Introducing Hillary: a mom, dance instructor and health enthusiast…
Staying Healthy This Cold and Flu Season with Essential Oils
Cold and Flu season is in full force this year. The leading strain in most flu cases is Influenza A H3N2 and it tends to affect the elderly and children the most, according to Lynette Brammer, head of the CDC’s Domestic Influenza Surveillance team. Across the nation, flu numbers are on the rise.
So, what can you do to protect yourself and your family?
Some basic things that help with flu prevention include:
- Washing your hands with soap and water frequently
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may have germs (think about your cell phone, kids’ backpacks, water bottles, lunch boxes, etc.)
- Avoid close contact with sick people (no play dates, carpooling, or sleepovers with kids who have been sick recently or have sick siblings)
- If someone in your home is sick, do not allow them to return to school or work until they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of a fever reducing medication.
Did you know that beyond the basics of cold and flu prevent recommended by most healthcare professionals, there are additional ways to help keep your family healthy and possibly prevent them from getting sick?
Essential oils are natural, aromatic compounds that are derived from plants. They are typically either steam distilled or cold pressed from the root, flower, stem, leaf, bark or peel (in the case of citrus oil) of the plant. Essential oils are extremely potent, concentrated compounds. A little bit goes a very long way.
My family began using essential oils in our daily routine about 2 1/2 years ago. Since incorporating them, I’ve noticed a dramatic change in our overall health. We’ve stayed healthy while I’ve watched several other friends deal with both traditional flu and stomach flu each year. This is not to say that a minor cold or ear infection hasn’t shown up here and there, but thus far, we’ve managed to avoid any serious illnesses. I attribute that to our use of essential oils.
The three blends I rely on heavily to keep us healthy are:
On Guard Protective Blend: a blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower essential oils.
Breathe Respiratory Blend: a blend of Laurel Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Melaleuca Leaf, Lemon Peel, Cardamom Seed, Ravintsara Leaf, Ravensara Leaf essential oils.
Serenity Restful Blend: a blend of Lavender Flower, Cedarwood, Ho Wood Leaf, Ylang Ylang Flower, Marjoram Leaf, Roman Chamomile Flower, Vetiver Root, Vanilla Bean Absolute, Hawaiian Sandalwood Wood.
Each of these blends play a role in supporting the immune system. In a clinical study, On Guard was shown to reduce the strength of the flu virus. We apply this oil on our backs, diluted with fractionated coconut oil, each morning as we get ready to head out the door. It gives our bodies an extra boost to help fight off any viruses or bacteria that we may be exposed to during the day.
Lunchboxes have On Guard hand sanitizing spray in them to ensure clean hands before eating lunch. In the afternoon, upon returning home from school, everyone washes their hands with On Guard foaming hand wash to get rid of any germs that tagged along from school.
Every night we use a diffuser in all of our bedrooms. Diffusers disperse a microfine mist into the air that does not leave behind humidity the way a humidifier would. Our diffusers always have On Guard in them to help fight off anything that might try and take hold overnight, purify the air, and get rid of airborne pathogens. Breathe Respiratory Support blend is added to help open the airways, promote easy breathing and allow everyone to sleep more soundly (including my formerly snoring husband!). The third blend we use nightly is Serenity Restful Blend. It promotes peaceful sleep, but also contains many immune boosting oils as well.
Consistency is the key to maintaining your health year round when using essential oils. Once you get your family into a routine, you may notice a difference. Even if someone does get sick, using your essential oils can help shorten the duration of anything you might face.
Topical and aromatic use are the two most common ways of incorporating essential oils into your family. However, I also use mine in the kitchen. You can enhance your favorite recipes by substituting the herbs and spices called for with essential oils. This conversion chart illustrates how you can use them.
One of my kids’ favorite recipes is peppermint brownies. I use a family recipe and add the peppermint oil to the batter. It gives a nice peppermint kick, without being too overwhelming. I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!
Peppermint Brownies with Essential Oils
- 2/3 cup unsalted butter melted
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder
- 2 cups cane sugar
- 1 1/3 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 5-6 drops peppermint essential oil
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Prepare 9x13 greased baking pan.
In medium sized bowl, combine melted butter, eggs, cocoa powder and sugar. Whisk well until combined.
In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.
Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix by hand or using a mixer on medium speed.
Add the vanilla and peppermint oil until combined.
Pour batter into baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before slicing.
If you are ready to incorporate essential oils into your life, you can click on Hillary’s website to find the oil collection that is right for you. If you want to get started with some great oils, select the “Home Essentials Kit”; it is the kit I started with that includes the 10 most commonly used oils and a 4 hour diffuser.
If you would like more information or to request a personal consult, email Hillary at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also request to join Hillary on her closed Facebook group, Essential Wellness
Here’s to staying healthy and happy in 2018! ~ Hillary