Keeping Germs at Bay With Essential Oils
Writers: Kimberly Balas, Joan Robinson
Editor: Steven Horne


Lately, the market has been flooded with antiseptic products - antiseptic soaps, sprays, wipes and so forth. Our society has become obsessed with the fear of germs and advertising is targeting our wallets with these fears. Unfortunately, these popular disinfectants are not natural substances, even though marketing uses misleading words to make us think they are. They can actually add additional burdens to our already chemically overtaxed livers and immune systems. We are addressing the wrong culprit. Germs are not the primary cause of illness. In order for germs to gain a foothold, our bodies must be weakened through stress, lack of nutrients or toxic overload. Since chemical cleaning products add to the toxic overload, they actually contribute to some of the underlying causes of disease.

Here are some essential oils you can use in a diffuser to inhibit the spread of infection and promote healing in your home.

Pine Needle
Very refreshing and cleansing. Your mother may have used Pine Sol™ disinfectant cleaner when you were young. It was originally made with pure pine oil. Just opening the bottle released such a flood of that distinctive and intensely concentrated smell of pine trees that is about knocked you over. Pine is highly recommended for pulmonary problems and throat infections. Pine's antiseptic and expectorant properties are helpful in cases of asthma, bronchitis, laryngitis and influenza. Its cleansing properties leave us feeling invigorated and promote feelings of energy and well-being.

Eucalyptus
Known to be antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral. Many eucalyptus oils have been redistilled and rectified, which depletes the essential oil of its ability to express full healing potential. NSP's Eucalyptus globulus is from a pure blue gum source and has a greater germicidal power than refined oil. It has expectorant properties and can reduce swelling of mucus membranes, loosen phlegm and make breathing easier. It also supports the pancreas and can help lower blood sugar. It has been shown to help in focus and concentration for the mind.



Add to cart

Lavender fine

Mostly known for its sedative properties in some and is useful for treating a variety of nervous and psychological disorders including depression, insomnia, migraine and hysteria.

On another level it is also a very versatile antiseptic used for colds, coughs, sinus, flu and topically for wounds and burns.


Add to cart

Bergamot

Antiparasitic and a valuable antiseptic for the urinary tract with infections and inflammation.

It can also be used as an inhalation for respiratory tract infections such as tonsillitis, bronchitis and tuberculosis.

It is ideal for anxiety, depression and nervous tension, and soothes anger and frustration.



Add to cart

Tea Tree
Antifungal, antiseptic and antiviral properties. It is an effective immune stimulant and increases the body's ability to respond. This oil is the first choice for cleansing dirty wounds and for skin lesions of any kind. It is frequently used for athlete's foot and nail fungus, vaginitis, thrush and cradle cap. In a gargle, it helps clear throat infections and mouth ulcers and eliminates bad breath.


Add to cart

Breathe Deep

Helps to open and clear respiratory passages.

It has a very positive and opening effect on the respiratory passages.

It contains geranium, rosemary, neroli and peppermint oils.


All of these oils, to one degree or another, also exhibit antipyretic qualities - meaning they should be diffused into the air when fevers are present to help bring them down. Make sure any essential oil you use in a diffuser, whether it is a blend or a single oil, is light and fine, not thick and viscous, or it might plug up your diffuser and that can be a bit of a job to clean. Washing your diffuser thoroughly with Sunshine Concentrate and then running a few drops of eucalyptus together with rubbing alcohol through every third to fourth use will help to keep your diffuser clean and clear.

Quality
Don't be deceived by the many cheap products on the market that claim they are aromatherapy products. Most of them are made of synthetic or substandard materials. Only the purest essential oils have true therapeutic value. When it comes to essential oils, you don't get your money's worth when you buy the cheap stuff. The less you pay, the cheaper your results will be. Why? Because the high quality, more expensive essential oils are derived from specific botanical sources taken from specific geographical areas of the world to get the highest active constituent content of that oil.
Also, the higher quality oils are derived from a painstaking and lengthy multistep process that goes way beyond the simple, quick distillation process utilized by manufacturers of the cheaper quality essential oil products.


