Sorry folks, it’s been a long time between articles. 🙂


I recently came across a study which showed that people who take aspirin and tylenol to deal with colds and flus actually suppress their body’s ability to produce antibodies, and so actually prolong their colds and lead to secondary infections. [1] Then you have antibiotics, which actually do a lot of harm to the body’s gut flora. Hence, the title of this post. Essential oils don’t supplant your immune system, they assist and support it. Here are some things to consider as we enter the cold and flu season.

Use Eucalyptus oil or any of the Citrus oils in a diffuser daily. This will help clear the airborne environment of any pathogens. Oils such as orange and grapefruit are also beneficial in keeping people’s moods up-beat. As there is evidence that stress is a contributing factor to colds and flus, this something you definitely want to keep in mind.[2]

In addition here are some other oils you might want to consider, either in your diffuser or to use internally (note the safety precautions for each oil):

Read more…

Essential oils as anti-fungal agents

A culture of Aspergillus niger. Source: Proquence at en.wikipedia

A culture of Aspergillus niger. Source: Proquence at en.wikipedia

One of the often overlooked properties of essential oils are their anti-fungal capabilities. Fungal infections can be as serious as any viral or bacterial infections, even resulting in death. We all have fungi and yeast to some extent – in our stomachs, our skin and pretty much everywhere in our environment – they feed on dead tissue and material. As they are kept under control, fungi in our bodies present no problems as they digest what we no longer need.

The problems start when we have too many simple sugars in our diet. Simple sugars are things like refined sugar, syrups, candy, soda pops, soft drinks and fruit. These are foods that are absorbed and digested very quickly. Complex sugars (or carbohydrates) are foods like vegetables, legumes and grains. So when we have too much of the simple sugars (or carbs) in our diet, fungal cultures can grow out of control and invade the blood and gastrointestinal tract. An example of this is Candida (Candidiasis).  Candida excretes large quantities of toxins that end up in the liver. From there, they are usually eliminated from the body. However if there is too much of these toxins, it will eventually overload the liver and there will be flow on effect to the rest of the body’s tissues and organs, possibly resulting in diseases such as cancer and arteriosclerosis.

So in the case of candida, the first thing you need to do is cut or eliminate the simple sugars from your diet. Antibiotics and alchohol are also a no-no if you have a fungal or yeast infection. You also need to ensure you have a sufficient in-take of minerals like potassium, magnesium and zinc. My next step would then be to use essential oils.

Using essential oils
A 2006 study tested 75 essential oils and found what are supposed to be the most potent anti-fungal agents among these.[1] These are cinnamon bark, cassia, clove, bay laurel, basil, lemongrass, geranium and thyme. In fact the first 6 of these essential oils were found to be superior to the anti-fungal drug – Hexaconazole. Other essential oils that are effective against fungal infections are Melaleuca (M. ericifolia), blue cypress, lavender, mountain savory and melissa. Among the blends, possibly the best would Thieves™, which is well known for its ability to eliminate toxic black mould. Young Living have incorporated Thieves™ into various cleaning products (which I might add are also safe for the environment). Thieves™ oil blend includes clove and cinnamon bark oil. The latter has been found to effective against at least 35 different fungi.

Cinnamon oil against fungi

Clove oil has been found to be effective against at least 15 different types of fungi, including Candida Albicans.

When applying any of these oils topically, you may wish to dilute them with a vegetable oil (50/50) as some of them (e.g. Cinnamon and Clove) are quite strong. If taking internally, I would use a gelatin or vegetable capsule and start with a few drops initially and then build up the dose. Always use pure, therapeutic grade quality essential oils.

If you would like more information on this topic or would like to obtain any of the essential oils referred to in this post, please contact us.

Till next time


Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

Further reading

For more information on Thieves, check out my post Getting ready for the next Flu season. Part Two

[1]  Pawar VC, Thaker VS. In vitro efficacy of 75 essential oils against Aspergillus niger. Mycoses. 2006 Jul;49(4):316-23

Getting ready for the next Flu season. Part Two

Last week we saw some evidence of the diabolical dynamic at work in antibiotics and ended by looking at alternatives. And I mentioned the essential oil blend – Thieves (See also this post). So we’ll look at this in more detail today, because it is a very potent and relatively safe alternative to the antibiotic cocktails which are served up today.

