I'm on a journey to find health and happiness through a more holistic and green lifestyle.

I find the world to be abrasive. =) That is to say, I feel the need to armor myself, physically and emotionally, in order to face life. Don't we all? Maybe. For whatever reason, it has become a priority in my life to rid my immediate environment of irritating things. And I'm sensitive! So there is much work to be done. But. I have thought for a long time that the things I come in contact with every day, and the stuff used to clean and maintain these things, need to be gentle and non-toxic. I have had eczema my entire life. For a long time I just dealt with it, and accepted that sometimes it's bad, and sometimes it's not, and that it will fluctuate a lot. Gradually over time I have come to find that certain things, fabrics, cleansers, materials, are more irritating to my skin than others. Stress can exacerbate it. In more recent times, I have realized that every aspect of my life improves when I improve conditions for my skin. Hah! What a concept! Thus my (long time) interest in going green, and my more recent desire to live a more holistic lifestyle. (I think I've felt a desire for a long time to live in a harmonious way with myself, my surroundings, and nature, but didn't have a name for it.) Anyhow, this blog is a journal of my trials and errors, and basic crooked path to find a balanced and peaceful existence for myself and my family. Thanks for your interest! I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Oregano Essential Oil For Colds/Flu Trial

More than half a year ago, I purchased a bottle of Young Living oregano essential oil. I had read about the benefits online somewhere. It arrived, I smelled it, and put it with the others. Where it sat. For a long time. Sometimes it takes me a while to get around to trying a new oil. Why, I don't know. I guess I'm comfortable with what works.

Recently, our family was hit with the flu. And when I say hit, I mean hit. Hard. We were all sick for more than a week. I like to try to use natural remedies, and was feeling discouraged at the amount of Tylenol, Motrin and eventually antibiotics I ended up giving to my children. In the moment you use what works. But I would like to do better.

So I ended up online again. And read about oregano essential oil...again. And the reviews got me wanting to do more than just smell the bottle.

So..... I started to feel... I don't know. Tired. Tense. Worried that something wicked was coming my way. So I started to add oregano oil to my water bottle. Well, the reviewers are not kidding when they say that this oil can be hard to palate! It is incredibly strong. One drop in my 5-cup water bottle, and the flavor is almost overwhelming. Wow. But it's for a good cause, so I ponied on. I drank it, and even added more. Now many days later, no illness has descended. Good enough? Of course not. I don't know that I was fighting anything to begin with. But I have learned that I can palate the stuff if need be. But it's very easy to add too much, so when online reviews of the stuff say to take 2-3 drops 2-3 times a day, I say... not likely. 2-3 drops throughout one day, yeah, I can handle that.

So yesterday my 5-year-old started to complain of cold symptoms. Oh boy, thought I. A chance to test this for real. Hm. How to get this stuff, that I can barely get past my lips, into a child? Not easy! I mixed one drop of oregano essential oil into a mug of water. He took one sip and retreated with shock in his eyes. I tasted it, and had the same reaction. Yuk! So I attempted to make it manageable by pouring out half of the mixture, refilling it with water, and adding a bunch of honey. That made it ok. Pretty weak, but ok. Then this morning I remembered something.

I had also read online that for kids you can mix this oil in a carrier oil (sweet almond, olive, etc.) and rub it on the soles of the feet. So that is what I did this morning. I put ONE drop of oregano e.o. into a dime-sized pool of sweet almond oil, and rubbed it on my child's feet. And on my own.

The problem with this study is that it is really impossible to know whether the duration of the cold would be longer without this treatment. But I will report on my findings! And I will attempt to treat the others in the family as well, and report whether they get sick as well, and if so, for how long.

So. Day 1:

My child's symptoms today are: crunchy cough, good energy, scratchy throat.

Everyone else: Healthy

Those treated with Oregano: Me (internally in water over last few days and on soles of feet today,) two kids (one internally yesterday, both soles of feet today) Did this early in the day.

The sick child seemed to feel good for most of the day. Just an occasional crusty cough. No fever, good energy. Symptoms got a bit worse in the evening. His throat got scratchy again (which could be heard in his voice) and the cough got a bit worse. I applied oregano again to the soles of the feet of both kids and myself. Hubby politely declined, so he becomes my "control." =)

Day 2:

Now it's the next morning, and the sick child slept very well. No breathing problems. He has a productive cough this morning. Very lungy sounding. No fever. Good energy. I again applied oregano oil to the soles of our feet.

Evening: Sick child had cough throughout the day. His energy was good. No fever. Once again evening came, and he started to feel more symptomatic. Very tired. Everyone else continues to be well. Another application tonight.

Days 3 and 4:

Basically the same report. Sick child continues to have a cough which sounds uncomfortable, but doesn't seem to get worse. Overnight on day two he had a very restless night, as he was unable to breathe through his nose. He tossed and turned all night. Regardless, he was in very good spirits on the morning of day 3. Days 3 and 4 he remained about the same... not worse, not better. He felt warm, but no high fever. On day 4 his energy was a bit lower than it has been, and his appetite was down a bit. Everyone else remains healthy. I'm applying oregano each morning and evening, and will continue to do so for a couple of days.

Days 5 and 6: Same report, though now sick child is starting to get better. Gross nose, which frequently needs blowing, but the cough is slowing down. Everyone else remains healthy!

This morning, day 6, I stopped the oregano application. Little boy is getting gradually better, and none of the rest of us have gotten sick. (yet?)

Has the oregano helped? It's impossible to say. But it is compelling that the rest of us stayed healthy, though that incudes hubby, who did not use oregano oil.

Soo..... if any of the rest of us do get ill, I'll update it here. Otherwise, I plan to try this again, out of curiosity, just to see what happens. Why not?

Update: Earlier this month, the same child experienced a stomach bug. It was crazy. He was sick, then better, then sick again, then better, then sick AGAIN, all over a period of about 2.5 weeks. The doctor, in typical fashion, said it could be this or this or this, and keep an eye on it. I read about the Norovirus, and am convinced that is what he had. It was awful, he was very sick to his stomach and on the other end, too, and I am very glad for him and for us that it has passed. All throughout this time period, I treated the kids and myself with oregano oil on the feet (and I drank some, too) The rest of us managed to avoid the bug. Now to be fair, hubby did not get sick, either, and he did not get treated with the oil. I can't explain it, I can't show a definite cause and effect here, but he got sick, really sick, and we didn't. So there's that. ? I am hoping this little guy gets a good break from illness now. Geez.