Category Archives: Essential Oils

Potent Anti-viral Foods, Essential Oils & Supplements to Prevent and Treat Flu. Natural Flu Remedies.

There are currently no studies on the NEW Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), so let’s see how to prevent and treat influenza viruses in general.

Most of the herbs and compounds mentioned below have shown to be effective in cases of Influenza, Swine Flu, Bird Flu and SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome also caused by a coronavirus).


An excellent way to strengthen your immune system over time is to expand our diet by eating some non-processed, high quality, real food. Naturally you should work on increasing the intake of food containing immune-boosting and anti-viral ingredients. Many dishes, for example in Indian cuisine, are packed with anti-viral ingredients. Think of curry – an amount of anti-viral ingredients in a dish is amazing: garlic, onion, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, black and white peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, black and white cumin seeds, black, brown, and green cardamom pods!

Special attention should be paid to the basics

  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D is crucial, without it we are easily exposed to all sorts of diseases (read more). In months where there is not enough sun Vitamin D supplementation may be needed.
  • Zinc. Zinc supports the immune function and protects respiratory function. The best way to go about making sure you are not deficient in zinc is by eating zinc and selenium rich foods like good quality fish and organic meat, spinach, pumpkin, nuts and seeds.







Let’s discuss these strategies in more detail. You will notice certain repetitions: plants listed sometimes as  food and as essential oil – that because some of the ingredients exhibit different properties depending if they are used fresh, dried, extracted in essential oils or concentrated or made into a tincture. E.g. drinking peppermint tea is probably sufficient to aid digestion but won’t do much to relieve the headache or the fever. On the other hand, rubbing peppermint essential oil on your skin may instantly relieve both the fever and the headache. That’s why using the same herbs in different forms is sometimes necessary especially when we want to create the different layers of protection.

Anti-Viral Foods, Supplements, Essential Oils1. INCREASE INTAKE OF TOP ANTI-VIRAL SUPERFOODS

Creating aggregate protection against flu and other viruses should be using different mechanisms. For example, drinking some anti-viral teas may help a little, however drinking teas and juicing AND eating high quality food packed with anti-viral ingredients AND inhaling some anti-viral essential oils AND taking some immune-boosting supplements – well, that’s going to give far better results.

The top anti-viral foods that exhibit strong anti-viral properties and should be consumed in abundance:

  1. FRESH HERBS & SPICES. Some of these you can grow even in your window garden and incorporate fresh as part of your dishes, otherwise if you don’t have access to fresh plants you can use them as spices. All of them exhibit strong anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.
  2. GINGER. Ginger is potent anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It works by stimulating the respiratory cells to secrete an anti-viral protein. Ginger also inhibits mucous production and helps clear up congestion.
  3. GARLIC. Garlic destroys various viruses that cause respiratory infections and influenza. Read more Garlic- Nature’s Little Miracle.  Incorporate garlic in as many dishes as you can. Guacamole, Tzatziki, Dandelion Pesto, garlic sauces (mojo rojo), Salsa etc are some of the ideas for creating raw, garlic-rich and delicious dishes.
  4. SHIITAKE MUSHROOMS have a strong anti-viral effect which is believed to be caused by the interferon compound found in the mushroom. Interferon, created in vertebrates as a reaction to viruses, help to inhibit the replication of viruses and boost the immune system of the consumer.
  5. BLACK CUMIN (Nigella sativa) Seed Oil. Known also as ‘The Remedy For Everything But Death’. Because it has a spicy, nutty flavor, black cumin can be sprinkled whole or ground up on food, and the oil can also be used on salads and other dishes.
  6. CRANBERRIES.  Often a popular part of holiday celebrations, are full of antioxidants and also have strong anti-viral properties.
  7. LEMON. Effective against multiple bacterial strains also anti-viral but not as strong. Because of its many other virtues e.g. strong purifier that rapidly remove toxins from the body, lemons do deserve to be listed here. Best to use fresh, whole organic lemons.


