Table of Contents
- 1 How To Differentiate A Cold From The Flu?
- 2 What Are The Main Symptoms For Flu?
- 3 How To Treat Flu Naturally – 7 Natural Flu Remedies
- 4 Why Do You Use Essential Oils For Flu Treatment?
- 5 Best Ways Of Using Essential Oils For Flu
- 6 What Are The Best Essential Oils For Flu
- 7 Best Essential Oil Recipes for Flu Prevention and Treatment
- 7.1 1. Essential Oil Blend for Cold And Flu Prevention
- 7.2 2. Essential Oil Blend For Flu In Children
- 7.3 3. Essential Oils and Recipes for Stomach Flu
- 7.4 Thieves And Oregano Essential Oil Mix For Stomach Flu And Flu Aches
- 7.5 Peppermint Oil For Stomach Flu
- 7.6 4. Essential Oil Recipes For Fast Flu Relief
- 7.7 5. Essential Oil Blend for Chronic Flu
- 8 Other Essential Oil Recipes for Flu Treatment
- 8.1 Recipe 1 – Daytime Essential Oil Recipe for Flu
- 8.2 Recipe 2 – Bedtime Essential Oil Recipe for Flu
- 8.3 Recipe 3 – Mixture of Thieves, Frankincense, Oregano, Melaleuca and Lemon Essential Oil for Flu Treatment
- 8.4 Recipe 4 – Mixture of Melaleuca, Peppermint, Oregano, Thieves and Clove Essential Oils for Flu Treatment
- 8.5 Recipe 5 – Mixture of 8 Essential Oils for Flu Treatment
- 9 Safety Measures to Use Essential Oils for Flu
- 10 The Bottom Line
How To Differentiate A Cold From The Flu?
Are you wondering whether you have a cold or flu? While colds and flu generally share the same symptoms, they are caused by different viruses. According to various studies, there are over 200 viruses that cause colds and only three that cause the flu. Even then, the flu bug is much more aggressive than a cold. So how do you know if a chest-rattling cough is a severe cold or the flu?
Usually, a cold begins with a sore throat, which goes away after a day or two. Nasal congestion, coughing, runny nose, sore throat and sneezing follow by the fourth day. Fever is more likely to affect children but is uncommon in adults.
While a cold comes on more slowly, the flu hits you pretty fast. Flu symptoms include a dry cough, sudden fever, muscle aches, sweating and exhaustion. Vomiting and diarrhea is mostly associated with swine flu.
What Are The Main Symptoms For Flu?
Influenza is the virus that causes flu. There are three types of influenza virus: A, B and C. It is usually difficult to know exactly the type of virus causing the illness, so doctors often diagnose a flu-like illness. It is commonly associated with the symptoms of fever, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. The disease caused by influenza virus tends to be worse than other diseases which cause a flu-like illness. Even if you are healthy, flu can make you go to bed.
The stomach flu is caused by a number of different viruses that attack the gastrointestinal system. If you have the stomach flu, you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, headache, fever, weight loss and sore muscles. Typically, the symptoms develop within 24 to 48 hours of being exposed to the virus and resolve within a few days. However, it’s not uncommon for the flu to last up to 10 days.
More common with the flu, widespread aches are a sign that your body is releasing chemicals to help fight the infection. Typically, the aches occur in the joints and muscles and are usually the first symptoms of flu. They are generally mild and will go away with time. However, severe and incapacitating aches may signal serious underlying conditions that should be evaluated by a health professional.
Chronic flu is a serious condition which requires immediate medical attention. If you are a culprit of constant bouts of flu, have achy burning muscles, high-grade fevers and extreme nasal congestion, you should consider getting tested for chronic flu. With chronic flu, the body is mainly weak and tends to catch every virus going around no matter how hygienic one tries to be. One can also feel irritable and unable to perform routine activities as a result of prolonged fatigue.
