Saturday, September 5, 2009

Flu Virus and Essential Oil Awareness September 2009

Flu Virus and Essential Oil Awareness
By Marge Clark

Concern continues over the possibility of contracting the H1N1 (Swine) Flu virus, particularly for those in the higher risk categories as determined by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC): children, young adults, and pregnant women, as we move into the traditional flu season.

Recently, a couple (both emergency room healthcare providers), contacted Nature’s Gift Aromatherapy about which essential oils could possibly offer protection & assistance, after vigilance with hand-washing and all of the known preventative measures have been exhausted. Their concerns included working on the front lines of the healthcare field and being exposed to the virus, as well as the increased risk for their children at home and at school.

Others are no doubt pondering the use of essential oils to protect themselves and their families in light of the possibility of an H1N1 flu epidemic. Two key essential oils with reported anti-viral properties include Ravensara (Agathophyllum aromatica), and Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora). Both plants are indigenous to Madagascar and the leaves are used to produce the essential oil via steam distillation, having a slightly camphorous scent. Ravintsara is the gentler of the two oils and recommended rather than Ravensara for use in children under two years of age or by pregnant women.

Methods of use for the oils include diffusion in an aroma lamp or nebulizing diffuser for the entire family, as well as making a hand lotion or sanitizer with 10%Ravensara in Aloe Vera Gel for use at least three times a day. If one is using it with a child under two years of age, the gentler Ravintsara would be a better choice and in a 5% dilution.

Nature’s Gift also offers a Flu Foil synergy and/or inhaler with a blend of Ravensara, Ravintsara, Eucalyptus, Palma Rosa, and Lavender to address not only the anti-viral aspect, but other symptoms that come with the flu such as respiratory congestion, and aches and pains. The handy inhaler comes prepared for immediate use. The synergistic blend is available in a 5 ml bottle for use in an aroma lamp or on a tissue or pillowcase. If you are flying or in any crowded environment, try inhaling the blend from a tissue, if you do not have an inhaler.

For safety and to prevent sensitization and irritation, never use essential oils or synergistic blends of oils directly on the skin “neat” without diluting in a carrier oil such as Jojoba, Aloe Vera Gel, or Fractionated Coconut Oil. This includes rubbing oils on the soles of one’s feet neat, which is not considered safe or recommended by reputable aromatherapy trade organizations, aromatherapists, or instructors.

Flu preparation, including the use of anti-viral essential oils could prove helpful when battling H1N1 or other viral illnesses over the long winter months.

To learn more about these and other essential oils visit:

1 comment:

Organic Skin Care said...

This is a really interesting article and I will research Ravensara et al further. My first instinct would have been tea tree and/or eucalyptus, but now I'm intrigued. Thanks for the post. I also agree not to rub essential oils neat on the skin, except from time to time I have been known to place a neat drop of lavender on a burn to quickly stop the pain.