Anti-Viral Foods, Supplements, Essential OilsMost of the supplements  mentioned can be found in the health stores in form of capsules (extracts) or tinctures. Typically, the tinctures (especially if you make them at home) have a very long shelf time.

Quality does matter; look for the high quality supplements and tinctures made from organically grown plants.

  1. ECHINACEA contains compounds with some amazing anti-viral,  immune supporting and white cells boosting properties.
  2. LICORICE ROOT is a powerful anti-viral shown to kill SARS and other lethal viruses.
  3. BLACK ELDERBERRY (SAMBUCUS) is another strong and proven anti-viral typically available commercially as the syrup or sold as extract in capsules.
  4. CAT’S CLOW (Una de Gato) is used traditionally in Peruvian medicine for the treatment of a wide range of health problems. Cat’s Clow exhibited anti-viral properties when tested against two RNA viruses, vesicular stomatitis virus and rhinovirus 1B.
  5. SAGE. The Romans held this herb in highest regard and considered it to be the “savior of mankind”. Sage has also shown anti-viral activity against influenza virus.
  6. ASTRAGALUS has been shown to boost the immune system and inhibit certain viruses, such as the Cocksackie B. It enjoys a long history of preventing and treating colds and various other respiratory-related conditions. Astragalus, typically sold as a tincture should be taken preventatively.
  7. OLIVE TREE LEAVES. The leaves from olive tree contain elenoic acid that has been identified as a potent inhibitor of a wide range of viruses. To make the medicine, gather the leaves from the trees, add them to a large container of water and boil it into a concentrate. Drink or use topically.
  8. LOMATIUM DISSECTUM.  A “perfect” anti-influenza herb because its anti-viral action is combined with a respiratory relief that is especially useful with secondary infections caused by strains of influenza. Best to buy as the tincture, if you don’t have an access to the fresh herb.
  9. GRAPEFRUIT SEED EXTRACT. Grapefruit seed extract is effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, as well as a large number of single-cell and multi-celled parasites.
  10. YARROW. Yarrow has been known for ages and especially during the wars for its amazing ability of stopping the bleeding. Besides, yarrow helps in relieving influence symptoms and it is a strong anti-bacterial. If you think of Ebola caused internal bleedings, yarrow might maybe have a role? Yarrow most likely grows in the closest park – why not pick some and make your own tincture?


Essential oils are highly concentrated plant constituents and some people call them “the soul of the plant”.

Most essential oils have strong antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-viral properties which makes them the excellent “tool” to provide a dual-protective effect: by increasing the strength and efficiency of our immune response AND by limiting the ability of viruses to replicate. You can also add these essential oils in your tea (lemon balm, citron etc). Or in your bath. Or use it during an aromatherapy massage.

Another way is through making gargles and mouthwashes for oral and sinus protection e.g. Comfrey root or Eucalyptus gargle and mouth wash are quite efficient.

Beside topical application which is the preferred way (oils are rapidly absorbed in the bloodstream) another great way of using essential oils especially to protect your respiratory system and sinus lining is through using the steam to inhale vapors at safe levels (use a low potency). Put of couple of drops in boiling water and inhale the steam.

Note that essential oils made from conventionally grown (non-organic) crops typically retain high levels of pesticides and may not exhibit the expected  medicinal properties.  Therefore, when possible, opt for the organic essential oils.