Flu In Children
Typical signs of flu in children include extreme temperature, headache, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, dry cough and general ill feeling. Vomiting tends to be more pronounced than diarrhea. The symptoms are usually at their worst in the first two days. Then they gradually ease over a couple of days. An irritating cough may persist for more than a week after symptoms have disappeared.
How To Treat Flu Naturally – 7 Natural Flu Remedies
Flu can create a world of misery and gloom, from sore throat and cough, to fever, congestion and chills. Pharmaceutical drugs can help you feel better but in most cases, home remedies are all you may need to jolt up your system.
So to help you fight the pesky flu bug, we made a list of the top 5 natural remedies for flu.
The potency of ginger in fighting flu is incredible. Besides relieving sore throat, it adds a definitive punch that helps to ease congestion. Do you want to know why ginger has been used for centuries to relieve flu symptoms? Well, for a start, it is the most effective way to boost the immune system and also take advantage of the endless health benefits of a healthy ginger recipe. If you’re having it for the first time, ginger may not be something you might want to add into your cup, but once you get used to its spicy taste, you will no doubt make it a favorite addition to your home remedy ingredients.
Here is a Popular Recipe: Add several slices of fresh ginger into a glass of hot water and sip for an extra boost or to soothe a pesky cough. You can also combine with peppermint for an extra elation.
2. Green Tea
If you aren’t a green tea fan, it’s time you join the wagon. Green tea is so delicious, so smooth and has a resemblance to peppermint tea. It comes fortified with wholesome packages to give you energy and boost your overall mood while fighting the flu virus. Additionally, it is famed for its ability to help the body adapt to various stressors. And since green tea is highly nutritious, it is recommended that you begin with 1 to 2 cups per day then possibly walk your way to 3 to 4 cups spread through the day.
Here is a Popular Recipe: Drink 2 to 3 cups of green tea per day when you feel flu symptoms coming on.
Drinking garlic water does not sound particularly alluring, but wait until you hear the beneficial addition garlic adds to your home-made remedy. In fact, I will go to the extent of declaring garlic a healing potion to the body. This is because of its numerous benefits, the main one being its immune-boosting properties. It contains a compound known as allicin, which floods your gut with healthy immune heightening compounds. As long as you’re able to stand the strong smell, then tickling your taste buds with nutritious garlic could do wonders to your body.
Here is a Popular Recipe: Crush 2-3 cloves of garlic and add into hot water. Drink it just like tea.
4. Raw Honey
Raw honey is among the best ways to ward off flu and bolster the immune system. Honey is twofold; it has a unique sweetness to it, and then with its antiviral and antibacterial goodness, you will certainly be hopping with health. Of course, a spike in sugar is not needed at this point, but again you definitely don’t want to nap all day. To keep your body at balance, the mixture should be thoughtfully spiced with honey. Honey is known to relieve sore throat and hasten the healing process.
Here is a Popular Recipe: Use it in your tea, coffee or plain water. You can also gargle with lemon, salt water and honey. Even better, you can take honey on its own.
There is no better way to take advantage of the abundance of Vitamin C and a horde of other healthy luxuries than to add lemon to your home-made remedy. Lemon and lime are reported to decrease the strength of the flu virus in the body. And unlike any other natural remedy, lemons concentrate a mild taste delivering a pure taste in an outstanding consistency of bitter and sweet. Everything considered, it seems that as long as you are easy-going, you can always try out new things cautiously and openly. Others may differ: I say try any of these ingredients and listen to your body.
Here is a Popular Recipe: Squeeze lemon juice and make hot or cold lemonade sweetened with honey. Sip up!
6. Salt Water
Salt water helps ease nasal congestion, while getting rid of viruses and bacteria from your nose. Mix a pinch of salt in a pint of warm water. Use a small syringe to squeeze water into your nose then squirt the mixture inside. Let it drain and repeat the same process two times before treating the other nostril.
