What’s Old Is New Again! More About Oils For The Coronavirus

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What’s Old is New Again! Research Confirms the Effectiveness of the French Inhalation Technique

There has been a lot of research activity in a global effort to fight the serious effects of the CoViD-19 Virus. I have personally been astounded at the ability of this pandemic to literally ravage the physical bodies of many of its victims.  The devastation of people of all ages and health conditions has emphasized the importance of PREVENTION. Thus, the research I want to share with you addresses the importance of prevention as well as the power of essential oils to be a powerful tool in this effort.

Again, I must give kudos to my friend, Robert, who has been sharing research with me that he feels may be of use to those who use the essential oils.  He saw this article and knew it was “right up our alley”, and I have to agree.  Let me tell you why.  The research, conducted by Hamid Merchant at the University of Huddersfield, UK is very practical, and “user friendly”…unlike many of the scholarly reports I have seen.  Dr. Merchant makes two very important observations about addressing the coronavirus via Essential Oils:  The therapeutic strategy involves an early intervention approach: “Hit the virus hard before it takes control.” So, via prevention or early intervention, the virus can be managed.  Second, he states that “Often, the solution to the world’s most complicated issues, like CoViD-19, can be so simple that the human mind finds it very difficult to accept.  

What the researchers found was that using inhaled steam, supplemented by essential oils possessing natural antimicrobial properties, oropharyngeal sanitisation and remedies for symptomatic relief.  YES! They are talking about the French inhalation Technique, which we at Wisdom of the Earth have taught about for over 20 years! We know how incredibly powerful it is for addressing respiratory issues from the common cold to bronchitis or pneumonia. So the article focuses on this technique for preventative purposes, and also to address early symptoms of present to prevent them from getting more serious and requiring the patient’s hospitalization. Here is a link to the article if you would like to read it in full.

The research reported five essential oils which they determined  as highly effective for this technique: Peppermint, Clove Bud, Eucalyptus, Camphor, Thyme and Cinnamon Leaf. In our large portfolio, there are many others, of course, which would also be highly effective, such as Ravensara, Eucalyptus Masala (pictured above), Eucalyptus Blue Mallee, Himalayan Soti, the Conifers, Laurel Leaf, etc. Many of the oils listed in the article are quite strong, so I would recommend using only a few drops of those until you get used to the intensity of this particular technique. We usually use 4-5 essences, and 8-10 drops of each into the boiling water, but if you are new to this approach, I would suggest 2 or three essences and 3-4 drops of each,  

I will attempt to describe this technique, using the picture of the woman in white, above, for starters. First off, we do not typically use bowls; we usually use a coffee mug, filled to about an inch below the rim with boiling water. Using a mug instead of a bowl helps to focus the rising steam toward your nose instead of broadly toward your face. You then take the towel down over your face to meet the front edge of the cup (or bowl), thus making a little “tent” which traps the steam coming off of the cup, embued with the oils, so that you can inhale it.  

You want to breathe in deeply…it is likely that the experience will make you cough, a lot. If you find the inhalation and coughing very intense, you can lift the towel and take several breaths of cool air until you feel ready to cover your head and start inhaling the steam again.  You can go back and forth between regular breathing and inhaling the steam from the cup until the liquid cools enough that it is no longer producing steam.

This picture is actually more accurate in terms of the process, though it is definitely less attractive, LOL.

So that is the French Inhalation Technique, which we teach in our Level 1 Medicinal Aromatherapy Certification Class. It is not for the faint of heart…but neither is the Coronavirus. 

My son used this technique some time ago when he wanted to clear his lungs of years of damage from smoking cigarettes. He couldn’t run down a soccer field without coughing, so he decided to “bite the bullet” and do the inhalations 3 times a week for a couple of months.  It was intense, but the coughing when he ran down the field stopped, and he mentioned to me that he had no idea he could breathe so deeply until he had completed this regimen. It works!  It is my “go to” technique when I feel like I am coming down with something.  

Between sipping throughout the day on my 4 oz bottle of Black Cumin and and doing an inhalation a couple of times a week as a preventative measure, I have been blessed with great health during this pandemic.  I believe that Dr. Merchant has done the world a great service in researching an old, tried and true technique, and in investigating the medicinal power of essential oils in prevention and early intervention in the face of symptoms.

Plant Medicine is the medicine of the people, and he speaks strongly that it is an affordable and accessible therapy that many could easily benefit from. However, they do not address the intensity of the experience in discussing it in the research report.  The French Inhalation technique can “go wrong” pretty easily, so please start “small” if you are trying it for the first time, and work your way up to using a therapeutically powerful number of drops.  DO NOT put a pan of water on the stove, put the oils into that and attempt the technique while the solution is still on the burner.  That is too intense for delicate mucous membranes and will burn them. Let the intensity of the oils do the work, not the heat on the stove.  Pace yourself and I think you will have an incredible experience…one that will serve you well throughout the years.  

You can visit my online store, if you would like to purchase any of the essences mentioned in this article.  We have all of the ones mentioned in the research study, and many more.  If you are a Certified Level 1 Wisdom of the Earth Student, please email me for your discount code.

Wishing you the best of health, and the opportunity to manifest your heart’s desire in these “interesting” times.

With love, Audre

PS…I decided to resurrect our old “Words of Wisdom” name for my newsletter…that used to be the name of our purple Wisdom of the Earth paper newsletter that we discontinued mailing out many years ago.  I loved that name and decided that “something old” should be “new again” too!  So welcome to Words of Wisdom!


  1. Nathalie Gagnon on October 23, 2021 at 1:37 pm

    This article is so helpful! I have some mild asthma and I believe this technique will help me 🙂

  2. Sarah Hoffman on November 19, 2021 at 9:23 pm

    I have been sick three times this year and one of those times I did get covid. I am learning more and more about the oils and have just completed my level 2 with Shawna. I am going to start doing this for myself and my husband who just got viral pneumonia. Thank you

    • Audre Gutierez on December 7, 2021 at 5:17 pm

      So sorry to hear about what you and your husband are going through! I cannot say enough about the French Inhalation Method, and though it can be intense, it is extremely effective. Hope you both regain your health soon!

  3. Marian Simmons on February 9, 2022 at 5:51 pm

    I tested positive for the virus in late December ’21 and my friend reminded me of the inhalation technique. I used Peppermint, Blue Spruce and Mugwort as these were the oils I have on hand. I had to let the vapors quiet down before I could hold the towel over my head, mostly because the peppermint was so strong. I notice when I do the inhalations daily it is helping as the sinus and cough are lingering. It has been a good reminder of the power of the plants! Do you think the Lemon Eucalyptus would be effective as well? Thank you!

    • Audre Gutierrez on March 28, 2022 at 5:23 pm

      Sorry this is so late in coming to you! Yes, I think the Eucalyptus lemon would be excellent, however, I would do fewer drops of this one, as the citral content can make it a little intense. The same goes with peppermint. Our organic peppermint from India is probably the “softest” peppermint, so when you replace the one you have, you might want to consider that one. Glad that the inhalation technique helped you! Yes, it is pretty intense, so I am glad that you “stuck it out” and found a method that worked for you.

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