The cold and flu season this year has been a nightmare for many of us, and frankly a little bit scary. Most of us are all-too familiar with the horrible symptoms that come with a case of the flu or a cold – chills, nausea, fever, fatigue, sore throat, dehydration, coughing and hacking – to name a handful.
Unfortunately, if you got your flu shot it doesn’t necessarily reduce your chances of actually getting the flu, it will just make the resulting symptoms “not quite as bad.” My mom was knocked out for 5 days straight and her doctor only told her it might have been worse had she not had a flu shot. She feels horrible, but she’s one of the lucky ones. She just stayed hydrated, got a lot of rest and rode it out like a champ.
The symptoms I hear about as being the most problematic are clogged sinuses and coughing, which I think we all can relate to. I’ve had a lot of questions on how to clear sinuses naturally or natural solutions to stop coughing. These are my best recommendations, and the ones I use to feel better when I’m sick.
ESSENTIAL OIL STEAM BATH
There is no need to have a diffuser to take advantage of the natural healing properties of essential oils.
A hot steam bath is nice and relaxing and the steam itself is very helpful in clearing out lungs and sinuses. If you add a few drops of essential oils to your bath, it will multiply the benefits and help you get relief faster, while relieving additional symptoms.
I recommend adding a couple drops of at least two of these essential oils (the first two are my favorites) to a relaxing, hot bath:
Frankincense, also called Olibanum, is steam distilled from the sap of the frankincense tree and has natural healing properties specifically helpful for flu and cold relief. It is an antiseptic, preventing growth of disease-causing microorganisms, as well as an expectorant, which will help your cough be more productive by loosening up the gunk inside your sinuses and lungs.
Eucalyptus, coming from the tree of the same name, is specifically promoted for respiratory health. It will help to get your sinuses and lungs cleared out and have you breathing better.
Lemon is considered a favorite in the essential oil world, simply because it smells so good! It has the ability to make you feel bright and refreshed, but it also is a natural way to boost the immune system and help you fight off your cold or flu.
If you have a headache associated with your symptoms and want additional relief, try replacing the lemon with either Lavender or Peppermint. Lavender is a natural stress-reliever and will offer a calming effect, but I know not everyone can do the flowery smells. Peppermint is another great headache helper, it also smells great and helps clear nasal passages, and feels great on your skin.
If you don’t have the energy for a bath, I get it – it’s hard to move when you feel like this, a hot compress with a few drops of each oil will also work well.
Fill a small bowl with hot water and add a drop each of three of the above essential oils, I recommend the Frankincense, Eucalyptus and Peppermint as the best for clearing sinuses alone. Dip a small towel or wash cloth in the water and wring it out so it is just damp and not dripping.
Place the towel over your face, or at least over your nose and mouth, so that you are able to breathe through it. Stay this way for 5-10 minutes, re-dipping in the hot water as needed. You will soon feel relief.
For better results, if you have the energy, just put the towel over your head and your face over the bowl of steaming hot water and essential oils.
BEST ESSENTIAL OIL BRAND
My personal favorites are any from Plant Therapy, because they are guaranteed all natural and organic. They also have a pretty nice rewards program for repeat shoppers.
If you have the option and don’t already have essential oils on hand, the cheapest and easiest option for clearing sinuses is Plant Therapy’s Respir Aid Therapy Blend. It’s a blend of Eucalyptus, Pine, Peppermint, Lavender, Spruce, Marjoram and Cypress, specifically designed to help clear your respiration. Use it in a diffuser, steam bath or hot compress and it will help you feel better fast.
Plant Therapy also has amazing kid-friendly products that help to boost immune systems and soothe when little ones are sick. If you’re mom I think it’s smart to keep them on hand, especially this time of year.
You can also find some of the Plant Therapy oils on Amazon, for those Prime members who like to get free shipping.
DON’T FORGET TO HYDRATE AND REST
Getting rest and staying hydrated are going to be the most important for you.
Hopefully my recommendations will help relieve some of your biggest symptoms so you can get some sleep.
When you feel better I’d love to hear from you and know what worked best. Please feel free to comment below and share the love.