A Tale of 4 Thieves

The story behind the origins of the Thieves blend is a fascinating one. This blend is based on the account of 4 thieves in 15th Century France. During an outbreak of bubonic plague these 4 individuals robbed plague victims, without coming down with the disease themselves. When the four were eventually captured, they were offered a lighter sentence (hanging instead of being burned at the stake) in return for the secret of their ‘immunity’. It was revealed that these men rubbed themselves with (and inhaled) a number of essential oils, including Clove and Rosemary.

Research into this historic account by Young Living today, has led to the creation of an oil blend that contains Clove, Cinnamon Bark, Rosemary, Lemon and Eucalyptus Radiata essential oils. With this blend you have a combination that is anti-viral, antiseptic, anti-bacterial and anti-infectious.

In fact, studies conducted at Weber State University in 1997 were able to demonstrate its potency against airborne microorganisms. [1] The tests found a 90 % reduction in the number of Micrococcus Luteus (M.Luteus) organisms after diffusing Thieves in the air for 12 minutes and a 99.3 % reduction after 20 minutes of diffusing. With the pathogen Pseudomonas Aeruginosa they had a kill rate of 99.96% kill rate after 12 minutes of diffusing Thieves.

Both of these pathogens are fairly common and opportunistic pathogens that pose risks for immuno-compromised patients. Can you start to see the possibilities of using Thieves in hospitals and clinics?

Using Thieves

Many of the oils making up Thieves are powerful in their own right. Clove oil has the highest antioxidant capacity on the ORAC scale (over a million, compared to oranges at 750). [2] Cinnamon Bark has been shown to be very effective against MRSA (Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus) [3], while Eucalyptus Radiata forms part of another blend- R.C. – which is equally potent against MRSA. Oil blends have been found to demonstrate a capacity not found in their component oils. The whole literally is greater than the sum of the parts.

So how do we use Thieves oil? Well we’ve already seen one study where it was diffused in the air. So if you have an oil diffuser (don’t use an oil burner, as you’ll damage the therapeutic qualities of your oils), put some Thieves oil in it and leave it on in a room for about 15-20 minutes, every 3-4 hours. Use it at home or in the workplace.  Try putting 4-8 drops on a cotton ball and putting it on a vent.

You can inhale it. You can apply it topically on the base of your feet – anywhere between 4-6 drops. If applying anywhere else on your body, you will want to avoid any part of your skin that is likely to be exposed to the Sun, as the oil is sensitive. And also dilute it, 1 part Thieves to 4 parts vegetable oil. Should you choose to take it internally (and this is not recommended for everyone), buy yourself some gelatin capsules (or enteric coated ones if you can get them) and put the oil (start with 2-4 drops initially) in them. Take them preferably before a meal, as otherwise you may find yourself belching Thieves.

I used the latter method to prepare for a trip to Egypt in 2005. I wanted to avoid what is known as ‘Pharaoh’s curse’, the typical belly bug one can get when visiting a third world country (diarrhoea, vomiting, gastric pains, etc), and build my immunity up. So each day prior to departure I took a capsule and gradually increased the dosage, starting at 2 drops and going up to 10-12 drops. It worked for me, as I avoided getting any kind of tummy bug in Egypt.

Thieves around the home.

As I pointed out earlier, something like Thieves ought to be widely used in places like hospitals and clinics. Unfortunately it isn’t as yet. However we can make it more difficult for bacteria and viruses to visit our homes and workplaces.  Young Living have incorporated the Thieves oil blend into a number of different products –  soaps, toothpaste, mouthwash, wipes, sprays and yes even household cleaners [4].

If this interests you or you would like to get your hands on some of this great stuff, contact us via our helpdesk or visit our site. Find out how you can get these products at a wholesale price and the Thieves kits which can save you money.

Till next time,



Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1] Effect of a diffused essential oil blend on bacterial bioaerosols. Author: S.C. Chao,  D.G. Young and C.J. Oberg, Journal: Journal of Essential Oil Research 10 (517-523) (Sept/Oct 1998)

[2] ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity) was a test developed by USDA researchers at Tufts University in Boston, MA, USA. It is the first of its kind to measure time and degree of free-radical inhibition and has been able to identify the highest known antioxidant foods. This information from the Essential Oils Desk Reference, 4th Edition, Essential Science Publishing, Sept 2007, p 493

[3] Inhibition of Methicillin-Resistant Staphyloccus Aureus (MRSA) by Essential Oils. Author: S.C. Chao,  D.G. Young, C.J. Oberg and K Nakaoka, Journal: Flavour and Fragrance Journal, 23 (444-449) (2008)

[4] The Meaner, Greener Thieves Household Cleaner