What are viruses
A virus is a small infectious agent that replicates only inside the living cells of an organism. Viruses can infect all types of life forms, from animals to plants. Viruses are classified according to their quantity and quality of nuclei acids (DNA or RNA), according to their size, shape, and also according to the presence or not of the very strong envelop made of lipids and proteins (named lipoproteic envelop).
Below are some main types of viruses and how they affect they can affect the human body:
- Adenoviruses: The culprits for our respiratory infections.
- Asfarvirus: One of these was responsible for the porcini plague
- Herpesvirus, Papillomavirus or Poxvirus are part of the DNA1 virus group
- Retroviruses (such as HIV)
- Influenza Virus (responsible of the flu) .
One of the most common viruses which you have most likely fallen victim to in the past is the seasonal Flu. The flu is a viral disease causing mild to severe symptoms depending on the strength of the flu strain and the strength of your own immune system. The flu can be fatal but is often fatal to young or elderly people or those with an existing condition which may weaken their immune system. The most common symptoms are : high fever, runny nose, sore throat, muscles and joint pain, headache, coughing and fatigue.
Coronaviruses (named because of their crown shapes), are part of the RNA1 virus group and one particular strain has been making big headlines recently. This strain named COVID-19 has caused a real epidemic situation in China since December 2019 when it first appeared and has , infected more than 80,000 people, now spreading worldwide.
So how can we best protect ourselves and our loved ones from viruses and how can we assist our body in its difficult job of fighting off these nasty invaders?
The first prevention step of course should always be to wash your hands thoroughly several times a day with warm water and soap as touching of your nose, mouth and eyes with your hands is one of the main ways viruses find their ways into your body. Viruses can also survive on surfaces for hours if not days so it essential to clean these in your home. But that doesn’t mean you want to pull out the bleach and start scrubbing your whole house with it (let alone your hands as some people have started doing out of fear of catching this latest virus- do not do this!).
Essential Oils have been used successfully for centuries by the food industry to keep food fresh and free of bacteria and viruses. Some studies even show that replacing antibiotics by essential oils in the farming industry would prove more successful as the little buggers do not seem to build immunity and mutate with Essential Oils as they do with antibiotics (antibiotic resistance is a real cause for concern nowadays due in part, to the food industry). Compared to antibiotics, Essential Oils have also been shown to keep “good” bacteria alive in much larger numbers than antibiotics that does not differentiate between good/bad bacteria. And as you may already know, good bacteria is essential to our wellbeing, our digestive system and our immune system (we will post another article on probiotics very soon).
But killing viruses and bacteria in our food and our environment is not all Essential Oils can help with in our fight against the dreaded viruses. Essential Oils can also help boost our body’s natural immune system and make it stronger to fend off these invaders.
So how exactly do Essential Oils make our immune system stronger?
There are many things that we can do to boost our immunity such as making sure we are getting enough quality sleep, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and reducing our body’s toxin load by avoiding using harsh chemically loaded products on ourselves and around the house. All these things have a tremendous impact on our immunity. But you can give your immune system a little extra boost using a range of essential oils that have been proven to help support the immune system when used regularly.
Essential oils work in two ways:
1. Some essential oils have the ability to dissolve the virus, fungus and bacteria’s strong outer shell. Essential oils can also destroy a virus’ RNA which in turn stops the virus from duplicating and hijacking our cells. Essential Oils work so well as a long term solution because viruses and bacteria don’t build resistance to them.
2. Using different synergies of essential oils can help prevent your body from getting overwhelmed by viruses thanks to their anti-inflammatory, anti-viruses and immune modifying properties. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20359267)
So which Essential Oils should you be using and how?
While all essential oils have antimicrobial properties, they differ in their individual properties. The below list includes some of the most common essential oils for immunity as well as a few that contain powerful antimicrobial compounds that can be especially useful in fighting off a wide range of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Tea tree has been used in many scientific studies and has shown to have very strong anti-viral properties.
- Lavender essential oil also has very strong anti-viral properties and has the ability to help you get a better night sleep and reduce stress which in turn will help normalise our immune system.
- Lemon essential oil: even though it is technically an essence (it isn’t produced by steam distillation but by cold pressing the peels), it gives your body some extra protection against viruses & bacteria. It also contains natural Vitamin C encapsulated into its essence, which makes it more easily bio available and therefore easily used by your body to fight off invaders. Sweet orange and grapefruits essential oil are also very similar to lemon and work great as well.
- Cinnamon bark essential oil has extremely powerful anti-viral properties and is probably one of the best protection against viruses (never use it pure as it is so powerful it can burn the skin). If you would like to find out more about Cinnamon Essential Oil, this scientific publication demonstrates how powerful a blend of cinnamon, rosemary and eucalyptus are against viruses such as H1N1 but also against streptococcus bacteria, which might appear as a complication in case of flu (Antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral effects of three essential oil blends. - PubMed – NCBI)
Purifying recipes using Essential Oils
Natural surface cleaner recipe for your house
In a spray bottle, pour 1 cup of vinegar with 2 cups of water.
-10 drops of lavender essential oil
-10 drops of tea tree essential oil
-10 drops of cinnamon essential oil.
Air purifier recipes
Pour into In an amber glass bottle and add a few drops when needed to your diffuser or on your radiators:
-30 drops of lemon essential oil
-50 drops of eucalyptus essential oil
-30 drops of grapefruit essential oil
-60 drops of lavender essential oil
-40 drops of tea tree essential oil
-40 drops of eucalyptus essential oil.
Our anti-viral infused coconut Lemonade
In your mineral water bottle (remove and keep aside ¼ of the water aside to leave room)
-30 drops of lemon essential oil
-20 drops of orange essential oil (Both are 100% safe to be consumed and are commonly used in the food industry. They will boost your immune system and optimise your liver functions which is a great way to detox)
-1/2 a cup of coconut milk powder (which is amazing at boosting our immune system and allows the mineral water to better bind with the essential oils)
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey
Shake well and keep refrigerated and enjoy throughout the day!