7. Lots of Water
Drinking lots of water helps to make mucus thinner and therefore easier to get rid of when you blow or cough. In this way, your sinuses will drain better since you won’t be dehydrated, making it less likely for the symptoms of flu to progress.
Why Do You Use Essential Oils For Flu Treatment?
Essential oils like Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Clove, Lemon and Tea Tree have been used for centuries to fight the symptoms of flu. They help the body fight infection and serve to strengthen the immune system. This is because they are known to deter the growth of viruses thereby inhibiting their existence. Essential oils are so versatile and can be used in various ways. You can add them to bathwater, diffuse them in air or apply them directly to your skin.
Many people complain that essential oils did not work for them during flu season, not realizing that they did not use them appropriately. Using essential oils correctly is very crucial. For instance, the same oils should not be used for more than two weeks straight as the body builds resistance to it.
When applied to the skin, for instance on the soles of feet, the anti-viral properties of essential oils infiltrate into the bloodstream within 20 minutes and start impacting within 24 hours. And for the best results, it is important to use therapeutic grade essential oils.
Best Ways Of Using Essential Oils For Flu
A good way to make the most of essential oils in conditions like flu is to inhale them through your nose and lungs so they enter your body directly. You can add four to five drops of the essential oil of your choice to a skillet of boiling water and inhale. Cover your face with a towel and carefully lean over the pot to breathe in the steam.
Alternatively, place one or two drops of oil in a warm damp cloth and put the cloth on the forehead or chest to help alleviate pain and congestion. Furthermore, add 5-8 drops of essential oil to your bathing water for a soothing and relaxing effect.
What Are The Best Essential Oils For Flu
Essential oils have been put to use since centuries for suppressing the symptoms of flu. You can use them in a bath, apply them directly to the skin or just diffuse them in the air and benefit from their ability to control the symptoms of flu and flu aches. While being helpful at fighting infections due to their antiviral, antibacterial and decongestant properties, essential oils stimulate the immune system of the body and enable it to get rid of infections on its own.
Keeping that in mind, here are some of the best essential oils to help you to stay healthy in this season of colds and flu. If you are not familiar with essential oils and their use, I would suggest consulting a certified aromatherapist before using them.
1. Eucalyptus essential oil
Due to its antiviral and decongestant properties, the essential oil of eucalyptus helps with congestion and colds, which are the most prominent symptoms of flu. When used in a steam inhaler, eucalyptus essential oil can cure nasal congestion, fight bacteria and bring down the inflammation.
2. Thyme essential oil
The essential oil of thyme is both antibacterial and antiseptic. Many therapists recommend this oil to be used with eucalyptus, tea tree oil and lemon to help combat congestion. You either can use this essential oil in a diffuser or can add to your bath water. However, it is not advisable to use this oil if you have high blood pressure.
3. Peppermint essential oil
The antiviral and antiseptic properties of the essential oil of peppermint makes it an excellent expectorant. You can use peppermint oil in a steam inhaler; however, do not use it while babies or infants are around.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil has antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral and antiseptic properties. When added in bath water or diffuser, tea tree oil helps to fight congestion and relieves discomfort that arises due to colds and flu.
5. Lemon essential Oil
Lemon essential oil helps the body’s immune system trigger the production of white blood cells, thus increasing your capacity to fight against the disease. Lemon oil also boosts blood circulation of the body.
6. Essential oil of Thieves
Thieves of the 15th century developed the essential oil of thieves during one of the epidemics of plague that happened during that time. This essential oil is a blend of rosemary, eucalyptus, clove, cinnamon and lemon oils. The oil has antibacterial, antiseptic and antiviral properties that can do wonders when used in a diffuser. I often use this oil as a throat spray to relieve sore throat.
7. Rosemary essential Oil
Rosemary acts as an antimicrobial and an antiseptic agent. It is advisable to massage a blend of eucalyptus, lemon and rosemary essential oil over the temples, cheekbones and nose to relieve discomfort and congestion.
