This past week while trying to prevent my husbands respiratory infection from spreading, I used essential oils in many ways for treatment. I had him steam, place a few drops in his bath, used them with massage & foot reflexology, placed specific blends in the bedside nebulizer and had him gargle with them.
Gargling with essential oils is not something you hear about too often yet it is very effective. I had him gargle even when his sore throat felt better since I was targeting more than just the throat itself….mainly the inflammation and spasms that were causing him to cough
Gargling with essential oils is effective because the throat is lined with a mucous membrane. This membrane is thinner and more permeable to essential oils since it lacks the protective keratinised cell layer of the skin. The medicinal properties of essential oils are able to cross into the blood stream much quicker than if one were to apply them via skin application. Steaming also reaches the mucus membrane of the throat as well as the nose and then of course, the entire respiratory system.
When feeling the onslaught of illness and the sore throat that may come along with it, gargling with 8oz of warm water, about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 drop of antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory & immune stimulant Tea Tree Melaleuca alternifolia will (and did) help quite a bit.
A couple of days later we followed up with the same amount of water and sea salt, but with a drop of the Myrrh blend I made earlier. Although Laurel Leaf, Clove Bud and even Ravensara have been shown to irritate the mucus membrane because of various oxides and phenols, I made sure the blend had enough sequiterpene-rich Myrrh to counteract their irritating nature.
Many essential oils are irritating to the mucus membrane and need to be blended properly. As with any essential oil usage, do not apply until consulting a certified aromatherapist. Tea Tree is usually a safe bet but only one drop should be used and only with high quality Tea Tree (because it is so popular Tea Tree is an oil that is most susceptible to adulteration in order meet demand). Although it is always tempting to use more – don’t. Essential oils are extremely potent and less is always more!