In another article we covered how Chinese Medicine can help reduce the duration and intensity of a cold if caught early (How To Stop The Common Cold In Its Tracks), but other natural therapies have much to offer too. In this article we look at aromatherapy.
There are many anti-viral (and anti-bacterial) essential oils that can be used in a number of ways to help reduce the intensity and duration of a cold. Though prevention is best. If you are spending Christmas in a small hot stuffy space with your relatives you might consider diffusing the air with essential oils to reduce airborne bacteria and viruses. If you are based in an office carry a tissue infused with essential oils and refresh at regular intervals. Valerie Worwood, aromatherapist, recommends:
- Bathing with essential oils. Mix essential oils and put into the bath. Shut all windows and doors, allow the oils to diffuse into the air carried on the steam for 5 minutes or so and then get into the bath.
Thyme 2 drops
Tea tree 2 drops
Eucalyptus 1 drop
Lemon 3 drops
- Another option is to mix larger quantities of oils into a half a cup of Epsom salts. Soak in the bath until the water cools. Other fantastic oils to use include frankincense, wintergreen (caution with this – very small amount), rosemary and peppermint.
- Steam inhalation. Mix essential oils into bowl of hot water. Place a towel over your head over the bowl and breathe in the steam and essential oils.
- Diffuser. Use a cold air diffuser or nebuliser to disperse droplets of essential oils into the air. Use any of the oils mentioned above.
- Chest and throat rub. You can mix the above oils into oil such as sweet almond or mix into non-perfumed base creams can be purchased from aromatherapy suppliers. A rough guide would be 5 drops of essential oils to 1 teaspoon of base oil. Include lemon (1), eucalyptus (2) and rosemary (3 drops).
- Tissue with oils. Add a drop each of thyme, peppermint, eucalyptus and clove and inhale deeply two to three times daily or as needed.