 


Disinfecting Essential Oils

Here are some other handy tips for fighting microbes using essential oils.

Hydrosol Spray
To make a hydrosol spray for anti-bacterial actions, simply add 10-20 drops of essential oils or blends in 1 oz. of Nature’s Spring water and 1 oz. (or Celtic or Evian) of (Colloidal) Silver Shield and shake vigorously before each use. This is a great air purifier to carry on the airplane. Just spray around your seat area to reduce the risk of bacteria in the recirculated air you are breathing.

Foot Soak
Fungal infections can be difficult to deal with, but essential oils often handle them just fine. A foot soak using tea tree, garlic and sandalwood oils on a regular basis will help by eliminating the cause of the fungus. Another blend adds patchouli and thyme. Any soak in a bath or foot bath with the essential oils is not only soothing but will play an important role in your body’s immune system. So sit back and enjoy once in a while and don’t wait until you aren’t feeling well just to indulge in these mind/ body-healing therapies.

Feminine Hygiene
Then there’s the delicate subject of feminine hygiene. A douche for dealing with yeast infections uses a blend chamomile, lavender and tea tree.
Another remedy for dealing with candida vaginally is to place 2-3 drops of tea tree oil on a tampon and insert for a few hours at a time. Any essential oil when used as a douche or in any way vaginally or rectally must be used with extreme caution. The oil penetrates mucus membranes at 100% and can be burning. One to three drops should be the maximum used at any time of any total blend.

ANTISEPTIC BLENDS FOR YOUR POCKET OR PURSE

The following NSP blends are excellent for general hygienic use and should be carried with you wherever you go to be used when traveling or for emergency use.

Cellu-Tone
Makes for a strong topical antiseptic and antibacterial blend that, when used for washing hands, renders germs harmless and sets up a protective layer on the hands that to continues to keep germ activity neutral for some time. Just work 2 to 4 drops into the hands after washing, let it sit for a minute and then rinse hands in warm, clean water.

This blend also has a refreshing, healing affect on tired, sore hands and is excellent to add to a disinfecting bath for itches, rashes and fungal bloom. Add 4 drops to a bath emulsified in Sunshine Concentrate, soak for 20 to 30 minutes, get out and only lightly pat yourself dry with a clean towel. It contains geranium, pink grapefruit, rosemary, and thyme linalol, cypress, juniper, neroli and vetiver oils.

Biologieal Terrain: Internal Hygiene

No matter how many disinfectants we use, we will never kill all of the microorganisms in our environment. Germs are ever with us, living on our skin, in our mouth and in our gut. That's the bad news. The good news is that our bodies are naturally resistant to these microorganisms. Hence, our obsession with disinfectants and antiseptics is really misplaced. Harmful microorganisms are not going to get a foothold in our bodies if we keep our internal environment clean and healthy.

When our bodies have adequate nourishment, rest, exercise, etc., we are naturally immune to the microbes in our external environment. So, keeping our home, bodies and clothes clean is only half of the picture of natural hygiene. The other half is to keep the internal environment (our biological terrain), clean and healthy with good health habits and herbs.

Essential Oils and Nature Sunshine Soap

The Natural Cleansing Team
For an effective cleaning solution using essential oils, pine, eucalyptus and lemon are excellent in cleaning water mixed with NSP's Sunshine Concentrate. Using pure lemon juice with vinegar, tea tree oil, and a little sea salt makes an excellent shower cleaner for that nasty mildew.

A blend of oils can also be used in the dryer for a refreshing, disinfecting effect on clothes. Put a couple of drops on a clean cotton rag and toss it into the dryer. Make sure you don't get any drops directly on clothes made from synthetic fibers, because essential oils will often degrade or melt some synthetic fibers and can stain.

For a disinfectant and antiseptic in the laundry, put a drop in the Sunshine Concentrate and place in the washer. Lemon, geranium, pine needle, or sandalwood are all very good to prevent e.coli bacteria that can invade our lives anywhere.

