Now that flu season is upon us we're all striving to get ahead of the virus in any way that we can. This includes maintaining a healthy lifestyle, avoiding those who are infected and getting the flu vaccination. However, the list doesn’t stop there. The latest trend in treating the flu is called the “flu bomb,” and just as the name suggests, it could do more harm to you and your family than you may realize.
What is the Flu Bomb?
The flu bomb is a homemade concoction of essential oils inserted into empty gel caps to be taken orally. There are many variations to the flu bomb “recipe” circulating the internet, but the basic combination of essential oils is the following:
- OnGuard (the commonly referred to commercial name for a mixture of wild orange peel, clove, cinnamon, eucalyptus and rosemary)
- Melaleuca (tea tree oil)
It seems like a natural treatment, right? While it’s true that essential oils like the ones listed above are natural oils extracted from plants and other sources existing in nature, an all-natural sounding treatment does not always mean it is the safest.
Four Reasons Why the Flu Bomb Shouldn’t Replace the Flu Vaccine
The flu bomb isn’t regulated.
The flu bomb recipe, no matter how many variations of it you can find on the internet, is not FDA-approved. In fact, no essential oils are FDA-approved or regulated by the government or healthcare professionals in any way.
Essential oils are sometimes considered poisonous.
Essential oils may be toxic if swallowed or absorbed through the skin. Every person is different, but due to the incredibly high concentration of essential oils (a maximum of 10 drops of any oil is supposed to be diluted in one entire 8-ounce glass of water), reactions to ingesting or making skin contact with any oil can be life-threatening, especially for children.
Advocates for this treatment may not have your best interests at heart.
Those who sell/promote the use of essential oils as alternatives to modern medicine are not medical professionals. In fact, many of the people who strongly promote essential oil use are also making money in the business. Do not put the lives of you and your family at risk with a deadly infection like the flu by trusting a non-professional with a course of treatment.
It is not a proven treatment.
No scientific evidence exists to prove that essential oils can treat or prevent the flu. Swallowing capsules filled with essential oils that may be ineffective and most certainly could be dangerous is a risk you should not be willing to take.
The Bottom Line
We get it. Contracting the flu is awful. You’re left with severe aches and pains, fever, chills and fatigue, just to name a few symptoms. You may be bedridden for days. That’s why we’re here to warn you about flu treatments like the flu bomb that could potentially cause more harm than any of your worst flu symptoms.
The best way to protect yourself against the flu is to get the flu vaccination. It is administered by needle, usually in the arm, and will take seconds to complete. Individuals 6 months and older are strongly urged to get the flu vaccination each year, several weeks ahead of peak flu season.
For more information on the flu and the flu vaccine, check out our recommendations for preventing the flu. If you are currently experiencing flu-like symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor immediately.
When it comes to cold and flu, keeping your immune system in tip-top shape is essential. Our flu guide will have tips on how to do it and point out some other ways to decrease your risk.