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March 2020. Coronavirus panic sweeps the U.S. Hand sanitizers and antibacterial cleaning wipes are actually wiped off store shelves as people stockpile, readying for quarantine. Stop. There is another way to go. Stay stocked with a natural arsenal of essential oils from the plant world - it'll help you now and in the future.
Clean Hands: The Key
Consider this: if we use only products that are purely antibacterial, first, they aren't anti-viral, and second, we need good bacteria in our bodies to be healthy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and doctors, in general, hand washing with soap and water is the top way to prevent the spread of viruses like flu and coronavirus. If a hand sanitizer is your only option, it should be 60-95% alcohol, according to the CDC.
Home Surface Cleaners
Meantime, you can keep your home and the surfaces in your life as clean as possible, naturally. I use a non-alcoholic, non-chemical surface cleaner in my house that I make with lemon essential oil (grime-fighter), On Guard (a few anti-bacterial oils in a blend), water, and a little vinegar. I add peppermint in the summer. (Choose a glass spray bottle, because citrus oils can break down plastic.)
Science-backed Essential Oils
Here are a couple of accessible essential oils you should have in your arsenal for cleaning and natural remedies. Links are some studies, but there are more! Do your own research and see what works for you, too.
Eucalyptus - We steam for our respiratory systems with this one when congested, but it's been shown to fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi (including candida).
Orange - Citruses, led by this one, are mood lifters, but orange is also said to inhibit the growth of bacteria.
Cinnamon/Cinnamon Bark - The strongest one in studies shown to battle infections and bacteria, I was surprised by this one when I found out!
Lavender - Aside from its reputation as a sedative and treatment for anxiety, lavender is said to be anti-fungal and accelerate wound healing.
Geranium - I use this one in my face moisturizing routine for its skin beautifying properties, but studies show it can fight bacterial infections such as staphylococcus (staph).
Tea Tree is often mentioned in a cleaning, germ-fighting list, but it is also the top essential oil that can be toxic to dogs and cats, so I tend to use it way, way less.
On Guard - My Go-To Blend
On the list above, 1, 2, and 3 are in On Guard. Since I'm out in public and working with people, I wash my hands habitually and carry a hand sanitizer that is 64% alcohol (doTERRA's On Guard Sanitizing Mist).
Because there's been a run on those and other hand sanitizers, here's a recipe for making your own.
Good luck and be safe!
Reach out and do an essential oils consult with me, and if you want to become a member and get quality oils direct from me and allow me to keep helping/educating you, here's my wholesale link. Doing so also helps me sustain my role as a wellness professional. Thank you!
DIY HAND SANITIZER
In a clean, glass bowl, combine:
5 T aloe vera gel
1/4 - 1 tsp vitamin E oil
4 T water
isopropyl (99% rubbing alcohol) or ethyl alchohol
20 drops On Guard Essential Oil
Mix and fill your container(s) to one-third with the mixture (squeeze bottles, glass bottles, pumps, whatever). Fill the rest with with alcohol and shake and swirl to mix. It's intense, so you can amp up the aloe, E, or essential oils (see below) to offset but not diminish the mix. The above recipe will give you enough for two 8 ounce squeeze bottles.
Options to add a few drops of: lavender (anti-bacterial), frankincense (asthma support for higher-risk individuals), and rose, jasmine, geranium, or palmarosa/Indian geranium (skin beautifiers/soothers to counteract the higher percentage of alcohol).
Note: For the kids, this can be a bit strong, so you can amp up the aloe vera and water to dilute a little more. If you buy the doTERRA OG sanitizer, split it in two, fill the rest with water and aloe.