5 Essential Oils To Beat Back To School Bugs | achs.edu

Sep 11, 2014 2:00:00 PM | Aromatherapy and Essential Oils 5 Essential Oils To Beat Back To School Bugs | achs.edu

With all the lovely things that accompany autumn, there’s one thing that we’d all like to avoid when heading back to the classroom: Back To School Sickness! Try these 5 essential oils...

Must Have: 5 Essential Oils To Beat Back To School BugsThe days are shorter, school supplies are lining store aisles, and there’s a slight chill in the air… welcome to Back To School Season!

With all the lovely things that accompany autumn, there’s one thing that we’d all like to avoid when heading back to the classroom: Back To School Sickness! The colder weather ushers in colds, flus, and many more unsavory bugs caused by bacteria and viruses.

So how do we protect ourselves during such a vulnerable time of the year? With antibacterial, antiseptic, and antiviral properties, these essential oils for back to school are an ideal way to create a fall and winter “immunity bubble.” Here are my favorite 5 essential oils to beat back to school bugs:

1 – Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis (L.)

Rosemary R. officinalis has powerful antibacterial[1] and antimicrobial[2] actions. It is wonderful to diffuse or use in a room spray to keep the respiratory system at top performance so it can fight off those bugs that lurk in the classroom. It’s important to note that despite this recommendation of rosemary for a healthy respiratory system, it should not be applied to infants, near children’s faces, or near their nose.[3]

Additionally, rosemary has long been associated with remembrance, most likely due to its therapeutic qualities that support memory and concentration, making rosemary a must-have essential oil for homework study time! Diffusing it in your home is a simple but effective way to access the benefits.

2 – Basil Ocimum basilicum (L.)

I love adding one or two drops of basil O. basilicum essential oil to my pasta dishes when I don’t have the fresh herb available. With basil’s antiviral, antibacterial[4], antiseptic, and expectorant actions, you’re getting a dose of immunity support with your pasta pomodoro!

3 – Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus (Labill.)

No list of bug-beating essential oils would be complete without a mention of eucalyptus E. globulus. Used in inhalations, ointments, compresses, and rubs, you might say eucalyptus is the ultimate “must-have” oil for fighting back to school bugs.

It is well known that eucalyptus essential oil has powerful antibacterial[5], antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, and expectorant actions. It is also a febrifuge, which means it can help reduce fevers (remember: it’s important to make an appointment with your trusted medical or naturopathic physician should you develop a fever).

Looking for an aromatherapy recipe for cold and flu season? Try this diffuser blend:

Winter Wellness Diffuser Blend

Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus oil: 6 drops

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil: 5 drops

Pine Pinus sylvestris oil: 3 drops

Lavender Lavandula angustifolia oil: 2 drops

Lemon Citrus limonum oil: 2 drops

Blend the oils and diffuse throughout your home. This blend can also be added to the bath water or to a foot or hand soak. Add three drops to the bath or one to two drops to a foot or hand soak. Remember: do not apply directly to the face or chest of children or infants.

Note that you can also replace E. globulus with eucalyptus Smithii Eucalyptus smithii (R.T.Baker), which is generally considered milder and less intense, but again never use directly on children’s faces, nose or chests.

4 – Cistus Cistus ladaniferus (Curtis.) (syn Cistus ladanifer (L.))

Historically, the Cistus C. ladaniferus gum has been used in Greece for medicinal purposes. A compress was used for rheumatism, and a decoction blended with oregano was given for bronchitis and diarrhea.

Cistus essential oil steam distilled from the gum has antibacterial[6], expectorant, and skin regenerative properties. It is one of my must-have essential oils to beat back to school bugs.

Try this respiratory support formula:

Cistus Cistus ladaniferus essential oil: 10 drops

Clove Syzygium aromaticum essential oil: 5 drops

Ravensara Cryptocarya agathophylla essential oil: 5 drops

Diffuse in the house or prepare a room spray.

5– Clove Syzygium aromaticum (L.)

