A garden growing medicinal herbs at Na Wa Public hospital in Thailand’s Nakhon Phanom province. Photo courtesy of The Commons

Natural Flu Remedies

Herbs have been used for centuries to prevent and treat illnesses. Many herbs are available commercially, and others are easy to grow at home. Here is a simple way to use herbs for your benefit.

Essential Oils for Flu Prevention/Treatment

All viruses mutate, and the virus that causes Covid-19 mutates almost once a week. Therefore, we will be dealing with this issue for some time. Essential oils have been used for decades at SunMt, and information on those is offered here for those open to natural products.

Natural essential oils are highly concentrated botanicals with medicinal properties. Always test to see if your skin reacts before using them topically. Anything with “fragrance” in the ingredients is a synthetic that does nothing for your health. Buy from a reputable source. Choose the aromas you like by purchasing where they have testers.

To use essential oils: 10 drops in a diffuser or diluted in water plus vodka in a spray bottle to clean the air; dilute in a carrier oil and add to steamy bathwater; in a carrier oil for massaging the head, neck or feet; a few drops in a bowl of hot water for steam inhalation with a towel over your head; or a few drops diluted in water in washcloths against your face or forehead.

The easy way to use the antiviral/bacterial/fungal: one drop in the palm of one hand, rub hands together and inhale through nose and mouth for a few minutes until the aroma disappears.

You can also use a one-ounce spray bottle with water (or with a little non-GMO vodka) and a few drops of lavender (alone or with two drops of clove) or all eucalyptus to spray as an aromatic disinfectant for one’s mask or hands.

Antiviral/Bacterial/Fungals

Lavender floral aroma calming to the nerves is a favorite for cleaning products and as a hand sanitizer in an alcohol base. Tea tree oil inhibits bacteria and fights infections.

Eucalyptus antivirals can be used against various strains of viruses including enveloped mumps viruses (MV) and herpes simplex viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2). One of the unique symptoms of the SARS-CoV-2 disease, Covid-19, is the loss of smell and taste. Smell training is used in facilitating recovery of the olfactory sense using essential oils of eucalyptus, lemon, rose and clove.

Clove has eugenol with antimicrobial, antiviral and antifungal properties used in dental care for numbing antibacterial properties applied with a toothpick to the area, but some are allergic so test first. It is safer to use clean surfaces, air or a few drops in the lavender-based formulation in a carrier oil. If safe for you, cloves benefit cough, asthma, digestive and increase oxygenation.

Thieves essential oil is a powerful combination of clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils for an aromatic blend with a rich, spicy aroma. Use in a carrier oil, such as coconut oil, olive oil or almond oil, at a ratio of about one drop of the thieves blend to 5–10 drops of the carrier oil.

Recipe: 40 drops clove essential oil + 35 drops lemon essential oil + 20 drops cinnamon bark essential oil + 15 drops eucalyptus essential oil + 10 drops rosemary essential oil.

More Antivirals

Cinnamon, bergamot, lemongrass and thyme essential oils tested against pathogenic viruses, including influenza and other respiratory viral infections, were found to exert potent antiviral effects against influenza Type A virus. Peppermint oil in high concentrations reduced both herpes viruses by more than 90%.

  • Maia Ballis was the herbalist of SunMt Center of the People Food and Land Foundation in Tollhouse for 30 years.

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