Ease Coughs, Colds and Sore Throats with Essential Oils

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Ease Coughs, Colds and Sore Throats with Essential Oils

 

Colds and flu come with winter (pic via thepaintedskin.com)

Colds and flu come with winter (pic via thepaintedskin.com)

Ah yes the dreaded lurgy has got me.

First – not feeling so great.

Then – a congested throat.

Then – a sore throat and headache.

Then – can’t move a muscle lying in bed.

Then – coughing and a couple more days in bed.

I confess I used some cold and flu tablets to ease the symptoms one day, but it’s the use of essential oils that can make you feel a bit better too.

My top 4 are Lavender, Marjoram, Fennel, and Eucalyptus

Try these simple and effective ways to help with the symptoms of a cold.

Lavender

lovely lavender

lovely lavender

By now you’ll know I use Lavender for lots of things and we all know through the traditional uses for lavender over the centuries are those for soothing and relieving pain.

1. A few drops on a cold compress on the forehead can give some relief for general sickness and of course a headache and head tension due to coughing.

compress on forehead - easy and effective

compress on forehead – easy and effective

2. A couple of drops in a steam inhalation for a sore throat (breathe through your mouth) and headaches.

steam inhalation

steam inhalation

3. A few drops in a bath to relieve muscle tension.

4. A drop on the temples to bring a sense of relief.

5. Nourishing oil blend for aches and pains in the body – 7 drops in 3 teaspoons of a carrier oil like olive, almond or sunflower.

6. A couple of drops externally on the throat to help with symptoms of a sore throat and sore muscle from coughing.

****** Always remember to smell the oils too, as this will help the brain receive information from the oil and translate it into action.

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Marjoram

Marjoram - another great herb from the same family as lavender

Marjoram – another great herb from the same family as lavender

Marjoram is also an age-old remedy for many ailments. It’s particularly good for muscle pain and easing a cough.

1. A couple of drops in a steam inhalation for a cough (breathe through your mouth). This will not stop the cough if your lungs are infected as the cough’s purpose will be to rid the lungs of mucous. This works better for a dry cough and ticklish throat.

2. A few drops in a bath to relieve muscle tension.

3. Nourishing oil blend for aches and pains in the body – 7 drops in 3 teaspoons of a carrier oil like olive, almond or sunflower.

4. 4 drops marjoram and 3 drops lavender in 3 teaspoons of carrier oil specifically to use externally on your throat as a pain reliever.

Mix lavender and marjoram for a synergistic formula to help with aches and pains either in a bath or oil blend. They work well together for coughs too.

****** Always remember to smell the oils too, as this will help the brain receive information from the oil and translate it into action.

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Fennel

fennel flower

fennel flower

I recently wrote about fennel as it’s a great oil for winter. It’s warming and soothing and helps nurture you in the cold.

Fennel works best as a decongestant for the lungs so if you have a weird taste in your mouth when you cough, chances are sometime soon you may be coughing up green stuff. Fennel is the oil to get it moving and also works well with marjoram and lavender.

1. A couple of drops in a steam inhalation for a congested chest (breathe through your mouth).

2. A couple of drops externally on the throat to help with symptoms of a cough and to move the mucous.

3. Nourishing oil blend for aches and pains in the body – 7 drops in 3 teaspoons of a carrier oil like olive, almond or sunflower. Mix fennel with lavender in this case to help your chest – 4 drops of fennel and 3 drops of lavender.

****** Always remember to smell the oils too, as this will help the brain receive information from the oil and translate it into action.

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Eucalyptus

eucalyptus globulus

eucalyptus globulus

THE oil for breaking down mucous!

1. A couple of drops in a steam inhalation for a congested chest (breathe through your mouth) and congested sinuses (breathe through your nose).

steam inhalation

steam inhalation

2. As a treatment for you in your space – simply add about 15 drops to a large bowl of boiling water (like you would with a steam inhalation) and bring it into your bedroom while you rest in bed. Or in the lounge room while you’re on the couch. This is an easy one if you are by yourself as it doesn’t take too much effort.

You can use all the oils above in this way and of course put them in a vapouriser – eucalyptus oil working particularly well as a decongestant. Plus it’s refreshing and you can almost feel it doing you good. Some bush healing never goes astray.

I could talk about other oils too but if in doubt, or if you only have one oil, use lavender.

absolutely stunning lavender fields via reddit.com

absolutely stunning lavender fields via reddit.com

REST and lots of fluids too will help move the infection through your body and check out these articles for blending ratios too –  “Ratios for Blending Essential Oils – A Reminder of the Basics” and “Aromatherapy – It’s Easy as 1 2 3”.

 

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

Stop and Smell the Roses

Rosa damascena - the most used rose for oil production

Rosa damascena – the most used rose for oil production

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.

Gertrude Stein, 1935

Some say Gertrude Stein is referring to the rose like this to express her feeling that things are what they are. According to Wikipedia: “In Stein’s view, the sentence expresses the fact that simply using the name of a thing already invokes the imagery and emotions associated with it,..”

So when you say rose do you invoke the scent, or the colour, or everything? It is the most romanticised flower in history and appears in many poems, prose and plays. It is often associated with love and intimate moments of the heart.

Do you take time to stop and smell the roses? What is life if we don’t connect to its beauty at every turn? The scent of a beautiful rose is a true gift of nature which invites us to convene with the oneness of the universe in the now!

