We are in the midst of cold and flu season and many people are having what I am calling “the crud”. It settles in our chests with a phlegm cough. Essential oils have traditionally been from a Western perspective. Very recently they are being used from a Chinese Medicine perspective. One of the best essential oils which combats phlegm is sweet basil. We generally think of the leaves as the base for making tasty pesto and other dishes but, the essential oil has very beneficial uses in Chinese Medicine. It promotes expectoration (gets it out), resolves phlegm, relieves the cough, opens the chest & sinuses and relieves wheezing. All helpful actions at this time of year! To use: put some unscented body lotion or oil in the palm of your hand and add 2 drops of the essential oil and gently massage into chest and upper back. Do this morning and evening. Tell me how you like it. If your phlegm is dry as opposed to wet, use essential oil of frankincense instead. And if you have a dry annoying cough poach pears and eat the pear and liquid while warm. Note: if you have a persistent cough which lasts more than a few weeks, blood in your sputum or shortness of breath and wheezing these may be signs of a more serious illness and it is wise to see your physician.