How to Prep Yourself for Flu Season with Essential Oils

The summer has dimmed its light and the colder months are heading our way. While we may be excited about enjoying winter activities we certainly do not look forward to having a runny nose, sore throat and fever. Flu season is slowly approaching, and you should consider protecting yourself against circulating viruses to the best of your ability.

An effective and safe way to boost your immunity and relieve flu symptoms is by using essential oils. It has been proven countless times by now that pure plant extracts have an impressive medicinal value. Antibacterial and antiviral properties found in every drop of your favorite essential oils will help you prep your body for what’s to come.

Ways to Prep Yourself for Flu Season with Essential Oils

Last year’s flu season 2017-2018 started in November and it lingered around till the end of March. It is safe to say that influenza outbreaks are prevalent during the colder half of the year. That does not come as surprise since RNA viruses thrive in colder weather. Cold not only creates an ideal living environment for viruses but it also impairs our immune response to them.

Staying healthy for half a year when people closest to you are getting sick is difficult. You can minimize your chances of getting sick with this strategic plan that highlights the usefulness of essential oils.

1. Keep Your Home Clean

This is pretty much self-explanatory. The cleaner the environment you live in the less likely you will come in contact with pathogens.  Proper hygiene will help you minimize the exposure to airborne common cold and flu viruses.

It is extremely important that you improve your cleaning routine if you do not live alone. Even if you isolate yourself for the better part of the year, family members who are in contact with the outside world will still bring the influenza virus right in your home. Kids who are in daycare and public schools are usually the first to get sick.

Instead of using store-bought cleaners to disinfect your home try making your own natural cleaning agents with essential oils. Strong synthetic chemicals and fragrances added to the conventional cleaning products can be highly irritable especially to people with asthma and allergies.

Best Antimicrobial Essential Oils for Disinfecting

  • Cinnamon essential oil
  • Thyme essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Clove essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil

Cleaning Tips

  1. Establish a deep cleaning routine for your home. Try cleaning big surfaces of your home at least once a weak.
  2. Focus on cleaning door knobs, faucet handles, TV remote and other objects that you and your family members touch on a regular basis.
  3. Switch up essential oils that you use for cleaning every once in a while to prevent the microbes from growing the resistance to the antibacterial and antiviral properties found in oils. Instead of sticking to one essential oil try using multiple in different ratios.
  4. Wear rubber gloves when cleaning with essential oils.
  5. Store your homemade essential oil cleaning agents in a cool, dark place, out of reach and sight of children.

All-Purpose Oregano Cleaning Fluid

Things you will need:

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle and give it a good shake.
  • Feel free to substitute oregano essential oil with a mix of different essential oils.
  • Use this solution to clean your kitchen countertop, shower, trash cans and much more.
  • Keep the cleaner in a cool, dark place.

TIP: For more DIY recipes take a look at our 8 Best Essential Oils For Cleaning and Disinfecting article.

2. Purify the Air in Your Home with Essential Oils

Diffuser Blends for Purifying the Air

Blend 1: 6 drops lemon, 3 drops eucalyptus, 1 drop thyme

Blend 2: 3 drops lemongrass, 2 drops tea tree, 1 drop basil

Blend 3: 3 drops orange, 2 drops palmarosa, 2 drops lavender

Blend 4: 4 drops lime, 3 drops rosemary, 2 drops peppermint

How to Prep Yourself for Flu Season with Essential Oils

Essential Oil Spray for Killing Germs

Things you will need:

  • 3 cups of distilled water
  • 1 ½ cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
  • 15 drops of tea tree essential oil
  • 15 drops of lemon essential oil
  • Tinted glass spray bottle

Instructions:

  • Add all ingredients to a glass spray bottle and give it a good shake.
  • Use the spray to disinfect the air in your home.
  • Shake the bottle before each use.
  • Store in a cool, dark place out of reach of children.

3. Strengthen Your Immune System

A healthy and responsive immune system is the best defense mechanism you can have. As preppers, we often spend too much time searching for the right protection tools meanwhile neglecting the natural defense system that is there to protect us from internal and external threats. We may not be aware of it, but our immune system kills spontaneous blood cancer cells every day.