Rosa centifolia - another rose used to make essential oil

Rosa centifolia – another rose used to make essential oil

I never buy a rose that doesn’t have a scent – to me that’s the most important part. Isn’t it a wonderful thing when you enter your house to be greeted by the natural perfume of roses? Essential oil of rose is made by either steam distillation or as an absolute (where the scent is extracted into a fat and then lifted by a solvent). I tend not to buy absolutes as there seems to be a heavy chemical intervention and I’d rather have my oils extracted in the simplest way.

Rose oil is a complex arrangement of hundreds of molecules, some of which have still not been identified. No wonder it is referred to as the “Queen of Oils”.  We know Cleopatra used roses in her beauty regime, and it is claimed she used rose petals in her boudoir to seduce Marc Anthony from the Roman Empire. The Romans used roses too, and the mention of roses appear in Christian, Buddhist and Confucian literature. Roses are seen in Asian motifs dating back to 3000 BC. It seems as though commercial production of rose oils and rose by products can be traced to Persia in the 10th century. The oil was referred to as “attar of roses” or “rose otto”, which is a term still used today.

Rosa gallica - a sub species named "James Mason"

Rosa gallica – a sub species named “James Mason”

So what can we use use rose oil for?

* use rose oil to help with any heat or infection in the body (you would put a few drops into some carrier oil and smooth it on the face and body –  a great treatment for any illness)

* use this rose body oil to help take the sting out of eczema and psoriasis

* a drop on the temple to relieve stress and tension and counteract a headache

* a great oil for attending to grief (use it a single drop on the heart chakra or in a personal mist or room mist)

* a drop added to your facial oil or cream will refine your skin and give you one of the most powerful aromatherapy treatments in the world. You will feel soft, unruffled, connected to the universe and ready to be the Queen of your world

* a few drops of rose oil in an oil burner will create a scented paradise of peace and calm so it’s great for upset children, the elderly and even pets (if you are using 3% in jojoba it’s not really suitable for an oil burner – you will need to buy the pure oil)

* a drop or two in the right place, as a perfume, will do amazing things for your self esteem as rose is the oil of self-love and nurturing

When buying rose oil you will mostly find it comes in a 3 % dilution in jojoba oil and this is simply because it is a premium oil and is very expensive. Even if you buy wholesale, pure rose oil can cost hundreds of dollars. It is precious!

Remember, treat yourself first then everyone will benefit!

 

copyright suzannerbanks 2013

A Recipe for Recovery and How to Choose Oils

Recovery Formula

Recovery Formula

I visited a friend today, and when he opened the door I said “emergency aromatherapy”. He is recovering from an operation and this was my first visit. Naturally I took my essential oil case, which accompanies me to all my clients homes and a few places in between. This has most of my essential oils, 2 styles of empty bottles for making bespoke aromatherapy formulas in, a towel, labels, pens, a hair clip, a few different kinds of carrier oils and some tissues. And a liniment. Prepared for anything I reckon! Oh – and a lip balm.

My lovely case of oils

My lovely case of oils

I needed to make a formula that would help with scar tissue from the operation, work as an anti-inflammatory on the skin and surrounding tissues, act as a soothing agent for emotional imbalances that come with the invasion of surgery and anesthesia, as a pain relief balm and something that can aid sleep. So basically my formula needed to be repairing, soothing, cooling and calming. There are a lot of oils in my case and an infinite number of combinations. When I say “infinite” I really mean “infinite”. So how do I choose?

My method for Choosing Oils for a treatment:

* open the case

* look at the oils

* breathe deeply

* pick the oils that seems to amplify themselves – it’s almost like they are glowing

* look at the selection then return any that don’t feel right

* consolidate the selection and work out quantities -drops of each oil to go into the formula

You can also do this when you are deciding on what oils to use, even if you are just picking an oil to use direct from the bottle as a perfume. When I first started treating people I used this method. Sometimes I would have no idea why I chose the oils (or they chose the client), so when the client was getting ready to get on the table, I’d wait outside and madly flick through an aromatherapy book.  I’d get a word or two for each oil and when I entered the room I’d say “Your oil blend today is ………… and this is for ………….. and to help you with …………..”. Sometimes I’d just make it up. This is actually called intuition and don’t ever be too scared to use it. It could be the difference between a nice oil blend and a mind-blowing combination!

German chamomile - Matricaria recutita

German chamomile – Matricaria recutita

So my oil blend today was simple and grand! Lavender, Marjoram and German Chamomile. I called it “Recovery Formula” and my intention was to help my friend relax and heal.

Recovery Formula

In 50 mls of carrier oil add

Lavender 8 drops- all purpose healing oil, anti-inflammatory and cell regenerating

Marjoram 8 drops- relief, pain relief, relief from sadness, sedating

German chamomile in jojoba 15 drops – strong anti-inflammatory especially when used with lavender

I actually made my formula stronger but for your information and guidance it’s better to stick with the official blending quantities.

Use your intuition (borrowed from eventexperts.com.au)

Use your intuition (borrowed from eventexperts.com.au)

Remember to use your intuition and your intention when choosing oils for your oil blend and when deciding on how many drops of each to use. Intuition is like a muscle – the more you use it, trust it, rely on it – the stronger it will become.