Top 15 essential oils with strongest anti-viral/anti-bacterial properties

    1. LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) is one of the most powerful of the anti-viral essential oils, boosts the immune system and interferes with viral replication.
    2. OREGANO. Broad spectrum anti-viral with a long history of being used during plagues and pandemics.
    3. THYME. Broad spectrum anti-viral with a long history of being used during pandemics.
    4. CINNAMON (Ceylon Cinnamon). Extremely powerful. Broad spectrum anti-viral with a long history of being used during plagues and pandemics.
    5. CLOVE oil is one of the most powerful anti-viral, antibacterial, anti-tumorous, antiseptic oils.
    6. RAVENSARA is strong anti-viral oil which has been used to support healing from influenza, and is also an excellent nerve tonic. Ravensara oil is said to work effectively against acute cases of the flu, both through its anti-viral effects and its uplifting of mood and energy levels.
    7. RAVINTSARA (Cinnamomum camphora) has strong anti-infectious, antiseptic, anti-viral, antibacterial, antispasmodic, analgesic, carminative, expectorant and immune stimulant properties.
    8. HYSSOP decumbens is a very potent broad spectrum anti-viral essential oil, excellent for infection of lower respiratory tract.
    9. EUCALYPTUS radiata is a potent anti-viral essential oil that stimulates the immune system enhance the activity of the white blood cells. Excellent for colds, flu, infections of the respiratory system, including bronchial infections and pneumonia.
    10. FRANKINCENSE. Considered by some aroma-therapists to be the strongest immune-stimulant essential oil.
    11. PEPPERMINT is efficient against enveloped viruses (influenza (flu) viruses are enveloped viruses).
    12. ROSEMARY is another antiviral oils that has proven to be effective with ‘naked’ viruses.
    13. BLACK PEPPER.  Antispasmodic, antibacterial, anti-viral.  Black pepper essential oil is high in aldehydes which makes it a powerful anti-viral essential oil.
    14. CASSIA. Cassia is in the cinnamon family and has anti-infectious, antibacterial, anti-viral properties.
    15. BAY LAUREL. Found specifically to be active against the virus causing SARS.

Other essential oils that have anti-viral properties and can prevent or provide the flu relief:  Aspic Lavender, Tea Tree, Basil, Coriander, Geranium, Marjoram, Naiouli, Palmarosa, Petitgrain, Rose Otto, Sage, Spearmint, Lemon, Goldenseal.


Top anti-viral foods, essential oils and supplements  Drinking a lot of tea is another great strategy in creating layers of protection against the viruses. You can make your own anti-viral teas or liquid decoctions (raw plants prepared in form of a tea).

Green tea for example contains a group of flavonoids which appear to inhibit viral infections and also act by blocking the viral viruses to replicate.

Make your own “Super Anti-Flu Tea” using a combination (subset) of the proven anti-viral and anti-flu tea or tea ingredients.

Anti-Viral Teas
Green tea Echinacea
Licorice root Sage
Cat’s Claw Garlic
Clove Ginger
Cinnamon Comfrey

Note: Some of these have strong flavors so it may take a while to experiment and see what combination works well. Typically adding honey and lemon helps improving the taste. Here are some of the ideas Garlic Tea  or Ginger Lemon Tea.


You may consider applying a layer of extra protection on your face by using some powerful anti-viral essential oils like Lemon balm, Tea tree, Clove etc.

You can put couple of drops in your facial cream or in a career oil (my preference is coconut oil) and apply on the face and especially around the nose and ears to create a layer of protection in order to stop the viruses from penetrating.


Consult your health care practitioner before using any essential oils or supplements especially if you are pregnant, nursing or sick.

IMG_1402Wishing you a healthy,  flu-free season!

Top 5 Essential Oils

Top 5 Essential Oils.  A “starter kit” for those who are new to essential oils

  • Essential oils have numerous health benefits and they are increasingly being explored in the treatment of various diseases. I like to call them “Essential Little Helpers”.
  • There are more than 150 essential oils, and each has its own medicinal benefits.
  • I enclose below the list of 5 essential oils that I use frequently and suggest as a “starter kit” for those who are new to the subject.
  • You need to carefully examine and watch for high quality, unadulterated, organic, pure essential oil. Pay attention to the Latin name as there are sometimes many varieties, all of them having different properties. I use mostly Essenciagua and Pranarom, Ladrome & NHR oils. Eden Botanicals,  Floracopeia and Aromatics International are well regarded on the US market.
  • Most of the essential oils mentioned below you can find here: UK  Link or US Link. Quality does matter; the links point to the high quality, organic essential oils.
  • Caution: Most of oils are quite potent and can cause some side effects, irritation or allergies, so use them with caution and seek advice if you use them for the first time. You also need to verify if the oil can be ingested, or it is only intended for topical use. A good practice is to always dilute them and do a skin test (mix it with a carrier oil and apply it topically). If there is no reaction after few hours you should be able to use it.

