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  • Miranda Welton

Zap those bugs

2020 has been a year of extremes. Extreme weather (both floods and heat) and then extremes of health – with us being locked down to reduce infection. We have seen the increase of hand gel use being introduced everywhere. There has been some controversy around this use as handwashing (in trials) has been found to beat the use of a gel when fighting viral or bacterial infections. LINK You can make your own hand ‘wash’ or a spray that you can slip into your pocket or bag and use out and about. Its really simple. You'll need a spray bottle, some water and a few drops of essential oils. There are some great ones to chose from, readily available to buy in store or online.

The most powerful anti-viral essential oils, according to research, are clove, eucalyptus, oregano, rosemary, peppermint, cinnamon and tea tree oil – here are some of their benefits:


Clove Oil is commonly used for tooth pain and has a very distinct smell and taste. Cloves are also often used along with cinnamon and nutmeg in sweet dishes in the winter and in drinks such as mulled wine. However, there are other benefits for using the oil in your home or to help create a spray you can pop into your bag and use when out and about. For more information follow this LINK


Eucalyptus Oil is very well known and used worldwide for chesty conditions, it aids colds, helps reduce coughs and is a bug repentant and is used in some cultures to treat wounds. Its often used as a way of opening airways – you place in hot water and breath in the aroma with a towel over your head to contain the smell. Its also one of the ingredients for Vicks Rub which is used on the chest to assist the lungs. Some people rub this into their feet as its been found to help congestion. For more information follow this LINK


Oregano Oil – we use oregano leaves in cooking, its one of the lovely tastes that gives Italian cooking its famous aroma. But oregano has many health benefits as well as tasting delicious. It is said to have antioxidant properties. Researchers noted that oregano oil is helpful for treating fevers and respiratory symptoms, which are associated with the flu. However, it is strong so avoid the oil during breastfeeding and if you have a blood clotting disorder. For more information follow this LINK


Rosemary Oil – another very well-known oil and herb. Its widely used in Mediterranean cooking from bread making to roast lamb dishes. It has a host of uses throughout the world from supposedly increasing hair growth to easing stress, improves brain function and is handy as a bug repellent. Its also thought to be useful in reducing ‘human bugs’ so viruses and bacterial infections and is sometimes used to reduce pain. For more information follow this LINK


Peppermint Oil is probably one of the most used oils, its everywhere from your toothpaste to chewing gum. Its flavours sweets and cakes but is not thought more about so much in the UK. However, from personal experience if you have a gum problem it is amazing to swirl a couple of drops of oil in warmed water around your mouth. It also is used in tea – peppermint tea, delicious, refreshing and great for digestive issues. In other cultures, peppermint is used widely for flu symptoms, colds etc. Its use is regarded as soothing for IBS symptoms and many other common problems. Its also great added to hot water and inhaled to help with congestion and is used to help nausea. For more information follow this LINK


Cinnamon Oil – everyone has heard of cinnamon, those little rolls of bark with a distinct flavour which is added to bun, donuts and many puddings and dishes that people love.

Not so well known is the oil which has useful properties including cinnamaldehyde, which reduces inflammation and destroys or suppresses the growth of microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. It’s used as a natural remedy for health issues from cough and colds to constipation, and is thought to stimulate circulation, reduce stress, relieve pain, fight off infections, improve digestion, and defends us from insects. For more information follow this LINK


Tea tree oil – widely known for its medicinal properties and originating in Australia. It makes a useful hand sanitiser and kills many bugs, bacteria’s and viruses that cause infection and disease. It’s a very strong oil so needs to be used wisely. Whether your children have headlice or you have a foot fungal infection. Adding a few of drops to shampoo or soaking your feet in warm water – it can really help fight off unwanted conditions and pests. Its great for healing wounds and cleaning cuts, helps with spots and pimples (it should be diluted), and has so many uses from around the home as a cleaning product to a holistic mouthwash. For more information follow this LINK


These ideas are for your own use and not for commercial enterprise. Make the family a small bottle each to carry around and have one in your car.


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