As you all may know, I’ve been battling a cold this week, and boy, has it been a battle! It started on Friday with me just generally feeling poorly (headache, scratchy throat, tired/run down “loopy” feeling) through the weekend. At the start of this week, I started getting more prominent respiratory problems (coughing, sneezing). By Monday, my throat was feeling like it was on fire; and by Tuesday, my sinuses were so full that I needed to blow my nose over and over and over, which resulted in my using up a whole box of tissue and half a roll of toilet paper (Scott brand—and if you’ve ever used it, you KNOW how NOT soft it is). Wednesday, I woke up, face puffy, eyes watering and feeling worse than the day before. The mucous deluge continued, and I knew I needed to do much more than the vitamin C, echinacea and tea/water with lemon regimen I had started on Tuesday (I know—I started late, and I’m kicking myself for that). Not to mention my nose and the skin around it were so chapped from all the blowing the day before that it was a shade of bright red and oh so attractive.
How to Be Your Own Herbal Pharmacist by Linda Page, Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar, The Aromatherapy Bible by Gill Farrer-Harris, and The Little Herb Encyclopedia by Jack Ritchason.
As awful as I was feeling, I pulled out all my books on herbal remedies and aromatherapy and began looking up “cold” in their indexes. Despite my nagging headache, I forced myself to browse through the different tips and ideas on what I could do to speed up the healing process. I tried two things with my essential oils that did me such a world of good. I am so happy to report to you today (Thursday morning), I woke up feeling loads better. While I am still blowing my nose, my eyes are not watery and puffy, and I haven’t that “cloudy”/headach-y feeling that has accompanied me since last Friday. I feel human again and it feels soooo good! Since these simple ideas have made such a huge difference in such a short time for me, I would feel remiss not to pass them on to you, my fine readers!
The first idea I used is the Peppermint-Eucalyptus Steam Inhalation Treatment. I got the idea from The Aromatherapy Bible by Gill Farrer-Halls, which happens to be my favorite aromatherapy book at the moment. This treatment worked fantastically in relieving me of my slight and nagging headache and my congestion. The Aromatherapy Bible makes this statement about sinusitis:
“The best remedy is regular steam inhalations, up to five times a day, using one or more of the following essential oils: lavender, tea tree, benzoin [in the form of Friar's Balsam--a proprietary preparation, which is much easier to use for inhalations than the essential oil] thyme, eucalyptus, peppermint or pine. These essential oils all help clear the head and sinuses, thereby relieving congestion, headaches and pain around the eyes and face. They also have powerful antiseptic properties to help prevent infection occurring.” ~Page 196
In reading around about sinusitis (aka sinus infection), I’m thinking I don’t have that going on because I’m not experiencing fever or the other telltale symptoms of the sinus infection. However, I decided that I had enough of the symptoms that using the steam inhalation method could be of help to me, so I went for it.
The second idea that I am using is for my poor, chapped nose—the Peppermint-Eucalyptus Ointment. I really like the way it is softening my skin up again, while providing therapeutic value to my sinuses.
You’ll notice that I have chosen peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils for both the treatment and the ointment. I chose them because I like the way they smell when blended together, but also for their cold and flu fighting properties:
There are certainly other EOs you could add to or substitute with in the following recipes. What I do when I want to make a substitution is to compare the properties of the EO I’d like to use with the one I’d like to switch out to make sure the the key properties I need will still be available to me if I make the switch. Often I make substitutions because I don’t have the essential oil that is called for. Now–on to the recipes!
Peppermint Eucalyptus Steam Inhalation Treatment
What I used:
What I did:
That’s it! If the essential oils feel harsh on your sinuses, try lifting your head a bit higher without allowing the towel to raise high enough to allow the steam to escape. If you need to, lift your face away from the steam and take a few deep breaths and then return to the steam inhalation.
Peppermint Eucalyptus Ointment for A Chapped Nose
I bought a package of these very inexpensive containers from TKBTrading.com.
I love this. It’s so simple, yet so effective. This morning (Thursday), the skin around my nose is much less red and chapped than it has been in the past two days. I’m LOOKING human again too! I got this idea from Livestrong.com’s Chapped Nose from Blowing article. I tweaked it my own way, but it’s quite close to their suggestions.
What I used: