Cold and flu season hit our house this week. With 2 little kids we knew it was bound to happen sooner or later, and it did. I have often (lovingly) referred to my children as petri dishes - put any little germ on them and they will spread it quickly. My daughter picked up something at school and then ('cause sharing is caring!) passed it on to her brother and dad - who both came down with the dreaded "man cold".
That runny nose, sinus pain, chest congestion, fatigue and muscle/joint pain hit them hard. When those symptoms are around, I always reach for my essential oils that I know will help ease their symptoms and make them feel better!
Essential Oils for Colds and Flus
Eucalyptus - Helps clear airways and eases coughs and runny noses
Peppermint - Helps clear airways and runny noses. When applied topically it can help cool the body.
Tea Tree - Helps clear airways and boost immunity.
Lavender - Helps decrease congestion (anti-inflammatory)
Lemon - Helps decrease congestion and helps decrease mucus.
Rosemary - helps ease muscle/joint aches and headaches
Oregano - boosts the immune system and is a powerful germ killer
Black Pepper - Helps ease muscle/joint pain as well as warming body chills
Black Spruce - Helps ease muscle/joint pain
Juniper - can help boost immunity and a powerful germ killer
It is important to note that essential oils are amazing to add to how to treat colds and flus, but are in no way a replacement. They can help ease your symptoms and help boost your bodies own natural immunity, but colds and flus should still be monitored carefully and taken seriously. For the most part, there is no cure for the common cold or flu. Most medical professionals recommend plenty of rest and fluids and to seek professional medical attention if symptoms last for a period longer than 10 days, are accompanied by a high fever or if your symptoms are not manageable at home.
This all natural vapor rub is am amazing dupe for Vicks Vapor Rub. The consistency is a solid, hard body butter at room temperature that melts quickly when massaged and stays oily on the skin. Most of the time we want body butters to absorb into the skin quickly, but we actually want the opposite in this vapor rub. We want it to stay warm on the skin so that the essential oils are released slowly and are breathed in - helping to clear the airways and nasal passages as it is inhaled. But we also want some of the essential oils to be absorbed into the body to help the body win its internal battle with the germs causing us to feel unwell. It has a very slight cooling/tingling sensation on the skin from the peppermint as well.
The scent of this butter is incredible. The base is made of coconut oil and beeswax - two smells that are wonderful without any essential oils. Add in the essential oils and the first thing you smell is the combination of the peppermint and eucalyptus - a fresh and clearing smell, followed by the lavender, rosemary and black spruce - giving it a calming and balancing smell followed by a very surprising but very pleasant lemon smell as an almost afternote. The smell lingers on the body without being overpowering.
1/2 cup - Pure coconut oil
2 Tbsp - Beeswax pastilles
20 drops - Peppermint Oil
20 drops - Eucalyptus Oil
10 drops - Rosemary Oil
10 drops - Lavender Oil
5 drops - Black Spruce Oil
5 drops - Lemon Oil
(This is approximately a 3% dilution)
- In a microwave safe dish - measure the beeswax pastilles. Heat in the microwave for 30 second bursts (stirring in between each burst) until melted through. Mine was melted through after 1 minute 30 seconds.
- Add in the coconut oil to the melted beeswax and stir. The coconut oil should melt with just the heat of the beeswax. You may wish to add the mixture to the microwave is the beeswax is starting to go from clear to cloudy while stirring in the coconut oil (30 second bursts - stirring in between each burst)
- add essential oils to mixture and stir.
- Pour mixture into storage container to set. Do not seal container while the mixture is still cooling to avoid condensation/water being introduced to your concoction.
To use: Rub under the nose, onto the chest, throat or back and or on the bottoms of the feet and cover with warm socks. Reapply as needed and apply as generously as you would like.