Fall is coming, and that means cold and flu season, every mother’s worst nightmare. As the kids are heading off to school, they are picking up all kinds of bugs and germs and bringing them home. I don’t know about you, but at my house when one kid gets sick, it gets passed around the whole family and sometimes Mommy gets hit twice. Over-the-counter cold and flu remedies can cause drowsiness and other side effects that can be harmful when caring for small children. Also, small children cannot take over-the-counter cold and flu medicines. No mother wants to hear her infant coughing and wheezing through a cold with no relief.
Aromatherapy is a natural and safe way to treat many different conditions. Anything from acne, asthma, and fatigue, to labor pains, headache, and warts, they can all be treated with aromatherapy. You just have to find the correct essential oil. Here are few essential oils used to treat cold and flu symptoms for the whole family, even busy mommies.
When I am down with the flu and the day is done, all I want to do is get a good night’s sleep. But, as hard as I try, sometimes I just can’t sleep because I have a headache, and my sinuses are all stuffy, and I just get sick-and-tired of being sick-and-tired. I try to refrain from taking over the counter medications such as Nyquil. Although, they do help me get a good night’s sleep, they knock me out and make it difficult to wake up in the night if one of my kids need me, and be awake early in the morning. Maybe one of my kids needs a bottle at 2am, or has a bad dream at 4am, I want to be alert as possible to avoid getting dizzy and dropping her while I rock her back to sleep. And zombie-mom stumbling into the room may be a little un-nerving to a 3 year old after a nightmare.
Lavender oil is one of the most popular essential oils. Commonly used for its calming and sleep inducing properties, lavender is also used as a first aid ointment. Lavender is anti-bacterial, mixed with its soothing and calming aroma it is great for treating cuts, and calming nerves after a fall. Lavender is also used for treating burns. A French chemist named Maurice Gattefosse’ burned his arm and by reflex plunged it into the large container if lavender oil which was the closest thing around. He later found that his arm healed quickly and did not scar. [aromaweb.com: history of aromatherapy] I recommend using a few drops of lavender oil in a warm bath just before bed.
Neroli is another calming essential oil. It is one of the more expensive essential oils because it is made from orange blossoms and it takes a lot of orange blossoms to make a small amount of neroli oil. On the up-side, a little neroli oil goes a long way. It is used to treat insomnia as well as many other uses. I recommend using it with lavender oil at bed time to help promote a peaceful night’s sleep.
Lemon oil is commonly used to treat cold and flu for its energizing properties. It is also good to diffuse in a room to eliminate many odors and leave a clean fresh scent. In this case, It would do well in a room to freshen the stuffy, musky, air that occurs when sick family members have been shut in all week. Lemon oil also treats many skin conditions as well.
Clary sage helps soothe sore throat, coughing, exhaustion, and asthma, among other things. “this essential oil is quoted widely in the aromatherapy literature as being estrogenic, but clear scientific evidence has not been forthcoming. However, due to the spasmolytic effect on the uterus in vitro, caution should be used in pregnancy and parturition.” [Maria Lis-Balchin Aromatherapy Science: A Guide for Healthcare professionals] I would also use caution around women with “estrogen fed” cancers such as cervical cancer, breast cancer, etc. and around men suffering from baldness and ED (erectile dysfunction) as high estrogen levels in men can be the cause of, or sometimes worsen these conditions. This essential oil is typically safe for the whole family. I recommend adding a few drops in a humidifier.
Eucalyptus oil is most commonly used to treat arthritis and cold sores. As well as being a key ingredient in vapor rubs. It is also used to treat cold and flu, fever, couging, and bronchitis. I recommend using a few drops of eucalyptus oil in a humidifier at night. For infants I recommend also applying infants vapor rub to the bottoms of the feel and covering them with socks. I know, feet sounds crazy but eucalyptus is very toxic if ingested and if you put vapor rub on baby’s chest and he happens to get it on his hand and then puts his hand in his mouth it can cause baby to get sick. By applying infants vapor rub to the feet the aroma will waft up to baby’s face and relieve baby of coughing and stuffy sinuses and help baby sleep. I also recommend putting a small cushion or blanket under the crib mattress to slightly elevate baby’s head in order to help drain nasal passages. Infants generally breathe through their noses and a stuffy nose can make it hard for baby to breathe, this way you can help baby get some relief and not put baby in danger of suffocation by putting pillows in the crib.