My Top 5 Essential Little Helpers

1. Lavander (Lavandula angustifolia), Lavandin

Lavender has a long list of health benefits. It is well known for its ability to fight fungi, bacteria and viruses. It is commonly used to speed up the healing process of wounds, cuts, burns, and sunburns because it reduces the pain, helps healing and reduces the scars. My five-year old asks for “magical oil” (Lavander) whenever he hurts himself.

Lavender can also reduce nervous tension, anxiety, relieve pain, disinfect the scalp and skin, enhance circulation, treat respiratory problems, acne and hair loss.

Thanks to its fragrance and relaxing property, Lavender essential oil induces sleep and can help with insomnia. Lavander also helps restoring hormonal balance and reducing cystitis or inflammation of the bladder.

A variation Lavandin (angustifolia and latifolia hybrid) is similarly effective.

Caution: Lavender oil should never be ingested, only applied topically or inhaled.

2. Tea tree (Malaleuca alternifolia)

Tea tree essential oil has been used traditionally as a topical antiseptic and antifungal treatment.

Put a drop in your facial cream if your skin is prone to acne and use it in your toothpaste as antibacterial.

I apply it directly on acne or cold sore that is about to pop up. I use it undiluted, but be cautious and start with mixing it with some carrier oil (coconut oil for example) as Tea tree oil can eventually cause allergic reactions.

A variation (not so easy to find) – Manuka tea tree (from New Zeeland) is known as “antibiotic” for acne.

3. Peppermint (Mentha piperita)

Peppermint essential oil is cooling and energizing and it has antiseptic and antibacterial properties.

Peppermint oil is used in many ways: inhale or massage in few drops to your wrists for increasing alertness and instant stress relief or use it as a chest rub or for inhalation to clear nasal congestion and relieve cold.

Peppermint is safe alternative to alternative to drugs like Buscopan, and effective for all kind of gastrointestinal disorders (irritable bowel syndrome, colonic spasm and gas and others).

For headache relief, simply massage a drop or two onto your temples.

4. Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata; Eucalyptus globulus)

Eucalyptus essential oil has a number of important qualities, including anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antibacterial, and stimulating.

It is very useful in the treatment of respiratory problems, wounds, in dental care, skin care etc.

It is best known to relieve the symptoms of influenza and colds. Use it as decongestant and for quick relief for bronchitis by rubbing couple of drops of oil on the chest or inhaling eucalyptus oil vapor.

There are two main varieties similar in properties: radiata and globulus; most therapists find Eucalyptus radiata essential oil more effective in treatments than Eucalyptus globulus.

5. Lemon (Citrus limon)

Lemon essential oil is antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial. It has a number of important qualities and well known for stimulating and calming, sleep inducing, and antifungal properties.

The benefits of Lemon essential oil include its ability to help with stress, fever, infections, obesity, insomnia. It is also used to help with skin disorders, hair conditions, stomach problems and tiredness.

Lemon essential oil is used for beauty products because of its ability to lift and firm the skin.

I use it in DIY facial creams, toothpaste, laundry washing, dishwasher and in aromatherapy oil diffuser.

Caution:  Citrus (all sorts including Lemon) oils are photosensitive, meaning they react to sunlight and can cause dark pigmentation or rash.  After application, you should wait 8-24 hours before exposing yourself to direct sunlight.

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