8. Lavender essential oil
The essential oil of Lavender has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties. This essential oil can be used on children too as it is very mild.
9. Pine essential oil
The essential oil of pine helps to clear the nasal passages. I have also found this oil to be helpful in relieving throat pain.
10. Essential oil of Oregano
Oregano oil is one of the good essential oils to use for conditions like flu due to its antiseptic, antiparasitic, antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties. It is also a phenomenal immune stimulant. In fact, there is nothing that this oil can’t do, including killing Norovirus. I consider it as one of the most essential things you should have in your holistic medicine cabinet.
Best Essential Oil Recipes for Flu Prevention and Treatment
1. Essential Oil Blend for Cold And Flu Prevention
- 3/4 teaspoon Ravintsara
- 1/2 teaspoon Bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon Lavender
- 1 teaspoon of Eucalyptus
Put all these ingredients in a dark glass bottle. Shake liberally to mix for 2 minutes. Close and label it. Now leave it for 24 hours to settle before use. Diffuse 10-20 drops a day during cold and flu season to avoid catching flu.
2. Essential Oil Blend For Flu In Children
The previous recipe is a stronger blend that requires dilution when used on children. Personally, I feel more comfortable with a different recipe for my children.
- 20 drops of Lavender
- 20 drops of Lemon
- 20 drops of Tea Tree
- Fractionated coconut oil
Mix all the above essential oils in a glass roll-on bottle. Fill in the empty part of the bottle with coconut oil. If required, adjust the proportion of essential oils with respect to coconut. Apply to soles of the feet or along the spine, when you are sick or two times a day for prevention.
Do not use essential oils such as eucalyptus, cinnamon bark and oregano, as they are not safe for children.
3. Essential Oils and Recipes for Stomach Flu
Stomach flu is an intestinal infection identified by chills, nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps and diarrhea. A mixture of the following oils is helpful in conditions like stomach flu and flu aches: anise, tarragon, fennel, ginger, patchouli, juniper, lemongrass and peppermint. Blend all these ingredients in equal amounts. Weaken a few drops of this blend in a teaspoon of olive oil and massage it on the stomach.
Thieves And Oregano Essential Oil Mix For Stomach Flu And Flu Aches
Some people mix 4 drops of extra virgin olive oil and a drop each of these two essential oils in a vegetable capsule and consume daily.
Peppermint Oil For Stomach Flu
Peppermint is one of the most common oils used for all types of abdominal or digestive disorders…even constipation!
Ways to Use Peppermint Oil for Stomach Flu Treatment
- For children over 12 years old: massage highly diluted peppermint oil over the foot soles to treat stomach disorders.
- Diffuse peppermint oil in the air to alleviate stomachache. A good idea to diffuse peppermint in the air is putting few drops of it on a cotton ball and placing this cotton ball in the vent. If you have a diffuser, you can use that too.
- Weaken the peppermint oil with a carrier oil and gently rub on the stomach.
- Inhale straight from the bottle
4. Essential Oil Recipes For Fast Flu Relief
- 10 drops Oregano
- 15 drops of Melaleuca
- 15 drops of Lemon
- Fractionated Coconut oil
Mix all the above oils in a roll-on bottle. Now, fill the rest of the space in the bottle with coconut oil. Thereafter, apply to the soles or along the spine when you are not feeling well or two times a day for the purpose of prevention.
Many people consume this blend of essential oils in capsule form to fight flu. Well, I cannot challenge their belief but I will say that inhalation and topical use are far better options. This is what we used to do in our family for fighting colds and flu.
5. Essential Oil Blend for Chronic Flu
Here is a fantastic recipe that Native Americans Nutritionals had shared with me. Surely, this recipe will be helpful for everyone reading it.
- 20 drops of Lavender
- 15 drops of Pine
- 15 drops of Lemon
Put all these essential oils in a dark glass bottle and shake well for few minutes to mix. Label and store it. Put 10 drops of this blend to the diffuser and diffuse in your bedroom and the living area. Diffusing this blend helps to purify the air when someone is sick in your home.
