Case Study: Purge the Cold
This week I woke up with the beginnings of a head and chest cold on Sunday, complete with the usual symptoms: congestion, coughing, and a sore throat. In an attempt to heal me, I chose to begin taking baths using essential oils immediately. Which gave way to a new holistic experiment. For this experiment, I opted to include two base oils and two essential oils in my bath-time blend. I included coconut and almond oil as my base oils. Which I typically combine once a week as a deep conditioning treatment for my hair. It is fabulous at keeping your hair frizz-free throughout the hot and humid summers.
I based my base oil selection on the cough and cold bath recipe found in one of the ACHS texts. After researching the three essential oil options, I chose the two most effective oils: eucalyptus and ginger. The recipe I used was as follows:
2 oz. Almond Oil
1 1/4 oz. Coconut Oil
30 drops Eucalyptus Eucalyptus radiata
30 drops Ginger Zingibar officinale
I chose eucalyptus as it is an excellent anti-inflammatory, expectorant, and antiviral. It is also especially effective in supporting a healthy (or healing) respiratory system, which was the core of my symptoms. Eucalyptus has always been one of my favorite essential oils to use when fighting any viral infection, or cold. It tends to soothe my symptoms and seems to improve my spirits as well.
Ginger has been known to occasionally ease congestion and coughing and is stimulating to our system. Which wakes up our circulatory system, another aspect which helps to alleviate my symptoms. According to organicfacts.net, ginger is especially affecting for removing mucus from the throat and lungs. Hence it's a common inclusion in herbal teas in India.
To ensure effective absorption it is best to place aromatherapy blends into a bath after filling the tub with water completely and turning the water off. Add two tablespoons of the blend listed above to the still water, and stir slightly before stepping in. It is important to wait for the water to become still before dropping essential oils into it, as your oils are volatile and will evaporate quickly in air.
Once I stepped in and began to relax, I immediately began to feel as though my breathing passages were finally clearing. It felt as though the mucus was melting from deep within the depths of my sinus cavities and lungs, as wax on a candle does. Twenty minutes later, I rose from the tub feeling a hundred times better than previously. I could breathe fairly normally and had stopped coughing. I repeated this bath for 7 days until I felt my cold run it's course. Which as many of you know, many colds simply need to run their course. However, this doesn't mean we have to suffer in silence and cannot do something to help us feel better while it is going through this course. My cold seemed to run its course fairly rapidly, without being torturous thanks in great part to this blend.
Petersen, BA, Dip-NT, Dip-Acu, RH, D. (2015). Aroma 203: Aromatherapy I. Portland, OR: American College of Healthcare Sciences.
Health Benefits of Ginger Root Oil. (n.d.). In Organic Facts. Retrieved from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/ginger-root-oil.html
Sweet Almond Oil. (n.d.). In WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/vitaminsupplements/ingredientmono-59-SWEET%20ALMOND.aspx?activeIngredientId=59&activeIngredientName=SWEET%20ALMOND
Coconut Oil. (n.d.). In WebMD. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/vitaminssupplements/ingredientmono-1092-COCONUT%20OIL.aspx?activeIngredientId=1092&activeIngredientName=COCONUT%20OIL
Health Benefits of Eucalyptus Essential Oils. (n.d.). In Organic Facts. Retrieved from https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/herbs-and-spices/eucalyptus.html