The chances of getting infected with influenza virus during flu season are very high. Upon infection, our immune system produces antibodies that are responsible for neutralizing the virus and thus preventing the illness. Your immune response to influenza virus is often determined by inherited factors and age.

Your immune system, however, can be improved to its fullest potential with proper nutrition, an adequate amount of daily sleep and exercising. The best way to prep your body for influenza outbreak is with vitamins and nutrients obtained from a healthy diet. Nutrients like omega-3s, vitamin A, C, D, B-complex vitamins, zinc, etc.

You can elevate your body prepping by introducing essential oils to your daily routine. Essential oils are packed with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties that can help you stimulate your immune system for better response. Eucalyptus essential oil, for instance, has immune-stimulatory effects. Take a look at this extended list of essential oils for immune support.

Best Essential Oils for Immune Support

  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Cinnamon bark essential oil
  • Grapefruit essential oil
  • Clove essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil

Diffuser Blends for Immune Support

Blend 1: 5 drops lavender, 3 drops rosemary, 2 drops geranium

Blend 2: 4 drops lemon, 4 drops grapefruit, 2 drops oregano

Blend 3: 4 drops ginger, 4 drops frankincense, 1 drop cinnamon bark, 1 drop german chamomile

Blend 4: 4 drops orange, 3 drops rosemary, 2 drops cinnamon, 1 drop clove

Blend 5: 3 drops lavender, 1 drop patchouli, 1 drop lemon

4. Secure Your Sleep

It is estimated that 50-70 million adults in the US have a sleep disorder. This number proves that falling asleep is not as easy for some people. If you have difficulty catching your zzz’s you should work towards improving your sleep habits. Sleep will help you preserve your short-term and long-term health.

When you are sleep deprived you are more susceptible to getting cold and flu  Our immune system weakens when we are not getting enough rest. Sleep keeps our natural defense system in check and it also helps us recover faster from influenza infection. Our body is in full repair mode during sleep. You may notice that your fever rises during sleep, which is a sign that your body is at hard work, fighting against the influenza virus.

Essential oils can help you tackle your sleeplessness in a natural and non-addictive way. They can even help you fall asleep when your flu symptoms are getting in the way. Their sedative properties will help you calm your senses and drift into sweet dreams.

Best Essential Oils for Sleep

  • Lavender essential oil
  • Roman chamomile essential oil
  • Sweet marjoram essential oil
  • Ylang-ylang essential oil
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Bergamot essential oil
  • Sandalwood essential oil
  • Frankincense essential oil

Diffuser Blends for Better Sleep

Blend 1: 3 drops lavender, 3 drops cedarwood

Blend 2: 2 drops lavender, 2 drops roman chamomile, 2 drops marjoram

Blend 3: 2 drops frankincense, 3 drops vetiver, 3 drops lavender

Blend 4: 5 drops lavender, 5 drops melissa

Blend 5: 2 drop myrtle, 1 drops lavender

5. Fight Flu Symptoms in Time

If you catch the flu this season, do your best to treat the symptoms in time. Symptoms such as a runny nose, congestion, cough, sore throat, headache, muscle weakness, and chest discomfort can be alleviated with the help of essential oils. Minty essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus are especially great at opening airway passages for better breathing, relieving the symptoms of asthma and bronchitis and improving muscle fatigue and headaches. Take a look at this extended list of essential oils for relieving flu symptoms.

Best Essential Oils for Relieving Flu Symptoms

  • Eucalyptus essential oil
  • Peppermint essential oil
  • Rosemary essential oil
  • Lemon essential oil
  • Tea tree essential oil
  • Thyme essential oil
  • Oregano essential oil
  • Clove essential oil
  • Ginger essential oil