Other Essential Oil Recipes for Flu Treatment
Recipe 1 – Daytime Essential Oil Recipe for Flu
- 2 drops of Peppermint
- 2 drops of Tea Tree
- 2 drops of Lavender
- 2 drops of Eucalyptus
Put 2 drops of peppermint, 2 drops of lavender, 2 drops of tea tree and lastly add 2 drops of eucalyptus oil in a steaming container – let the steam diffuse in the room. Alternatively, add all these essential oils to an essential oil diffuser.
Recipe 2 – Bedtime Essential Oil Recipe for Flu
- 2 drops of Tea Tree
- 2 drops of Lavender
Add 2 drops of tea tree and two drops of lavender essential oil in a steaming container. Now let the steam diffuse in the room (you can add the essential oils to the tea candle diffuser).
Recipe 3 – Mixture of Thieves, Frankincense, Oregano, Melaleuca and Lemon Essential Oil for Flu Treatment
- 1 drop thieves essential oil
- 1 drop of frankincense
- 1 drop of oregano
- 1 drop melaleuca
- 2 drops of lemon
For internal use (always consult your doctor prior to ingesting any essential oils)
Add all of the essential oils to capsules for internal use. Take one capsule every 12 hours with food. As soon as the symptoms subside, bring down the dose to once a day for the next 3 to 5 days. Wash your hands regularly and stay hydrated!
Using in a roller bottle
Multiply the quantities of essential oils mentioned in the above recipe by 10, and add the blend to 10ml roller glass bottle. Fill the remaining bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Apply this blend to your feet every 2-3 hours.
Recipe 4 – Mixture of Melaleuca, Peppermint, Oregano, Thieves and Clove Essential Oils for Flu Treatment
- 1 drop of melaleuca
- 1 drop of peppermint
- 2 drops of lemon juice
- 1 drop of oregano
- 1 drop thieves
- 1 drop of clove
For internal use (always consult your doctor prior to ingesting any essential oils)
Add all essential oils to the capsules for internal use. Take one capsule every 12 hours with food. As soon as the symptoms subside, bring down the dose to daily for the next 3 to 5 days. I would also recommend you to check that the essential oils you are using come with their specific dietary guidelines.
Using in a roller bottle
Multiply the above quantities by 10 and add to 10ml roller glass bottle. Fill the remaining bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Apply this blend to your feet every 2-3 hours.
Recipe 5 – Mixture of 8 Essential Oils for Flu Treatment
- 5 drops of melissa
- 10 drops of eucalyptus
- 10 drops of rosemary
- 30 drops of wild orange
- 15 drops of oregano
- 15 drops of cinnamon bark
- 20 drops of clove
- 15 drops of black pepper
Use in a roller bottle
Add the above-mentioned essential oils to a glass roller bottle and fill the remaining bottle with fractionated coconut oil. Apply this blend to your feet every 2-3 hours.
Safety Measures to Use Essential Oils for Flu
Do not use peppermint essential oil on infants, babies and children under 12 years of age.
Essential oils can be used creatively in many different ways. You do not need a large amount of essential oils for your blend to be effective.
Some essential oils are very potent and may cause skin irritation so diffusion and inhalation may be the best choice when you are using essential oils as a prevention tool.
Ensure that essential oils are properly diluted and that you have gone through the safety instructions before starting using them. Also, always perform a patch test on your skin before using a new oil topically.
The Bottom Line
Essential oils cannot be treated as a substitute for other established ways of overcoming severe cases of flu. Take enough rest and get in touch with your medical practitioner if symptoms worsen. Still, if you are looking for natural ways to boost the body’s defense mechanism during the cold and flu season, essential oils are well worth of your time and attention. The reality is, most of the old standard home remedies, if used properly, can be the best and least expensive natural defense remedies against flu.