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If you have the flu (I’m so sorry!) then you know you need extra care for your respiratory system. To help with the aches, cough and congestion, let’s talk about why using a plant-based decongestant chest rub is better for you than a commercial “vapor rub”.

When you have a nasty chest cold or the flu, your upper and lower respiratory system is compromised and in distress – and yes, I know – duh…

But a lot of people still believe that the flu is a stomach bugthat’s a completely different strain than what’s going around in 2018. This particular strain is H3N2 and is a subtype of Type A Influenza – the most dangerous kind.

Children and older adults are most susceptible to the flu and that’s why aromatherapy provides an excellent natural remedy for chest congestion. Congestion is miserable anyway, but chest congestion and having the flu takes it to a whole new level.

Of course, you should always seek medical attention from a qualified professional when you’re sick, but I know that’s not always possible. Especially when you have no health insurance.

Essential Oils Are Ideal for Congestion

Pure essential oils are amazing. They are plant-based and were used for medicine up until the pharmaceutical companies got involved in the early to mid 20th century. When used properly, there are no negative side effects such as the spacey disjointed feeling, light-headedness and dehydration nor will they affect your blood pressure. Many cold/flu medications will cause your blood pressure to skyrocket or spike which can be dangerous.

The American Heart Association published this finding about over-the-counter cold and flu medications:

“If you’re ringing in the holidays with a cold or the flu, you should know that over-the-counter drugs taken to control the symptoms can also raise blood pressure and strain the kidneys.

The culprits? Pseudoephedrine and other cold medicine ingredients that may increase blood pressure.

“The flu can have serious health risks for people with high blood pressure, and patients with cardiovascular disease are more likely to die from influenza than patients with any other chronic condition, according to the American Heart Association. While controlling the symptoms is important, so is knowing the potential side effects.”

This is a great time to talk with a certified aromatherapist – yes – I’m a certified aromatherapist. Pure essential oils are plant-based and when used properly, the chances of of any negative side effects are slim. There are precautions to take especially when children are involved. That’s why I make products for colds and flu for adults and children. Head Cold, ChestEZ Decongestant Rub for Adults, congested cough, home remedies for congestion, chest congestion, chest cold, natural remedy, CongestEZ Decongestant Rub for Adults,

The pure essential oils I use that are excellent for adults with congestion are:

  • Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternafolia)
  • Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)
  • Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)
  • Peppermint (Mentha x peperita)
  • Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)

Each oil has been scientifically proven to assist with healthy lung function, addressing a spastic cough, as an expectorant and to address congestion. The Lemon essential oil also aids in absorption of all the oils as well as boosting the immune system.

The added bonus is the amazing smell – you don’t smell like your medicine cabinet. While the commercial brands of chest rub are quite greasy and heavy, I use a base of plant-based shea butter which will absorb into your skin.

For children ages 2 – 10 years, there is a different formula as oils with the component 1,8 cineole are not good for young children (it can damage their central nervous system). 

  • Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)
  • Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternafolia)
  • Sweet Marjoram (Majorana origanum)
  • Blood Orange (Citrus sinensis)
  • Lemon (Citrus limon)
  • Elemi (Canarium luzonicum)

Many of these oils also have anti-viral, anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties which is what you want when you are fighting colds and the flu. Some of these oils such as Fir Needle and Sweet Marjoram help with the spastic cough.

Why Using A Commercial Vaporub Is Not A Good Idea

I realize the commercial vapor rubs have been on the market forever. Did you ever read the label?

Two of the ingredients are petrolatum which is a derivative of petroleum (it gives the rub its greasy quality) and turpentine oil which is toxic when swallowed. It’s the turpentine oil which gives it the signature vapor. It also has camphor which is dangerous for small children.

One physician at Brenner’s Children Hospital in Winston-Salem, NC recommends against using the commercial chest rub on children for this reason:

“The ingredients in Vicks can be irritants, causing the body to produce more mucus to protect the airway,” said Bruce K. Rubin, M.D., lead author of the study and a professor in the department of pediatrics at Brenner Children’s Hospital, part of Wake Forest Baptist. “Infants and young children have airways that are much narrower than those of adults, so any increase in mucus or inflammation can narrow them more severely. (Source)

Seriously, why use that toxic stuff when you can use plant-based products that are so much better for your health and make you feel better? I believe because of all the television commercials out there advertising a million toxic pills has made us forget that plant-based products are so much better for you.

By the way, the next time you see a commercial for some pill that magically fixes what ails you, listen to what they say about the side effects. It’s for this reason that I don’t take anything more than what I have to in order to stay in an upright position and I make sure they are plant-based.

David Stewart, Ph. D., D.N.M wrote a book called The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple. In his book, he talks about why pharmaceutical companies make and sell drugs that they know are dangerous:

“It is illegal to patent any natural product. The way to big profits in the medicine industry is to create an unnatural substance that never before existed in nature, then patent it, and obtain a monopoly. Hence, the molecules of pharmaceutical drugs are all strange to the human body. In all the history of humankind, such molecules were never encountered or taken into any human body. Hence, the body does not easily metabolize them. God never made your body to accept and deal with these chemicals and antibiotics.”

Staying Healthy During Cold and Flu Season

I want you – and me – to be healthy and stay healthy. It’s one of the reasons I became a certified aromatherapist to begin with. There is a better way to stay healthy than by damaging your liver, kidneys and other organs with toxic compounds.

While I’m not a medical practitioner by any stretch of the imagination, I studied enough anatomy and physiology to understand how pure essential oils benefit the human body.

If you’re sick or if you believe you have the flu, by all means, please visit your doctor and stay home from work or school. There is nothing like expert medical advice to help you stay healthy. The whole reason I talk about aromatherapy is to let you know there is alternative and complementary methods available to you – especially for the uninsured.

How can I help you today? I have several products and methods that can help you stay healthy or get healthy. Fill out the contact form and let’s talk today!



This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please see a qualified medical professional for any health concerns.

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