Over the last few years, the words ‘antimicrobial resistance’ have been hitting the headlines regularly.
Our desire to take antibiotics for the most minor of health issues – usually coughs, colds and flus - has led to antibiotics becoming increasingly ineffective.
The main issue, however, is that antibiotics don’t treat viruses; they treat bacteria. Unlike many other drugs that are used in medicine, the more we use them, the less effective they become against their target organisms and, as a result,overuse or inappropriate use allows bacteria to develop resistance.
Prior to COVID-19, healthcare professionals around the world were desperately trying to find ways to combat antimicrobial resistance, regularly issuing warnings about the life-changing consequences of antibiotics no longer working.
And then coronavirus – the virus of all viruses – began to dominate the headlines.
The simple fact, however, is that all of the above – flus, coughs and colds, sore throats and ear infections – not to mention a whole raft of other conditions are NOT bacteria – they’re viruses and, as such, need to be dealt with by antiviral medication or antiviral treatment.
Antiviral drugs are a type of medication used specifically for treating viral infections. They act by killing or preventing the growth of viruses and are usually only available by prescription. In many cases the risk of side-effects from these drugs may actually outweigh the benefit of taking them.
While antivirals don’t ‘cure’ the flu, they can help by relieving some of the symptoms. Fortunately, if you do get a virus, you don’t need to head off for antiviral medication. That’s because antiviral essential oil blends can both help relieve the symptoms of the virus and boost your immune system to ensure that you enjoy virus-free health in the future.
Antiviral diffuser blends can provide the perfect way to fend off colds and flus thanks to their antiviral properties. Think about it…… if plants create these compounds for protection, then they’re guaranteed to protect you too!
Garden plants in particular – Thyme, Oregano, Lavender, Rosemary – combined with trees – Juniper, Sage and Frankincense – and grasses, such as Lemongrass and Citronella, will, in combination, produce germ-fighting essential oils. The plants use them to fight off fungi and other germs and so, when we extract the oils, they’ll help us to fight off germs too.
There are loads of ways in which you can use antiviral essential oil blends in your home…
Essential oils such as Tea Tree, Thyme, Clove, and Cinnamon all contain antibacterial, antiviral, AND antifungal properties. Other essential oils such as Eucalyptus, Ginger, Lemongrass, Lemon, and Orange all contain potent antibacterial properties that make them essential for any blend that clears and refreshes the air in your environment.
Cinnamon, for example, is effective against multiple virus strains. In fact, researchers recently found that cinnamon essential oil was effective against flu viruses when combined with Rosemary and Eucalyptus essential oils.
An animal study, meanwhile, found Ginger Root to have antiviral action against the avianflu, while other research shows activity against the herpes simplex virus.
For disinfecting surfaces, you can put a drop of Tea Tree oil and a drop of Lavender or Lemon on a damp cloth and wipe your surfaces down: perfect for use on door handles, phones, light switches and keyboards…. basically anywhere that hands covered with germs may have touched.
To make the air virus free, you could try adding 5 drops of Orange, 3 drops of Cinnamon and 3 drops of Clove to your diffuser for a cleansing oil blend.
While some studies have been done on the subject of antiviral essential oils and viruses, however, they’re not to be used as a treatment or cure; they’re simply natural ways in which you can support your mind and body when they’re under attack by certain viruses.
Diffusing oils is the best way to enhance immunity and neutralize airborne illnesses. When you’re making your antiviral diffuser blends, as always with diffusing, you need to add 5-10 drops of essential oil to the diffuser with the recommendedwater for your diffuser tank.
Here are our favourite antiviral essential oil blend recipes to alleviate symptoms and support wellness.
Oils such as Eucalyptus promote immune stimulation, while Eucalyptus and Rosemary have antibacterial and antiviral properties – which can help the body fight bacteria and viruses.
· 2 drops Cinnamon Bark essential oil
· 2 drops Clove essential oil
· 2 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
· 2 drops Rosemary essential oil
· 2 drops Orange essential oil
Tea Tree oil is one of the most versatile essential oils. Thanks to its 92 different compounds, there are endless ways in which it can be used for general wellness.
· 2 drops Lemongrass essential oil
· 5 drops Tea Tree essential oil
· 4 drops Clove Bud essential oil
Orange is a bright, uplifting oil, which is perfect for relaxing the mind, body and soul. It’s also a natural when it comes to revitalising. The perfect pick-me-up for positivity!
· 4 drops Orange essential oil
· 3 drops Clove essential oil
· 3 drops Tea Tree essential oil
Essential oils can help with congestion by promoting drainage and fighting viruses and bacteria associated with congestion.
· 4 drops Eucalyptus essential oil
· 2 drops Peppermint essential oil
· 5 drops Frankincense essential oil
Some people swear by Lemon essential oil thanks to its ability to kill harmful viruses and bacteria. It will also reduce any inflammation in the body.
· 3 drops Lemon essential oil
· 2 drops Eucalyptus Radiata essential oil
· 1 drop Thyme essential oil
Ginger – the ‘Oil of Empowerment’ – is excellent for eliminating bacteria, helping the body to operate at full capacity. Stimulating and warming, it’s also great for reducing fatigue and lethargy.
· 1 drop German Chamomile essential oil
· 4 drops Fresh Ginger essential oil
· 1 drop Cinnamon Bark essential oil
· 4 drops Frankincense essential oil
Thanks to antiviral essential oil blend recipes, you no longer have to wait for viruses to ‘go away on their own’…. these antiviral essential oils can help you to hasten your symptom relief!
Want to learn about the different essential oils you can use to create an antiviral blend? Check out the LabLearning Aromatherapy Material information
You can also find out about how plants have long been used to help putus in touch with our mind and body by listening to a LabAroma podcast episode.