Popular essential oils that you can use for spiking NSP's Soap include peppermint, which is very refreshing, lavender, which is very relaxing, and tea tree, which is very cleansing. Other NSP essential oils can be used as well: pine, for its clarifying effect on the mind and body; sandalwood, for its antifungal properties and exotic qualities; patchouli, for its balancing and mossy effects; and rose (which should only be used at no more than I drop per 2 to 4 oz. of soap) for its heady and romantic qualities.

Fortunately, nature has provided us with some powerful, yet perfectly natural substances that can help purify and disinfect our environment. Perhaps you have noticed how clean and fresh the evergreen boughs of a Christmas tree make the air smell. Or, think about the smell of peeling an orange or grapefruit, or cutting a lemon. Just thinking of it gives you that memory response of a happy, fresh and clean feeling. This effect isn't just a positive reaction to a pleasant smell, although this is part of their benefits. By elevating our mood, aromas contribute to our sense of well-being and raise -our immune response-thus changing our biological terrain. But beyond lifting our mood, aromas have therapeutic physical effects as well.

The essential oils found in many plants are nature's natural disinfectants. In tiny parts-per-million, essential oils possess antiseptic or disinfectant actions against a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, molds, yeast and other fungus. In fact, the plant or flower uses these volatile oils as part of their natural defense mechanisms. The use of essential oils for healing is commonly called Aromatherapy. Many think of an aroma as something to simply be inhaled. However, this misunderstanding overlooks many of the therapeutic benefits of pure essential oils in promoting physical health and well-being. There is an array of clinical applications that include baths, household cleaning solutions, laundry soaps and many other uses that can greatly enhance our health in very subtle but effective ways once we make the change away from chemical solutions.

On this page, you'll learn how to protect your family against harmful microorganisms the natural way, replacing those chemical disinfectants and artificial products with safer, natural and more effective aromatherapy applications. You'll also learn how to protect your body internally from the spread of infection using herbs.

Historical Background

The use of essential oils for health and hygiene is by no means a new phenomenon. Ancient writings found on clay tablets, dating as far back as 5500 BC, document the evidence of their use. In ancient Egypt in 1350 BC, aromatic essential oils were used for hygiene in the cities in the form of smudges that were burnt in the public squares to cleanse and purify the air. In the Middle Ages up through the 1700s, aromatic plants like juniper, marjoram, sage, wormwood and rosemary were found to give protection from the Great Plague. Physicians during these times would place these herbs in the end of a nose beak, a cone shape placed over the face and nose area like a mask, in order to inhale the aroma and protect them from contracting the disease. They discovered this when they noticed that none of the perfumers were being affected by the plague.
We can benefit even more than earlier cultures did from the disinfecting, refreshing and purifying qualities of essential oils today. Distillation and preservation processes have been greatly refined in the last couple of centuries, giving us a large variety of pure, high quality herbal based essential oils to choose from.

Diffusing Oils to Purify the Air

Believe it or not, essential oils are used extensively in many hospitals and health care clinics in Europe, especially in France. In a critical care setting, the antimicrobial actions of many oils can help protect patients from iatrogenic infections such as those caused by methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus, shigella dysenteriae, E. Coli, pneumonia, and candida. This is done by releasing essential oils into the air with a nebulizing diffuser. By creating micro-vibrations, a diffuser breaks up the oil molecules in the air and releases their full ionizing, purifying, therapeutic benefit into the air which disinfects it of bacteria, viruses, fungi, molds and other germs. (Something that is impossible for antibiotics to do.)





Resources

For more information on natural hygiene, consult the person who gave you this newsletter or any of the following sources:
The Scents of Health by L. Carl Robinson
Applied Aromatherapy by KimBalas, Steven Horne and L. Carl Robinson
Aromatherapy A-Z by Patricia Davis
The Fragrant Mind by Valerie Worwood
The Aromatherapy Companion by Victoria Edwards