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My household has been sick for the past two weeks.  DH had either generic or H1N1 flu for a week (with a fever), and I came down with some sort of respiratory demon (sans fever) that has been living in my sinuses and chest for the past week.

For the first few days, I had the unpleasant experience of living without a sense of smell.  I can vouch that chocolate and ice cream are not very yummy without a sense of smell.  Forget incense or perfume!

The only thing I could smell (because I was practically stuffing it up my nose) was an essential oil mix I came up with called Cold-Be-Gone.  Feel free to try it out at home.  (Please attribute me as the original author if you want to share the recipe with others.)

DON’T actually stuff it up your nose.  Doing so will make you cry or worse.  I used a heated essential oil diffuser that I put next to the bed at night, which generated an intense sphere of scent that expanded to fill the bedroom.

Cold-Be-Gone Blend

12 drops peppermint essential oil
12 drops lavender essential oil
12 drops tea tree essential oil
12 drops eucalyptus essential oil
6 drops lemon essential oil

Depending on how much stock you take in aromatherapy, the above essential oils are either powerful antivirals working in midair, or will provide a pleasant, strongly medicinal-smelling placebo based on your past experience with strong-smelling vaporous balms and medicines.  YMMV.

Peppermint – chosen to sweeten up the blend – also supposed to help suppress coughs.
Lavender – chosen because I like it, also has floral and herbal components that work well with strong herbal scents – also supposed to calm and generally cure all ills.
Tea Tree – chosen because of its smell – very mentholated – used topically for skin problems, considered an antiviral, etc.
Eucalyptus – chosen because of its smell – supposed to help with chest congestion, considered antiviral, etc.
Lemon – chosen to brighten the blend a bit, could be eliminated – supposed to invigorate the senses and have a cheering effect.

Like I said, your mileage may vary.  But it helped me sleep a bit better, and seemed to keep DH from coughing so much.  And it smelled like it should be doing something. That’s a major part of the fun, right?