Essential Oils to Protect You From the Winter Flu

Ah, November! ‘Tis the season

The season of the coughing co-worker and the sniffling airplane seatmate. In addition to the regular protocol of eating properly, getting lots of restful sleep, and keeping warm, we use essential oils to avoid getting tackled by the flu virus. Using essential oils in this way is both backed by science and is a gorgeously scented gesture of self love—the most important immune booster of all.

Many essential oils are anti-viral and antibacterial but a 2010 study confirmed those properties in a blend of clove, wild orange and cinnamon.

Anecdotally, we know that many other oils have anti-bacterial and anti-viral effects—rosemary, eucalyptus and lemon come to mind—and any of these would be delightful in a blend with the big three we mentioned above.

There are lots of ways to get these protective oils into your life. Essential oils diffused in the air is a powerful means of eradicating airborne viruses and can even destroy viruses you’ve already inhaled.

Place fifteen drops of the oils in any combination in a diffuser and let the healing mist purify your space.

If you think you may have been exposed to a virus—thanks a lot coughing co-worker—place a few drops of each kind of oil in a bowl of hot water and use a towel to trap your head in with the scented steam.

I never fly without a protective oil blend. Between the recycled air and overused bathrooms, modern travel comes with a serious ick factor. I rub a few drops of my blend on my hands when I arrive at the airport and repeat about 15 minutes before boarding the plane. I like to give the scent a chance to dissipate in case my fellow passengers don’t love the smell as much as I do.

How to make a blend

To make a blend, us 6–10 drops of essential oil per teaspoon of cold pressed, neutral carrier oil (I like jojoba or camellia). Place your blend in a dark-coloured glass bottle—the roller ones are handy. Or if you prefer, use 20 drops of essential oils per two ounces of water, and create a protective aromatherapy spray. Have fun playing with the proportions of the oils.

Whatever your preferred delivery system, label your bottle, “I am well.” Use liberally and every time you catch a whiff, take a moment of gratitude for your glowing good health.