones - including yourself.
Herbal Teas Peppermint, Breathe Easy, Ginger, & Chamomile. Warm herbal teas help to increase circulation, thin mucus, and soothe the throat. Plus, when we’re sick, it’s hard to take in much else. Froth some warm plant milk (I like oat) and add a bit of honey to make it more special and tasty for little ones and us too! We all want to be comforted when we’re sick!
Immune Stimulant Concentrate:
At the first sign of illness - chills, sore throat, cough - I will put a drop of this powerful anti-viral oil formula on each tonsil, 3 x per day. The effectiveness of this simple approach surprises me every time. I have not been ill since starting this practice. (Knock on wood!) For age twelve and older.
Lavender essential oil
Reduce fever, calm, soothe.
A cool lavender compress is a welcome addition to your arsenal when it comes to the distress of a fever. Lavender essential oil has the ability to cool, calm and comfort when the flu has temperatures rising. Simply put 1-2 drops in a large bowl, add cold water and swish thoroughly to help integrate the essential oil into the water, and then add as many ice cubes as the bowl will allow. Dip a clean wash cloth all the way into the water a few times, wring out and immediately apply to forehead, arms, chest or back - anywhere your patient will allow. Repeat as soon as the cloth is warm.
Having these items in your First Aid Kit will give you the confidence to handle the sudden onset of symptoms - whether they strike in the middle of the night or on the weekend, you'll be ready! Print out the instructions above and keep with your Kit for peace of mind.
Now that you know more about how to be prepared for flu season, click here to learn how to get more out of your flu season kit!
There will be more blogs coming to let you know the many ways you can use all of the above products to address numerous ailments that arise!