Did you know – essential oils are considered to be the oldest known form of medicinals? Effective in boosting our immunity against colds and flus, they have been used through history to protect against many plagues.

The ancient Egyptians used essential oils such as myrrh and frankincense for purification and embalming their Pharaohs. The antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral qualities of these oils was used to kill and inhibit bacteria and thus limit decomposition of the bodies. Considered more valuable than gold, essential oils were prized very by ancient cultures due to their healing properties. When King Tut's tomb was discovered in 1922, 350 liters of frankincense, rose and jasmine were discovered among the other riches in the tomb, indicating great worth to the Pharaohs.

During the Great Plague in Europe in 1413, a small band of thieves were captures in Marseilles, France, and charged with robbing the dead and dying victims of the plague. Although the plague was highly contagious, not one of the thieves ever contracted the deadly virus. The King, eager to find a way to protect himself and the Royal Family, demanded to know how the thieves had managed to avoid falling ill. Almost the thieves had come from a long line of apothecaries and were aware of the protective qualities of essential oils. They rubbed aromatic herbs and oils over their bodies such as clove, rosemary, eucalyptus, lemon and peppermint, which protected them from contracting the most feared and deadly disease of the time.

Today, the powerful properties of essential oils can help protect us from modern day plagues such as flu, as well as other contagious virus strains. Many people visit their family doctor or the emergency department upon contracting a flu virus – and are prescribed antibiotics which have little effect on the virus itself- but rather destroys healthy bacteria in the intestine which is vital for the digestive process. If used at first sunset of cold or flu symptoms, essential oils can prevent illness from taking hold, or significantly reduce the duration of illness by boosting the immune system naturally. Oils such as rosemary and eucalyptus may be used to prevent infections from occurring – simply apply a few drops with a carrier oil to the lymph nodes at the side of the neck. When you feel the signs of a sore throat, respiratory or sinus congestion, you may apply oils topically to the neck, chest and upper back for effective relief: bay laurel, eucalyptus, hyssop, myrtle, or ravensara may be used alone or in combination . These oils may also be added to an aromatherapy diffuser to destroy germs in the air. If you or someone in your family has come down with a cold or flu, you may wish to sanitize doorknobs, telephone receivers, faucets and handles with citrus essential oils such as lemon or orange.

I am often asked if a person who has a cold or is coming down with one should visit a therapist for massage or another treatment. The answer is YES !! What better way is there to boost your immune system and drain congestion? Wishing you health through the cold and flu season, naturally!