Beat the Winter Lurgies

So cold, flu and general lurgy season seems to be well and truly here. In my household I am the only one not to succumb so far (must be all the lovely oils I inhale while massaging the good folk out there). My son has had a sore throat and croup (the seal-like barking cough that I am sure many of you are familiar with), and to help him sleep through the night I rub his feet, back and chest with my own “Vicks” (made from bee balm and essential oils) and leave a bowl of hot water with a couple of drops of lemon myrtle on his oil heater to help humidify the air and ease his sore passages.

Lemon Myrtle is a wonderful oil for this time of year, and is particularly great for children – it promotes sleep, is a really effective decongestant and expectorant and smells wonderful (imagine a lemon cough lozenge). It can also be used in mouthwashes or gargles, useful tools in anyone’s arsenal against “lurgies”. I tried to convince my son to gargle with a mixture of warm water, salt and manuka oil and (bless him) he managed to do it three times before declaring, “No more”!

For those of us who don’t mind this sort of thing there are many essential oils one can use in this way – just make sure you spit it out! Myrrh is great for bleeding gums, lemon is a lovely breath freshener and immune booster, and the aforementioned manuka great for those sore throats or as a preventative measure. These formulas are much more palatable than the supermarket-bought ones and have added health benefits such as being anti-viral, anti-bacterial and immune-boosting. Mouth health is important for our overall well-being and the mouth is one of our first lines of defense against disease; we can help support this with essential oils.

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