Diffuser Blends for Relieving Flu Symptoms

Blend 1: 2 drops each eucalyptus, rosemary, oregano, peppermint

Blend 2: 2 drops peppermint, 4 drops eucalyptus, 5 drops frankincense

Blend 3: 2 drops bay laurel, 2 drops frankincense, 1 drop eucalyptus

Blend 4: 2 drops pine, 2 drops eucalyptus, 1 drop star anise

Blend 5: 3 drops pine, 2 drops tea tree, 2 drops eucalyptus

Tips for Recovering Faster With Essential Oil

  1. Diffuse essential oil blends into the air to open up your nasal passages and stimulate mucus secretion.
  2. Diffuse essential oils in your bathroom while you take a steaming bath or shower.
  3. Take an aromatherapy bath. Mix your favorite essential oil blend for flu with a half a cup of Epsom salt. Dissolve this mixture in your bath water. Aromatic vapor will help soothe your respiratory organs, and Epsom salt will help you relieve muscle fatigue.
  4. Relieve your congestion and cough with steam inhalation. Add 1-2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to a bowl of hot water. Lean over the bowel and place a towel over your head. Inhale the aromatic steam to stimulate the release of mucus.
  5. Massage your temples and back of the neck with diluted peppermint essential oil to get rid of a headache or a migraine. Dilute peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil of your choice (almond oil, jojoba oil, olive oil etc.)
  6. Add 6 drops of peppermint essential oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil. Massage your aching muscles and the bottom of your feet.
  7. Dilute your favorite essential oil blend for flu symptoms in a roller bottle. Keep this handy remedy on you when you are at work, at school and out and about. Apply the remedy on your neck and chest when you have difficulty breathing or rub it in the palms of your hand and inhale deeply.
  8. Do not ingest essential oils!

Bath Salts for Nasal Congestion

Things you will need:

  • 1 cup Epsom salt
  • ¼ cup sea salt
  • ¼ cup baking soda
  • 3 drops of rosemary
  • 2 drops of eucalyptus
  • 2 drops of peppermint
  • Glass mason jar

Instructions:

  1. Add Epsom salt, sea salt and baking soda to the glass mason jar.
  2. Add essential oils to the mason jar. Stir well with a wooden popsicle stick to evenly distribute essential oils.
  3. Use a half a cup of salts per bath. If your bathtub is smaller in size, use ¼ a cup per bath.
  4. Do not add bath salts to the running water. Hot running water will quickly evaporate essential oils. Turn off the water first and then add the bath salts to it. Make sure the salts are completely dissolved and oils dispersed before stepping in.

Top Essential Oils to Have During Flu Season

Conclusion

As the last warm days of this year are counted we are expecting flu season to come knocking on our doors. And when it knocks, it is better to be prepared than caught off gourd.

There are a number of preventative measures you can take to minimize your chances of getting sick. Staying inside, washing your hands, sneezing in a tissue, staying hydrated, eating nutritious foods and resting will help you get through this winter.

You can take prevention to a whole another level by giving essential oils a try. They are packed with antiviral and antibacterial properties strong enough to keep your home disinfected and free of germs. Pure plant extracts will also help you relieve flu symptoms if need be.

Essential oils are extremely versatile. Just one bottle of the right essential oil goes a long way. You can use eucalyptus essential oil to clean your house, purify the air, relieve your congestion, get rid of a headache, improve your breathing, soothe your muscle fatigue, and much more.

Like any other medicine, essential oils have to be used with caution as well. These last tips will ensure your safety when using essential oils:

  1. Label your prepped remedies to keep a track of your inventory and expiration dates.
  2. Store your prepped remedies in glass bottles and mason jars, in a cool, dark place out of reach of children.
  3. Do not ingest essential oils! Essential oils are extremely potent and they can damage the mucous membrane of your internal organs. Only 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. Such a high dose of peppermint may have opposite effects on your body.
  4. Always dilute essential oils before topical application. 2% dilution is sufficient for adults. Add 2 drops of essential oil to every teaspoon (5 ml) of carrier oil.
  5. Do not dilute your essential oils with water. Always use an emulsifier even when adding essential oils to your bath. You can use Epsom salt, liquid castile soap, aloe vera gel, etc.
  6. Do a skin patch test to make sure you are not sensitive or allergic to any topical essential oil remedy.
  7. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult with your doctor prior to use of essential oils.
  8. Buy your essential oils from reputable companies who test the purity of their products.

Amela D. is a Backdoor Survival writer who specialized in the field of aromatherapy. She has managed to turn her passion for natural medicine into a profession. Her job here is to give you and other nature enthusiasts a true insight into the world of essential oils. When she is not writing, she is either making her essential oil soap line or spending time in her garden, growing organic produce and living life as naturally as possible.

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