March 16, 2020
Practical Tips & Recipes during this Stressful Time with Covid-19
These joyful, star-shaped flowers popped up in my garden this week… Spring is always a time for hope.
Many of you have been in contact over the last week or so, asking about a recipe for a home-made hand sanitiser and also which essential oils are good to use during this stressful time.
I have been looking at the body of clinical research which investigates the anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties of essential oils. The evidence is very encouraging for those of us involved in clinical aromatherapy who see the benefits every day but recognise the need for further research. Here is an informative systematic review on the use of essential oils and clinical studies.
A Pharmacist colleague in Turkey, Asli Yazicioglu, is also a clinical aromatherapist. She has written an interesting article about essential oils and the coronavirus.
It is well worth a read. it is easier to read with google translate!
However, as Asli points out, the COVID-19 is an unknown virus and there is currently no vaccine, medication or essential oil that has been proven scientifically to be effective. We can only hope that the international scientific community can develop a vaccine as soon as possible.
The MOST important thing we can do
Every medic, pharmacist or scientist I talk to says over and over, WASH YOUR HANDS! I know it seems obvious at this stage, but keep washing your hands with soap and water, It is your best action to prevent the spread of the virus. Was going to put a link to the World Health Organisation (WHO) video #handwashchallenge…but then I saw the one with Gloria Gaynor..
Hand sanitisers are only for when you are out and about.
They need to be high in alcohol which, although very drying on your hands, they play a vital role in creating an effective formulation.
A recipe for an alcohol-based hand sanitiser
I am mindful of the severity of the current situation regarding COVID-19 and I am following the official guidelines and any formula for a hand sanitiser must contain a minimum of 60% alcohol to be effective. Guided by the WHO and through discussions with chemists, I have made up a hand sanitising formula. If you don’t think you will make it, scroll down to the ways you can use essential oils at home for some tips and recipes.
To make 50ml bottle with spray
35ml of rubbing alcohol such as isopropyl alcohol
0.5ml ( ½ teaspoon) glycerine – this is hydrating
14-15ml approx. – Distilled water – boiled water cooled down in a sterile glass jar if you don’t have access to distilled water.
(Hydrogen Peroxide is recommended for larger quantities to protect the formula but not needed for this small quantity which will be used in a short time.)
As a clinical aromatherapist, I believe that essential oils are very beneficial, and I have added essential oils to the above formula. These are oils which have been researched for their anti-viral, anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties and have been used culturally for generations in their country of origin.
Add 15 drops in total.
Tea Tree, Eucalyptus and Lemon – 4 drops of each
3 drops of Lavender.
Shake well. Spray once onto the palm of the hands. Rub gently.
www.bomar.ie supply oils, bottles, glycerine and alcohol.
Irish essential oil suppliers:
Using Essential Oils at Home
Complement your keeping clean regime by using essential oils in your home. Here are some ideas:
I think every home should have a room diffuser. In a well-ventilated area, it can be used at intervals to clean the air, boost the mood and provide some protection and support.
It also empowers you as you are taking action for yourself and your family. It is difficult for parents with children out of school and those working from home in a confined space. Anything that will lift the mood, ease stress and cleanse the air is good. I see as a valuable tool to use in everyday life.
Use a combination of 6-8 drops of essential oil in the water of a diffuser. Switch on for 40-60 minutes maximum and repeat at 3 intervals during the day.
First thing in the morning, I make what I call my “Warrior” oils which are anti-bacterial and antiseptic. Create your unique aroma and experiment with the balance of drops of each oil you choose.
Here is a list of the “Warriors”:
Tea- Tree, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Thyme, Sweet Marjoram, Ravintsara, Niaouli, Bergamot, Clove, Peppermint.
3 drops of either Ravintsara or Eucalyptus
2 drops Lemon
2 drops of Lavender
1 drop of Thyme
For later in the day, to create a calming atmosphere, I would suggest the following oils: Again, 6-8 drops in total.
Sweet Orange, Mandarin, Neroli, Frankincense, Cedarwood, Sandalwood, Bergamot, Lavender, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang, Rose and Jasmine.
2 drops of Vetiver
3 drops of Bergamot
3 drops of sweet orange
Kitchen Cleaning Spray
I use this recipe all the time to clean countertops, computer keyboards and screens, tabletops. Here is the link for the kitchen cleaning spray:
Car/ Room Spray
Make your car a clean and aromatic space. This spray also works as a bathroom or room spray.
Nothing beats a 15-minute soak in the bath to De-Stress. If you don’t have a bath, a foot bath is a good alternative.
Use any combination of the calming oils listed above in the Diffuser section. I would suggest 3 maximum. Put 6 drops of essential oil into one tablespoon ( or an egg cup) of sweet almond or sunflower oil. Add to a pre-run bath or a cup of Epsom Salts and then add to bath. Hop in and breathe in the aroma….. Divine! Epsom salts contain magnesium which is a wonderful muscle relaxant…
Use the same recipe for a foot soak.
Face and Body Massage
Use your favourite oils and lotions to do some gentle self-massage at the end of the day. It is a lovely way to unwind before sleep. I use my facial oil every night as a before-bed ritual.
If you want to have more information I have a full list of oils to use at home: https://floraplusfiona.com/10-essential-essential-oils-for-your-home/
Don’t forget to boost your immune system by a keeping to a healthy diet, with lots of walking in nature and 7-8 hours sleep.
Sending you all warm wishes for a safe and healthy time ahead.