Last week, I shared an article on how to use essential oils to create natural cleansers. The idea is to create herbal shields as an additional safeguard in our homes. We are magickal people, so it makes sense to engage our plant allies for assistance for health and home.
Even so, in the seven days since writing that post, the World Health Organization has declared a Coronavirus 19 pandemic. Many states, including Michigan, have declared a state of emergency. Many people have the flu (even if it’s not the one in question), including a friend of mine who is really suffering. So, I thought I’d share some basic home remedies that may assist in the relief of flu symptoms.
FLU: Essential Oils Which Support The Body
The beautiful thing about plants is they have multiple properties that support the body. We can eat food or drink teas which strengthen our body’s immune system. There are herbal remedies that offer physical comfort while easing uncomfortable symptoms. As magickal people, we can work with plant spirit allies to provide additional benefit for the mind, body, and spirit.
Here is a list of plant allies I have found useful when dealing with cold or flu symptoms. These can be used in herbal tea, elixirs, or essential oil form:
Elderberry: A powerhouse that can be made into a tea or syrup as a great immunity booster. Try Heron Michelle’s excellent antiviral brew.
Eucalyptus: Use the dried leaves as a tea (not suitable for children), the fresh leaves in the shower for steam inhalation, or essential oil for diffusing when noses and chests need relief from sneezing and coughing.
Frankincense: The essential oil can be diffused to create a peaceful atmosphere, reduce stress from being ill, assist productive coughs through steam inhalation or diffusion.
Lavender: Diffuse the oil to create a restful atmosphere. The dried flowers can also be used as a tea with mint to aid the body in recovering from flu.
Lemon Balm: Use as tea or tincture to encourage relaxation or sleep. It is also said to help the body “sweat out” fevers.
Lemon: May help clear stuffy noses and help promote steady breathing.
Ginger: This root is well-known for easing upset stomachs. Create a ginger root and honey tea to ease a dry cough.
Additional Herbs and Oils used for colds and flu symptom relief include:
**Reminder: Not all essential oils or herbs are safe to use with children or pets. Do the research and be aware of contraindication with medicines, potential side effects when used as a tea/tincture or EO, etc. I recommend Google and The Portable Essential Oils by Anne Kennedy. Another recommended resource is The Modern Herbal Dispensatory by Easley and Horne.**
FLU: Recipes For Herbal Support
As mentioned, there are multiple ways to use essential oils, roots, and herbs during illness. These include:
Diffusion: A process of dispersing essential oils so that the aroma fills a room or space (AromaWeb). Methods include using a commercial diffuser, adding oils, roots, or herbs to boiling water in a pan on a stove, or in a bowl, allowing the steam to rise.
Inhalation: Placing a few drops of essential oil on a tissue then covering the nose and mouth to breathe the aroma. You can also use your hands to cup over the nose and mouth but it is best to use a carrier oil such as coconut in addition to the essential oil. There is also diffusing jewelry that can be worn to receive the benefits of the oils.
Skin application: Using an essential oil or herbal infused salve/lotion, carrier-essential oil blend, or herbal decoction applied to the skin.
Decoctions and Teas: Made using boiling water, roots, and/or herbs to create a beverage or soup.
A Few Recipes To Try:
(The tea recipe includes loose-leaf herbs but you can substitute with bagged tea.)
Sore Throat Tea: Pour 10 oz of boiling water over 1 tsp green tea, 1tsp peppermint leaf, and 1/4 tsp turmeric (use a muslin bag or tea strainer) in a mug or other hot beverage container. Steep for one minute. Honey can be added to sweeten for additional throat soothing properties.
Dry Cough Tea: Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add 2 or 3 slices of ginger root. Steep for 15 minutes then add honey and lemon.
Oregano Steam For Stuffy Noses: Place one or two drops of oregano essential oil into a bowl of steaming hot water. Sit so your face is near the bowl as the steam rises and breathe normally. Be careful not to burn nasal passages or throat as oregano oil can be very strong. Encourages nasal passages to clear so the nose will get runny. It may also be helpful to ease a cough. Do once or twice a day.
*Rosemary-Lemon Steam For Easier Breathing: Place two drops of lemon essential oil and three drops of rosemary essential oil into a bowl of steaming hot water. Breathe deeply.
Breathe Easy Oil Blend: Combine 2 drops lavender, 2 drops peppermint, 2 drops lemon in 2-3 tablespoons carrier oil (I prefer coconut) in a jar with a lid. Shake or swirl to combine. Rub on the chest, back, neck. (You can increase the number of drops to the carrier if you wish to make a larger amount for extended use during a cold/flu. Store in a cool, dark place.) You can use this blend without the carrier oil in a diffuser as well.
*Eucalyptus-Lavender Salt: Combine 2 tablespoons Dead Sea salt with 3 drops eucalyptus essential oil, 3 drops lavender essential oil. Stir or shake to blend in a small jar with a lid. Inhale the scent from the jar as needed or add to a warm bath. Combine the two essential oils without the salt and add to 2 tablespoons of a carrier to rub on the chest, back, and neck.
Sore Muscle Relief: Combine 3-4 tablespoons carrier oil with 2 drops peppermint, 2 drops lavender, 2 drops rosemary, 3 drops copaiba. Massage into skin for body aches-discomfort.
FLU: Working the Magick
I know there has been a lot of panicked shopping going on due to the coronavirus. Toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and canned goods are flying off the shelves at local stores. This is why my shopping is more focused on fresh fruits and vegetables, various forms of protein, along with other whole foods, to support my family’s health. And I am using what knowledge I have of herbs and essential oils.
As a Witch, I make sure to employ the aid of plant allies in every oil preparation I create, the decoctions I brew and stir magickal intention for good health into the food I cook. I have also made use of the Immunity Booster Sigil offered by Laura Tempest Zakroff, placing them on the doors of my home.
Trust me, I understand everyone’s concern. My mother is elderly and I am unable to visit her in case I might expose her to the virus unawares. But we are not helpless in this situation if we keep our heads and by following the guidelines of washing our hands, keeping our social contacts to a minimum where possible, and being wise whether we or someone we know/love contract the illness or not, we will make it through this difficult time in the end.
*indicates adapted from The Portable Essential Oils by Anne Kennedy.
Also, there is some question on whether to use Elderberry for coronavirus. Check out this post, check with your doctor, do your research.