Clove S. aromaticum is one of my favorite Indonesian essential oilsit has a lovely warm spicy aroma, perfect for short days and cooler evenings. Clove has significant antibacterial[7], antimicrobial[8], antiviral[9], and antioxidant[10] actions, making it an ideal essential oil for cold and flu season. It can support respiratory as well as digestive tract health during the vulnerable school season.

Don’t forget that essential oils are just one of your tools for the cold and flu season. Encourage kids to wash their hands frequently, sneeze into their arm, and of course, keep lots of fresh organic fruits and vegetables in the kitchen for snacks.

I’d love to know if you have used any of these oils or have any recipes/formulas you would like to share. Just leave me a note in the comments!

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This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. As always, store all essential oils out of reach of children and use child-proof caps. 

[1] Kivanc, M. & Akgul, A. (1986). Antibacterial Activity of Essential Oils from Turkish Spices and Citrus. Flavour Fragrance J., 1:175-179.

[2] Baratta, M.T., Dorman, D., & Deans, S.G. (1998). Chemical Composition, Antimicrobial and Antioxidative Activity of Laurel, Sage, Rosemary, Oregano and Coriander Essential Oils. J Essent Oil Research, 10(6):618- 627.

[3] Tisserand, R. & Balacs, T. (1996). Essential Oil Safety: 2nd Edition. Churchill Livingstone Press. 409.

[4] Matiz, G., Osorio, M.R., Camacho, F., Atencia, M., & Herazo, J. (2012). [Effectiveness of antimicrobial formulations for acne based on orange (Citrus sinensis) and sweet basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) essential oils]. Biomedica., 32(1):125-33.

[5] Ontengco, D.C., Dayap, L.A., & Capal, T.V. (1995). Screening for the antibacterial activity of essential oils from some Philippine plants. Acta Manilana, 43:19-23.

[6] Ferreira, S., Santos, J., Duarte, A., Duarte, A.P., Queiroz, J.A., & Domingues, F.C. (2012). Screening of antimicrobial activity of Cistus ladanifer and Arbutus unedo extracts. Nat Prod Res., 26(16):1558-60.

[7] Ramanoelina, A.R., Terrom, G.P., Bianchini, J.P., & Coulanges, P. (1987). Antibacterial action of essential oils extracted from Madagascar plants. Arch Inst Pasteur Madagascar., 53(1):217-226.

[8] Merr. & Perry: Antimicrobial and Antioxidant Properties of Syzygium aromaticum (L.) Deans, S.G., Noble, R.C., Hiltunen, R., Wuryani, W., & Penzes, L. (1995). Impact upon Bacteria, Fungi, and Fatty Acid Levels in Aging Mice. Flav Fragr J., 10(5):323-328.

[9] Benencia, F. & Courreges, M.C. (2000). In vitro and in vivo activity of eugenol on human herpes virus. Phytother Res., 14(7):495-500.

[10] Teissedre, P.L. & Waterhouse, A.L. (2000). Inhibition of oxidation of human low-density lipoproteins by phenolic substances in different essential oils varieties. J Agric Food Chem., 48(9):3801-5.

Dorene Petersen, ACHS Founding President

Written By: Dorene Petersen, ACHS Founding President

Dorene is the Founding President of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS). She has over 45 years of clinical teaching and lecturing experience in aromatherapy and other holistic health subjects. She has presented papers on essential oils and clinical aromatherapy at the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades Annual Conference (IFEAT) in California, USA; the Aroma Environment Association of Japan (AEAJ) in Tokyo, Japan; the Asian Aroma Ingredients Congress (AAIC) and Expo in Bali, Indonesia; the International Center of Advanced Aromatherapy (ICAA) at the WonGwang Digital University in Seoul, Korea; as well as the AAIC Expo in Kunming, Yunnan, China. Dorene is a founding member of the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC) and served as its chair until 2023. Dorene is also involved in the distance education community and has served as a volunteer, committee member, and standards evaluator for the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (DEAC). Dorene is a travel junkie, and has led ACHS Study Abroad programs to India, Indonesia, Greece, and Hawaii!