The use of essential oils in the management of viral infection.
These days, as foot and mouth disease rampages through the British countryside my thoughts turn to viral infection and the use of essential oils to help combat them.
Essential oils can be helpful on three levels in the presence of viruses and bacteria:
The easiest way to use essential oils in the presence of viral infection - for example if there is an outbreak of strangles or flu in your yard - is as a spray,.
To make up a spray dissolve 10 drops of eucalyptus globulus, 10 drops of Manuka and 5 drops of Bergamot in a tablespoon of alcohol (in Britain where medicinal alchohol is not available us pure vodka) then add to 100 mls of water in a spray bottle and shake well. Spray this liberally around the stable a few times a day (one word of caution, Bergamot oil is photo-toxic so care should be taken not to expose skin to the sun after application). The oils can also be offered to the horses to inhale, hold the bottle of oil firmly in your hand and hold it approx 6 inches from the horseÕs nose. If the horse inhales it deeply or shows signs of wanting to eat the bottle offer it the oil to smell twice a day until it loses interest. If the horse turns away from the bottle or shows no interest it does not need that oil and you should not apply it. Tea tree oil is another one to offer as an inhalation as it is probably the most powerful immune stimulant.
Eucalyptus, Ravensara and Manuka also help to reduce fever and clear respiratory congestion while Bergamot lifts the spirits helping to combat the depression that can accompany illness. Whenever you are using essential oils it is important to use only the best quality unadulterated oils for safety and effectiveness, know the oils you are using and any possible contraindications and never use undiluted oils.